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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

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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

Fuel for Thought

If you're like most people and drive a gasoline-powered vehicle, you need to be up to speed on its fuel-related components.  They're pretty basic: the fuel, the fuel filter and the fuel pump. The fuel's the easy part.  You probably gas up your vehicle yourself and, if you're like most drivers, price is a big factor in what you put in your vehicle. Maybe you think it doesn't matter what kind of gasoline you buy, but one major automobile association has found it does make a big difference.  Their study showed that the additives that are put in different brands can affect your vehicle's performance.  Certain gasoline retailers sell gasoline that meets performance standards called Top Tier.  The detergents used in Top Tier gasoline help protect newer engines from carbon buildup and deposits on intake valves, all things that can affect how smoothly your engine runs, how it accelerates and what kind of fuel economy you get.  You can check online or ask your serv ... read more

Automotive Tips from PONTE'S AUTOCARE: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Wilmington drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive maintenance services, but the cost at PONTE'S AUTOCARE to correct an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor can help you with the timing belt.Give us a call.PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 1980330

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Timing Belt

How Do You Save Gas in Wilmington, Delaware?

How Do You Save Gas in Wilmington, Delaware?

No one in Wilmington, Delaware, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising Delaware fuel prices, however, have spurred Wilmington drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his ... read more

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Fuel System

Exhaust Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

Exhaust Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

Whenever they hear the term "exhaust service," most Wilmington residents think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations.Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified Wilmington exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers.If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmingto ... read more

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Exhaust

Introduction to Diesels for Wilmington, Delaware

Introduction to Diesels for Wilmington, Delaware

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around Wilmington, Delaware, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.Most people in Delaware are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in Wilmington, Delaware. But that's about to change.In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Wilmington, Delaware, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.Why are so many Wilmington drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. Th ... read more

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Fuel System

Stay Safe in Wilmington by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

We don't want to think about it, but each Wilmington resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with Delaware rescue workers. Rescue workers and Wilmington police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need. This contact information is critical in an accident because Wilmington medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in Delaware, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged. ICE provides a solutio ... read more

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Emergency Items

Time for Differential Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE?

Time for Differential Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE?

Hello Wilmington - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so the ... read more

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Drive Train
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