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Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

At PONTE'S AUTOCARE we get a lot of Wilmington drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around Delaware, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task and won't leave you stranded.Smart Wilmington drivers plan ahead for a major road trip – and there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Wilmington to see if you can feel any vibrations: Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to PONTE'S AUTOCARE for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.2401 Concord Pike Wilmington, Delaware 19803 302-478-9786 The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped ... read more

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Trip Inspection

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Wilmington drivers want to make them last as long as possible.  We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in Wilmington.Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.The same is true for your ... read more

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Maintenance

Battery Replacement for Your vehicle

Modern vehicles in and around Wilmington run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Wilmington drivers without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks windows and sun roofs. And then us Delaware drivers have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers and DVD players.We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.Fortunately, battery technology has given Wilmington drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just ... read more

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Battery

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

Recalls are pretty serious for Wilmington residents and don't happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Wilmington residents still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, the vehicle manufacturer issues what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Wilmington service centers (including PONTE'S AUTOCARE) how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.Your Wilmington service center receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too.Whatever your source, pay attention to Wilmington vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe. No matter how well they're made, vehicles are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the vehicle manufacturer to issue recall notices to ... read more

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Maintenance

Odometer Rollback on Your Wilmington, Delaware Vehicle

  How do Wilmington drivers know if an odometer is telling the truth?Well, back in '86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect Delaware consumers against mileage fraud. It says a Delaware seller must certify the mileage reported is the actual mileage.To have your odometer checked in Wilmington, Delaware, stop by PONTE'S AUTOCARE: PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 19803   If it isn't, the seller must say why; for example, maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.If the seller tells you the mileage isn't accurate, there's not much chance of putting a good number to it. And there's the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it isn't. What can Wilmington vehicle owners do?You can go to www.CarFax.com, where, for a small fee, they ... read more

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Older Vehicles

Custom Wheels and Tires for Your Wilmington Ride

  It seems like everywhere you go in the Wilmington area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some Delaware auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At PONTE'S AUTOCARE, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.Your tire and wheel professional at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, Delaware folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Wilmington drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Delaware penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Wilmington vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed ... read more

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Maintenance

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Wilmington

About 90% of our driving decisions in the Wilmington area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.Most Wilmington drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Wilmington area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.Wilmington drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the ... read more

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Maintenance

Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in Wilmington

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine has to do with the combustion cycle.Your vehicle engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves that open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned. Call PONTE'S AUTOCARE at 302-478-9786 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Wilmington, Delaware, service center on 2401 Concord Pike. It's critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.The timing belt is responsible for rotating the s ... read more

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Timing Belt

Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in Wilmington, Delaware

Every car in Wilmington, Delaware, is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles: Common sense Visible and audible devices Immobilizing devices Tracking devices Let's review each of these. One is common sense; you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in Delaware where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Wilmington drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near th ... read more

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Automotive News
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