Put The Brakes On Mystery Noises

Posted October 20th, 2016 by admin and filed in Brakes

We’ve all been there – certain circumstances often cause us to ignore a troubling sound, odor, or sign of wear on our vehicles. Whether it’s finding time in your schedule or funds in your checkbook, it’s easy to put off maintenance or repairs, but that can lead to more expensive work down the road. Here are five examples of vehicle maintenance alerts and repairs you should not delay:

1. Squeaking/squealing brakes

Built-in indicators on disc brake pads warn when they’re worn, and ignoring them could lead to more expensive brake repairs. Catch ’em early and you might just get away with replacing only the pads.

2. Vibrating/pulsing brakes

In addition to the squealing brake pads, you might feel a slight vibration or pulsing when you press the brake pedal. It’s a probable indicator that the brake rotors are beginning to warp. Servicing them right away might require only
less-expensive machining. If the warping gets too severe, the rotors will have to be replaced.
3. Battery/charging light

Has the battery/charging light come on intermittently lately? If so, it could indicate a problem with the alternator’s ability to charge the battery. Have it checked right away, because if the alternator dies while you’re driving, the battery will soon follow – and you could be stranded, while adding a towing charge to your repair.

4. Low coolant level

Has the low-coolant light been on in your car? Don’t ignore it. An engine that’s low on coolant has a much greater risk of overheating, which can severely damage the engine. Topping off the coolant is easy and inexpensive. Visit us if you’re unsure about adding coolant, and ask us to inspect the system for leaks.
5. Timing Belt

Check your Owner’s Manual for the recommended replacement interval for the engine’s timing belt. Having it replaced is one of the more labor-intensive and therefore costly maintenance procedures, but risking the belt breaking could cost much more. For one thing, you’ll never know when it will break, which could strand you and incur towing charges. And on some engines a broken belt can cause severe – and expensive – engine damage.

Give us a call.

Terry Wynter Auto Service Center
239-939-2500
3811 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Don’t Wait – 5 Repairs that Can Cost More Later

Posted August 4th, 2016 by admin and filed in Brakes, Car Care Tips, Maintenance, News

We’ve all been there – certain circumstances often cause us to ignore a troubling sound, odor, or sign of wear on our vehicles. Whether it’s finding time in your schedule or funds in your checkbook, it’s easy to put off maintenance or repairs, but that can lead to more expensive work down the road. Here are five examples of vehicle maintenance alerts and repairs you should not delay:

1. Squeaking/squealing brakes

Built-in indicators on disc brake pads warn when they’re worn, and ignoring them could lead to more expensive brake repairs. Catch ’em early and you might just get away with replacing only the pads.

2. Vibrating/pulsing brakes

In addition to the squealing brake pads, you might feel a slight vibration or pulsing when you press the brake pedal. It’s a probable indicator that the brake rotors are beginning to warp. Servicing them right away might require only
less-expensive machining. If the warping gets too severe, the rotors will have to be replaced.

3. Battery/charging light

Has the battery/charging light come on intermittently lately? If so, it could indicate a problem with the alternator’s ability to charge the battery. Have it checked right away, because if the alternator dies while you’re driving, the battery will soon follow – and you could be stranded, while adding a towing charge to your repair.

4. Low coolant level

Has the low-coolant light been on in your car? Don’t ignore it. An engine that’s low on coolant has a much greater risk of overheating, which can severely damage the engine. Topping off the coolant is easy and inexpensive. Visit us if you’re unsure about adding coolant, and ask us to inspect the system for leaks.

5. Timing Belt

Check your Owner’s Manual for the recommended replacement interval for the engine’s timing belt. Having it replaced is one of the more labor-intensive and therefore costly maintenance procedures, but risking the belt breaking could cost much more. For one thing, you’ll never know when it will break, which could strand you and incur towing charges. And on some engines a broken belt can cause severe – and expensive – engine damage.

If your vehicle is making an unusual sound or has provided an alert, don’t wait to schedule an appointment as the problem may get worse as time goes on. Call us at 239.939.2500 to schedule a service appointment or inspection today!

Terry Wynter Auto Service Center
239-939-2500
3811 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Terry Wynter Auto Service Center Vehicle Maintenance Tips and Videos: Rotor Problems

Posted November 11th, 2015 by admin and filed in Brakes

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your car.

Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is vital for Fort Myers drivers to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the issue. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake troubles that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your honest Terry Wynter Auto Service Center tech carry out a thorough inspection.

Give us a call

Terry Wynter Auto Service Center
239-939-2500
3811 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Terry Wynter Auto Service Center

Posted April 29th, 2015 by admin and filed in Brakes

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Fort Myers drivers know how vital it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn’t mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection in Fort Myers at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your honest Terry Wynter Auto Service Center service specialist can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center in Fort Myers, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.

It is important to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your sedan tires are worn, you won’t get good stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.

This is particularly vital on wet Cape Coral roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet Florida roads or dry. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the sedan passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your sedan and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Fort Myers, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident and worry-free.

Hitting The Brakes In Fort Myers

Posted February 4th, 2015 by admin and filed in Brakes

Safety should always be an essential element of your car care. So even if you don’t care about how your car looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Fort Myers motorists — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are essential parts that wear out or wear down, and it’s best to replace them before you have troubles.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that’s a good sign that you need your brakes checked. Fort Myers auto owners can also tell something is wrong with their brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate troubles. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is vital to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disk brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor, which close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the sedan’s wheels, from turning.

