Yearly Archives: 2016

Maintenance on My Mind

Ask any Wilmington man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most Wilmington residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.Funny, because most of us in Wilmington have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.When it comes to our vehicles, Wilmington drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.For example, when we cons ... read more

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Maintenance

PCV Valve: What Is It?

Most Wilmington drivers know something about preventive maintenance on a vehicle. We know we should routinely replace the oil and wiper blades and other fluids. But have you heard of a PCV valve ? This little car part needs to be replaced regularly or it can cause some serious problems in your vehicle engine.PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase holds your motor oil and is located at the bottom of your engine.When fuel is burned in your engine, it produces waste gases that are mostly vented out through your exhaust system. But some of these gases push their way past the pistons and into the crankcase. There, these gases can mix with motor oil to produce oil sludge, which can damage vehicle engine parts through corrosion and by clogging engine passages. Wilmington vehicle owners should be advised that if the engine is running at high speeds, these gases can also cause pressure inside the crankcase to build up. This pressure, in tu ... read more

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Exhaust

PONTE'S AUTOCARE On Your Serpentine Belt

PONTE'S AUTOCARE On Your Serpentine Belt

  Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Wilmington, Delaware, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around Delaware in the summer.The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Wilmington residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Wilmington, Delaware, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot ... read more

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Maintenance

Relax When the Wind Blows in Delaware: Winter Car Prep for Wilmington Drivers

When autumn comes around in Wilmington, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for Wilmington drivers to winterize their vehicles.Here is some expert auto advice for Wilmington drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the Delaware winter months.1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of Delaware winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington, get that done as well.2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the probl ... read more

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Maintenance

Breathe Deep in Wilmington With a New Cabin Air Filter

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 you ... 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

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 cha ... 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

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 are ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels
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