Gas Savings In Rowlett: Sharpen Your PencilSeptember 12, 2014

High gas prices in Rowlett increase the cost of living for TX auto owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Rowlett vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to TX news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Rowlett: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Rowlett vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Rowlett folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Rowlett business in the red.

So what does this mean to Rowlett drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your MPG. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Rowlett drivers honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Rowlett is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your truck, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50
20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Rowlett for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Rowlett. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180

 

So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of income at Rowlett gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

 

 

Under Pressure in Rowlett: TPMSSeptember 4, 2014

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Rowlett or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause detrimental and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on TX roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Rowlett auto owners who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Rowlett car owners to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their trucks are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the vital TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Rowlett car owners when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Rowlett motorists. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Rowlett service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other critical equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisors have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Rowlett drivers.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Rowlett motorists.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Rowlett tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Rowlett if motorists don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Rowlett car owners can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Drive Defensively In TXAugust 29, 2014

Car care is an essential part of auto safety in Rowlett. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on TX roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in TX, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Rowlett car owners can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Rowlett road or expressway and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Rowlett motorists are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other TX drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Rowlett home as you would in unfamiliar territory around TX.

Prepare your truck so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your truck so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your truck dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your truck. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. Also, listen to your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair tech when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your truck. Knowing about the wear and tear on your truck can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in TX, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Rowlett roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in TX and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Garland motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your truck turn signals, and stay out of other TX drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your truck or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other car owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Sachse road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Rowlett roads or freeways. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the TX expressways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Rowlett weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Rowlett, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the interstate. Notify the Rowlett police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Rowlett. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your truck—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Lewis Complete Auto Repair wants all Rowlett motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

The Lewis Complete Auto Repair Guide to Saving Fuel: Car WeightAugust 26, 2014

The team at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett and TX car owners are all talking fuel efficiency right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Rowlett car owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.

And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize gas mileage. But is there something more Rowlett car owners can do? After all, some of us Rowlett folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Rowlett to Rockwall. And that means buying more gas in Rowlett and producing more emissions.

Of course, your truck’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your truck. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around TX? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Rowlett home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your Rowlett. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around Rowlett in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your Rowlett when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money in Rowlett
.

Breathe Free In Rowlett: Cabin Air Filter Replacement At Lewis Complete Auto RepairAugust 19, 2014

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Rowlett car owners’ vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Rowlett. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Rowlett atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Rowlett prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you’ll probably want to go to your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair service specialist to get it done. Check your truck owner’s manual to find out if your truck is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every twelve to fifteen thousand miles.

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Rockwall, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in TX, you’ll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don’t work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Rowlett folks know that good car care includes keeping your truck clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It’s good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn’t wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Rowlett allergy sufferers, but they’re also a great idea for anyone in Rowlett who just wants to breathe better.