Picking the Right Tires in RowlettOctober 2, 2017

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Shopping for tires in Rowlett can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let’s simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Rowlett are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on TX roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn’t set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Rowlett people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it’s cold and slippery on TX roads, so they need a tread design that’ll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Rowlett showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won’t give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you’re driving and weather conditions aren’t at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Rowlett roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Rowlett car owners. Talk with your Lewis Complete Auto Repair tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

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

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?September 30, 2017

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Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Rowlett residents know about them. But do we know enough?

Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.

Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Rowlett residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.

Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine’s life expectancy.

To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner’s manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don’t assume they will be the same.

If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around Rowlett, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot TX weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for a “severe service” recommendation.

If the manual doesn’t give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.

Rowlett residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for Rowlett residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you’re probably not saving money at all.

Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner’s manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.

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

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

Lewis Complete Auto Repair Brake Service for Safe Stopping in RowlettSeptember 12, 2017

Let’s talk about something critical for all Rowlett drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

Here’s an explanation on how your disc brakes work:

The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around Rowlett. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.

Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don’t replace the pads when they’re worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We’ve all heard grinding brakes and it’s not a pretty sound.

If a rotor isn’t scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.

Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it’s cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett than to rebuild the piston.

So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.

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

Automotive Tips from Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Timing Belt OverviewSeptember 4, 2017

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute when you are driving around Rowlett. The timing belt’s important job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is important. If it should break, you could end up at Lewis Complete Auto Repair with expensive engine damage.

Ask your friendly and professional Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.

Give us a call.

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

Wheel Balancing at Lewis Complete Auto RepairAugust 27, 2017

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So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Rowlett drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on TX roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it’s a back tire, you’ll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Lewis Complete Auto Repair, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it’s too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s where you get your vibration.

Most people in Rowlett are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Rowlett hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Rowlett area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner’s manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

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