Tips for selecting the right auto repair shop, part one

Posted October 19th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

Choosing a quality auto service center is not a haphazard decision. Your personal safety is the primary reason this decision must be undertaken with care and discretion. Over the next few blog entries we will provide you with several helpful items to consider when choosing the right auto service center.

A good first step is looking for nationally prestigious certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which has certified all the Terry Wynter service technicians. When a service center employs technicians having this certification, it benefits you the consumer by taking much of the guesswork out of finding competent technicians. The ASE is an independent, non-profit organization that conducts the only industry-wide, national certification program for automotive technicians in specific areas of competency. Each individual technician is put through a series of standardized specialty exams (i.e., brakes, transmissions, engine repair, etc.). Certified technicians are issued pocket credential listings their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and employers often post the ASE sign on the premises.

Look for our next blog entry later this week when we will share some ASE consumer tips for finding the right repair shop. Remember, our Web site another great place for consumer information and to learn more about our personnel and service. Come see us soon at http://www.terrywynter.com/.

More tips on getting better gas mileage

Posted October 12th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips, Mileage Tips

In the last post we covered some easy things you can do to improve your gas mileage. This blog will provide even more simple ideas to keep in mind, and hopefully keep more cash in your wallet at the gas pump.

Eliminate Unnecessary Weight
Lightening the load in your car can actually lighten the load on your wallet at the pump. For every 100 pounds of stuff you carry in your car, it reduces your fuel economy by 2%. A little junk in your truck can cost you five cents per gallon on your next fill up.

Avoid Idling
You get 0 mpg when you let your engine idle. Larger car engines are the worst for this. When you add running your A/C in the hot summer months, you can almost watch the gas gauge drop when you idle.

Use Your Cruise and Overdrive Gears
Setting your vehicle’s cruise control allows your car to maintain a steady speed and engine revolutions per minute (RPM). It is much more accurate than manual control and can be helpful in avoiding an expensive speeding ticket! When on long stretches of road like a highway or the interstate, be sure your transmission is in overdrive. This allows your vehicle to maintain a steady speed and the engine to run at lower engine RPM’S.

Use Recommended Motor Oil
It is possible to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by one to two percent by simply using the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil. It is also important to assure that the oil is not too old or overly used (high mileage). Your vehicle operator’s manual is an excellent source of information about type / grade of motor oil, as well as the recommended replacement interval.

Knowledge Is Power – Women’s Car Care Seminar
Ladies, do you still feel awkward under the hood of your car? Terry Wynter Auto Service Center will host two free car care seminars for women led by co-owner Kay Wynter. Titled “Knowledge is Power,” the seminars will take place at the Fort Myers shop, located at 3811 Fowler St. on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

The seminar is designed to enhance women’s understanding of vehicle maintenance requirements such as checking oil levels and tire pressure. Wynter and a master technician will teach attendees how to troubleshoot common problems, enhance road safety and manage their vehicle service needs. The seminar will cover everything from how to sense potential problems under the hood, to tips on how to communicate with service advisors. For more information or to register for the seminar, call 239-939-2500, ext 10. Reservations are required as seating is limited.

Tips on getting better mileage

Posted October 8th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips, Mileage Tips

Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels seems to be on the minds of most nowadays. People are buying more fuel-efficient vehicles. Whether you are motivated by passion for environmental causes to lower your carbon footprint, or you’re just interested in saving money, here are some easy things you can do to improve your fuel mileage.

Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Achieving optimal traction from your car tires (where their rubber meets the road) is important to safe and efficient vehicle operation. Under-inflated tires cause drag, which in turn overheats the tires, causing premature wear and in some cases catastrophic blowout – a serious safety threat. Under-inflated tires lower your gas mileage by 0.3 % per one psi(pounds per square inch) drop in all four tires. You can improve gas mileage by just over 3% just by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Proper tire inflation psi information can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual or on a sticker placed by the manufacturer on the door jam of one of your car’s front doors. 

Driving Sensibly and Efficiently
How you drive can make a difference in how much fuel your car uses. Research has shown that you can save more than 30% on fuel costs on the highway and 5% in the city by not driving aggressive and avoiding fast acceleration/braking. Also, purposefully planning and combining trips saves fuel through efficient travel. Your goal should be to try and accomplish more than one thing with every trip you take in your vehicle.

