Helping Shop Owners Since 1993

Winworks Software was founded in 1993 to address the growing needs of service writers and shop owners throughout the country for better management software solutions for their businesses.

The History of the Winworks AutoShop Management System
In the early 1990s, software for automotive repair professionals did little more than write work orders and provide some basic reporting using a DOS interface. Winworks engineers worked closely with local shop owners to re-design the work order writing experience from the ground up. Special care was taken to the flow of work for the service adviser and the growing need for comprehensive management information for owners. The result was the Winworks AutoShop Management System introduced in February 1995 to an overwhelming response. Since that time, we have continued the process of carefully listening to our customers, continuously improving the software to increase the efficiency of service writing while also providing valuable insight into business information. Providing the key information in innovative ways has allowed our customers to increase not only efficiency but profitability. We have also introduced multiple work order formats and a custom format option to allow service advisers to communicate the work done and the pricing in an effective and streamlined way. Our engineers are continually addressing new technologies and improving the Winworks AutoShop system with new parts catalogs, online ordering and text messaging to name a few.

The Philosophy of Winworks
It is our customers that measure the quality of our software and our technical support services. Our loyal following is a testimony of our determination to serve each customer providing them the best experience possible with our software. Our technical support has earned high ratings because we will take the time to remotely connect and solve your issue in the most efficient way possible while keeping our technical support rates among the lowest in the industry.

Database Maintenance

Hello everyone in this post I will show you how to do database maintenance. Running this utility will help keep your databases lean and able to run at peak performance. It only takes a few minutes to do. Here is how you do it.

Step 1- Make sure you are on the main computer. and that you have done a backup- If you want to learn to do a backup, click the link in the description below.

Step 2- Make sure all users are out of Winworks AutoShop. And Clock on Winworks Applications.

Step 3- Click Database maintenance

Step 4- Now there are 4 main databases in Winworks, 5 if you are a premium user. AutoShop, ShopData, MgmtData, W_Orders. So now click AutoShop, and then click ‘Repair and compact’ Click ‘Ok’ Through the next prompts. Go through all the databases. Once you are done with the 4 or 5 databases. You are done with database maintenance. This should not have to be done all that often. Occasionally, it may be needed.

Use Penetrating Oil to Loosen a Stuck Nut or Bolt

byMatthew Wright Updated September 19, 2018

The penetrating oil is most useful when you have a corroded or rusted bolt or nut that just won’t budge. Pretty much every home garage or workshop needs a can of spray penetrating oil on a shelf. If you don’t have one, you probably should. But if you already have a can, there is also a good chance you’re using it incorrectly. It’s not uncommon for people to use a can of spray penetrating oil as an old-fashioned lubricant, but that’s actually not what it’s intended for. Spraying a bicycle chain or gear linkage with WD-40 or PB Blaster, won’t really offer the lubrication you wanted.

Penetrating Oil Defined

Although manufacturers vary in how they label their products, the spray oil you are looking for will be called “penetrating oil” or “penetrating lubricant”—even though it’s really not a typical lubricating oil, such as what is used to keep machinery gears running smoothly. 

Penetrating oil is a petroleum-based oil with an especially fine viscosity—so fine that it can be sprayed as a mist, and so fine that it will find the smallest openings between metal parts and penetrate them. Because penetrants have such low surface tension, they can seep into almost invisible crevices and over time loosen metal connection that appeared to be rusted solid. 

True penetrating oil is sold under many different brand names, including WD-40, PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, and AiroKroil. This can be a little confusing, especially since brands like the WD-40 offer not only a true penetrating oil but also sell spray lithium or silicone lubricants. And some may be marketed as “multi-use” lubricants that supposedly can be used both for penetrating and other general-purpose lubrication. However, the best products for loosening nuts and bolts and other parts will specify themselves on the label as “penetrating” oils. 

Penetrating Oil Uses

When faced with a rusty bolt or nut or other parts that seem corroded together, the secret is time. After spraying a healthy dose of penetrant on the fused parts, give them several hours—or even overnight—to sit while the penetrating oil seeps in. Then use your wrenches to try and loosen the parts. If they refuse to budge, hit them with another heavy dose of penetrating oil and again let them sit for several hours and try again. 

Sometimes, very stubborn parts can be loosened if you apply heat to them. For example, a stuck nut that is warmed up with a heat gun will expand just enough to allow your wrench to turn it. However, don’t apply direct flame to parts that are still wet with oil. Penetrating oils will evaporate rather quickly, but remember that these are petroleum-based products, so there is the possibility of igniting them.

Other Types of Spray Lubricants

True penetrating oils aren’t the best product for every use and not every spray lubrication product is a penetrating oil.

Here are some of the other spray products available, along with their recommended uses:

Lithium Grease: This is a mixture of lithium hydroxide and petroleum oils. This is a true lubricant, not a penetrating oil, and it works well for lubricating parts where heavy loads or pressure is present, such as the hinges on heavy doors or mechanical cranks.

PTFE: This name stands forpolytetrafluoroethylene, but it really is just a Teflon spray. It is very good for lubricating chains and cables. It is a great material for lubricating parts on a bicycle. 

Silicone: This is a spray lubricant containing about 1.5 percent silicone suspended in other materials to allow it to be applied as a spray. Silicone lubricants repel water and work well at extremely high or low temperatures. It is also unusual in that it can be used on rubber, wood, and plastic parts without staining them. It is not intended for applications where there will be heavy pressure.

Dry Lubricants: Although in spray form, dry lubricants come out damp, the solvents used to support the tiny, dry particles, usually graphite, quickly evaporate, leaving surfaces entirely dry. Dry lubricants are ideal for locks, indoor hinges, and drawer slides, since there is no oily mess and dirt doesn’t stick to them. Dry lubricants to not displace water, though, and they wear away fairly quickly and must be regularly reapplied. 


