Hey Rowlett Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?March 12, 2018

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Nowadays, Rowlett drivers are paying more at TX gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That’s got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many TX drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.

Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Rowlett, TX, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the Rowlett area can’t afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.

Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner’s manuals don’t publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, Rowlett drivers need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.

You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you’re past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) for as long as you have your car.

Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some TX automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners’ manual or service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.

And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your vehicle.

Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.

And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain  additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.

Older vehicles in the Rowlett, TX, area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don’t: things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.

With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important to Rowlett drivers. The first is with your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget and for the Rowlett, TX, area driving conditions. 

The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We’re not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean – pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair and head off problems. We can’t do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Rowlett roads.

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

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down in RowlettMarch 4, 2018

There’s not much Rowlett drivers can do about the price of gas in 
TX, but we can control – up to a point – how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved gas mileage.

Go a little slower on TX expressways. Rowlett drivers who go more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour) will see their gas mileage drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around Rowlett.

Hey at current Rowlett gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Give us a call

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

How Does Lewis Complete Auto Repair Know What to Recommend?February 25, 2018

When you drop your vehicle off at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, they don’t just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. Lewis Complete Auto Repair professionals have lists and procedures they follow for different types of service. First of all, your Rowlett service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. They’ll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, they will also check your vehicle’s history.

If the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations go beyond the services you’ve ordered, they’ll let you know. They’ll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The Lewis Complete Auto Repair pros won’t do work that you don’t agree to.

They will, however, perform inspections while they’re servicing your vehicle. They’ll check belts, filters and fluids. They’ll check your windshield wipers for wear. They’ll let you know if there’s an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and they’ll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.

You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you’ve had x-rays recently. If not, he’ll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You’ll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You’ll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist’s usual purview. Then you’ll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.

These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett operates the same way. They want Rowlett drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.

Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.

Lewis Complete Auto Repair follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.

Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening. Service centers also offer Rowlett drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. They’ll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren’t compromised. You can rely on the pros at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for good auto advice.

The next time you’re headed to the dentist’s office, think about the vehicle you’re riding in. Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?

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

Questions to Ask Your Rowlett Service AdvisorFebruary 20, 2018

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We find that a lot of Rowlett drivers are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions but don’t want to be embarrassed or seem pushy. Vehicles are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because vehicles have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Rowlett automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in Rowlett. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your Rowlett automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Rowlett service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Give us a call.

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

Battery Replacement for Your vehicleFebruary 12, 2018

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Modern vehicles in and around Rowlett run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Rowlett drivers without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks windows and sun roofs. And then us TX drivers have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers and DVD players.

We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.

Fortunately, battery technology has given Rowlett drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your vehicle. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak which makes it even more important to get it replaced.

Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, TX. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must for any Rowlett resident working with their battery. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the vehicle’s paint. Of course, avoid short circuiting the battery as well.

Sometimes there is quite a price range in Rowlett auto part stores for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as “good,” “better” and “best.” More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves in the long run for Rowlett drivers.

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