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The L and M Motors Inc Guide to Tire Specs

Posted October 25, 2016 1:54 AM

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Anchorage service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Anchorage drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Anchorage tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Anchorage. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Anchorage are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Anchorage area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting AK roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Anchorage drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturers original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable L and M Motors Inc tire professional.

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

 



Automotive Tips from L and M Motors Inc: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

Posted October 16, 2016 1:30 AM

When Anchorage drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional L and M Motors Inc tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

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



Tracking True in Anchorage: Wheel Alignment

Posted October 11, 2016 1:23 AM

At L and M Motors Inc, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a L and M Motors Inc alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.

If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your Anchorage auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you should get your alignment checked.

It's not surprising that a forceful impact can seriously knock tires out, but remember that a series of smaller ones can add up. That's why your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't advise a specific interval, once a year might be appropriate. Check with your L and M Motors Inc service advisor. As with most other preventive maintenance services, the cost of the alignment is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to purchase new tires earlier than expected.


Give us a call.

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



Picking the Right Tires in Anchorage

Posted October 3, 2016 7:11 AM

Shopping for tires in Anchorage can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Anchorage are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on AK roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Anchorage people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on AK roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Anchorage showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Anchorage roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Anchorage car owners. Talk with your L and M Motors Inc tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

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



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