What’s up with Diesels in Rowlett?August 16, 2017

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Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like TX. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.

There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.

But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Rowlett. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Rowlett is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% better fuel economy.

People in Rowlett may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth, quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Rowlett roads.

Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Rowlett restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in TX. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. 

Rowlett drivers who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle should know that  preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of vehicle care. But you won’t be alone. Most Rowlett service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Lewis Complete Auto Repair, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel-powered vehicles.

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

 

It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at Lewis Complete Auto RepairJuly 31, 2017

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If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in Rowlett. At the same time, they are getting better and better fuel economy. I’ve gotta tell ‘ya, most of that’s because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let’s talk bicycles.

You’ve probably seen plenty of cyclists on Rowlett roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist’s cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced TX cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she’s climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.

Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you’re climbing a steep TX hill – forget about it.

Now let’s add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed more quickly. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it’s much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the Rowlett rider.

Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It’s the vehicle transmission’s job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are fairly common in Rowlett.

Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at Lewis Complete Auto Repair keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair advisor if it’s time for transmission service. Come see why smart Rowlett drivers trust their transmissions to Lewis Complete Auto Repair.

Give us a call.

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

Automotive Detective Work in RowlettJuly 25, 2017

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There’s a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in Rowlett. Figuring out what’s wrong with your vehicle has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your vehicle’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for Rowlett drivers because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that Rowlett drivers can do a lot to help out their friendly and knowledgeable service advisors at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in figuring out what’s wrong with their vehicle. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of a Rowlett repair shop, but if you need to get it , good communication will get you back on the road quickly.

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

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine in Rowlett, TXJuly 18, 2017

If the fuel system in your vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your engine and losing performance as you drive around Rowlett, TX.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Rowlett auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your vehicle owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Lewis Complete Auto Repair uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Lewis Complete Auto Repair, you’ll notice more power, improved and reduced exhaust emissions. We strongly recommend you follow your fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

Rowlett drivers don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor and see when your car is scheduled for fuel system cleaning.

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

Breathe Deep in Rowlett With a New Cabin Air FilterJuly 9, 2017

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Poor interior air quality is nothing to sneeze at, and Rowlett auto owners might be interested to know that more and more new cars are coming equipped with a cabin air filter. Check your vehicle owner’s manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).

The filter is usually under the vehicle hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you’ll want to have your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor take care of replacing them.

As we said, many Rowlett people don’t realize they have a cabin air filter and come to Lewis Complete Auto Repair saying “my vents are smelling bad.” It usually turns out to be a dirty cabin air filter. A switch out and they’re on their way, smelling sweet.

Rowlett residents who suffer from allergies can really benefit from a cabin air filter as it keeps irritants to a minimum. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to replace your filter regularly.

If you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted Rowlett conditions, you’ll need to change your cabin air filter more often.

Give us a call.

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