Watch Your Speed
Did you know that gas mileage will decrease rapidly when a car exceeds 60 mph? You pay 25 cents per gallon more for gas every five mph’s over 60 mph of vehicle speed. Depending on the type of vehicle, engine and location, the saving range can be between 20 and 60 cents per gallon of gas.

Keep Your Engine Tuned Up
Routine and regularly scheduled maintenance of your car’s engine can prevent unnecessary breakdowns and correct minor irregularities that can steal up to 4% our your fuel efficiency. Preventing failure of major items like an engine’s oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage by as much as 40%.

If its been a while since your last tune up, or you’re not sure when your next service interval is, do not hesitate to give us a call at Terry Wynter Auto Service, 239-939-2500 or click onto our newly updated website, http://www.terrywynterauto.com/.

Car care tip #1 – checking your car’s fluids

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

Many people only look under the hood of their car on two occasions. The first time is when the salesperson shows you the car and the only other time is when the engine makes an odd noise or the engine quits. When it comes to operating and maintaining a piece of machinery, ignorance is not bliss! Even if you have never looked under the hood of your car, or you would not know what you were seeing if you did, a little education empowers you to be a good steward of your car care dollars

The beginning place is the discovery of the different fluids used to operate your car. Since every vehicle is different, the best place to start is the owner’s manual. It will give general to detailed information and pictures that identify the essential fluids and where to locate the monitoring point / portal. Your vehicle owner’s manual is also the “go to” source for proper fluid types, when to replace them and engine service interval recommendations.

It is important to follow recommendations and not to overfill these fluids. Overfilling can cause malfunctions and a general mess under the hood. One last tip is to wear gloves. Some fluids can be harsh on your hands due to chemicals used in them and they operate at high temperature. Eye protection should also be considered.

In all cars, there are some similar in all vehicles are:

Engine Oil – Most vehicles have a prominent dipstick to measure its level, and most vehicles employ an engine oil light should it run too low. Do not rely on dashboard warning lights alone. Sensors can malfunction and nothing replaces visually assuring your engine oil is at its recommended level. The engine oil dipstick is usually well marked and will be on one side of the engine, since the oil reservoir is usually underneath your engine.

Transmission Fluid – Another important fluid since it is responsible for lubricating and helping to cool the transmission. Your transmission is responsible to transfer energy generated by the engine to wheels to move you down the road. Low transmission fluid levels can cause overheating and premature wear / failure of this essential vehicle component. As with the engine oil, it is measured with a dipstick and can usually be found towards the back of the engine compartment near firewall (the rear wall that separates the engine and passenger compartments).

Brake Fluid – This fluid reservoir is usually located on the outside of the brake master cylinder (black circular container attached to firewall). It will have a reservoir that is either see through or may require you to remove the lid and visually view the fluid level (older vehicles).

Radiator Coolant Fluid (Antifreeze in Cold Climates) – Never open the radiator cap on the main radiator since it operates under pressure due to the coolant is high temperature (i.e., radiator cap). Rather, use the see through overflow reservoir located near the radiator to gauge the coolant level.

Power Steering Fluid – This is generally either a small cap top dipstick on a small reservoir near the engine belts and pulleys in the front of most engines. It can also be a see through reservoir on newer cars.

Battery Fluid – In more and more vehicles their batteries are sealed. If yours is sealed, some batteries have a visual color-coded indicator. If not, and your battery has capped reservoirs that can be checked visually, carefully with gloved hands and eye protection open the caps and look into the reservoir. If low, distilled water can be added only to the fill line. Remember, the reservoir contents contain acid and are caustic. It is recommended to rinse off the battery once resealed to wash away any residue. Mild soapy water and LOW pressure rinsing is recommended. Dry off excess water.

Windshield Washer Fluid – Keeping this full is a more than a convenience, it is a safety measure that helps you maintain a clean windshield for optimal field of vision when driving.

If you still feel intimidated about checking your car’s fluids, contact one of our attentive service technicians with any questions about your car at 239-939-2500. We will be glad to take a few minutes to help learn how to partner with us in the care of your car.