Check Your Shocks and Struts at Lewis Complete Auto RepairMay 24, 2016

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-MTIx”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

 

Today we’re talking to Rowlett drivers about shocks and struts. They’re so easy for TX folks to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they’re very important.

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting on corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for Rowlett drivers.

There’s a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

It’s best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you’ll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.

Visit Lewis Complete Auto Repair to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800

Time for Differential Service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair?May 16, 2016

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-MjI5”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

Hello Rowlett – let’s talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials – front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you’ve got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.

What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let’s compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.

The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet – over 6 feet more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times – so the outer tire has to spin faster in order to keep up. The differential makes this possible.

The gears in the differential are cooled and lubricated by differential fluid. It’s this fluid that needs to be serviced. Small bits of the gears break off and are suspended in the differential fluid. The dirtier the fluid, the faster the gears wear.

So your Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician drains the old fluid out and replaces it with fresh fluid. Some differentials also need a special additive that is put in at this time.

So when should you have your vehicle differential serviced? Intervals vary from vehicle to vehicle – and may be as short as 15,000 miles – so check your vehicle owner’s manual or ask us at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. If you frequently drive with heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in hot TX conditions, you may need to change differential fluid more often. Servicing your differential on schedule at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can save a pricey replacement down the road.

Give us a call.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800

Have You Checked Your Headlights?May 9, 2016

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-MTc=”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

Like everything in the Rowlett automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. TX drivers can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Rowlett roads, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Rowlett resident population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new vehicles sold in Rowlett come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on some Rowlett roads, they’re very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Rowlett drivers complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies – your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair recommends that they be changed out once a year. We suggest you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It’s easy to remember – when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time – then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long TX winter nights.

If you have an older vehicle with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You’ll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, Rowlett vehicles can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that’s more like natural sunlight. This light’s easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive around the Rowlett area. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Rowlett vehicles to think you’re running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, TX can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800
http://lewis-complete-auto-repair.autotipsvideo.com

The Easy Way to Save Cash in RowlettMay 1, 2016

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-NDA=”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

The hottest TX news story may be different every day, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Rowlett. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Rowlett can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Rowlett drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Rowlett service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Rowlett gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the vehicle owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Rowlett vehicles up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Rowlett residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Rowlett area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Rowlett drivers at the pump. 

Now most vehicles aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Lewis Complete Auto Repair – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in RowlettApril 25, 2016

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-MTg1”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

The <a target="_blank" href="“>transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Rowlett vehicle owners: it improves and increases performance.

But there is a drawback for drivers in Rowlett: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Rowlett drivers. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

That’s why changing transmission fluid is such part of preventive maintenance for vehicles in Rowlett. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing transmission repairs.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800
http://lewis-complete-auto-repair.autotipsvideo.com