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Archive for December 2011

Suspension Service at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage

Posted December 28, 2011 12:00 PM

During an inspection at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage, your friendly and knowledgeable automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.

Here's a quick rundown of suspension system components:

There are the springs which hold the weight of your vehicle. There are several varieties of springs. Springs are heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. Good shocks are essential for handling performance and ride comfort.

You've probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. If your tires develop a cupped wear pattern, your shocks or struts may be wearing out. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your vehicle dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you've stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it's definitely time to replace them at L and M Motors Inc.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit L and M Motors Inc for a suspension inspection. Same applies if you've been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your vehicle suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so don't put it off.

When you replace your shocks, it's usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That'll give you more even handling. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at L and M Motors Inc because you don't want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.

There are different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your vehicle was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Anchorage people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.

For example, if you want increased handling performance, your L and M Motors Inc service advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut specially designed for improved handling. If you haul heavy loads or trailers in Anchorage, we can recommend some heavy duty shock absorbers.

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

 



L and M Motors Inc Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Posted December 22, 2011 12:00 PM

Welcome to the L and M Motors Inc automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear.

Let's focus on stopping in wet Anchorage conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Anchorage drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new L and M Motors Inc tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Anchorage roads.

So that's why it's so important for Anchorage drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

At L and M Motors Inc, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Anchorage streets. A safe stop from AK speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch.

Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Anchorage residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Anchorage want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.

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



PCV Valve Service at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage

Posted December 16, 2011 12:00 PM

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. Unburnt fuel is forced into the crankcase as your engine runs.  The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve vents this unburnt fuel and oil vapors from the crankcase and sends it back into the air intake system to be burned in the engine.  A clogged PCV will not allow these vapors to escape. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause vehicle engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at L and M Motors Inc. At high speeds on AK freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, vehicles were simply installed with a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the vehicle's engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Anchorage drivers take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets  gases out of the engine, but won't let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won't work well. That can lead to all of the problems I've already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.

Fortunately, it's very easy to test the PCV Valve at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it's often overlooked because many Anchorage vehicle owners don't know about it. Check your vehicle owner's manual or ask your L and M Motors Inc service advisor. If this is the first time you've heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There's another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That'll need to be replaced at L and M Motors Inc when it gets dirty.

Please ask your Anchorage service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Anchorage, you can avoid some very engine repairs.

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



L and M Motors Inc Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Posted December 6, 2011 12:00 PM

All Anchorage service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at L and M Motors Inc have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.

Your friendly and knowledgeable L and M Motors Inc service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

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



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