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Keeping Your Wilmington Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter? A. A filter for your Wilmington house?B. A fresh, piney scent?C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's C.A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. It filters out common Delaware air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.Not all Wilmington vehicles have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Delaware. Last check, about 40 percent of new vehicles sold in Wilmington come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year. Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for people in Wilmington. Your vehicle can be a haven during our Delaware allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the ca ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Hey Wilmington Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?

Nowadays, Wilmington drivers are paying more at Delaware gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That's got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many Delaware drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Wilmington, Delaware, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the Wilmington area can't afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner's manuals don't publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, Wilmington drivers need to be better at keeping records ... read more

What to Do In Case of an Accident

If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around Wilmington, Delaware, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in Wilmington, Delaware:When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Delaware, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local Wilmington lockup.Most places, including Delaware, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.Warn other Wilmington motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.Always file a police report ... read more

Questions to Ask Your Wilmington Service Advisor

We find that a lot of Wilmington drivers are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions but don't want to be embarrassed or seem pushy. Vehicles are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because vehicles have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Wilmington automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when you're trying to find the rig ... read more

Keep Your Cool in Wilmington

Wilmington drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.Also, if it's freezing outside in Wilmington, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the Delaware cold.So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point ... read more

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Cooling System

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

  Welcome to the PONTE'S AUTOCARE automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear. Let's focus on stopping in wet Wilmington conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Wilmington drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast. So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new PONTE'S AUTOCARE tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas in Delaware has got people in Wilmington talking. It seems that Wilmington folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy. First let's start with how we drive around Delaware. People in Wilmington may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too. Another thing Wilmington drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway we ... read more

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Fuel System

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Many Wilmington drivers want to accessorize their vehicle - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Wilmington area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Wilmington drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more. So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your vehicle suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.Let's think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Service Center Standard and Procedures

All Delaware pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome. That is why Wilmington automotive service centers including PONTE'S AUTOCARE have procedural standards for each service they perform. PONTE'S AUTOCARE technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, Delaware service centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Wilmington customers leave happy with how their vehicle performs. Each company trains its technicians to standards. The Delaware automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual Delaware service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service. An ... read more

Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

If you've ever been driving around Wilmington and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.To have your headlights inspected, visit us at PONTE'S AUTOCARE. We're at 2401 Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Or give us a call at 302-478-9786.Experts at PONTE'S AUTOCARE recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long Delaware winter nights.There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you do a lot o ... read more

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Maintenance
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