Yearly Archives: 2014

Talk to PONTE'S AUTOCARE About New Shoes for Your Vehicle

Custom wheels are one way that Wilmington folks express themselves and personalize their vehicle. But they aren't as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several factors that need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the vehicle, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Wilmington drivers start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose. When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require adjustments to your vehicle suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel. There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Under Pressure in Wilmington: TPMS

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in Wilmington, or have your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Delaware roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Wilmington drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns a ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Wilmington

When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Wilmington drivers remember to get our oil changed. But services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is part of car care. A poorly maintained transmission will fail and lead to repairs.The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it's clean and well-lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your transmission will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this service. Or, you can ask your friendly and knowledgeable PONTE'S AUTOCARE service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your vehicle may ... read more

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Transmission

Super Slick at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington: Synthetic Oil

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Wilmington drivers. Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil. First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Wilmington drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power. Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn't vapori ... read more

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Fluids

Put on the Brakes: Brake Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

When it comes to preventive maintenance and vehicle care, most Wilmington drivers know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A bra ... read more

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Brakes

Breathe Free in Wilmington: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at PONTE'S AUTOCARE

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Wilmington drivers' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Wilmington. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Wilmington area atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Delaware prone to air pollution.Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you'll probably want to go to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at PONTE'S A ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

It Is Time to Check Your Intervals

Part of the engineering that goes into designing a vehicle is testing the components to ensure that they meet durability and safety standards. Because of this, manufacturers have a good idea as to how long the parts in your vehicle will last under normal driving conditions. For this reason, they give us guidelines to follow regarding how often to inspect the various parts and systems on our vehicles.Vehicular components are required to meet certain standards. The government mandates some of these standards. Others are set by the auto industry. Recommended car maintenance schedules are designed to help Wilmington vehicle owners maintain these standards. Disregarding routine maintenance or procrastinating preventive maintenance will result in lowered performance and reduced safety for a vehicle.Maintenance schedules are designed to ensure three areas of automotive performance for Wilmington drivers: protection of the vehicle itself, efficiency and safety. Prote ... read more

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Inspection

Gear Up: Transmission Service at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.How does it know when to change gears? Today's automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing and changes the gears as needed.Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds,” are being added. Almost all vehicles have at least four speeds. Five or six is common. Some are even increasing to sev ... read more

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Transmission

Vive la Differential at PONTE'S AUTOCARE in Wilmington

There are a lot of drivers in Wilmington who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before.With front-wheel drive being so common in Delaware these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Wilmington folks don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of your mind. It's not uncommon for people in Wilmington to not know they have a differential, let alone know that it needs service.To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Delaware high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means tha ... read more

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Drive Train

The Easy Way to Save Cash in Wilmington

The hottest Delaware news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Wilmington. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Wilmington can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.The first one for Wilmington drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Wilmington service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask PONTE'S AUTOCARE. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Wilmington gas stations have an ... read more

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Maintenance
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