Articles:

Timing Belt

Ever heard the sad tale of a staggeringly steep repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let's take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.First, let's review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There's at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two will open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves - that's 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It's called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything's in sync.The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt. But some vehicles use ... read more

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Parts

Are There Blind Spots in Wilmington?

All Wilmington drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Wilmington.First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.First, Wilmington drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Wilmington folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of t ... read more

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Automotive News

Deep Clean Your Fuel System at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into PONTE'S AUTOCARE for a check up.In today's PONTE'S AUTOCARE auto post,we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. Wilmington residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .A clean fuel system saves money for Wilmington drivers at Delaware gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Wilmington residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.So buying cheaper gas in Delaware can actually be more expensive for Wilmington drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on Delaware roads are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for ... read more

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Fuel System

Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you've ever had your brakes go out while you're driving around the Wilmington area, you'll know how terrifying it can be. Today we'll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem and how to make good repair choices. Often, the first indication that something's wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound. Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It's an early warning indicator. When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at PONTE'S AUTOCARE soon. Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a g ... read more

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Brakes

Is Your Wilmington Driving Severe?

People near Wilmington, Delaware, often ask PONTE'S AUTOCARE how often they should have a particular service done. It's a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner's manual or have your Wilmington, Delaware, service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Wilmington will say that their driving is normal and that the 'regular' schedule probably applies to them. 'Severe service' sounds pretty extreme – 'I don't drive like that.'Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions. Most of your trips are less than four miles (six and a half kilometers). Most of your trips are less than ten miles (16 km) and outside tem ... read more

Cooling System Components

Today we want to talk about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system. It's one of those things that Wilmington auto owners don't give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in Delaware.Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don't you hate it when something breaks and you could have done something to prevent it?The good news is that if Wilmington drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.Here at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington, we emphasize preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and t ... read more

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Cooling System

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near Wilmington, Delaware

A lot of fuel is wasted in the Wilmington area by dirty fuel delivery systems in vehicles.Let's start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That's why there's a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE will leave your intake components as clean as a whistle.The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they're clogged, the fuel doesn't get atomized the way it's supposed to and doesn't get burned as efficiently.See your owner's manual or ask your Wilmington service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE when a fuel system cleaning is rec ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

The PONTE'S AUTOCARE Guide to Tire Specs

You know you need newtires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Wilmington service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.Tire size can be confusing for many Wilmington drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Wilmington tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and hig ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Keep It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Wilmington use fuel filters. For more information about your fuel filter, visit PONTE'S AUTOCARE at 2401 Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware 19803.Please call 302-478-9786 to make an appointment. Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our Wilmington area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Wilmington, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Wilmington area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.Some vehicles around Wilmington come from the factory filled with synthetic oil&nbs ... read more

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Fluids
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