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

Know your vehicle cost-of-ownership

Posted March 26th, 2010 by admin and filed in Maintenance Tip of the Month, Mileage Tips

Thomas J. Stanley noted in his book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy a group he called the “used car prone” who would routinely by three- to five-year-old used cars and drive them into very high mileage. The rich who did this had some of the highest net-worths he found.

This begs the question, Why do those who can drive anything opt for a quality used car and drive it a long time? My belief is two-fold: 1.) They won’t waste their money in new-car drive-off depreciation; and 2.) These people generally didn’t get rich buying a lottery ticket. They either inherited their riches or worked very hard for it and are unlikely to risk or waste it on depreciating assets like routine transportation. One caveat to this is these same uber-rich have disposable income and collect antique or rare cars which hold, and actually appreciate, in value. 

So back to reality for the rest of us… The American Automobile Association provides excellent formulas for determining true cost-of-ownership. These are worthwhile calculations to run in the preliminary stewardship of making a vehicle purchasing decision. This is also valuable information to know in advance of determining if it is more cost effective for you to fly or drive on a trip.

To be accurate everything must be accounted for in discovering the costs to operate your vehicle. Included in this are any loan payments, fuel costs, maintenance costs (including all service parts and labor, tire replacement, cleaning, etc.), insurance and anything else vehicle related. Knowing these data points will allow you to determine true cost-of-ownership over a time period. Then divide the cost over time by the mileage driven during that same time and your result is the cost-per-mile operating figure. This figure is the baseline amount for all other sums you will determine. This is also vital for trip estimating (flying versus driving). By having the baseline cost-per-mile you can then determine what it cost you to drive anywhere.

Each vehicle will be different. New car manufacturers include estimated cost-of-ownership on the window sticker. They generally are only based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and may not be completely inclusive of all costs. 

In the case of vehicle ownership and operation, ignorance is not bliss. No one can manage what they cannot measure. This is why using a reputable and certified vehicle maintenance center like Terry Wynter Auto is important. We always provide you with comprehensive estimates before work begins and a detailed invoice with a thorough explanation when the work is completed. With the Terry Wynter Team’s attention to detail, you can be an informed consumer and begin to leverage your new found knowledge to be as smart as that millionaire next door.

Call us at 239-939-2500 or e-mail us for your next service appointment.

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.

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/.