HOME

AUTONET TV

Archive for March 2014

The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted March 12, 2014 12:00 PM

The current vehicles in the market have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.

It's up to people in Anchorage to always use the right type of fluid for their vehicle. Your service advisor and your owner's manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.

Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it's hard to know exactly which one your vehicle needs.

Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among manufacturers, they require different additives, which means there are now several coolants on the market. The type of coolant your vehicle needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.

Most vehicles used to require DOT 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need DOT 4 or DOT 5. Some Anchorage drivers mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that DOT 4 is somehow better than DOT 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your vehicle is designed for just one of them.

Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Anchorage vehicles still need them to be highly durable.

That's the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.

Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your vehicle has 75,000 miles/120,000 km or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines, additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Anchorage drivers should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.

Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. AK vehicle owners should take care to learn their vehicle's fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Anchorage drivers is making sure your vehicle's fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our vehicles become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.

Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage.

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

 



The L and M Motors Inc Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

Posted March 5, 2014 12:00 PM

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Anchorage drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Anchorage. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on AK roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Anchorage hills, pass or start up again.

Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At L and M Motors Inc, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at L and M Motors Inc see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Anchorage service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It's really important for Anchorage area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.

At L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage, we hope you never become shiftless in Anchorage because you didn't take care of your transmission.

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

 



Search



Archive

December 2009 (4)
January 2010 (3)
February 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
April 2010 (4)
May 2010 (3)
June 2010 (3)
July 2010 (3)
August 2010 (5)
September 2010 (3)
October 2010 (3)
November 2010 (4)
December 2010 (4)
January 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
March 2011 (52)
April 2011 (4)
May 2011 (5)
June 2011 (2)
August 2011 (3)
September 2011 (2)
October 2011 (2)
December 2011 (4)
February 2012 (1)
March 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (1)
June 2012 (3)
July 2012 (1)
August 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
December 2012 (2)
March 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (2)
January 2014 (2)
February 2014 (4)
March 2014 (2)
July 2014 (3)
August 2014 (8)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (4)
January 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (5)
April 2015 (4)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
September 2015 (2)
October 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (2)
March 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
November 2016 (5)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (5)
June 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
August 2017 (3)

Categories

Air Conditioning (7)Alignment (13)Auto Safety (1)Automotive News (6)Battery (7)Brakes (8)Cabin Air Filter (6)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (10)Dashboard (1)Diagnostics (5)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (3)Drive Train (5)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (3)Exhaust (6)Fluids (11)Fuel Economy (3)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (1)Fuel System (39)Headlamps (3)Inspection (5)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (3)Maintenance (49)Monitoring System (3)Older Vehicles (2)Parts (10)Safety (5)Serpentine Belt (4)Service Intervals (7)Service Standards (11)Shocks & Struts (6)Shocks and Struts (1)Steering (6)Suspension (2)Timing Belt (5)Tire Pressure Monitoring System (1)Tires and Wheels (38)Transmission (7)Warranty (2)Windshield Wipers (5)
 

Associations