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

Wishy-Washy in RowlettJuly 14, 2019

Perhaps you’ve found yourself driving when something all of a sudden splashes on your windshield, obstructing your view. You know that sinking feeling when you try to turn on the windshield washers and no fluid comes out. Now you’re blinded even more. What can you do?

The best thing is to make sure your windshield washer fluid is always topped off and ready for these situations. You probably figure you’ll grab a bottle of that blue stuff you see in the store. But is that really the right choice?

One thing you know ISN’T the right choice is plain water. It can freeze when temperatures drop. Plus, when it’s close to the freezing mark outside, spraying water on your windshield can freeze, turning it literally into frosted glass and blinding you suddenly. Water freezing in your vehicle’s washer lines can also damage them.

There are different types of windshield washer fluid made for different climates. Many have alcohol to prevent them from freezing; their label will usually tell you at what temperature they’ll start to freeze.

Some washer fluids will have detergents in them so they can cut through contaminants and dirt. Still other washer fluids have a chemical in them to prevent streaking.

Also keep in mind some washer fluids are made to be put in your fluid reservoir as is; others are made to be diluted.

No matter what washer fluid you pick, make sure you have plenty of it in your vehicle. Our pros at Lewis Complete Auto Repair can top off your levels with the right kind of fluid. That’s also a good reminder to have your windshield washer system working properly. Your technician can check not only the washers but the wiper blades and motor to make sure all are in top condition. The worst time you can discover it is usually when you need it most.

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

Deep Clean Your Fuel System at Lewis Complete Auto RepairJuly 7, 2019

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into Lewis Complete Auto Repair for a check up.

In today’s Lewis Complete Auto Repair auto post, we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. Rowlett residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .

A clean fuel system saves money for Rowlett drivers at TX gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Rowlett residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

So buying cheaper gas in TX can actually be more expensive for Rowlett drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on TX roads are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your vehicle engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.

When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. So Rowlett residents should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

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

Let Lewis Complete Auto Repair Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of YearsJune 30, 2019

Rowlett area residents may remember when the U.S. government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.

But a lot of Rowlett drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They’re dependable and they’re paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don’t get too expensive.

There are a lot of vehicles on TX roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) really be that easy for Rowlett drivers?

Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.

But there’s another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to Lewis Complete Auto Repair for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.

If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.

At an oil change, your technician at Lewis Complete Auto Repair will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.

The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up vehicle care that will keep older cars running well.

Parts wear out on older vehicles. There’s no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles (320,000 km), the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new vehicle.

Good vehicle care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of Rowlett drivers who have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.

So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don’t skip the check-ups at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett. 

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

For Brakes’ Sake (Brake Rotor Service in Rowlett)June 23, 2019

Think of how much abuse your brakes take. Day in and day out, they stop your vehicle when it’s going fast and when it’s going slow. Maybe your vehicle has been vibrating when you brake, or maybe it seems like your stopping distance is a little bit longer than it used to be.

Then it’s time to get your brakes checked out. After all, you have to be able to stop if you want to be safe. Nearly all newer vehicles have disc brakes on the front, and many have that type of brake on all four wheels. That makes it likely you’ll be getting disc brakes fixed at some time in your vehicle’s lifetime.

Knowing how disc brakes work is as easy as riding a bicycle. If your bike had hand brakes, you’ll probably remember a mechanism that squeezed a couple of pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you applied the brakes. Disc brakes are similar; but instead of the bike wheel, there’s a metal disc instead. If that disc is warped or has irregularities in it, it’s going to vibrate.

It used to be that rotors were thick, and when they warped, a technician could “turn” them to scrape off a layer of metal so their sides were straight again. The latest vehicles are using thinner, lighter rotors with a slightly different construction. Now, it’s likely that rotors that are resurfaced this way will not have enough metal left to work safely. In fact, some manufacturers advise only replacing rotors that are worn out.

Newer designs have reduced rotor prices, and in many cases, the labor cost of turning the rotors is higher than buying new. There are times, though, where your rotors can be resurfaced and still meet manufacturer specifications.

If you have a rotor replaced on one side of your vehicle, it might be a good idea to replace rotors on the other side, too.

Maybe you’re looking for the new rotors to last longer than the ones that were on there. New technologies can offer a longer lifespan in a premium rotor. Armed with knowing the type of driving you do, you and your Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor can make the best decision on which direction you want to go with your new brakes.

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