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Archive for March 2012

Power Steering Service at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage

Posted March 28, 2012 12:00 PM

Many Anchorage drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering. Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects vehicle components from rust and corrosion.

Anchorage car owners should be aware that vehicle manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At L and M Motors Inc, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Anchorage drivers don't realize how important it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it's necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Anchorage drivers should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you're experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at L and M Motors Inc includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your friendly and knowledgeable L and M Motors Inc service advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. 

Give us a call.

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



Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At L and M Motors Inc

Posted March 21, 2012 12:00 PM

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A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Anchorage people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Anchorage motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their family cars for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Anchorage drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own family cars on the road in AK.

Anchorage drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At L and M Motors IncThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your family car's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Anchorage car owners. It’s simple – a L and M Motors Inc professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your L and M Motors Inc technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your L and M Motors Inc advisor will also visually inspect your family car for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your L and M Motors Inc advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Anchorage dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your family car gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new family car payments. With proper service at L and M Motors Inc and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.



Gas Savings in Anchorage: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted March 16, 2012 12:00 PM

High gas prices in Anchorage increase the cost of living for AK drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Anchorage vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to AK news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Anchorage vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Anchorage folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Anchorage business in the red.

So what does this mean to Anchorage drivers? Well, there's a ninety percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Anchorage vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

Let's suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at L and M Motors Inc. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Anchorage is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you'd rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50

20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Anchorage for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Anchorage. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

 

GAS PRICE

A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

 

So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at L and M Motors Inc. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at Anchorage gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

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

 



Air Conditioning Maintenance at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage

Posted March 7, 2012 12:00 PM


Warm weather or cold, Anchorage drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most Anchorage people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At L and M Motors Inc, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage.

The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Anchorage car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At L and M Motors Inc, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Anchorage drivers need to be aware that there's one more thing that isn't directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your vehicle. And that's your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that come from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it's dirty. If you don't it'll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your L and M Motors Inc service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they're doing your air conditioning service.

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



L and M Motors Inc Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Posted March 1, 2012 12:00 PM

Today's L and M Motors Inc post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your L and M Motors Inc service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Anchorage drivers. Back when we opened L and M Motors Inc, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Anchorage residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at L and M Motors Inc: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to L and M Motors Inc professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today's high-tech vehicle engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances.

That's where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those vehicle engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

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




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