Maintance, Headlight Repair, Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

Headlight Replacement for Your European Car

Car headlights are certainly required for safety. Absolutely crucial for driving at night, during storms, and any time when visibility is severely limited by conditions like fog. They allow drivers to see what is ahead of them on the road, so they can properly maneuver or stop when needed.

You may not be aware that headlights undergo wear and tear besides the occasional burnt-out bulb. As a car’s mileage accumulates, its headlights will gradually be covered by a grimy build up from the elements, dirt, dust, bugs, and pollutants. Your European car won’t be immune from this condition, and it may be time to replace its headlights.

Maintenance and Replacement Tips

When you fill up at a gas station, you should also clean your headlights while you are cleaning your windshields and windows. The removal of oil, dirt, and dead insects will have a significant impact on the service lives of your headlights.

For the replacement of both bulbs and headlights, it is a good idea to have a certified technician change them in pairs. Simultaneously doing both of them helps ensure you get even and consistent illumination. In addition, you should upgrade from yellowy halogen bulbs to high-performance white bulbs for better night visibility.

It is not necessary to wait until bulbs are burned out before they are replaced. As with every headlight, its bulbs gradually dim as time passes. It is far safer to have them replaced, anticipating the end of their service lives, than to wait until they die. Driving with only one headlight at night or during bad weather compromises safety 

When you take your car to a trusted service facility for regularly scheduled maintenance, ask the mechanic to check your headlights as part of the service. The technician will perform an inspection, ensuring they are functioning properly and are properly aligned. You may have noticed that one light was pointing higher than the other when you drove into your garage at night.

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 Repair , Help, maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Brakes Inspected for Winter Driving

For us who live in the Mid-Atlantic near the Atlantic Ocean or the Chesapeake Bay, winter can bring a wild mix of rain, snow, sleet, and ice. To drive safely during this season, your car’s brakes have to be in excellent shape. Rain that fell when the temperature was above freezing can turn into black ice after sunset when it gets much colder. An unexpected cold spell can turn the anticipated big rain storm into a blizzard that will force you to drive on snow-covered roads during your morning or evening commute.

Get Winter Ready

There are several steps you should take to ensure your car is ready for winter. Your list should include checking the oil and wiper fluid of your vehicle. However, pay particular attention to the most important safety system of your car – its brakes. When the streets are slippery with ice and snow, you need to ensure your vehicle can be relied on for stopping whenever required.

Become Aware

Many car owners don’t know how to spot the warning sings of faulty or failing brakes. Below are three indicators that your brake system has issues and you should have them inspected right away.

Squealing – When your brakes are squealing regularly, it is a solid sign that your vehicle’s brake pads are worn down. They need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Feels Odd – When you step on the brake pedal, it feels really odd. The brakes feel “thicker” every time you try to stop. Another clear sign that your brakes are not performing satisfactorily is if it takes much longer to come to stop.  

Steering Pull – When brake pads are wearing down on one side at a different rate than the other, it may lead to steering pull. This creates a safety hazard as it decreases your control over the vehicle.

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 Annapolis Repair Maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Top 5 Indicators of Car Electrical Problems – Part 1

 Car Mechanic Annapolis Repair Maintenance A car’s electrical system features components that control many aspects of a car. Fixing problems involving electronics can be a challenge for weekend mechanics. Servicing complex vehicle systems controlled by computers should be left to certified technicians.

The following discusses the top five indicators of car electrical problems. Take your car to an independent automotive service facility for better value and more personalized service.

1) Battery Getting Old

The heart of a car’s electrical system is the battery which stores electrical energy for the times it is required. The typical lifespan of a battery runs just five years. If you live in a region with hot summers, experts recommend replacing a car battery every four years. This maintenance is a preventative measure so you won’t be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

A defective battery cell or a faulty alternator can keep a car battery from remaining fully charged. This will cut the lifespan of a battery, which is a good reason for getting a thorough and regular electrical system checkup for your vehicle.

2) Hard Starting

If you have trouble starting the car, it may not be because of the usual suspects, such as a faulty battery, starter, or engine issues. The cause may be related to an electrical component that is draining the battery and keeping the starter from cranking the engine.

Typically, the check engine light will be activated, indicating the car will not start. The clicking sound upon turning the key often indicates the starter is not receiving an adequate flow of electricity. The root cause is typically a faulty or drained battery.

A grinding noise when the engine is being cranked usually means a defective starter or flywheel ring gear. Cars with more years and miles under its belt are more likely to have problems due to faulty rotating electrical parts.

Fuel injection delivery issues while cranking the engine may also result in starting difficulties. Scheduling regular cleaning of the fuel injection parts and the throttle body helps prevent this problem.

Part 2 will discuss three more top indicators of car electrical problems.

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 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.

car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Implementing a Fleet Preventive Maintenance Program – Part 2

car repair services, Annapolis MDAs discussed in Part 1, a preventive maintenance program (PMP) should be implemented by every organization that has a fleet of vehicles. It is essential for the upkeep of every vehicle serving an organization. Part 2 will discuss Preventive Maintenance Methods and Implementing an Effective PMP.

Preventive Maintenance Methods

There are two methods for the performance of vehicle maintenance and repairs:

  1. Proactive
  2. Reactive

Made up of preventive maintenance tasks, repairs, and driver inspections, scheduled vehicle service is proactive. In contrast, unscheduled breakdown maintenance due to neglected preventive services is reactive. It is also much costlier, and the goal should be minimizing its occurrence.

