repair,Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Facts to Know About Car Fluid Leaks – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, vehicles depend on various fluids for power, temperature control, hydraulics, and lubrication. Part 2 will discuss Typical Indicators and Possible Dangers.

Typical Indicators

Dripping, puddles, and spots are typical indicators of leaking. However, not every leak can be seen right away. If you believe there is a leak present, but you haven’t seen the signs, you can inspect the car’s fluid reservoirs. When a dashboard gauge frequently indicates the need to replenish a fluid, it may be the sign of a leak.

Some car owners place a covering beneath their car for several hours to determine the presence of a leak. However, it is much safer to bring your vehicle to a service facility, especially if the leaking fluid smells like gasoline.

Possible Dangers

Antifreeze – Insufficient coolant will prevent your engine from performing within the proper operating temperature range. Your instrument panel will indicate if your car engine is overheating. If so, it will eventually fail and will be very costly to repair.

Brake Fluid – Inadequate brake fluid levels will result in a safety hazard. Leaking brake fluid may cause a sudden drop in fluid pressure, resulting in brakes failing. If a leak is suspected, call a towing service to bring your car to a service facility.

Engine Oil – Insufficient engine oil will cause internal engine parts to not be adequately lubricated, causing the engine to overheat and fail, which is a very costly repair job.

Gasoline – Gas is recognizable by its smell, and it can be very dangerous. Work with a certified mechanic as soon as possible to diagnose the problem and repair the problem immediately.

Power Steering Fluid – Inadequate power steering fluid will cause steering to be much harder, which may lead to dangerous situations while driving. This problem should be addressed as soon as possible by trained technicians.

Transmission Fluid – When the car does not feel normal while shifting gears, the cause may well be insufficient transmission fluid. If this problem is not addressed soon enough, the transmission may be seriously damaged, and the repair will be very costly.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

repair,Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

Facts to Know About Car Fluid Leaks – Part 1

Vehicles depend on various fluids for power, temperature control, hydraulics, and lubrication. Unfortunately, we occasionally discover these fluids as spots or puddles beneath our cars. Particular leaks will need to be addressed immediately and repaired. Others will not be as important. This article will discuss the facts that you need to know about a car’s fluids leaks.

Types of Fluid Leaks

Although you may assume that the liquid underneath your car is either oil or gas, there are numerous other possibilities as listed below.

Antifreeze – Also known as coolant, this liquid will be green, orange or pink. The liquid smells sweet and is quite sticky, and it is one of the most common car leaks.

Brake Fluid – This is an oily liquid, and its color can range from brown to yellow. In the majority of modern cars, brake fluid leaks are very unusual.

Engine Oil – Determined by the age of the oil, the spots underneath your car’s engine will range from light brown to dark yellow. The odor will be similar to burnt rubber.

Gasoline – If you’re standing outside your car and it smells like a gas station, it is likely to be leaking gasoline. If you find a puddle close to the rear, it may be a sign of a defective fuel tank. If the puddle is close to the front of the car, it may indicate a faulty fuel pump.

Power Steering Fluid – Appearing reddish, power steering fluid leaks will have an effect on the handling of your vehicle. For example, sharp turns may be harder to execute.

Transmission Fluid – Similar to power steering fluid, transmission fluid will be reddish in color. Transmission leaks are commonly found beneath the front or mid section of a car.

Water – A steady water leak underneath a vehicle will come from the climate control system.

How serious a fluid leak is will depend on the type of fluid that is leaking. Being able to identify the fluid will let you know if the car needs repair immediately or if servicing can wait.

Part 2 will discuss Typical Indicators and Possible Dangers.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

auto repair,Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

How Winter Can Hurt Your Car Five Ways

Certified mechanics often say that very cold weather can damage vehicles. Below discusses how winter can hurt your car in four different ways.

Battery Dies

During the dead of winter it is a common occurrence when vehicles have to be towed to a service facility. Very low temperatures force the battery to spend more effort to start the car due to its capacity becoming decreased in subzero conditions.

Car owners who have batteries between three to four years old should purchase a new one. They can also request a capacity check from a service technician to make sure the battery will work when it is very cold.

Leaks

Condensation collects on a car’s plastic and metal parts when going from warm to cold temperatures in winter. When this condensation becomes water, it will turn to ice when the temperature is at freezing or below. When ice forms in the braking, engine transmission, and power steering systems, leaks can result because fluids cannot flow freely. Experts recommend fluid flush services.

