Good Service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair Equals Good Fuel Economy in RowlettMarch 21, 2017

Whether we’re trying to save money, save gas, or save the environment, most of us Rowlett drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We’ve all heard about ways to save money on gas in TX, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?

The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let’s look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We’ve all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $3.50 a gallon, that’s 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that’s a 16¢ per gallon savings.

Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it’s not delivering the information to your engine’s computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result? The fuel doesn’t burn efficiently. Replacing that faulty sensor can save you 40% at the pump. That’s certainly a reason to improve your car care and have the automotive professionals at Lewis Complete Auto Repair inspect things once in a while.

A faulty oxygen sensor will activate the check engine light. So will a lot of other problems that are big fuel wasters. Finding out why your light is on and fixing the problem will also improve your fuel economy. Bring your car into Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett and we will take care of it for you.

What about tires? Rowlett drivers have all heard that keeping them inflated will improve our gas mileage. True? Yep. It’s a 3% savings for that one. And even small drops in tire pressure can start to add up, so a weekly tire check is in order.

Using the correct weight in motor oil is another way you can save at Rowlett area gas pumps. It adds up to a 2% savings.

What about that courteous driving? That doesn’t cost us anything and doesn’t require our Rowlett service center to implement anything. Is it worth the bother?

Again, the answer is yes. Sudden acceleration, such as charging away from stoplights, sudden stops and quick lane changes all add up in lowered fuel economy. Taking it easy when you drive on TX roads amounts to a 5% savings around town and a whopping 33% savings on the freeway. Is it worth your time to slow down? How much do you get paid?

Speeding is another way we ding ourselves at the gas pump. We’ve all heard that it’s okay to drive five miles over the speed limit, but that actually hurts our wallets. Eventually it could add up to more than a speeding ticket. An extra five miles over the speed limit ends up costing us 7% per gallon. Fifteen miles over? 23% Now there’s a reason to slow down.

Another thing Rowlett vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don’t treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping one hundred pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they’re welcome to come along, that’s okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it’s no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you’re an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”

All joking aside, let’s all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in TX.

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

Need a New Battery? Call Lewis Complete Auto Repair TodayMarch 14, 2017

$(document).ready(function(){$(“#video-wrapper-MjI3”).bind(“contextmenu”,function() { return false; });});

Hello Rowlett drivers! Need a new battery? There is a good chance that you do – 70% of batteries need to be replaced within four years. As your battery discharges and then recharges as you drive around Rowlett, bits of the surface of the battery plates disintegrate. As this process continues over a few years, the alternator has to work harder to supplement the battery charge. Over time, enough of the battery is damaged that it can no longer hold a charge and it needs to be replaced. This also speeds up wear on the alternator.

Your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor can help you determine the right vehicle replacement battery for the way you drive around Rowlett, as well as the TX climate and durability needs.

Contact Lewis Complete Auto Repair for information on battery replacement.

Give us a call.

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

When You Hear the Crash in Rowlett: What to Do After an AccidentMarch 7, 2017

Motorists in North America drive about three trillion miles every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we’re going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities.

Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in TX. You can even lose your driver’s license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid.

Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if there are injuries or any circumstances that require fire services, such as leaking gas, broken utility lines or, of course, flames. Put out flares, turn on your flashers or lift your hood to warn other Rowlett motorists that there’s been an accident.

File a police report. This can seem like a hassle when there are no injuries and only minor damage to vehicles. But you’d be surprised at the lawsuits and false claims that can arise from fender benders. You want a police report to protect yourself.

Don’t talk about the accident with anyone except the police. After an accident, adrenaline is pumping and emotions are running high, and our first reaction is often to relive and recount our experience. Don’t. Again, people can and will use your words against you, and in a highly emotional state, you may not say exactly what you mean. Entire court cases have hinged on the meaning of one misplaced word. Talk to the police. Don’t admit guilt or fault. Not to the police or to anyone else. People often feel guilt after an accident, but later, when details are analyzed, it turns out not to be their fault. Don’t say, “I’m sorry,” but rather, “Can I help? What can I do?” Sympathy has often been misconstrued as an admission of fault. On paper, your words will sound more sterile than at the accident, and they can be used against you.

