Articles:

Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of Wilmington driver's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.Twenty years ago in Delaware, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. Delaware drivers called them snow tires back then, and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet Delaware roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. People couldn't wait to get them off in the spring.Then all-season tires started to appear in Wilmington tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life and can get Del ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Power Steering Service in Wilmington

Power Steering Service in Wilmington

Most Wilmington drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Wilmington drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeabl ... read more

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Steering

When "Shady" is a Good Thing

Just like your skin can burn from too much sun, so can the paint on your vehicle.  It can turn dull, oxidize and fade the more ultraviolet rays beat down on it. One solution is to park in a shady spot, or you can buy a cover for your vehicle and put it on when you know it's going to be sitting in the sun for awhile. Yes, it takes a couple of minutes to put on, but in the end, keeping the gloss on your paint will help it retain its beauty… and its value. And it's not just the sun that can damage your vehicle's paint.  Grit, bird droppings, sap, dust and dead bugs can all ruin the paint.  So, keep your vehicle clean.  Wash it with a soap made especially for vehicles. Dry it with special towels that won't scratch your paint.  Remember:  DON'T WASH YOUR VEHICLE IN THE SUN. Once your vehicle is washed, protect the paint even further with a coat of wax.  DON'T WAX YOUR VEHICLE IN THE SUN, EITHER. Don't forget the vehicle's interior.  Plastic com ... read more

Distracted Driving

When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that. Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics. Nearly 23% of all accid ... read more

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Auto Safety

To Fix or Not To Fix: That Is the Question.

No matter what vehicle you drive, when certain things break, you have to make a decision.  Should I get it fixed now, later or never?  Air conditioning is one of those things.  You can certainly live without air conditioning, but it sure is nice to have on a sweltering day. Let's say your air conditioning breaks in the fall and you live in a climate where it gets quite cold in the winter.  Should you get it fixed now, wait until spring since it won't get warm until then or maybe not get it fixed at all? That can be a tough decision.  There are several reasons air conditioning in vehicles break.  One is fairly simple: It could be an electrical problem, perhaps a relay or solenoid is not turning on the system.  It's also a fairly inexpensive repair and doesn't require hours of labor. Or, the problem is that the coolant has leaked out.  Your service facility can find the leak and replace the parts that are leaking.  With a refrigerant recharge ... read more

PCV Valve Replacement

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello Wilmington, let's talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Wilmington folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up and eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure buildup would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the  fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can ... read more

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Parts

Improve Fuel Economy with Proper Maintenance at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

With Wilmington gas prices being what they are, many of us in Delaware are driving less and looking into purchasing smaller or more efficient vehicles. Wilmington area residents who have to drive a lot, have large families or need four-wheel drive are particularly hard hit by the cost of fuel in Delaware. But there are things all Wilmington drivers can do to save fuel: We can improve our driving habits and stay on top of preventive maintenance at PONTE'S AUTOCARE. These things make small savings possible, but they can really add up.Let's start with driving habits. One major gas-eater is jackrabbit starts. A smooth, gradual acceleration uses a lot less fuel. It's also easier on your engine and drivetrain, so you'll prolong their lives as well.If you drive with one foot on the brake, stop. That creates drag, increasing fuel usage and reducing the useful life of your brakes.Slowing down can really add up on gas savings over time for Wilmington drivers. Dr ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You've gotta have good brakes. If you've got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”That's why a regular brake inspection is on every Wilmington driver's maintenance schedule. An inspection by your service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington right away. Here are some symptoms for Wilmington drivers to watch for: Low or spongy brake pedal Hard brake pedal A brake warning light that stays on Constantly squealing or grinding brakes Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes If you are experiencing any of these, it's time to get your brakes checked. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at PONTE'S AUTOCARE .There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the ax ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Ethics of Automotive Repair in Wilmington

Ethics of Automotive Repair in Wilmington

We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Wilmington automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.Unfortunately, every profession in Wilmington has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Wilmington automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off ... read more

Automotive Tips from PONTE'S AUTOCARE: Serpentine Belt Overview

The technicians at PONTE'S AUTOCARE know your serpentine belt drives important engine accessories like your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering. In some cars it may also power the power brakes or water pump. The serpentine belt is powered by the engine and winds around pulleys and the accessories. Some cars in Wilmington have two serpentine belts. The serpentine belt, the belt tensioner (which maintains the appropriate tension on the belt) and the idler pulleys are together known as the accessory drive system.Now your serpentine belt and the belt tensioner will just wear out over time – that’s why your vehicle manufacturer has a scheduled belt replacement interval. The team at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington can inspect your serpentine belt for wear and get it replaced if it’s time.Give us a call.PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 19803302-478-9786  

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Serpentine Belt
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