Road Salt

Road salt can attach to a vehicle’s metal parts. If allowed to stay, the parts will suffer corrosion. This is mostly true on the brakes, undercarriage, and wheel wells.
Experienced service technicians recommend frequent car washes during wintertime to get rid of salt. This should be done a minimum of once a month for the car’s undercarriage.

Tire Pressure Fluctuation

When there are very cold temperatures, the pressure of your tires can fluctuate widely. It will drop when the car is at a stop and then rise when the car is in motion. As a result, the tire pressure warning light will be often activated during wintertime. Incorrect tire pressure for an extended period will result in uneven wear and shorter service life.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

Auto Repair,Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Protect Your Brakes During Winter for Safety

Although salt is great for dissipating and eventually melting ice off of road surfaces, it is often harmful to your car. Salt is extremely corrosive and can do damage to chief components like the braking system, which is the most important safety feature. This article will discuss the ways that can help make sure your car’s brakes are properly functioning during winter while you are driving on snow-covered and icy surfaces.

Monitoring the Braking System

For the colder months, monitoring the braking system of your car involves regularly inspecting brakes for indications of harmful wear or damage. When you are travelling over roads covered with ice and snow, grime, dirt, debris, and rocks can accumulate quickly beneath your vehicle. If allowed to remain, this buildup can have a harmful effect on the key components of your car’s braking system as listed below:

• Calipers
• Hoses
• Lines
• Pads
• Rotors
• Shoes

Make sure to have a certified technician perform regular inspections of these items to catch problems early and prevent more expensive repairs.

Brake Fluid Leaks

Another important aspect of the braking system to keep an eye on is the brake fluid level. When there is enough corrosion on brake lines, they may leak and result in brake failure. When you spot leaks or if it feels different when you step on the brake pedal, have your car inspected right away.

Emergency Brake

Another component that can be affected by winter debris buildup is the emergency brake. Debris and salt can accumulate and result in the brake getting stuck and failing. If this occurs, repair it immediately to remain safe.

Undercarriage Wash

If you have been driving on salted roads, you can minimize the corrosive effects by getting a car wash that rinses off the undercarriage, the wheel wells, along with your car. This will help prevent problems in the braking systems and help keep rust away.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991.

We have a modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology. Our large, clean, and comfortable customer waiting area offers free Wi-Fi.

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. Our courteous and professional staff will be very happy to see you.

regular maintenance,Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Brakes in Winter

When winter brings sleet, snow, ice, and cold rain, dangerous conditions result on the road. These hazards cause more problems and accidents for drivers. This is why a car’s most important safety feature – the braking system – must be well maintained during the colder months. This involves checking brake pads, discs, and fluid levels.

Brake System Overview

We usually don’t think much about our brakes, but lack of maintenance can have terrible results and repair expenses. Stepping on the brake pedal activates a piston that compresses brake fluid, forcing a second piston to cause the brake pads to press against the brake disc, which will eventually bring a vehicle to a stop.

Making sure the brake fluid reservoir is filled to a proper level is crucial for effective braking. Leaking will decrease braking system pressure and reduce effectiveness, making braking harder. If brake fluid leakage becomes substantial enough, it will eventually cause failure.

Friction causes brake pads to wear down every time they make contact with the brake disc. This is why they require regular inspection and replacement at recommended manufacturer intervals to remain functional. When worn pads are not properly replaced, costly damages can result to other brake system components, such as discs, pistons, and seals. Dangerous brake failure may also result.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Getting a brake inspection is relatively simple, and the procedure is included in every vehicle manufacturer’s service schedule. Timely maintenance will find issues earlier and help prevent bigger problems down the road that can be very costly. To be sure your car’s brakes are in great shape, it is essential to have certified technicians perform regular braking system checks and services.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991 and currently offers the following benefits:

  • Service specials
  • Courteous, professional staff
  • Large, clean and comfortable waiting area with free Wi-Fi
  • Convenient location in the heart of Annapolis
  • 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on most parts and labor 
  • Modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology
  • Prompt, reliable services and quality repairs
  • Accurate diagnostics for modern vehicle systems

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

car maintenance, Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Caring for Your Car During Winter

If you keep the following car care advice in mind when the temperature drops, your winter driving will be safer and more reliable. Your vehicle will also stay in better condition.

