Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Making the Switch to Snow Tires the Right Way

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MDUsing the right tires on your car will let you drive more efficiently and safely. If you live in a region that experiences snow, you probably have two sets of tires: All season or summer tires and winter tires. Having both sets will help ensure the safety of your passengers no matter the season.

If you own winter (or snow) tires or plan to buy a set, the following will discuss the right way to switch to snow tires for your vehicle. Also get the recommendation of a certified technician at an independent auto service facility, where you can get greater value and more personalized service.

When to Switch

An easy rule to remember is to make the switch to snow tires when temperatures are below 45 °F consistently. Keep in mind that all-season tires are designed for driving on paved surfaces in dry or rainy conditions, not wintry weather. Snow tires are quite different from all-seasons in both tread design and the materials used to manufacture them, resulting in different performance capabilities.

Vehicles that Need Snow Tires

Front wheel drive vehicles will perform better than rear wheel drive vehicles on icy or snowy roads. However, their traction won’t be adequate unless equipped with winter tires. Cars with rear-wheel drive definitely need snow tires in wintry conditions because they have the tendency to lose traction when road surfaces are slippery. The winter performance and handling of even all-wheel drive or 4×4 vehicles can be improved when they are fitted with snow tires.

Snow Tire Advantages

Snow tires provide a number of technological advantages for winter driving. They are manufactured with compounds that give them greater flexibility in cold temperatures. Their tread have sipes (tiny cuts) that provide superior traction on snow than all season tires. Some winter tires are equipped with metal studs built into the tread pattern to improve traction, acceleration, handling, and braking capability on snow or ice.

In terms of safety, winter tires reduce the probability of accidents and being stuck in deep snow. This will help you stay on the road, warm and safe in your car.

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, 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 maintenance, car repairs
Written by Jessica Golden

The Benefits of Using an Independent Auto Service Facility

car maintenance, car repairsGetting your vehicle serviced is a responsibility you will have as long as you own one. Although car manufacturers push car owners to take their cars to their dealerships for maintenance and repairs, oftentimes it is not necessary. Independent facilities can generally meet all your servicing needs. The following will discuss the benefits of using an independent auto service facility.

Less Expensive

Vehicles that are bought from dealerships have warranties. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it’s illegal for dealer to deny warranty coverage if your car had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. The costs of routine servicing at independent shops are typically considerably lower, saving you a considerable sum over the lifetime of your warranty.

Similar Expertise

A good independent auto service facility will have the same tools and knowledge offered by a dealership garage. They will generally be equipped with the identical software and have access to the same manufacturer service bulletins. Independents will also be able to provide high-quality parts. During the last decade, many independent auto service facilities have achieved a standard of quality comparable to dealerships and remain competitive in terms of feedback from online reviews.

Skilled Technicians

Just as at a dealership, skilled technicians can also be found at independent garages. As a smart consumer, make sure to choose a service facility with certified mechanics. They are required to pass an exam, and their certification must be renewed every five years. In addition, the careers of many mechanics start at dealerships. They then bring their valuable experience, knowledge, and skills to an independent facility.

Personal Attention

It is rare for vehicle owners to have significant interaction with car dealership mechanics. Instead, their only interface is with a service salesperson. In contrast, a car owner tends to build a relationship built on years of great service with the mechanics and staff members of an independent auto service facility. This loyalty typically results in discounts on parts and services.

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 shop, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Strength in Numbers

CAR FoundersIndependent auto service centers are banding together to use their combined strength to gain buying power and to help pass favorable legislation. Chesapeake Import Services was a founder of this group. The group they helped start is the Council of Automotive Repair (CAR).

Back in 2008, six Maryland shop owners created this organization: Billy Hillmuth (Hillmuth Certified Automotive with four locations in Maryland), Stephen Powell (Thoroughbred Auto Care in Laurel), Frank Eberle (Eberle Automotive in Severn), Clyde McLaughlin (Chesapeake Import Services in Annapolis), Walt Eger (Walt Eger’s Service Center in Severn), and Lewis Schnauble (Schnauble Automotive in Westminster).

  • CAR was created to give a collective voice the chance to speak on behalf of the many independent shops in the Maryland-Delaware area.
  • These seven successful shop owners knew each other through WMDA, and all were mired by typical dilemmas facing independent repair shops: rising parts and equipment prices; expensive training costs; and legislation affecting their operations.

Since WMDA heavily focused on service stations, they decided it would be beneficial to start a similar group focused on auto care.

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