Power Steering Service At Lewis Complete Auto Repair In RowlettApril 23, 2013

Many Rowlett auto owners have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Rowlett as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At Lewis Complete Auto Repair In RowlettPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects truck components from rust and corrosion.

Rowlett car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At Lewis Complete Auto Repair, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Rowlett auto owners don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Rowlett auto owners should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Rowlett includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your Lewis Complete Auto Repair advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Lewis Complete Auto Repair today at 972.475.4800.

Selecting New Tires and WheelsApril 16, 2013

Some of us just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. We live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive, where you want to go or the look you’re after; there is a tire for you.

The same is true about wheels. The hardest part is choosing from the thousands of wheels available.

We may not be able to help with that, but we can help you get some things in mind before you consult with your Rowlett tire professional. Let’s start with function and think about how you drive.

For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don’t drive off-road, so an off-road tread isn’t important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the TX backcountry, you don’t need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.

If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won’t make it look like you are driving a tractor.

There really are a lot of options for any given vehicle. You will find it very helpful to have a discussion like this with your Rowlett tire pro when you need new tires. You can find the best solutions for your driving needs and to make improvements in ride or handling.

Picking a wheel that is the same size as what you are now running is pretty simple. But, it gets trickier if you want to upsize. Just get some help when you go bigger. All that tire and wheel still needs to fit in the available space. You do not want your tires to rub when you turn or hit a bump. You also need to make sure your brakes and suspension bits will fit with your wheel of choice. It doesn’t matter how great your car looks if it’s not drivable.

Taller, wider wheels and tires probably weigh more than your stock shoes. And it’s “unsprung” weight – that has a big impact on brake performance. The upsized shoes increase rotational inertia – if you go too big you may need to upgrade your brakes to compensate.

Another possible problem is an inaccurate speedometer. This happens because the number of rotations can change with the new wheels. Fortunately, speedometers and odometers are all controlled by the engine computer; so it is simple to get it reprogrammed and compensate for the bigger tires.

No matter what you are after: low cost, long life, high performance, traction or stunning good looks, your wheel and tire professional at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett, TX can help you identify your needs and give you a custom fit. With all the options available, you don’t have to compromise. There is a tire out there with your name on it!

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Rowlett TXApril 11, 2013

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in Rowlett, TX will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Rowlett, TX, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Rowlett, TX who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car.

Because these recalls always affect safety, Rowlett car owners should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links.

There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, vehicle manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Lewis Complete Auto Repair how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.

So when vehicle manufacturers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

Saving Lives In Rowlett With Tire PressureApril 4, 2013

All new passenger vehicles on our Rowlett TX roads now have tire pressure monitoring systemsTPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are under inflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about TPMS.

First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is twenty percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is thirty five pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won’t come on until the pressure is at twenty eight pounds. That’s significantly under-inflated. Enough to raise safety concerns.

The worst is tire failure. A severely under inflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also under-inflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it’s costly to not stay on top of proper inflation.

What’s the practical value of the TPMS system? Well, it’s twofold. First, it can alert you when your tire is losing pressure due to a puncture or a bent rim. That’s an important warning that you might not have gotten until next time you gassed up.

The second is that we all occasionally forget to check our tire pressure. So it’s a failsafe system to let you know there’s a problem brewing.

Other things can cause your TPMS system to go off. The system also monitors itself. The sensors that are mounted in the wheels have little batteries that send a signal to the monitor. The batteries go dead over time and the TPMS system will let you know. And the sensors could break. Also road salt from our Rowlett TX roads can ruin them.

There’s also a hassle factor that your Rowlett TX tire center has to contend with. For example, when you have your tires rotated in Rowlett, the TPMS system has to be re-calibrated so that it knows which tire is on which corner of the car. Same is true for when you have new tires or winter tires installed. Flat repairs, as well.

That takes extra time. And it requires the right equipment and training. Special – and expensive – tire change machines need to be used with some sensors. It’s all complicated by the fact that there are a number of different TPMS systems in use so the tire professionals at Lewis Complete Auto Repair need equipment and training for each kind. Tire centers have had to raise the price of some of these basic services to offset their increased costs.

Also if you add custom wheels on your truck, you need to put in new TPMS sensors if your originals won’t work on the new rims. If you don’t your TPMS light will be on constantly and you won’t have the benefit of the warning system.

All in all, the mandated TPMS systems will save lives, so they’re worth the added hassle and expense.

Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in RowlettMarch 27, 2013

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle.

Your truck engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.

Call Lewis Complete Auto Repair at 972.475.4800 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Rowlett TX service center on 5110 Grisham Dr., 75088

It’s critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.

The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It’s vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.

In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bend or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.

It’s a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it’s at 60,000 miles. For others it’s at 90,000 miles or more. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles, or have passed it, make sure you check your owner’s manual or with your Rowlett TX auto service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don’t let this one slip by.

Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Lewis Complete Auto Repair for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

Most people in the Rowlett area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you’re having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Rowlett TX auto service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn’t currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.

As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don’t need to be replaced like belts.

We’ve already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett TX so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

We at AutoNetTV are committed to helping you make your driving experience as safe and economical as possible. Lewis Complete Auto Repair, your Rowlett service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of their knowledge and experience, and check out http://AutoNetTV.com for more great auto tips.