Battery Maintenance

The effectiveness of car batteries can be severely affected by very cold temperatures. At 0 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery has only 50% of the cranking power when it is 80 degrees outside. Have a certified technician check your battery, including its fluid level. If your battery is older than five years, get a high-quality replacement as soon as possible.

Clean Windshield

A driver unable to see out the windows is a road hazard. Clear ice off the windshield by using an ice scraper, not the wiper blades. Car owners parking outside should raise their wipers if there will be snow/ice overnight. This prevents having the wipers frozen onto the windshield. Make sure the windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled with a winter blend solution containing antifreeze. Check that the heater is functioning properly for defrosting. Do the same for your air conditioning, which prevents fogging and dehumidifies the air inside.

Headlights

Along the same lines as above in terms of promoting driver visibility and safety, have a technician check your headlights and their lenses. In addition to properly functioning, they should be clean and properly aligned. The nights are longer during winter, so you will need your headlights to show the way.

Oil Check

Oil will thicken during cold weather, which will make it harder to crank the engine. Check your owner’s manual for specifics; most cars typically need multi-viscosity oil designated as a “W” on the viscosity index, indicating its formulation for winter use. In general, these will be 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30. These types of oil flow well at lower temperatures, and they can be used for all seasons.

Wiper Blade Replacement

Most car owners do not replace their wiper blades often enough because they are not aware that even some of the best brands become less effective after six months. If you see streaking or missed parts on your windshield, either is a clear indicator that they need to be replaced.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

Car repair, Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

4 Signs of a Cracked Cylinder Head

A car’s internal combustion engine contains multiple cylinders. On top of each of them are cylinder heads. Pistons close the cylinder heads to allow the air/fuel mixture to undergo compression in the combustion chamber.

Like any component that is used frequently, cylinder heads have a limited service life, often needing service or replacement faster than other car parts. Their lightweight design makes them vulnerable to wear and tear as mileage accumulates. After five years, cracks will typically begin to form on cylinder heads. Heads manufactured from aluminum are more likely to crack around this period.

An inspection by a qualified technician is usually needed to find cracking in the cylinder heads, otherwise they may not be noticeable. Fortunately, there are four signs of cracked cylinder heads that a car owner can utilize as listed below. If you notice any one of these symptoms, visit an experienced and certified independent automotive service facility for superior value and personalized service.

1) Coolant & Oil Leaks

A seriously cracked cylinder head will leak both coolant and oil. Lack of coolant will lead to overheating. Lack of oil can harm the engine. Your dashboard may warn you of either issue, so it’s wise to stop driving your vehicle and get an inspection immediately.

2) Engine Misfiring

When there is a severely cracked cylinder head, the air/fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber will be inadequate and the engine will not be able to function properly.

3) Smoke and Fumes

This does not happen often, but large cylinder head cracks will let exhaust gases escape from the engine. This is a certain indication that your car will need a new cylinder head immediately.

4) Weak Performance

The very first sign that may indicate a cracked cylinder head is weaker engine performance. A cracked cylinder head will allow the compressed air/fuel mixture to leak from the combustion chamber. This will cause the engine to run slower or hesitate.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import Services has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991.

We have a modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology. Our large, clean, and comfortable customer waiting area offers free Wi-Fi.

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. Our courteous and professional staff will be very happy to see you.

Head Gasket, Chesapeake Import Services, Car Problems
Written by Stu Kushner

Typical Issues Caused by Head Gasket Failure

When a head gasket fails, it is a serious problem that will require servicing as soon as possible. There are several reasons which lead to failure, including oil leak, coolant leak, and compression loss. All will result in engine damage if not addressed promptly. The following lists five typical issues caused by a head gasket failure.

1) Contaminated Oil

Whitish sludge on the bottom of the dipstick or oil filler cap is a well-known clue there is a gasket failure. Even though it is not a 100% sure indicator, you should have your engine inspected right away. When oil and coolant get mixed together, the contaminated oil will eventually damage the bearings of the engine.

2) Coolant or Oil Leak

When there is a head gasket failure between the oilway or water way and the engine’s exterior, it will lead to a coolant or oil leak.

3) Overheating

The most common reason a head gasket fails is an overheating engine. Conversely a blown head gasket will also result in engine overheating. When this happens, exhaust gases of high temperatures can leak inside the cooling system. Leaking coolant can also enter the cylinders, producing steam. Either will cause the engine to overheat, which can warp the alloy cylinder head or harm the catalytic converter. Both are very expensive repair jobs.