Collect contact information from everyone involved in the accident. Get the officer’s name and badge number. Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number and expiration and insurance information. Get a description of the other vehicle as well as its license plate number and vehicle identification number. Most insurance companies don’t keep records of license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best identifier you have of another vehicle.

This is going to be too much to remember once you’re in an accident. So write down or make a note on your phone with the information you need.

Ask witnesses to wait for the police to arrive. If they can’t, then get their contact information. Ask them to jot down what they saw. If witnesses refuse to give you their names, write down their license plate numbers. That way the police can find them if necessary.

After the accident, call your insurance company. Also, if you have or think you might have an injury that did not require immediate care at the accident, contact your physician right away.

There’s a lot Rowlett drivers can do to prevent accidents. Defensive driving. Good car care and preventive maintenance. But if an accident does happen in the Rowlett area, we should be prepared to handle it well. It will ease the stress of the situation and protect us from potential legal and financial harm. Be prepared. It’s good auto advice in every situation. Ask our pros at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for more safe driving tips the next time you visit.

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

Should Rowlett Soccer Moms Follow the Severe Service Schedule?February 28, 2017

So you take your vehicle in for maintenance and the pro at Lewis Complete Auto Repair tells you that you ought to change your oil more often. What? You followed the maintenance schedule – but you take a second look at that “severe service” schedule and see some of the following:

1. Most of your trips around Rowlett are less than four miles.
2. Most of your trips are less than ten miles when outside TX temperatures are below freezing.
3. You don’t do a lot of TX freeway driving, so you drive at low speeds most of the time.
4. You drive in an area with a lot of pollution, dust, dirt, mud or slush.
5. You frequently tow a trailer, haul heavy loads around Rowlett or use a car-top carrier.
6. The weather in your area can get very hot or very cold.

Surprising, isn’t it? Severe driving isn’t quite what you’d envisioned.

Ask yourself: “Which auto service schedule should I follow?” For some of us, it’s obvious. But for most of us, it’s not an either/or question.

One way to decide how often to maintain your vehicle is to picture a line. On one end, imagine ideal driving conditions: year-round moderate TX temperatures, only freeway driving, all trips are longer than four miles and travel is always at a constant speed of 60 mph. At the other end of the line, put the severe driving conditions. Now, stop and think about how you drive, where you live, where you go in TX, and what you plan to do with your vehicle in the near future. Consider honestly where your driving fits on the line.

For example, if the regular maintenance schedule recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles, the severe schedule recommends 3,000 miles and you fall in the center of the driving conditions line, then 4,000 miles is a happy compromise. Just be honest. You don’t want that happy compromise to turn into auto repairs.

Learning why our vehicles need more frequent service can also help us Rowlett drivers determine a maintenance schedule. For example, fluids in your vehicle are depleted more rapidly the more heat there is in their environment. That heat can come from air temperatures, but also from the extra heat generated in the engine and transmission from stop-and-go driving. Towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads also generates more heat. So under these conditions, fluids must be replaced more often in order to retain their effectiveness.

Moisture naturally builds up inside of an engine because of the heating and cooling it constantly undergoes. When the engine is hot, moisture evaporates; when the engine is cool, moisture condenses. As long as the engine is getting hot enough to evaporate all of the moisture, your vehicle will remain healthy. But short trips don’t allow for this and moisture can build up inside the engine. This moisture can lead to the formation of oil sludge, which in turn leads to clogged engine parts and damage.

In dusty or polluted Rowlett area conditions, filters and fluids just get dirty more quickly. Talk with your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair regarding service schedules and which one is right for you. Good car care means taking care of problems before they become problems. And in order to do that, you need to know how often to take your vehicle in to Lewis Complete Auto Repair for service.

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

The Lewis Complete Auto Repair Guide to Proper Fluids for Your VehicleFebruary 19, 2017

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

The automotive professionals at Lewis Complete Auto Repair would like to give Rowlett drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday – and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The Rowlett do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many TX car owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their car and their driving habits in the Rowlett area.

Let’s start with engine oil. Rowlett drivers who have been paying attention, will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the TX scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Rowlett service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends – and it’s important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it’s important to get that right.

Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Rowlett vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids TX drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Rowlett drivers. Fortunately, Lewis Complete Auto Repair will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you’ll get the right fluids your car needs. It’s all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

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