Why and How to Change Brake Fluid

byBenjamin Jerew Updated March 09, 2018

Your brakes are arguably the single most important piece of equipment on your car, and a faulty brake system quickly puts you and others in danger.

While it seems obvious that brake pads, brake rotors, and brake calipers should be maintained, brake fluid maintenance seems to be altogether forgotten—many owner’s manuals stop at checking and adjusting brake fluid level. Below we cover whether and how often brake fluid should be changed, and for do-it-yourselfers, we’ll cover the hows as well.01of 04

How Does Brake Fluid Work?

diagram of brake system operation
 Brake Fluid is What Makes the Brake System Work.

The brake system is made up of levers, pistons, and hydraulic fluid (brake fluid), designed to transmit brake pedal force to the four brakes. When you step on the brake pedal, small pistons in the brake master cylinder convert mechanical force into hydraulic pressure. Because brake fluid is incompressible, it transmits this pressure equally to the brakes.

The brake caliper pistons convert this hydraulic pressure back into mechanical force. Because the brake caliper pistons are larger than the brake master cylinder piston, it multiplies your force by many times to compress the brake pads.

02of 04

Why and How Often Do You Need to Change Brake Fluid?

brake rotor heated up during racing
 Hot Brakes Can Reveal Neglected Brake Fluid.

Brake fluid is so overlooked that about half of all American cars and trucks over ten years of age have never had a brake fluid change. Interestingly, in Europe, where brake fluid inspection is required, about half of them fail the test.

Why do vehicles fail this test? It all has to do with a special property of brake fluid, one that prevents even bigger problems.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, absorbing water which could easily boil at the high temperatures in the brake system. This is important, because the entire function of the brake system is to convert the kinetic energy of your vehicle into heat energy.

While water is incompressible, it boils at just 212 °F (100 °C) becoming an easily-compressible water vapor. Under normal driving conditions, brakes might reach 100 °F to 200 °F (38 °C to 93 °C), and it’s perfectly normal for the brakes to exceed 400 °F (204 °C) braking on hills.

  • Dry DOT 3 brake fluid boils at 401 °F (205 °C), which is fine in normal traffic, but might cause problems on hills, so some prefer DOT 4 brake fluid, boiling at 446 °F (230 °C).
  • Wet DOT 3 brake fluid, containing 3.7% water, boils at just 284 °F (140 °C), while wet DOT 4 brake fluid boils at 311 °F (155 °C).

The longer one waits to change brake fluid, the more water it absorbs, increasing the chance of brake fade at the worst possible moment.

You should change brake fluid about every 20,000 miles or two years.

03of 04

What You’ll Need to to Change Brake Fluid

brake caliper bleeder screw
 This Brake Bleeder Seems Clean, but Yours Might be Rusted.

In order to change brake fluid, you’ll need the following. Note that if you’ve ever “bled” your brakes to address brake pedal sponginess (an indication compressible air has gotten in) then you already know how to change brake fluid.

You’ll need:

  • Jack and Jack Stands – To lift and support your vehicle.
  • Wheel Removal Tools – To remove your wheels to access your brakes.
  • Torque Wrench – To reinstall your wheels.
  • Brake Bleeder Tool – Buy one or make one of a plastic bottle and hose.
  • Brake Bleeder Wrench – Usually an 8 mm or 10 mm box wrench, to loosen the bleeder screw.
  • 32 oz Brake Fluid – You’re going to use a lot to flush out the old fluid.
  • New Bleeder Caps – Bleeder caps degrade or get lost.
  • Brake Fluid Siphon – To remove old brake fluid from the brake master cylinder reservoir.
  • Brake Cleaner and Rags – To clean everything up.
  • PPE – Nitrile gloves and safety glasses, as brake fluid is an irritant.
  • Rust Penetrant – WD-40 or PB Blaster can help loosen an old bleeder screw.

04of 04

Step by Step Brake Fluid Change

a brake bleeder bottle
 A Brake Bleeder Bottle is an Easy Tool to Make.

Start by lifting and supporting your car on jack stands and removing the wheels.

Remove the bleeder caps and spray the bleeder screws with rust penetrant. While this is working in, open the hood and remove the master cylinder reservoir cap.

Use the siphon or extractor to remove as much of the old brake fluid as possible. You might need to remove a strainer to get deeper into the reservoir. Refill the reservoir, then move on to bleed each wheel in order, right rear (RR), left rear (LR), right front (RF), left front (LF). Important: Do not let the reservoir go empty, otherwise you must start over to get air out of the master cylinder.

  1. Place the bleeder wrench on the bleeder screw, then attach the plastic hose. Open the bleeder 1/4-turn and pump the brake pedal 5 or 6 times. Check and refill the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir.
  2. Pump the brake pedal another 5 or 6 times. Check for fresh fluid and no bubbles in the bleeder hose. If fluid is still dark, another 5 or 6 pumps might be needed to finish the job. Aim to pump about 8 oz of new brake fluid into the system for each brake, then close the bleeder screw.
  3. Repeat A and B for the LR, RF, and LF brakes.
  4. After checking all brake bleeders are closed, fill the master cylinder reservoir to “FULL,” install the cap, and start the car. Step on the brake pedal and check that it feels firm. Clean any spilled brake fluid, install the bleeder caps, install the wheels, torque the wheel nuts, and go for a test drive. Used brake fluid can be recycled with your used oil.

Now, to change brake fluid might sound like a lot of steps, but it’s a simple job that can significantly improve braking effectiveness and vehicle safety.