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Wilmington Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around Wilmington and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.There are several things involved in an alignment check at PONTE'S AUTOCARE. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the b ... read more

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Alignment

Wilmington Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at PONTE'S AUTOCARE is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.Let us at PONTE'S AUTOCARE introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' –  helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to PONTE'S AUTOCARE and your car is making a funny sound... Q: Where's the sound? A: Around the right front wheel. Q: What kind of sound? A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound. Q: When ... read more

The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change for Wilmington Drivers

People in Wilmington have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000 km to 13,000 km) or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners like those in Wilmington were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles/12,000 km. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludg ... read more

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Maintenance

Selecting New Tires and Wheels

Some of us Wilmington drivers just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. We live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive around Delaware, where you want to go or the look you're after; there is a tire for you.The same is true about wheels. The hardest part is choosing from the thousands of wheels available at Delaware tire shops.The team at PONTE'S AUTOCARE can help you get some things in mind before you make a purchase. Let's start with function and think about how you drive.For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don't drive off-road around Delaware, so an off-road tread isn't important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the Delaware backcountry, you don't need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance sno ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

What Wilmington Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

  There are some things drivers should know about Wilmington car service and repair. First and foremost, PONTE'S AUTOCARE cares about you and your family's safety. And we really appreciate your business. PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix vehicles. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The pros who work for PONTE'S AUTOCARE need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult

... read more

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.Today's production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.Wilmington drivers can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system; however, they can't do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington. We have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Our friendly and knowledgeable team at PONTE'S AUTOCARE can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. You'll find PONTE'S AUTOCARE at 2401 Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Or just give us a call at 302-478-9786 to schedule an appointment. You'll enjoy more power, better fue ... read more

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Fuel System

Gas Savings in Wilmington: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in Wilmington increase the cost of living for Delaware drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Wilmington vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.According to Delaware news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive. In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Wilmington vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Wilmington folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they ... read more

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Maintenance

Hey Wilmington Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Wilmington?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Wilmington and around the country.Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about ge ... read more

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Maintenance

Tire Replacement: What Wilmington Drivers Need to Know

Looking at getting some new tires? Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there's nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you've got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.Let's suppose you zip around Wilmington in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good. When Delaware weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Wilmington drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.When it's time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable PONTE'S AUTOCARE tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: l ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Arrive Alive in Wilmington

We've all seen drivers do crazy things while driving to or from Wilmington. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It's a wonder we even dare drive on Delaware roads.The truth is that all of us are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Wilmington. Wilmington drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player. Wilmington drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children. Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle. Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it hard ... read more

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