Lewis Complete Auto Repair Fuel Saving Tip for Rowlett: Check Engine LightMay 29, 2014

Here’s a question for Rowlett, TX drivers: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.

Check Engine Light Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel economy. A lot.

If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give Lewis Complete Auto Repair a call when you are ready: 972.475.4800

Synthetic Oil For Rowlett AutosMay 23, 2014

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Rowlett vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Rowlett, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Rowlett have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 972.475.4800 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Lewis Complete Auto Repair website.

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Lewis Complete Auto Repair in RowlettMay 14, 2014

Tires do a lot of important work for Rowlett drivers. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Rowlett. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such essential work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly expensive, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Rowlett motorists:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Lewis Complete Auto Repair will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Rowlett car owners. They’re critical for keeping you safely on the road in Rowlett. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

Keeping Your Rowlett Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air FilterMay 7, 2014

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Rowlett house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it’s C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your truck. It filters out common Rowlett air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Rowlett drivers have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in TX. Last check, about forty percent of new vehicles sold in Rowlett come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for Rowlett car owners. Your truck can be a haven during our Rowlett allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner’s manual for replacement guidelines. If your truck owner’s manual doesn’t mention your cabin air filter, ask your friendly tech at Lewis Complete Auto Repair for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Rowlett area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Lewis Complete Auto Repair urges Rowlett car owners to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Rowlett more enjoyable.

Come by Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

Recommended Rowlett Service IntervalsMay 1, 2014

Everyone in Rowlett, TX knows we are advised to go to our Rowlett dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Rowlett residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big costly problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Rowlett folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our key car maintenance?

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

Following the auto maker’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard for Rowlett car owners to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the TX car owners that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one truck, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your service center Rowlett does it. For example, Lewis Complete Auto Repair subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Rowlett weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in TX. Talk about these things with your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not expressway driving in moderate Rowlett weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Rowlett, TX and it should be taken into account.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your truck is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your truck engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most auto manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy for Rowlett auto owners to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a detrimental environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Rowlett don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of detrimental metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem for Rowlett motorists. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisor. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your truck on the road and avoiding pricey repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.