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By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Wilmington drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Wilmington tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Wilmington drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Wilmington area, it should have a high aspect ratio. F ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Wilmington

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Wilmington

Many Wilmington drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a Wilmington road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of your vehicle ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

Fall and Spring Inspection at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Good vehicle care for us Wilmington residents has always meant taking our vehicles in every spring and fall for a check-up. Vehicles needed routine maintenance to prepare them for the changes in weather. Today's vehicles aren't quite as sensitive to seasonal changes. Older vehicles required different weights of oil for summer and winter. But today's engines can run on the same oil all year. Both the engines and the oils have been improved.Antifreeze—or coolant as it's also called—protects the engine from both freezing and hot temperatures and thus is required by the engine year-round. Modern coolants don't have to be changed as often as they did in the past, but your owner's manual has a recommendation for when it should be replaced to extend cooling system life.Getting a spring and fall checkup at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington for your vehicle is still good auto advice.First of all, there is a lot of preventive auto maintenance involved in ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Automotive Tips from PONTE'S AUTOCARE: When to Replace Your Wiper Blades

There are several important factors that go into how often Wilmington drivers should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from Delaware freeway driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear. But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently. They are damaged by sunlight and temperature changes as well. The rubber in the blades can dry out and crack and eventually fall apart. Check your wipers: If they’re not doing their important job, have them replaced at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington. Talk to your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor about how you drive - we can counsel you on the optimal blades for your needs.PONTE'S AUTOCARE2401 Concord PikeWilmington, Delaware 1980330

Differential Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Differential Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Wilmington, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or it's seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on Wilmington a ... read more

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Drive Train

Cabin Air Filter From PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Cabin Air Filter From PONTE'S AUTOCARE

Here is a questions for Wilmington drivers: What is a cabin air filter?Is it: A filter for a house in the middle of the woods? A fresh, piney scent? A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's 3.A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, sparrows, exhaust gas and odors.These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.Now not all vehicles in the Wilmington area have cabin filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Delaware. About 40 percent of new vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment for Wilmington. Your car can be a haven during Delaware allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, like all filters, your cabin air filter ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

When You Hear the Crash in Wilmington: What to Do After an Accident

Motorists in North America drive about 3 trillion miles/4.8 trillion kilometers every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we're going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities. Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in Delaware. You can even lose your driver's license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid. Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operat ... read more

Categories:

Auto Safety

Tracking True in Wilmington: Wheel Alignment

Tracking True in Wilmington: Wheel Alignment

At PONTE'S AUTOCARE, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a PONTE'S AUTOCARE alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires,steering and suspensionparts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your Wilmington auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

PONTE'S AUTOCARE Automotive Tips: Alternator

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.When Wilmington drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your ... read more

Categories:

Alternator

Engine Hydration for Wilmington Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket whe ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System
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