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Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From L and M Motors Inc

Posted December 26, 2016 12:27 PM

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the AK news. Anchorage people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage 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 vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) 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 (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in AK.

The Anchorage drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.

There's another reason 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 repair.

Your friendly and knowledgeable L and M Motors Inc service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle 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.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) 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 some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Anchorage. 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.

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



Know Your Towing Limits in Anchorage

Posted December 20, 2016 8:29 AM

Some Anchorage drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around Anchorage, you should be aware of safety issues, AK towing laws and potential liability.

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Anchorage drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.

Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds (4,600kg). But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound (2700 kg) trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in AK.

Anchorage auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg), and you're carrying 700 pounds (320 kg) of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds (2,880 kg).

Two numbers that Anchorage drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.

This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around AK, you become liable in event of an accident.

Local Anchorage laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some AK jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local Anchorage laws regarding trailer brakes and hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.

To tow safely, AK drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained L and M Motors Inc tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Anchorage.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date, and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.

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



Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at L and M Motors Inc

Posted December 12, 2016 4:22 AM

Hello Anchorage! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly for drivers in Anchorage.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Anchorage drivers and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday AK driving. Anchorage road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, and even the bumps and bounces of normal Anchorage roads and surface streets can gradually put your vehicle tires out of alignment.

So it's good auto advice to have your vehicle's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle's owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your vehicle tires might be out of alignment, you should bring your vehicle into L and M Motors Inc now.

When you bring your vehicle in for an alignment, your technician at L and M Motors Inc will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the vehicle will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle's tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you'll be able to steer where you want to go. Drive safely.

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



To Save Gas Around Anchorage: Keep up with Your Scheduled Service

Posted December 4, 2016 10:59 AM


 

One topic that hits the news in AK on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some AK drivers is to buy a vehicle that gets better fuel economy. For those of us in Anchorage who don't want to add a car payment to our monthly expenses, we need to improve our fuel economy any way we can.

Following recommended service intervals by coming into L and M Motors Inc is one of the best ways people in Anchorage can keep their vehicle running efficiently. That means better fuel economy. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can't lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces fuel economy.

Keeping up with scheduled oil changes and transmission services will save gas for AK drivers.

Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change.

You can imagine what dirty fuel injectors can do to your vehicle as you drive around Anchorage. If your owner's manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into L and M Motors Inc and ask us to get it done for you.

A simple, but very effective way for drivers to save gas is to keep their tires properly inflated. Low tires can cost you up to a mile per gallon/.425 kilometers per liter. Check your tire pressure when you gas up – or at least once a month.

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



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