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

Happy Halloween from the Terry Wynter Auto Service Center Team!

Posted October 23rd, 2015 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips, Older Vehicles

It’s true, a vehicle can make some SPOOKY noises! Sometimes, if they are ignored, these sounds can result in a SCARY  auto repair bill.

Grinding
The sound of metal to metal scraping together is enough to send shivers down your spine. If you hear this noise when braking, the brakes are most likely worn and need immediate attention as it can be a safety issue.
Hissing
Typically this creepy sound is caused by a vacuum hose leak and is usually accompanied by a rough idle. This can cause the car to stall, therefore, seek professional automotive assistance immediately.
Groaning
Don’t be afraid if this happens when you are turning the steering wheel, it usually indicates low power steering fluid. Adding fluid will stop the noise, however, a trained technician will need to determine why your car lost the fluid.
Howling
When your vehicle makes this noise, pay close attention to the details: what, where, when, and then report them to your service technician. It could be several issues such as the alternator, wheel bearings or idler pulley.
Screeching 
This hair raising sound most of the time indicates that a belt is worn and needs to be replaced or adjusted.
Clunking
If you hear a clunking noise while driving, it could indicate a problem with the car’s steering or suspension.
Terry Wynter Auto Service Center is happy to help you identify any noises that cause concern and will resolve the issue at a fair and honest price. We care about your car like we care about your family, so keep these sounds in mind while you’re driving. We look forward to serving you!

Click here to receive $10 OFF a service of $30 or more!

Our Technician Cited as Expert in Fuel-Saving Tips

Recently, NBC-2 conducted a story about fuel-saving tips for consumers who are feeling the pain at the pump with rising cost of gas. Our own auto care technician, Steve Johnson debunks fuel-saving myths and provides car-owners with valuable tips on what really affects how far your tank of fuel will take you.

Check it out:  http://www.nbc-2.com/story/16466603/2012/01/06/expert-debunks-fuel-saving-myths

Is Your Automobile Acting Spooky Lately?

It’s true, a vehicle can make some “spooky” noises and if they are ignored, can result in a “scary” auto repair bill. Here are some examples:

    • Grinding – the sound of metal to metal scraping together is enough to “send shivers down your spine”. If you hear this noise when braking, the brakes are most likely worn and need immediate attention as it can be a safety issue.
    • Hissing – typically this “creepy” sound is caused by a vacuum hose leak and is usually accompanied by a rough idle.  This can cause the car to stall, therefore, seek professional automotive assistance immediately.
    • Groaning – “Don’t be afraid”, if this happens when you are turning the steering wheel, it usually indicates low power steering fluid.  Adding fluid will stop the noise, however, a trained technician will need to determine why your car lost the fluid.
    • Screeching – This “hair raising” sound most of the time indicates that a belt is worn and needs to be replaced or adjusted.
    • Howling – When your vehicle makes this noise, pay close attention to the details…what, where, when and report them to your service advisor.   It can be several issues such as the alternator, wheel bearings, idler pulley and this information will assist in diagnosing the problem. 

    If you are out after the “witching hour” and notice that the headlights start to dim and electrical features inside of the car start working slower, it means the alternator is failing and will need replacement. 

Visit Terry Wynter Auto Service Center to get your car’s spooky sound scared away! To schedule your next appointment, visit TerryWynterAuto.com or call us at 239-939-2500. Sign up for our e-newsletter at TerryWynterAuto.com/contactus to learn more about auto repair tips and to receive savings and promotions.

Pedestrian Right of Way Tips

To date, our blog topics have dealt with specifically your vehicle. This week’s offering is a start to different driving-related safety messages designed to increase your awareness when driving and improve overall safety for you and those in or around your vehicle when you are driving.