4) Power Loss

There are instances when a head gasket failure leads to the leaking of compressed air/fuel, decreasing cylinder compression. This will causes the engine to run rough, and you will notice a significant power loss.

5) Smoke and Fumes

Bluish smoke and fumes expelled by the exhaust pipe is an indicator that oil has leaked, bypassing the gasket and entering the cylinders. The leaked oil is burned during the combustion process, producing the smoke and fumes. This failure will also result in exhaust gases going into oilways, pressurizing the crankcase and causing unusual engine wear and tear.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991.

We have a modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology. Our large, clean, and comfortable customer waiting area offers free Wi-Fi.

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. Our courteous and professional staff will be very happy to see you.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Knowing When Your Car Needs a Wheel Alignment

When you first took delivery of your car from the dealership, its wheels were preset by the manufacturer at specific angles that gave them and your tires a proper alignment. Every car maker wants to make sure their cars are driven correctly, and that’s why they are sold with a precise wheel alignment.

Rough and bumpy roads are the toughest opponent your wheels will face. Bottoming out in a pot hole or jamming into a curb can throw a wheel alignment off. An inspection every 6,000 miles will save money in the long run.

Benefits

Proper wheel alignment ensures optimum drivability. Your tires will be pointed in the right direction, and driving will be smoother. In addition, your tires will have significantly longer service life. Delaying replacement keeps cash in your wallet. When the wheels are aligned, a vehicle will require less fuel to run, saving money.

Effects of Misalignment

Misalignments can result in tires wearing unevenly, bad handling, and decreased tire life. Being forced to replace tires thousands of miles sooner than necessary is a waste of money. When wheels are properly aligned, every tire should wear evenly across its tread. If you spot the rear inside tires wearing excessively, your trunk may be overloaded or your car needs an alignment. When tires are wearing unevenly, it takes more energy for a vehicle to travel, decreasing fuel economy and more costly fill ups.

Warning Signs

Unfortunately, there are no warning lights on your dashboard that indicate there is an alignment problem. However, there are warning signs that may be indicators of a misalignment. You can use your senses, what you see, hear, and feel, when you are driving your car. Below are several typical warning signs that your vehicle’s wheels are misaligned.

  • Car pulling to the right or left while driving
  • Fast and/or uneven tire wear
  • Steering wheel is turned to the right or left while driving straight
  • Tires squealing as you travel

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991.

We have a modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology. Our large, clean, and comfortable customer waiting area offers free Wi-Fi. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. Our courteous and professional staff will be very happy to see you.

car mechanic, Repair. maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

How Traction Control Makes Your Car Safer

Since 2012 the federal government has required that all cars have the traction control (TC) safety feature. Sensor-driven, this control system is capable of detecting how fast every wheel of a car is moving. TC helps drivers maintain control and stability of the vehicle during bad weather or instances when it has to stop suddenly.

Basics

Traction control is computerized management of the speed of every wheel through electronic sensors, providing information to the Power Control Module (PCM). If a wheel is moving faster than the others, TC directs the braking system to act and the wheel’s brake will decrease that wheel’s speed. It can also reduce engine power to the wheels. This lets power transferred from a wheel or wheels that are slipping to those which are not, resulting in maintaining or regaining control and stability.

Hydroplaning and Handling

Traction control technology has many advancements which increase driving safety. Hydroplaning presents a serious danger when road are covered with heavy rain or snow. TC decreases this hazard because of its ability to manage each wheel as it moves. The likelihood that a vehicle will begin sliding sideways from hydroplaning is significantly decreased.

The effects from wheels slipping during acceleration are also minimized by traction control. For many drivers, maintaining traction while cornering can be a challenge on slippery roads when they take a turn too fast. In these instances, TC will help maintain or regain traction and stability.

Traction Control Costs

Safety features aren’t free as traction control does make a vehicle more expensive to purchase and maintain. However, costs can be mitigated somewhat by lower insurance rates. When a TC system needs to be repaired, the expense can be quite significant. Some car buyers opt for an anti-lock brake system instead to save money.

Troubleshooting

A warning light will activate when the traction control becomes faulty. Issues may arise from the traction control’s sensors and electrical system. Although the owner can continue driving, it would be wiser to bring the car to a reputable service center and get diagnostics performed by a professional technician as soon as possible.

For Great Service Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

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