When Terry Wynter Auto Service Center services your brake system, your honest tech checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be pricey. But if your sedan brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more pricey in Fort Myers, but they also work better. Florida motorists who want better and smoother braking, should consider upgrading. However, Fort Myers drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than your auto maker’s recommendation.

After you your brake pads are checked at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center, it’s vital to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will curtail your braking power. The pads just won’t be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your sedan. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to a detrimental and pricey accident in Fort Myers.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause detrimental corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Fort Myers drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your sedan owner’s manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced or ask a honest service advisor at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. We have been servicing brake systems in Fort Myers for 14 years. 

Remember, Fort Myers folks, safety first. It’s essential auto advice for all Fort Myers motorists on the road. You’re not just protecting others; you’re protecting yourself.

Hitting The Brakes In Bonita Springs

Posted June 11th, 2013 by admin and filed in Brakes

Hello Fort Myers, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all Florida motorists know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Fort Myers, Fort Myers and Bonita Springs.

Hitting The Brakes In Bonita SpringsBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new sedan or truck rolls off a local Fort Myers showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the sedan. Fort Myers motorists tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of car makers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around Florida, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center is important for your sedan and your family’s safety. At Terry Wynter Auto Service Center we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the sedan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the sedan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Fort Myers area highways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Florida motorists need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

Posted December 21st, 2011 by admin and filed in Brakes

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes go out while you’re driving around the Fort Myers area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices.

Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator.

When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center soon.

Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.

Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes drivers insist on lower cost pads. That’s OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the trade offs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you’ll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won’t last as long either. In our opinion, that’s a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you’ve been driving with completely worn brake pads, you’ve scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren’t too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.

Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that’s thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.

Something that’s often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

So here’s the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected. Your advisor can help you make the repair decision that’s right for you.

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You’ve gotta have good brakes. If you’ve got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That’s why a regular brake inspection is on every Fort Myers car’s maintenance schedule. An inspection at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Terry Wynter Auto Service Center right away.  Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it’s time to get your brakes checked.

There are two types of brakes: disk and drum. Disk brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your car. Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to be replaced.

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That’s not only expensive, but also dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid actives the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. You should change the brake fluid when your manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

There are different grades of brake pads; good, better and best. Higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the manufacturer recommends.

So, be sure to properly maintain your brakes, because it’s a lot cheaper than paying the body shop after an accident.

Come in to Terry Wynter Auto Service Center for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 239-939-2500.

Pay Less Now or More Later? Some tips on vehicle maintenance

Posted January 22nd, 2010 by Cary and filed in Brakes

With everyone counting their pennies nowadays one mistake people make is putting off routine vehicle maintenance until repairs are needed. For example, if you fail to have routine brake pad replacement you could end up having to buy not only new brake pads, but new brake rotors as well.

The cost of a single new rotor ranges from $50 to $250, depending on the vehicle – multiply that by each wheel… The moral of this story: procrastination costs more!

It’s important to perform needed maintenance early. Allowing a situation to bloom into an expensive repair threatens the practicality of keeping your paid-for wheels on the road. If you made 48, 60 or even 72 monthly payments to buy the car, but don’t like to pay for maintenance, try considering it as a short-term “car payment” that only has to be made occasionally.

ASE Safety tips for brake service:

  • Invest in a top-quality pad.
  • If any rotors are marginal for continued service after refinishing (too thin or very close to the minimum thickness specification), have them replaced. A technician can compare the specification dimension and your rotors’ actual thickness for you upon request. If you own an older vehicle equipped with original equipment rotors, be prepared to replace them at any time.
  • Have the brake calipers inspected to ensure that any moving parts (such as their slides and bleeder screws) haven’t corroded or frozen up. Don’t always jump at the lowest quoted price for your brake job. A low price quote can mean that you’re not getting the complete brake system serviced.
  • If your brake hydraulic system has never been flushed, have it serviced to remove moisture and impurities from the reservoir, lines, calipers and/or wheel cylinders.
  • Have rubber-type flex brake hoses replaced when they’re hard, cracked or simply old.
  • When rotors are being resurfaced for reuse, request inspection of the wheel bearings. On rear-wheel-drive cars or trucks, have the front wheel bearings inspected and repacked with new grease, along with replacing the seals- don’t take the chance of being stranded over an inexpensive bearing or seal.
  • For drum brake applications, ask to have a new brake hardware kit installed when the brake shoes are replaced and the drums are refinished. The technician should ensure that each assembly’s wheel cylinder pistons, adjuster and bleeder screw aren’t sticking or seized.
  • Have your emergency brake assembly tested periodically. Have it repaired or adjusted if necessary.

If your vehicle is over five years old and has only had brake pad and rotor servicing in the past, it’s generally appropriate to have these items serviced or replaced. Remember, there are cheap jobs that use basic components; there are also more-expensive jobs that use premium components. What’s the cost difference between the two? Which one would you trust most? 

You can trust your vehicle to the ASE certified service team at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. For your next routine maintenance appointment, call 239-939-2500 or schedule online at http://www.terrywynterauto.com/