Auto Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Alignment Settings for Classic Car’s Front Suspension – Part 2

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsAs discussed in Part 1, front end alignments should be routine for your car, but many of us aren’t aware how their settings affect handling. Part 2 will cover the Camber and Toe settings for classic cars. Bring your vintage vehicle to a reputable independent auto service facility, where you will get better value and more personalized service.

Camber

This is the angle of wheels as seen from the front. A negative camber is an inward angle or lean of the top of the wheel. Positive camber is an outward angle or lean. A negative camber is typically preferred because it will provide counteracting forces to the suspension’s tendency to lift the contact patch off the ground as the car corners in a turn.

This setting’s most significant effect is on a vehicle’s ability to maintain front end traction as it corners. Another major effect it has is on the uneven wear of tires. This is due to the inner edges of both front tires bearing larger loads than the outer edges, causing greater wear in that area over time.

Factory settings are typically zero to positive camber to retain understeer. This will give the front end the tendency to wash out or push. Automotive manufacturer’s lawyers prefer this setting because it reduces the likelihood of new drivers spinning out the rear end with an aggressive turn. The overall effects are reduced traction and a vehicle that turns slower.

Toe

The toe setting is the angle of the front wheel when seen from above. The front tires can either point inward or outward, and this setting is influenced by a vehicle’s ride height. An automobile travelling fast can undergo significant changes in its toe settings as the front suspension is affected by the forces of aerodynamics. The majority of vehicles have a toe in setting.

Settings

Discuss your driving preferences with a technician to help determine the proper settings for the camber, caster, and toe of your car’s front suspension. These factory standards can be gradually fine tuned to attain what is optimum for your vehicle.

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.

front wheel alignment,classic cars, service, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Alignment Settings for Classic Car’s Front Suspension – Part 1

front wheel alignment,classic cars, service, AnnapolisGetting a front end alignment should be routine for your car, but many of us don’t know how it affects handling. The factory specifications for an alignment are made as a compromise between tire wear and improved handling.

For example, a camber’s setting can seem to improve handling, but it will result in greater than normal tire wear. The decision regarding alignment settings then comes down to what type of driving is being done with your car.

The following will discuss the standard alignment settings for the front suspension of a typical classic car and their effects and benefits. Take care of your vintage vehicle at a reputable independent auto service facility, where you will get better value and more personalized service.

Caster

A caster allows shopping cart wheels to run straight. The steering pivot is located in front of where the wheel touches the surface and aligned toward the direction of travel. Forcing the wheel to invariably track straight, the cart travels forward or backward without swerving. This is the identical principle applied to the front end of the majority of rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Depending on the vehicle, factory settings place the angle near zero for the front wheels. This setting was effective when thin balloon tires were used decades ago. Nowadays, the contact patch or the foot print of a tire where it makes contact with the pavement is of significantly greater size.

A caster with a setting at or close to zero will result in a wandering vehicle with modern tires. The steering will also refuse to return to center after a turn. This condition is caused by the much larger contact patch, and there is also no opposing force providing the casters that force the wheels to run straight like those of a shopping cart.

The solution is having a positive caster. This is obtained by tipping the steering pivot angle toward the rear of the vehicle. As a result, the wheel has a force placed before the contact patch, keeping it aligned toward the direction of travel.

Part 2 will cover the Camber and Toe settings for classic cars.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted 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, car maintenance,Engine Repair
Written by Jessica Golden

How to Recognize Eight Symptoms of Engine Damage – Part 2

car repair, car maintenance,Engine Repair As discussed in Part 1, cars get their power required to function properly from their heart, the engine.  Damage to the engine will have a major effect on vehicle performance.  Part 2 will cover four more symptoms of engine damage that should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

5) Oil Patches

Oil patches beneath the vehicle are usually from an engine leak. When oil is depleted, there will be greater friction within the engine, generating excess heat and causing damage over time. The most typical oil leaks occur due to faulty engine oil seals, sump plugs, and sump plug washers.

6) Rough Engine

A rough-running engine will vibrate, stutter, or lose power as revolutions increase. Typical repairs to fix this problem are replacing the spark plugs and ignition coils, checking fuel pressure, cleaning the air flow meter, and getting a tune-up.

7) Smoke From Exhaust

The causes of smoke coming from the exhaust can be often determined by its color.