Have you ever heard the statement, “they seem as though they are in a world of their own…?” In today’s world there are plenty of distractions. Cell phones, iPods and PDA’s seem to have extended themselves from convenience items to essentials for life. Unfortunately, they are some of the most distracting items for drivers and pedestrians alike. With all these distractions, many motorists seem to be unaware or forget that pedestrians DO HAVE the right of way in a crosswalk, marked or unmarked. 

As drivers, we must always be alert. If you see a pedestrian in a crosswalk, or waiting to cross the street at a cross walk, you MUST yield the right of way. Unlike video games, you do not get points for running down a pedestrian. But most important is that life does not come with a reset button, although sometimes I wish it did. 

Two things you should always remember behind the wheel are:

  • STAY ALERT and BE SITUATIONALLY AWARE
  • OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS

The Terry Wynter Service Team wants you to remain aware while driving and look for pedestrians. We value more than your business. We value you, our customer. Stay safe!

 For more information about this week’s topic, check out these websites: 

Tips on getting better gas mileage: use proper fuel

Posted November 10th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips, Mileage Tips

Your car’s engine is designed to run on a specific gasoline octane rating. Your owner’s manual will recommend the correct octane level for your fuel choice. Using something other than the manufacturer recommended octane level can cause your engine to perform poorly and inefficiently. This can cause premature maintenance intervals and is a general waste of money.

Keep It Straight
Your vehicle suspension and chassis parts can become misaligned. Other items like bent wheels, axles, bad shocks and broken springs can create unnecessary drag on your car’s engine. Not only does this drag reduce fuel economy, it can be unsafe at high speeds.

Let It Breathe
You would not want to run with your mouth and nose covered, why expect your car to do it. Make sure your engine’s air intake filters are clean. Even if you do not live on a dirt road or desert area, normal contaminants in the air will clog your air filter. These are easily checked during regular maintenance. 

Keep It Clean
Regular trips to the car wash can be money well spent. While you may only improve gas mileage by pennies with a clean and waxed vehicle, in the long run your car’s paint and interior will not wear as quickly and provide more value for trade or sale later. 

Don’t Load It Down
The temptation when traveling by car is to take all you can along with you, especially with small children. Some families buy roof mount luggage packs and even trailers for hauling their must-have stuff. Avoiding outside luggage storage and towing trailers can dramatically increase fuel economy.

Why not let the Terry Wynter Service Team help you check your car for gas mileage money stealers. Call us at 239-939-2500 or email us info@terrywynterauto.com for an appointment today.

Fall car care tips to prepare you for holiday travel

Posted November 4th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

Autumn is the season when we stop to count our blessings and travel to see family and friends. Much time, energy and effort goes toward preparing for annual holiday celebrations. One important to-do item for fall is to prepare your car for annual holiday migrations. Before you leave on that holiday trip, make sure to have your vehicle carefully inspected. This includes making sure all fluids are topped-off and all four tires and a full-sized spare tire are filled with the proper air pressure. This will help avoid a break down miles away from home.

The Terry Wynter Auto Service Team is ready and able to assist you with any pre-trip safety checks or service. Call us at 239-939-2500 or email us mailto:info@terrywynter.com today for an appointment. Happy Holidays!

Tips for buying a safe car

Posted October 28th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

The decision to buy a car is one of the most significant decisions you will make. Besides the sizeable financial obligation, it is a decision that if made imprudently, can expose you to unnecessary risk for injury, disability or even death.

Wait, I thought I was buying a car, a status symbol, an expression of my personality, the treat I deserve…my dream car? The American love affair with the automobile is alive and well, and many chose vehicles for just those reasons.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying your vehicle.

Most people spend a large portion of their day in their vehicles commuting between home, work, school, errands, sports and other family activities.  It should be something you value, enjoy and want to take care of just like any other important asset. Asset? Yes, I said asset. Practically every item of monetary worth, such as your car, is an asset.

