Maintenance on My MindAugust 30, 2016

Ask any Rowlett man or woman if they’ve taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn’t taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn’t think about it. Most Rowlett residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

Funny, because most of us in Rowlett have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn’t that we can’t remember to take our vehicles for service; it’s a matter of making it a priority.

When it comes to our vehicles, Rowlett drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in Rowlett who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

So, if you’re not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it’s time take your car in, do it. But don’t just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed, or if any of them are low.

Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer’s service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

It’s like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle’s maintenance.

If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done, then create a plan with your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It’s a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they’re also expensive and complicated machines. Rowlett drivers can’t expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in TX.

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

Automotive Tips from Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Wiper Blade OptionsAugust 23, 2016

Wiper blades are critically important to Rowlett drivers for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Rowlett drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.

If you live in TX where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly and professional Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor can share the options available for your vehicle and help you decide which wiper blades are optimal for you.

Give us a call.

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

Rowlett Drivers: Is It Time to Replace Your PCV Valve?August 14, 2016

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Improved The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

When you are diving around Rowlett fuel is burned in your vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Rowlett, TX.

Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Your vehicle manufacturer usually recommends they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some vehicle owner’s manuals, but your friendly service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

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

Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Rowlett?August 7, 2016

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Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Rowlett?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in TX – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in TX.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact us at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 5110 Grisham Dr., Rowlett, TX 75088
You can reach us by phone at: 972.475.4800

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Lewis Complete Auto Repair recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Lewis Complete Auto Repair).

 

  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.

 

  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

 

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

Smart Rowlett Drivers Protect Against OverheatingAugust 1, 2016

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Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Rowlett drivers to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of coolant/antifreeze may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Rowlett drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett.

If your vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs serviced. This service is critical and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Rowlett drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

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

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