Black smoke indicates that an engine’s fuel combustion is incomplete, resulting in burning excessive fuel due to the problems below:

  • Clogged fuel return line
  • Damaged fuel injectors
  • Dirty or damaged air filter
  • Faulty sensors
  • Mechanical damage inside engine

Gray smoke can be a symptom of several issues, and it is more of a challenge to diagnose. The probable causes include:

  • Greater than normal oil consumption
  • Stuck PCV valve
  • Transmission fluid problems

Dark blue smoke indicates that an engine is burning oil because it is leaking into the combustion chamber. The reasons are listed below:

  • Damaged valve seals
  • Damaged or worn engine components
  • Worn out piston rings

8) Strange Odors

Emissions should never be smelled by passengers within the vehicle. The smell of exhaust, engine fumes, and strange odors could be symptoms of engine damage.

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.

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, Annapolis
Written by Stu Kushner

How to Recognize Eight Symptoms of Engine Damage – Part 1

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisYour car gets the power required to function properly from its heart, the engine.  If there is damage to the engine, it will have a major effect on the performance of your vehicle. Here are eight symptoms of engine damage that if spotted early, will help save both time and repair costs. Bring your car to a reputable repair facility for more personalized service and greater value.

1) Check Engine Light

Using data from its On-Board Diagnostics system, a vehicle can warn you through dashboard warning lights about important problems. When the Check Engine Light activates, do not ignore it because the issue may cause greater damage to the engine and other components if not addressed. The typical causes for the activation of a check engine light involve the following:

  • Damaged catalytic converter requiring replacement
  • Loose fuel cap
  • Mass-airflow sensor needs to be replaced
  • Oxygen sensor requires replacement
  • Various electronic sensor and actuator related problems
  • Worn or faulty spark plugs, resulting in misfiring engine

2) Loss of Engine Power

Engines will struggle to run at their usual level if there is an internal problem. Your vehicle may stall, shake at high speeds or struggle with hills. If your engine isn’t working as well as it used to, get it checked by a mechanic.

3) More Fuel Consumption

Oftentimes greater fuel consumption is associated with a problem in the way your car’s engine processes fuel. If your car is using more fuel than normal, along with having an activated check engine light and other symptoms of engine damage, the problem can be critical and should be immediately checked by a technician.

4) Odd Noises

Engine knocks are a symptom of a degrading engine. They result from damage caused by wear and tear to an engine’s mechanical parts. This includes moving parts like bearings and pistons. Additional odd noises to beware of are spitting, popping, and backfiring from the tail pipe.

Part 2 will cover four more symptoms of engine damage.

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.

Front-End Alignments,Car Repair Help
Written by Jessica Golden

How Tire Balancing is Different from Wheel Alignment

Front-End Alignments,Car Repair HelpTires and steering are essential for the functioning of a car, and it’s important to know the difference between wheel balancing and wheel alignment. The following discusses the differences between the two. Bring your vehicle to a reputable independent automotive services facility for better value and personalized service.

Tire Balancing

Tire balancing should be done whenever tires are rotated or every six months. As the miles pass, wheels gradually lose their balance. Rough roads can cause uneven balances and the redistribution of weights on a tire. Typically, this is noticed when tires are wearing unevenly. If you feel the wheels vibrate, it is an indication that the wheels require balancing.

Wheel Alignment

Also known as a tire alignment or front end alignment, adjustments are performed when there are signs that the steering has gone off. One indicator is when driving straight, the steering wheel must be turned slightly to the right or left. Another indicator is having the wheels pull to the left or right when you are trying to drive straight ahead.

Wheel alignments are adjustments to the angles of the tires. This includes working on the camber, caster, and toe; these are the ways wheel orientations are measured. Generally, the recommended service interval for wheel alignments is every 10,000 miles.

Last Thoughts

Deciding whether to have a tire balancing or wheel alignment will be made easier by knowing the signs as described above. People often confuse them because they both affect steering, so talk to a certified mechanic to confirm what your vehicle needs to set things straight.

Tire balancing is related directly to the tires being unbalanced, while a wheel alignment determines what steering components require adjustment. Both play crucial roles in making sure your vehicle can be steered properly and safely.

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.

Auto Repair ,Tune-up ,Auto Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Engine Valve Failure and Prevention for Your Import

Auto Repair ,Tune-up ,Auto AlignmentsThe cylinder head of your car contains valves that are an essential feature of your engine. They experience extreme stress, opening and closing a maximum of 2,500 times a minute when functioning normally. If one or more have damage, your car may experience loss of power, greater fuel use, and total engine failure. Valve failures are most commonly caused by bent or broken valves and burnt valves.

