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.

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 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.

Auto Repair,maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Serpentine Belt Basics for Your Vehicle

Auto Repair,maintenanceProviding power to several important vehicle components, a serpentine belt is a single lengthy winding belt attached to the air conditioning, alternator, power steering pump, and, occasionally, the water pump. Durable due to advanced rubber manufacturing technology, serpentine belts have service lives averaging 60,000 to 100,000 miles

In years past, important auto components each had their own belt that provided power. Although they were replaceable, a car’s performance suffered when just one belt was affected by wear and tear. A modern vehicle now uses one belt, a serpentine belt, and this is no longer a problem. However, regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance are still necessary to ensure a serpentine belt is functioning properly.

Manual and Self Tensioning

Some serpentine belts are tensioned manually and require adjustment. Others feature a self-tensioning mechanism, which can degrade as the mileage and years accumulate, and will eventually need replacement. Insufficient tension will lead to a belt squealing, slipping, or running abnormally hot, hurting vehicle performance. When it becomes loose enough, a serpentine belt will fall off, and the vehicle will cease functioning.

Wear and Tear Effects

As the miles pass, a serpentine belt can begin wearing, fraying, and cracking. Their rubber material can also gradually glaze, and parts will begin to detach. Older belts will also squeal and slip. Some serpentine belts will be degraded by fluid contaminants, undergo misalignment, and require replacement.

Replacement Benefits

A serpentine belt that is in poor shape or beyond its normal service life, is a breakdown waiting around the corner. As mentioned previously, it provides power to most every engine component. If it snaps, your car will stop running. It will also be more expensive to replace if it breaks. This is because the automotive components may suffer serious damage when it does. The maintenance, service, and replacement of a belt as scheduled will lessen the chances of a catastrophic breakdown.

Regular Inspection

Have your serpentine belt visually examined during an annual inspection or oil change to keep track of its condition and to determine whether or not it is properly functioning. This will help prevent the inconvenience and expense of major repairs.

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

How Wheel Alignments Help Ensure Your Vehicle’s Safety

Auto Alignments,car serviceFor a vehicle to have good handling, it must have proper wheel alignment. Fortunately, regular inspections for wheel alignment can help maximize the service lives of tires and also help ensure vehicle safety. The following discusses the reasons wheels go out of alignment and the consequences.

Reasons

Properly aligned tires allow them to have a straight rotation. This makes it easier for drivers to accurately steer their cars. When a vehicle hits a curb, goes into a pothole, drives over a bump, or hits large debris on the road, it may throw off the alignment of the wheels. Minor accidents can also cause wheels to go out of alignment.

When the wheels are misaligned, they no longer rotate in a straight line, causing a car to travel off-center and making it harder to steer. When a vehicle vibrates or veers to one side while it is driven, it may be showing symptoms of improper wheel alignment.

A driver needs to put in greater effort to steer when this happens.

Consequences

Improper wheel alignment will cause uneven tire wear. This will ultimately shorten the service lives of the tires, and you will have to spend money sooner to replace them. More importantly, the car’s handling and performance will be compromised, and it will be less safe to drive.

Improper wheel alignment also puts more stress on a car’s suspension. This may eventually result in damaged suspension components and very costly repairs.

Wheel misalignments will also make steering increasingly harder the faster you drive, raising the chances an accident will occur. When wheels are out of alignment, the tires have a tendency to pull a car to one side, and the driver must work a lot harder to steer the vehicle in the desired direction and maintain control. This condition also makes it more difficult to brake safely.

Another important effect of improper wheel alignment is tire drag. This will result in greater fuel consumption, and a car owner will have to stop more often for gas and spend more money.

Take your car to an independent automotive service facility for better value and more personalized service.

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 wheel alignment, car service,repair
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Wheels Aligned Before Summer Road Trip

front end wheel alignment, car service,repairThe most expensive cars still need regular maintenance to allow their owners to drive them safely. Eventually, a car becomes harder to drive straight, and may even drift or pull to one side. Both are symptoms of a car needing a front end or wheel alignment.

Proper alignment allows a car to remain stable and centered while it’s moving. Now that’s summer is on its glorious way, you and your family may be planning on taking a long road trip to your favorite vacation spot. Getting a front end or wheel alignment before you leave will improve the handling of your vehicle, making your trip safer.

This article will discuss several important topics regarding front end or wheel alignments. A front end alignment is for aligning the front two wheels. In contrast, a wheel alignment is for aligning all four wheels, which would be the case for 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Wheel Alignment Process

An alignment is usually a basic process that can be performed in less than an hour, unless the vehicle is damaged. A technician will inspect every tire for indications of uneven wear. If the wear has become too deep, the tire must be replaced. The proper rotation of tires is also an essential part of an alignment. The car should drive straight after the alignment has been completed.

Better Handling

Safe driving is impossible when a vehicle’s wheels are no longer properly aligned. When a car regularly drifts or pulls to the side on its own, there will be a greater risk of an accident. Do not delay getting your car serviced if you notice this behavior while you are driving.

A properly performed alignment will set your wheels at an angle of 0 degrees, letting you steer straight. The car will feel more stable even when you drive at freeway speeds. A front end or wheel alignment should be performed by a certified mechanic for your car once every year.

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 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.

Car Repair ,Help
Written by Jessica Golden

Did Winter Rough Up Your Shocks and Struts?

Car Repair ,HelpWinters can be rough on your car’s shocks and struts because winter weather affects road surfaces more than other seasons. Now that spring is here, it would be a good idea to have them checked. The rain storms of spring can make roads slippery, and your shocks and struts help ensure that you drive safely. We’ll discuss both in this article. Take you car to an independent automotive service facility for greater value and more personalized service.

Importance of Suspension System

Working almost unnoticed, a car’s suspension system is intended to bear thousands of pounds of weight. It should be no surprise that as time passes the shocks of a vehicle gradually wear down and will need to be replaced. Many car owners think that their suspension systems only make driving smoother.  Actually, their condition greatly affects overall car performance, driver handling, and driving safety.  Shocks and struts should be given regular servicing like other components of a vehicle. Two other key suspension system services are chassis lubrication and wheel alignment.

Suspension System Role and Service Life

The role of the suspension is to maintain the relationship between the car’s frame and wheels, working with the steering system that controls its direction. Functioning properly, the suspension system also absorbs the punishment that occurs when a car hits bumps and potholes, allowing the car to remain stable. Typically, shocks and struts have service lives of approximately 50,000 miles. Below are the factors that determine how long they last.

  • Driving habits
  • Road conditions
  • Type of vehicle
  • Steering and suspension system
  • Maintenance quality and frequency

Symptoms of Problems

If you experience or spot the following symptoms, take your vehicle to an automotive service facility to have a certified technician inspect its suspension system. Doing this promptly may save you money before more expensive damage occurs and will ensure your driving safety.

  • Dipping and nose diving during stopping
  • Pulling and drifting while turning
  • Rough ride even in normal conditions
  • Shock absorbers appear oily or damaged
  • Uneven tread wear of tires

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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