Implementing an Effective Preventive Maintenance Program

To implement an effective PMP, the program should have the following features:

  • Preventive maintenance services and safety item checklists
  • Preventive maintenance interval of each required service
  • Driver documentation of inspections and vehicle issues
  • Automotive service facility staffed by in-house or outsourced professional automotive technicians
  • Computerized scheduling and recordkeeping of maintenance and repairs
  • Driver training regarding proper vehicle inspection and reporting

The items listed below should be included when routine preventive maintenance services are performed:

  • Engine oil change
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Transmission fluid
  • Fuel system
  • Cooling system
  • Engine and transmission mounts
  • Drive shafts and CV joints
  • Belts and hoses
  • Tune-ups
  • Electrical system
  • Braking system
  • Steering and suspension
  • Wheels, rims, and tires
  • Exhaust system
  • Body, frame and undercarriage
  • Exterior and interior lights
  • Windshields, windows, and mirrors
  • Windshield wipers
  • Seats and seatbelts
  • Fluid leaks
  • Auxiliary systems

Conclusion

In-house certified automotive technicians or a local certified automotive service center skilled in performing preventive maintenance for fleet vehicles can oversee the PMP of an organization. Outsourcing may be a good option for companies that may not have the space for their own service facility or prefer to have a smaller staff of employees.

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.

Auto Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Keeping Your Vehicle in Good Shape During Winter

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsWe are now entering the last part of winter, and our cars have been taking a beating from snow, ice, and sleet the last couple of months. The following are five tips for keeping our vehicles in good shape for the rest of the season.

Battery

Car batteries can be severely affected by temperatures that hover around or are below freezing. The frigid air decreases cranking power. For example, a battery at 0° Fahrenheit possesses approximately only 50% of the cranking power when it is 80° Fahrenheit. Bring your battery to a service facility and have it tested. The technician will know if it needs charging or a replacement. This may save you from being stranded during a blizzard because your battery is dead or dying.

Headlights

The days are shorter and nights longer during winter, and so it is crucial that your headlights are working properly. You may notice that they are out of alignment by not pointing directly ahead. Have a certified mechanic take a look and check if they need to be adjusted. This will help keep you and other drivers safe in the dark.

Heater & Air Conditioner

Heaters also play an important role in good visibility by providing warm air that will defrost a car’s windshield. For the prevention of fogging, turn on the air conditioner at a comfortable temperature so it will dehumidify the air in the vehicle’s interior.

Oil

Cold temperatures can cause your engine oil to thicken, and this will make it more of a challenge to start your car. Talk to a certified mechanic about whether or not you have the right oil for winter. For the colder months, multi-viscosity oil rated “W” on the viscosity index may be right for your car. Depending on their model, car manufacturers recommend 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30, which function well at low temperatures.

Wiper Blades

Effective wiper blades mean good visibility, which promotes driving safety that can be especially critical during winter. Even high-quality wiper blades begin losing their resiliency within half a year. They deteriorate even more rapidly if they have to deal with winter weather, along with salt from the road. If your wiper blades are streaking or missing areas of the windshield, it is time for replacement.

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, Auto Repair
Written by Jessica Golden

Cold Weather Effects on Car’s Cooling System

Auto Alignments, Auto RepairWinter weather can place more stress on your vehicle. Traveling on ice and snow will make your tires work harder. When tires have to find traction on ice or push through snow, a car’s suspension undergoes greater stress. Another effect of winter is forcing the vehicle engine to put out increasingly greater effort as temperatures drop.

Surprisingly, the greatest amount of damage may occur in a car’s cooling system during winter. An improperly maintained cooling system is capable of being the source of many issues during the colder months. The following will discuss cold weather’s negative effects on a car’s radiator. Talk to a trusted local independent service facility about a cooling system inspection for greater value and personalized service. 

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Brakes, Car Maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Servicing Your Vehicle’s ABS Brakes

Brakes, Car MaintenanceStandard on vehicles for more than three decades, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) give drivers more power for stopping, especially on roads with bad traction. The brake system is the most important safety feature of every car, and it should be serviced regularly as the manufacturer recommends. The following discusses ABS brakes and servicing. Stop by a reputable and local independent automotive service facility for better value and personalized service.

ABS Overview

When sudden hard braking occurs, a car’s ABS brakes prevent its wheels from locking up, which would result in loss of control. ABS brakes give drivers the ability to stop their vehicles in the shortest distance while maintaining control. ABS oversees each wheel’s speed and ensures all are running at the same speed by adjusting the brake pressure of each wheel. When there is a sudden stop, a driver can feel the brake pedal pulsating.

General Maintenance

ABS uses the car’s computer, hydraulic and electrical systems to perform. Maintaining proper fluid levels and ensuring gaskets and seals are in good condition is also important. In addition, the system voltage and processors should be tested regularly to determine whether or not there are any faulty components. To make sure the ABS is properly functioning, the car manufacturer’s recommended inspection and maintenance schedule should be followed.

Sensor Servicing

A critical ABS component, the sensor of each wheel that monitors its speed, should be cleaned as the manufacturer recommends. When coated by road grime, dirt, or oil, a sensor may not function properly, decreasing ABS performance.

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

  • Service specials for both new and returning customers.
  • Courteous, professional management and staff.
  • Large, clean and comfortable waiting area.
  • Free Wi-Fi.
  • Convenient location in the heart of Annapolis.
  • 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on parts and labor (some exclusions apply).
  • Modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology and equipment.
  • Prompt, reliable services and quality repairs.
  • Professional and 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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