Bent or Broken Valves

When valves come in contact with pistons, they can become bent or broken. Valves touching the top of pistons occur from improper engine synchronization caused by a broken timing chain/belt or poorly fitted chains or belts. Do not try starting an engine if you suspect either case because more costly damage may result to the pistons, cylinder head, and cylinder bores.

Burnt Valves

Burnt valves result from combustion gases leaking between the valve and valve seat when they are not sealing properly. As a result, very hot combustion gases gradually burn off the valve’s edges, worsening if not repaired. This condition typically only harms the exhaust valves. However, intake valves can also be damaged.

Burnt valves will worsen fuel consumption and vehicle performance. Symptoms such as rough idling, loss of power, misfiring, and backfiring indicate valve burn. It would be wise to have your car inspected by a certified mechanic when you notice these signs because continued engine operation with burnt valve(s) will result in more damage and costlier repairs.

Irregular combustion from poor air/fuel mixture will generate carbon residues that will be deposited around the seat region, compromising the seal between the valve and its seat and resulting in valve burn. Regularly scheduled engine tune-ups and servicing can help prevent this problem. Using only good quality fuel will help minimize carbon build up around the valve seals.

The partial blocking of cylinder head cooling channels can result in insufficient cooling, resulting in burnt valves. In addition, valve clearances beyond specifications can compromise valve sealing and also result in this kind of failure. Proper maintenance that keeps the cooling system clean and running efficiently will prevent overheating.

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 Alignments,car service
Written by Jessica Golden

Tire Alignment Basics and Benefits – Part 2

Auto Alignments,car serviceAs discussed in Part 1, a tire alignment allows tires to perform properly and have longer service lives. They also improve overall performance and handling. Part 2 will discuss Alignment, Feathering, Camber Tread Wear, Heel-Toe Tread Wear, and Tire Balancing.

Alignment

A faulty tire or wheel alignment can result in tires wearing prematurely and unevenly. The following discusses several kinds of tread wear and tear caused by misalignments.

Feathering is indicated when tread is lower/smoother on one side of a tire and higher/sharper on the other. This is typically caused by improper toe alignment.

Camber Tread Wear is indicated when the outside or inside of a tire’s tread is noticeably much more worn than its center. Negative or positive camber is attributable to this kind of wear.

Heel-Toe Tread Wear is caused when one side of a tire’s tread block wears down faster than the other. When your hand goes across the tread, it will feel like saw teeth. This type of tread wear could be an indication of insufficient tire rotation or under inflation.

Tire Balancing

Differing from tire alignment, tire balancing compensates for imbalances in weight found in the wheel/tire combination. It is usually performed with a wheel alignment. The two typical kinds of imbalance that require addressing are static (single plane) and dynamic (dual plane).

A static imbalance occurs on a single plane, the vertical movement that can result in vibration. In contrast, a dynamic imbalance occurs on two planes, both vertical and lateral movements. Either imbalance will need a special balancing machine to fix the issue.

A certified mechanic will mount each tire on a rim and adjust its pressure until reaching optimal inflation. Every tire will then be put on a balancing machine’s center bore. It will spin a tire rapidly to determine the wheel/tire combination’s imbalance. This will indicate how much weight is needed to be added to the wheel in order to balance the tire.

Crucial for proper tire care, tire balancing helps prevent premature tread wear. Performing an alignment and balancing every tire every 5,000 to 6,000 miles will help lengthen their service lives and improve their overall performance.

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.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Tire Alignment Basics and Benefits – Part 1

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MDAlso described as a wheel alignment, a tire alignment allows tires to perform properly and have longer service lives. In addition to improving overall performance and handling, tire alignments prevent cars from pulling right or left or experiencing unusual vibrations while moving.

Description

A wheel alignment involves adjusting the suspension system, which connects an automobile to its wheels. What makes an alignment effective is the proper adjustment of the tires’ angles, which determine how they will contact road surfaces.

When Needed

There are several signs that will indicate whether or not your vehicle requires a tire alignment. The following lists these important signs, and car owners who find them on their vehicle should contact an automotive service facility to perform an inspection as soon as possible.

  • Car pulls to the right or left
  • Steering wheel not centered while driving straight ahead
  • Tires’ tread wear uneven
  • Vibrating steering wheel

Camber, Caster & Toe

When an inspection of a car’s tire alignment is performed, the certified mechanic is primarily checking the three items below.

