Fuel Filter Service in Rowlett TXJune 18, 2013

There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn’t seem right.

Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of.

Some of us in Rowlett TX really don’t look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.

But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let’s take the fuel filter for example.

You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Rowlett TX roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn’t cost too much to replace. And your car’ll just run better too.

A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Rowlett TX freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can’t get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.

Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We’ve already talked about how expensive that can be.

The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn’t rust in the tank. It’s just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.

How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner’s manual. Your Rowlett TX service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can tell you as well. It’s usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it’s time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.

It’s good to know that your Rowlett TX service center has your back. When you’re motivated to maintain your vehicle’s performance and to reduce operating costs, you’ll think of Lewis Complete Auto Repair as your ally – and maybe even your memory.

The Importance Of Rowlett Drivers Following Service IntervalsJune 11, 2013

Today in our Lewis Complete Auto Repair blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your truck isn’t the only aspect of your life in Rowlett with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Rowlett Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Rowlett takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our trucks? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Rowlett neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Rowlett people don’t need to memorize their truck owner’s manuals. You can let your Lewis Complete Auto Repair advisor remind you of the guidelines established by manufacturers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your truck. You really can rely on Lewis Complete Auto Repair professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Rowlett drivers who want to be more proactive with their truck care, here are some simple ways for Rowlett motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your truck go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Rowlett car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Lewis Complete Auto Repair for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your truck doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From Lewis Complete Auto RepairJune 5, 2013

Your truck requires plenty of clean fuel to run. If your fuel contains contaminants, your fuel injectors will eventually become clogged up. When this happens, your truck engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run at peak performance. This hurts fuel economy and performance as you drive around Rowlett. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.

That’s why all vehicles, including trucks, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From Lewis Complete Auto RepairThe job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and keeps them out of the fuel stream. Of course, like all filters, it will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett .

If your fuel filter is clogged, the truck engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your truck engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.

You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at Lewis Complete Auto Repair more frequently as your truck ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.

Shocks and Struts For Rowlett Bumps and BouncesMay 28, 2013

If you’re like most of us in Rowlett, you want your car to handle well. That’s the job of your suspension system.

There are different types of suspension systems, but they all work on the same basic principles. First, there are the springs, which bear the weight of the car. The most common springs are coil or leaf – although we see air springs and torsion bars more often. The springs do most of the work.

Visit our Rowlett location for an inspection of your suspension.
Lewis Complete Auto Repair
5110 Grisham Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75088
972.475.4800

But if all you had were springs, your vehicle would be bouncing around like a bobble head. That’s where the shocks come in. They control the rebound of the springs and smooth out the up and down motions. They also keep the tires on the road, and you in control. Some trucks use struts. Struts are a combination of shocks and springs, together in a more compact system.

Shocks wear out slowly over time, so it’s hard to notice when they get badly worn. One way to tell is to look for an uneven, cupping wear on your tires. If the shock or strut is leaking fluid, it needs to be replaced. If your car feels floaty in turns or if the front end dips a lot when you stop, it is time to get your shocks checked. Your owners’ manual will tell you when your shocks should be changed – it’s usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles or 24,000 and 50,000 kilometers .

When you replace a shock, be sure to replace all four. Then your car will have an even suspension and will handle much better. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive. No, not your traffic violations, but how often you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in rough terrain. If you do a bunch of that, you’ll need a heavy duty shock.

Regular shocks use hydraulic fluid and air as their dampening system. Premium quality shocks and struts use compressed nitrogen gas instead of air. Gas shocks don’t get air bubbles that affect the performance of regular shocks. If you do a lot of high performance driving, off-roading or just want added comfort and control, think about getting premium gas shocks or struts.

Replacing your struts may take your car out of alignment, so be sure to get an alignment at the same time. So, to smooth out the bumps on the road of life, change your shocks and struts when they need it.

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto RunningMay 23, 2013

At Lewis Complete Auto Repair we’ve had a lot of people asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices a lot of folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average people in the Rowlett area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if you stay on top of your recommended maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do we know what to do when we’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change, for example, leaves an opportunity for harmful sludge to build up.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff need to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Rowlett are positively religious about scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it saves fuel;
  2. it prevents costly repairs, an;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing. A full service oil change means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your technician a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get expensive. And it gives you a touch point with a professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Rowlett area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, we would strongly encourage you to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some people start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

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