Mechanic

Articles:

Breathe Deep in Wilmington With a New Cabin Air Filter

Poor interior air quality is nothing to sneeze at, and Wilmington auto owners might be interested to know that more and more new cars are coming equipped with a cabin air filter. Check your vehicle owner's manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).The filter is usually under the vehicle hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have your friendly and knowledgeable PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor take care of replacing them.As we said, many Wilmington people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and come to PONTE'S AUTOCARE saying "my vents are smelling bad." It usually turns out to be a dirty cabin air filter. A switch out and they're on their way, smelling sweet.Wilmington residents who suffer from allergies can really benefit from a cabin air filter as it keeps irritants to a minimum.If you're one of them, you'll want to replace yo ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Automotive Tips: Diagnostic Service

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options. This same scenario plays out every day at Delaware auto repair facilities. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the car will need to undergo a diagnostic examination. The typical car has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined the cause ... read more

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Exhaust

Wilmington Car Owners Ask: Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?

Any Wilmington driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for Wilmington residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.3. In many Wilmington residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steer ... read more

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Timing Belt

Charge It in Wilmington for Extended Battery Life

Here's an interesting statistic for our in Wilmington, Delaware, drivers: Only 30 percent of car batteries make it to 48 months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from 51 months in extremely cold areas to just 30 months in extremely hot climates.Why is that? It turns out that it's our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs and entertainment computers are keeping vehicle batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it'll die.It's clear that you Wilmington drivers need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car's demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Wilmington. The alternator just can't keep up.The result is shortened battery life. So what can we do to improve our battery's health?We need to keep the battery as close to a full ch ... read more

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Battery

Wilmington, Delaware Winter Prep Service for Your Auto

When winter approaches in Delaware, Wilmington residents break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Delaware winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Wilmington residents want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime - but the stakes are higher in cold Delaware winters.There are some specific things Wilmington drivers need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it d ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Picking the Right Tires in Wilmington

Shopping for tires in Wilmington can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Wilmington are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on Delaware roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice. Next comes winter tires. Wilmington people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on Delaware roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum ar ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Wilmington residents know about them. But do we know enough?Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Wilmington residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blockin ... read more

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Fluids

Right or Left? PONTE'S AUTOCARE Power Steering Service

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some Wilmington folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering ... read more

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Steering

Tire Rotation and Balancing at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

Tires do a lot of work for Wilmington drivers. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Wilmington. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such important work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible. There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Wilmington driving: Proper tire inflation Proper wheel alignment Regular tire rotation and balancing The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That's especially true of front-wheel-drive vehicles whose front tires steer and put the power to the road.SUV ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Automotive Tips from PONTE'S AUTOCARE: Making Your A/C System Last Longer

Wilmington drivers know that if their air conditioning system isn’t making cool air like it used to, there is a problem. It may be as simple as adding more of the right kind of refrigerant.Your A/C requires special compressor oil, which circulates through the system along with the refrigerant, to lubricate and protect expensive components and keep seals and gaskets from drying out. If refrigerant has leaked out – so has the compressor oil. This oil needs to be replenished whenever refrigerant is added.An air conditioning inspection at PONTE'S AUTOCARE will uncover any potential problems and identify any necessary repairs needed to get Wilmington drivers on the road to cool air once again.Give us a call.PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 1980330

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Air Conditioning
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