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Battery Maintenance Tips From PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Battery Maintenance Tips From PONTE'S AUTOCARE

When it comes to your vehicle, it all starts with the battery. Proper battery maintenance is important for two reasons:First, your vehicle won't start or run without it. Second, it is the key to the long life of your auto electrical system. If your battery isn't working efficiently, your alternator has to work overtime to make up for it, and other electrical components can suffer as well.A number of years ago sealed batteries were introduced to the local Wilmington, Delaware, market. They were hailed as being 'maintenance-free batteries.' While it is true that you can't get in and adjust the electrolyte levels of a sealed battery, it is by no means maintenance free.Batteries are very sensitive to changes in the weather around Delaware. Temperature really affects auto battery performance. A battery inspection is an important part of your spring and fall checkups. Next time you're under your hood, take a look at your battery. Is it clean and free of residue? A dirty battery will drain ... read more

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Battery

Wasteful Thinking

With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin.  Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment.  But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it? Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle.  They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past.  Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders.  The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account. Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors.  When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions.  Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil. So yes, you ca ... read more

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at PONTE'S AUTOCARE?

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at PONTE'S AUTOCARE?

Today's PONTE'S AUTOCARE article focuses on severe service maintenance. Many Wilmington drivers are not aware of them and yet there are also very vocal advocates in Delaware who think that severe service schedules apply to everyone. Somewhere between a complete lack of awareness and the dire blanket statements lies a reasonable approach to severe service maintenance at PONTE'S AUTOCARE.To back up a little, vehicle owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance: things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil after a certain distanced traveled or after so many months. Wilmington drivers understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.Now when you hear 'severe service,' you may think it doesn't apply to you because you ... read more

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Maintenance

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

If you drive, you know at some point, something's going to go wrong with your vehicle.  And sometimes, it's pretty easy to figure out what's wrong, like a flat tire.  But sometimes your vehicle's symptoms can be really puzzling. One driver in Delaware was heading to work on a hot July day and noticed when he pressed the accelerator, sometimes it wouldn't do anything. He also noticed his cruise control wouldn't work and his traction control light was constantly on, very unusual. He was trying to figure it out, but none of it made any sense.  His cruise control had always worked perfectly, his traction light never had gone on before and there was never any issue pressing on the accelerator. It was time to take his car in for a professional diagnosis, and boy, was he surprised that it was a freak accident he'd had the previous WINTER that was the root of his problems.  You see, in January, his car had slipped on ice when he was in reverse and had gently tapped a tree ... read more

Let PONTE'S AUTOCARE Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

Wilmington area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.But a lot of Wilmington drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.There are a lot of vehicles on Delaware roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Injectors

Fuel Injectors

The last new American vehicles sold in Wilmington with a carburetor rolled out of the Delaware dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in Wilmington, and nationally, have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and more power for Wilmington drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.A few vehicle manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems injec ... read more

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Fuel System

Automotive Tips from PONTE'S AUTOCARE: Air Conditioning ? Common Problem

Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving around Wilmington. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.A common A/C problem for Wilmington drivers that visit PONTE'S AUTOCARE is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber clog passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.Leaks can develop at seals and gaskets and may reduce the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.Ask your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor for an air conditioning system inspection to make sure everything is up to spec.PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 19803302-478-9786  

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Air Conditioning

Cruisin' on Down Main Street

When automakers first came out with cruise control, it was a real luxury item.  The older cruise controls used a mechanical vacuum system but it worked.  Well, some of the time.  Now days, cruise control is all electronic, thanks to computers.  It's reliable and a real convenience on long trips.  Cruise control is offered on most vehicles and standard on a lot of them.  Because it's electronic, when it breaks, it's usually some electronic component.  Your vehicle's cruise can be the victim of a blown fuse. Or your vehicle's speed sensor, which—not surprisingly—measures your vehicle's speed, can also stop working.  And that will cause your cruise to stop cruising.  Vehicles with cruise control also have a built-in feature that, when the brakes are applied, turns off the cruise.  With electronic cruise control, that happens thanks to the brake pedal switch, and if a problem develops in that switch, the cruise might not work. T ... read more

The PONTE'S AUTOCARE Guide to Saving Fuel: Beware of Myths

There's a lot of auto advice in Delaware right now on how to save money on gas. Some of it is good advice. Some of it isn't. Some of it is myth. And it may well be a scam. Plain and simple. When someone offers you a product designed to save money on gas, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?” If the answer is yes, do more research.The internet offers us a convenient and quick way to research someone's claims about gas savings. Wilmington drivers can usually find out in only minutes whether that claim is questionable or not.Chances are other Wilmington drivers have already tried what you're being offered. If you find evidence that others feel they have been scammed, you should be wary of becoming the next victim. There aren't any pills, magic or otherwise, that you can drop into your gas tank to improve your gas mileage. Drop in enough of those pills and you can actually harm your vehicle. The last thing you need is a ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Tacky or Techie? The Tachometer.

There's a gauge that many vehicles have that says RPM on it.  And there are a lot of people who either don't pay any attention to it or don't even know what it is. Here's why it's a good gauge to know about. It's called a tachometer, and that "RPM" label means it is measuring how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the engine is turning.  Automotive experts know that a vehicle's engine can be damaged if it turns too fast (revving too high) or too slowly ("lugging" the engine). A tachometer (sometimes called a tach) is almost a "must-have" gauge for vehicles with a manual transmission; the driver has to manually change gears; the tach helps the driver know when revolutions are in the optimal range. Some say you don't need a tachometer if you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It's true that most drivers of automatics don't even look at it.  But there are times when paying attention to the tach can help you prevent an expensive repair. Here's a good example.&nbs ... read more

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