Automotive Tips from Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Tire Replacement OverviewJune 18, 2017

Tires are an expensive purchase, so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for Rowlett drivers. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch (3.2 mm) of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.

Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems, and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. At Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, we can inspect your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further inspection of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

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

New School: Automotive Lewis Complete Auto Repair Technician TrainingJune 13, 2017

Rowlett consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.

Today’s vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to Rowlett drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today’s 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday’s V-8’s. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

But all of that improvement has come at a price for Rowlett vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech electronic equipment. Our dashboards rival the control panel of the first manned space flight.

With all that complicated equipment, it’s no wonder we call mechanics service technicians these days. You can’t learn to repair vehicles in the backyard with your dad anymore. Today’s Lewis Complete Auto Repair technicians have to go to school. School may come in the form of classroom instruction, online courses or both. Technicians are also trained on-site at the Rowlett service centers where they work (including Lewis Complete Auto Repair) to keep them abreast of constant improvements in vehicle engineering, diagnostic equipment and repair techniques.

Today’s technicians need to be certified to work on our vehicles. They can earn a variety of certifications in TX, but the highest of these is Master Technician. It’s like a graduate degree in auto repair.

Vehicle repair at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett requires more than just training and certification, though. It also takes information and creative thought. Rowlett area auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and online repair communities in order to get the information they need to: work on various makes and models of vehicles, get recommended maintenance schedules, learn about non-standard features and locate hard-to-find parts in an unusual engine. They also use this information to help diagnose rare or difficult vehicle problems. Many auto repair problems also require a bit of creative thinking for the team at Lewis Complete Auto Repair to solve. Rowlett service technicians at Lewis Complete Auto Repair act much like doctors in these situations. They’re given a set of symptoms, and they have to come up with a diagnosis and treatment that will fix the problem. This process becomes as much of an art as it is a science.

A proper diagnosis, even by a highly qualified technician, can take time. And a technician’s time is going to cost us. It’s just the price of progress.

Of course, the best vehicle care for Rowlett vehicle owners is planned preventive auto maintenance. This is also the least costly way to keep your vehicle in good repair. Regular inspections and replacement of worn parts will prevent most repairs from ever being needed in the first place.

And with the amazing complexity of today’s automobiles, isn’t it good to know there’s someone out there with the knowledge, training and skill to give us good auto advice? Whether we need preventive maintenance or repairs, the team of automotive professionals at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can help us keep our vehicles on the road. We just can’t do it on our own anymore.

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

Easy Miles – Do Rowlett Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?June 5, 2017

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Have you ever noticed that your vehicle has a schedule in your owner’s manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let’s define what severe driving conditions aren’t: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for 20 miles (32 kilometers) or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour) in 75°F (24°C) weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly and you are driving under severe conditions.

Let’s look at the parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Rowlett are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn’t stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate. So it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around the Rowlett area are less than four miles, you should be using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett will help prevent the formation of sludge.

Most of us Rowlett drivers think of severe TX weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we’re right. Cold TX weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.

Hot Rowlett weather is also bad for vehicles. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot TX weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

So, in the end, most of us Rowlett auto owners drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Rowlett residents will ask themselves the question: “Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?” An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow.

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

 

Helping Rowlett Drivers Get the Right TiresMay 31, 2017

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Every Rowlett vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy TX roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Rowlett weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in TX, and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in TX, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at TX tire stores. Rowlett drivers will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Lewis Complete Auto Repair tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Rowlett vehicle owners who drive off-road around TX may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Rowlett streets and roads. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Rowlett as a statement of style or to add personality to your vehicle. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your vehicle, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Lewis Complete Auto Repair for more information about tires.

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

Transmission Care in Rowlett, TXMay 23, 2017

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Do you have any plans around Rowlett, TX, for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you’ll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.

You got the boat all ready. It’s all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler’s stocked – ready to go.

How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you’ve even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?

Stop and think. You’ll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and you may have hot weather. And all the time you’re going to be towing around a lot of extra weight.

That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you’re running low, the transmission will run too hot and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.

And if it’s time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Lewis Complete Auto Repair before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep them shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long and it can fail. Believe us – you don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

You know, most of us in Rowlett, TX, do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Rowlett, and basically any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.

So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you’re at it. Your Rowlett, TX, service technician at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?

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