Camber – When seen from the vehicle’s front, a camber is the outward or inward angle of a tire. If the outward or inward tilt is greater than normal, this indicates a positive or negative camber. Either condition indicates an improper alignment and will require adjustment. The causes for both can involve ball joints and bearings that are worn. In addition, wheel-suspension components may contribute to camber misalignment.

Caster – The caster angle assists steering, balance, cornering, and stability. It is the steering axis’ angle when seen from the vehicle’s side. A positive caster will result in the steering axis tilting toward the driver. In contrast, a negative caster will result in the steering axis tilting away from the driver.

Toe – Differing from a camber alignment, a toe alignment is the measure of how much a car’s tires turn outward or inward when seen from overhead, respectively called toe-out or toe-in alignment. Either condition will need an adjustment.

Part 2 will discuss Alignment, Feathering, Camber Tread Wear, Heel-Toe Tread Wear, and Tire Balancing.

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, maintenance, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Spark Plug 101 for Car Owners

car repair| maintenance, AnnapolisSpark plugs generate an electrical spark that crosses a small gap, allowing the ignition of the air/fuel mixture required to start a vehicle. Working in unison, spark plugs set the pistons of an engine in motion through a internal combustion process so your automobile has continuous power. They must tolerate extreme pressure and heat inside the engine’s cylinders. Their composition allows them to burn off deposits and contaminants.

Replacement

Fortunately, spark plugs do not need frequent replacement. Several years and numerous miles may pass before they must be replaced. The majority of automakers recommend replacing spark plugs about every 30,000 miles.

Keep in mind that the service life of a spark plug will depend on its type and the conditions of its use. Copper plugs last the shortest. However, high-quality spark plugs manufactured with durable and advanced materials can have service lives four times as long.

Wear and Tear

As miles pass, a spark plug will undergo a buildup of deposits. This results from the effects from the air/fuel mixture combustion. Occasionally, there is a pre-ignition of fuel, leading to an inconsistent and rough supply of energy for a vehicle.

Every time a spark plug ignites, the electricity it produces must jump across a gap to allow proper combustion at precisely the correct moment. As a spark plug gets older, this gap gradually becomes wider and wider because of extremely high temperatures and normal wear and tear. When this gap becomes too wide, the result will be ineffective and erratic combustion.

Symptoms of Spark Plugs Requiring Replacement

  • Rattling, pinging or knocking
  • Difficult starting
  • Decreased performance
  • Reduced fuel economy

New Spark Plug Benefits

  • Steady and optimal combustion
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Smooth and powerful starts
  • Decrease of harmful emissions

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 mechanic, car repair,maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Replacing Your Car’s Faulty Ignition Coil

car mechanic, car repair,maintenanceTransforming 12 volts of low voltage D.C. to 50,000 volts or higher of high voltage D.C., the ignition coil produces a spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture inside the engine that allows a vehicle to smoothly start and run properly.

In contrast, an improperly functioning ignition coil will not generate the spark that is needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture, resulting in a misfire. Worse, a faulty ignition coil can cause serious damage to an engine or catalytic converter.

If an auto has a coil over plugs, the standard recommendation is replacing the spark plugs when the ignition coil is determined to be faulty. However, if the auto has a single coil for the ignition system, replacement is not needed.

Effects of a Faulty Ignition Coil

A faulty ignition coil can damage spark plugs and ignition wires. To prevent problems, these two parts should definitely be inspected upon replacing an ignition coil. Ignition coils are frequently damaged by parts leaking hot oil upon them. This can be avoided by identifying and replacing leaking parts.

Replacement Process

  • Testing of ignition coil(s)
  • Removal and replacement of malfunctioning coil(s)
  • Inspection of electrical connectors and spark plugs

Prevention

In order to ensure a vehicle’s ignition system remains in good shape, follow the manufacturer’s regular maintenance schedule. The service technician should measure the spark plug wires’ resistance. Wires with excessive resistance can significantly shorten the service life of an ignition coil. A misfiring engine due to a malfunctioning ignition coil will activate the check engine light. In such cases, do not drive the vehicle for a prolonged period to prevent damage and expensive repairs.

Symptoms of Faulty Ignition Coil

  • Activated check engine light
  • Engine runs roughly and misfires
  • Vehicle cannot start

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.

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