The approach to the acquisition of this asset involves smart pre-planning and research to help you avoid making this a stressful decision or worse yet, an impulse buy. Here are some important things to consider when making this important decision:

  • Research the types of vehicles within your budgetary limits and arrange for financing before you go to a dealership.
  • Read all data, articles and research you can find through the Internet, magazines and word-of-mouth. Vehicle crash data is available for most vehicles sold in the United States. The Internet also is a wonderful source for this data.
  • Consider a midsize car or a full size car. The bigger and heavier the car the more protection you have in case of a crash.
  • Buy a newer vehicle. Later-model cars will have the latest safety equipment and are engineered to transfer the kinetic energy generated in a crash throughout the frame and body of the car thereby reducing the injury-causing energy available to be transferred onto its passengers.
  • Look for antilock breaks, which are now standard on most vehicles. They will help you stop while maintaining control of your vehicle during quick, hard stops.
  • Determine if the car you like has air bags. Some of the cars with air bags have it marked on the steering wheel or on the dashboard of the passenger side. These are called supplemental restraint systems. The seatbelt is the foundational piece of safety equipment for any car.
  • Check the vehicle service records if you are buying a pre-owned car. It is important to know that any car you buy has been regularly maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. Demand service records from the seller and consider using an online service like http://www.carfax.com/.
  • Check the safety records for a vehicle before you buy it. You can do this online at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Web site at http://www.highwaysafety.org/. Look for recalls, safety bulletins and other information that is posted on the Internet.
  • Consider an impartial third-party pre-purchase inspection, especially when acquiring a pre-owned automobile. Our team Terry Wynter Auto Service would be honored to assist you in determining whether or not you are making a wise investment. Call or e-mail with any questions, or to make a pre-purchase inspection appointment,  info@terrywynterauto.com or 239-939-2500.

Tips for selecting the right auto repair shop, part three

Posted October 26th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

Our last two blog posts dealt with preliminary considerations in finding the right repair shop. In this final blog of the series, we will focus on assessing the first impression of the shop and essential recordkeeping.

  • Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The service writer should be willing to answer all of your questions.
  • Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers. Call them.
  • All policies including labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees and methods of payment should be posted and/or explained to your satisfaction.
  • Ask if the shop customarily handles your vehicle make and model. Some facilities specialize.
  • Ask if the shop usually does your type of repair, especially if you need major work.
  • Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area: civic and community service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau, AAA-Approved Auto Repair status, Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program status and customer service awards. The backbone of any shop is the competence of the technicians.
  • Keep good records; keep all paperwork.
  • Reward good service with repeat business. It is mutually beneficial to you and the shop owner to establish a relationship.
  • If the service was not all you expected, don’t rush to another shop. Discuss the problem with the service manager or owner. Give the business a chance to resolve the problem. Reputable shops value customer feedback and will make a sincere effort to keep your business.

We hope that you found these tips helpful. Please give us a call or e-mail us your questions and comments. You can also contact us through our website, http://www.terrywynter.com/.

Tips for selecting the right auto repair shop, part two

Posted October 21st, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

In our last blog entry, we talked about the importance of looking for honest and competent service technicians with the nationally prestigious ASE certification. The following are the preliminary steps to preparing to visit a service center:

  • Don’t just drop your vehicle off at the nearest establishment and hope for the best. That’s not choosing a shop, that’s merely gambling.
  • Read your owner’s manual to become familiar with your vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s suggested service schedules.
  • Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed or in a panic.
  • Ask friends and associates for their recommendations. Even in this high-tech era, old-fashioned word-of-mouth reputation is still valuable.
  • Check with your local consumer organization regarding the reputation of the shop.
  • If possible, arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a facility solely on the basis of location.
  • Once you choose a repair shop, start off with a minor job; if you are pleased, trust them with more complicated repairs later.

Honest and competent service personnel working with state-of-the-art equipment and supplies are just some of the reasons to consider Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. We want to help you avoid untimely breakdowns in the wrong place or at the wrong time. Please give us a call or e-mail us you’re your questions and comments. You can also contact us through our website, http://www.terrywynter.com/.