Lowell’s selected for Angie’s List 2013 Super Service Award

2013 Super Service Award

Lowell’s wins Angie’s List Super Service Award for Auto Repair in Lexington

We are extremely humbled by the awards that customers have chosen for us over the years.

We have won 7 Readers’ Choice Awards from Herald-Leader readers as Favorite Auto Repair Shop. We’ve also won 9 Ace Magazine Best in Lex Awards as Favorite Mechanic.

Now we are pleased to add a new award to that great list!

Lowell’s has earned the Angie’s List 2013 Super Service Award for the outstanding things our customers have said about our service on Angie’s List.

Not all online reviews are equal. Angie’s List collects reviews from real people on a variety of services, including reviews of auto repair service in Lexington.

According to Angie’s List, “winners of this award have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an ‘A’ rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.”

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Lowell’s competes with in Lexington are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

We are so honored to serve great customers and to have had those customers make this award happen for us. Thanks for all of the wonderful things you say and do for Lowell’s!

Mmmmm. Candy.

There are two non-car-related questions we get most often here at Lowell’s.

The first is, “How can you afford to sell Cokes for just a nickel?” (We’ll keep that a secret for now…)

The second is, “Where do you get these delicious candies (and how can I get some)?”

Since holiday entertaining season is here, we’ve decided to let you in on our secret – just in case you needed ideas for a nice surprise for your guests.

I love chocolate. And I love sharing chocolate with customers. So whenever the weather allows us to, we try to keep a generous supply of fine chocolate truffles on hand.


Dilettante (Chocolates)

Our favorite source of these chocolate treats is Dilettante, a wonderful chocolatier based near Seattle.

We usually order peppermint, toffee, raspberry, latte, mocha, and espresso truffles for the shop. As a dark chocolate lover, my favorite flavor is Ephemere, a delicious dark chocolate truffle.

In addition to the truffles we order for the shop, Dilettante offers a wide variety of gift boxes and bags, chocolate-covered fruits, and other delicious treats.

When the weather gets warmer, those chocolates don’t hold up so well to the heat (Think: puddles). That’s when we switch to caramels.

We have two great sources of fine flavored caramels, and we recommend both.


AvenueSweets (Caramels)

AvenueSweets is a confectioner based in Utah. We usually order chocolate, Dutch apple, sea salt, and Irish cream caramels, and can’t resist getting some of their almond nougat as well. My personal favorite flavor from AvenueSweets is their butter rum caramels.


Béquet (Caramels)

Béquet Confections is based in Montana and makes eleven incredible varieties of caramels. My favorites: cinnamon swirl and chipotle (which is both sweet and spicy).

In my experience, AvenueSweets often arrives with smoother textures and richer flavors than Béquet. Béquet tends to be more consistent and ‘shelf-stable’ than AvenueSweets, whose smoothness tends to break down if you keep them for longer than a couple of months.

If you think you might keep your caramels around for few months or more, consider Béquet. If you and your guests will go through them quickly, consider AvenueSweets. But, really, you can’t go wrong here. Both are delicious options for gourmet caramels.

Dilettante truffles used to be available in local grocery stores in the specialty chocolates areas. Lately, I’ve not seen them in local stores. I’ve not seen AvenueSweets or Béquet available in gift boxes in Lexington retailers. A few local shops sell Béquet a piece at a time.

If you really like these candies, I’d recommend going directly to their makers to get higher volumes. This time of year, they often have sales and/or discounted shipping available.

What’s a Valve Clearance Inspection?

Every 60,000 miles or so, we advise to you have us perform a “valve clearance inspection” (also known as a “valve adjustment”). You’ll often see us recommend a valve adjustment in the recommendations at the bottom of your Lowell’s invoice.

But what, exactly, is a valve clearance inspection, and why is it important? (We’re glad you asked!)

Related Posts: What’s a flush? and What’s a cabin air filter?

Your engine’s intake and exhaust valves let air in and out of your engine as it burns fuel. The right mixture of air and fuel can keep your engine running smoothly and ensure that you are getting the best fuel economy from your vehicle.

Wear and stress can cause your valves to slowly get out of adjustment, hurting your fuel mileage and causing your engine to run inefficiently.

Left unaddressed, improperly-adjusted valves can cause your engine run roughly, burn your valves, or even damage your pistons. This kind of damage can be very expensive to repair, because it forces us to disassemble your engine in order to get to the damaged components.

So how does a valve clearance inspection work?

At Lowell’s, we’ll remove your valve covers to measure the clearances of each valve (up to 32 depending on your type of engine).

If we find valves which aren’t within specification, we can often adjust the clearances while we have the valve covers off. Some newer vehicles, however, require much more extensive work to adjust valve clearances. (If that is the case with your vehicle, we’ll call you for approval before we proceed with the adjustment. Just ask us if you have any questions about which type of engine your vehicle has.)

After inspecting your valve clearances, we put your valve covers back on. Because valve cover gaskets are also a major source of engine oil leaks, we’ll also replace your valve cover gaskets during this service.