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Recommended Service Intervals at L and M Motors Inc

Posted January 27, 2011 3:00 AM



Most people in the Anchorage area are aware that automotive manufacturers have recommended service intervals. Following recommended service intervals is very important. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated for areas in AK.

The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety.

Protection. Let's start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil for your vehicle. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Over time, the additives are depleted. The oil also becomes contaminated by water, dirt and combustion gases.

Extending your interval beyond the recommendation means that your vehicle engine will be operating without the full protection of fresh motor oil. It also means that sludge can form in contaminated oil and clog up passages in the engine, starving parts from needed lubrication.

Efficiency. Some services are designed to keep automotive systems operating efficiently. For example, the fuel system gets clogged up with gum and varnish from the fuel. Fuel doesn't flow efficiently which reduces fuel economy. A fuel system cleaning restores the fuel system's efficiency and increases your gas mileage.

Safety. Your brakes are a component of one of the most important safety systems on your vehicle. The manufacturer has scheduled brake pad replacement as well as power brake fluid drain and replacement intervals. Because brakes are so important, a brake inspection is also on the schedule to head off problems before they result in an accident.

Check your owner's manual for recommended service schedules or talk with your Anchorage service advisor at L and M Motors Inc by calling 907-563-4994.

You may be surprised to learn that various inspections may be on your list of factory recommendations for your vehicle. These inspections are usually at major intervals like 15,000 or 30,000 miles/24,000 or 48,000 km. They're designed to uncover important parts that may be close to failing.

Your vehicle owner's manual can tell you when to change your oil, but it can't tell you that you have a radiator hose that's bulging and about to burst. For that you need a trained auto technician. These scheduled inspections are in addition to the multi-point inspections done with a full-service oil change.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994



Keep It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at L and M Motors Inc

Posted January 21, 2011 3:00 AM



The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Anchorage use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit L and M Motors Inc at 400 W 53rd Ave in Anchorage, AK 99518.
Please call 907-563-4994 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our Anchorage area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can't get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can't get enough power to get you out of harm's way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don't want to cause them damage just because you didn't spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It's a little part, it's simple and it's cheap to take care of. But if it's neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner's manual are there for a reason. If ever you don't understand a recommended service, just ask your Anchorage service advisor at L and M Motors Inc. We'll be happy to explain.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994

 



Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles in Anchorage, AK

Posted January 12, 2011 2:00 AM



The median age for cars in the Anchorage, AK area was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At L and M Motors Inc we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Anchorage area, bring it into L and M Motors Inc for high-mileage maintenance.
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994

Many people in AK are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern vehicles are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn't have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Anchorage with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let's start with the special needs of the older vehicle...

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There'll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they're worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Anchorage service advisor at L and M Motors Inc about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your vehicle is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Anchorage auto service advisor at L and M Motors Inc help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven't gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it's time to start taking care of those things. It'll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994



What to Do In Case of an Accident

Posted January 7, 2011 2:00 AM

If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around Anchorage, AK, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in Anchorage, AK:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in AK, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local Anchorage lockup.

Most places, including AK, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.

Warn other Anchorage motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.

Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won't have an objective report to help defend yourself.

Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don't. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone, including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of AK law, the other guy may be responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as, "I was going 35 miles per hour," or, "I was going 55 kilometers per hour," not, "I wasn't speeding." Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.

Also get the officer's name and badge number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver's license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN). Most insurance companies don't record license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best way to track the vehicle.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can't wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary.

Always call your insurance agent or your AK auto insurance company's 800 number.

Call or see your local Anchorage physician if you think you may have been injured.

We here at L and M Motors Inc hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994



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