Differential Service at Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Viva la DifferenceAugust 18, 2019

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Every vehicle on TX roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most Rowlett residents don’t have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the vehicle must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bulge in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in damage to your vehicle.

So you need to have your vehicle differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, we’ve been servicing differentials for years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Rowlett service center will ensure you are getting what your vehicle needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor to find out how often your vehicle differential needs to be serviced.

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

Lewis Complete Auto Repair Alternator Replacement Service in RowlettAugust 11, 2019

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Your vehicle alternator doesn’t get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it’s all about the alternator. 

Driving around Rowlett is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won’t run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair to learn more.

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

Automotive Tips from Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Where Should New Tires Be PlacedAugust 4, 2019

When Rowlett drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Lewis Complete Auto Repair tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

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

Lease or Buy?July 28, 2019

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Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Rowlett drivers. It’s always a tough question for auto owners, but here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the vehicle, maybe an initial down payment, monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Rowlett drivers who lease finance the portion of the cost of the vehicle that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front: fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the vehicle to your local Rowlett area dealership. 

So how do Rowlett drivers decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down payment.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.

How long will you keep the vehicle? Rowlett drivers who keep their vehicles around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like a work truck would, then buying’s better. The auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.

How far do you drive in and around the Rowlett area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit; if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile/kilometer when the lease is up. So high mileage TX drivers should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your business? Check with your accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment rather than price. So sometimes Rowlett leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your financing options.

Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the vehicle, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments. Usually, it’s less than the vehicle’s fair market value, and that’s all your TX auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Rowlett agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition and may need to do all the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance or face penalties. So see your local advisor at your Rowlett auto repair shop  or Lewis Complete Auto Repair on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.

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

A Bright IdeaJuly 21, 2019

You’ve probably noticed how much easier it is to see when you’re driving in the daytime as opposed to at night. It’s one of the main reasons about half of all fatal vehicle accidents happen when it’s dark.

That’s why it’s important that your vehicle’s headlights are in top condition and working the way they should.  That means that they’re aimed correctly and producing the amount of light they are intended to produce.

For many years, headlights were a standardized size and shape.  They were what is called a “sealed beam,” and when you needed to replace one, it was pretty simple.  You just took the old one out and plugged a new one in. 

But now there are hundreds of different types of lighting systems on vehicles, producing light with such illuminating technology as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), halogen bulbs, high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs and more.  Some vehicles have systems that turn your lights in the direction you turn your steering wheel so you can more clearly see where you are going.

Now that it’s not so simple to change headlamps or bulbs, it’s wise to consult your service advisor.  She or he can tell you what your options are.  There may be ways you can upgrade your lighting with new headlamps or components, but it’s important not to install new parts that could damage your vehicle.  For example, the headlight housing could be damaged if a bulb burns too hot for its design. 

It’s also good to check regulations and laws where you live.  Some regulate the color of light your headlamps can shine and how bright they can be. It’s wise to leave it up to a technician to replace your headlamps.  Some are tricky to get at, and modern engine compartments can be packed so tightly, it’s hard to maneuver around all of the other engine components to reach the headlamp compartment.

Oh, one other thing to keep in mind.  Even if your headlamps are both working, you might notice people are flashing their lights at you, even when you don’t have the high beams on.  That could mean your headlamps are aimed wrong; for the safety of the other drivers and yourself, have your technician check your headlamps’ aim.

You’ll see the light when you have good visibility at night.

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