Mechanic

Articles:

When You Hear the Crash in Wilmington: What to Do After an Accident

Motorists in North America drive about 3 trillion miles/4.8 trillion kilometers every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we're going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities. Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in Delaware. You can even lose your driver's license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid. Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operat ... read more

Categories:

Auto Safety

Tracking True in Wilmington: Wheel Alignment

At PONTE'S AUTOCARE, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a PONTE'S AUTOCARE alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires,steering and suspensionparts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your Wilmington auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Automotive Tips: Alternator

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.When Wilmington drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your ... read more

Categories:

Alternator

Engine Hydration for Wilmington Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket whe ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Wilmington, it is easy to prevent. The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again.There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.Another coolant issue that is often overlooked by Wilmington drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these add ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in Wilmington. At the same time, they are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell 'ya, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on Wilmington roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced Delaware cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she's climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a ... read more

Categories:

Transmission

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in Delaware. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep Wilmington residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. Wilmington residents can't afford to overlook any of them.The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the Wilmington area. They are not presented in any particular order.1. PONTE'S AUTOCARE Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.2. PONTE'S AUTOCARE Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will ... read more

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Alternator Replacement Service in Wilmington

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator.  Driving around Wilmington is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE to learn more. PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 1980330

Categories:

Battery

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Service Tip: Why Synthetic Oil Is Good For Your Vehicles

Hello Delaware! Today's vehicle care topic is: Synthetic Oil vs. Petroleum Based Oil. Synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. If you aren't currently using it, why not? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is slipperier, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. This results in myriad benefits: better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up. (We see that too often at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington.)Some manufacturers are extending oi ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Engine Air Filter from PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Many Wilmington drivers have found themselves in the following situation: They go to get their oil changed and their friendly service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don't know what an air filter is or what it does.If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor for more information. It's your vehicle and you have a right to understand what you're paying for.Let's review: "What does an air filter do?"Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in Wilmington right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in Delaware with hay fever can tell you that there's plenty in the air that you can't see. Well, the engine air filter's job is to clean that air before it goes into your vehicle engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System
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