Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Lewis Complete Auto RepairOctober 17, 2017

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

A lot of Rowlett 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 Rowlett 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 TX.

The Rowlett 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 Rowlett car owners. It’s simple – a Lewis Complete Auto Repair 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 Lewis Complete Auto Repair 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 Lewis Complete Auto Repair 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 Rowlett. With proper service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

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

Automotive Tips from Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Air Conditioning InspectionOctober 8, 2017

Most auto manufacturers recommend an interval for an air conditioning system inspection. The inspection uncovers leaks, worn hoses and assesses the condition of the other components.

Environmental laws in some around Rowlett require leaks to be repaired before refrigerant can be added. Also some parts manufacturers require other components to be replaced along with certain failed parts in order to maintain the new part warranty. This is because a given failure may be the result of another worn or damaged part that will, if not replaced, prematurely damage the new component.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett is fully equipped to restore your flow of cool air.

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

 

Picking the Right Tires in RowlettOctober 2, 2017

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Shopping for tires in Rowlett 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 Rowlett are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on TX 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. Rowlett people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it’s cold and slippery on TX 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 Rowlett 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 Rowlett roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Rowlett car owners. Talk with your Lewis Complete Auto Repair tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

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

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?September 30, 2017

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Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Rowlett residents know about them. But do we know enough?

Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.

Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Rowlett residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.

Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine’s life expectancy.

To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner’s manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don’t assume they will be the same.

If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around Rowlett, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot TX weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for a “severe service” recommendation.

If the manual doesn’t give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.

Rowlett residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for Rowlett residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you’re probably not saving money at all.

Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner’s manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.

Talk to your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor for more information.

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

Lewis Complete Auto Repair Brake Service for Safe Stopping in RowlettSeptember 12, 2017

Let’s talk about something critical for all Rowlett drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

Here’s an explanation on how your disc brakes work:

The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around Rowlett. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.

Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don’t replace the pads when they’re worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We’ve all heard grinding brakes and it’s not a pretty sound.

If a rotor isn’t scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.

Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it’s cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett than to rebuild the piston.

So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.

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