Suspension,Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

Inspect Your Wheel Alignment and Suspension for Spring

Winter can make driving rough. Snow, ice, potholes, and bumps can be especially tough on a car. Your vehicle’s wheel alignment and suspension will gradually move out of position as the miles pass. Both should get a professional inspection when spring returns.

The benefits include maximizing the service lives of your tires, improved handling and braking, and better fuel economy. When wheels are misaligned or the suspension is faulty, a car’s performance will be significantly reduced.

Alignment Service

Better independent auto service facilities are equipped with a special wheel alignment machine that is designed to provide inspections in a matter of minutes. A standard evaluation will cover both a vehicle’s wheel alignment and the condition of the tires. Make an appointment when winter ends to address the issues caused by winter.

Signs of Misalignment

Every car owner should be aware of the signs of misaligned wheels. Detecting problems early helps prevent serious complications and damage that can be very expensive to fix. Below are clues that can indicate improper wheel alignment.

• Squealing tires while driving normally
• Steering wheel vibrates
• Steering wheel turns left or right while driving straight
• Uneven tire tread wear
• Vehicle pulls to one side

Suspension Inspection

A car’s suspension plays a very important role in its driving performance. A properly maintained system results in consistent handling, even brake wear, less roll and sway, and decreases the effects of driving on rough roads. Below are signs that may indicate your suspension needs to be serviced.

• Frequent Bouncing
• Lower riding height
• Nose dives when stopping
• Rougher driving
• Significant tipping when turning
• Trouble steering

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,Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

Don’t Miss These Eight Symptoms of Faulty Brakes – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, servicing your car’s brakes is a regular maintenance requirement you should not neglect. The brake system is probably the most important safety feature of a vehicle. Part 2 will discuss five more symptoms of faulty brakes.

4) High-Pitched Noises

When there is a squeaking or squealing noise as you step on the brake pedal, it is probably the brake pad wear indicator creating the sound. As they are manufactured from steel, they will make a high-pitched noise when they begin touching the rotor. This is a signal that the pads are worn down and require replacement before expensive rotor damage occurs.

5) Rough Braking

If you are experiencing rough braking, the brake caliper may not be properly releasing after it squeezes the brake pads against the brake rotors. This is probably caused by a faulty piston within the caliper unit.

6) Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal

If the brake pedal feels soft when you step on it, you should get an inspection right away. Ask a mechanic to search for a fluid leak from the master cylinder or another component of the brake system. There may also be moisture or oxygen inside the braking system.

7) Vehicle Pulling to a Side

If your vehicle is pulling to one side while braking, it could indicate that a brake hose is defective or there is a faulty caliper. If a single brake caliper is applying all or most of the pressure, this will result in throwing off the balance of your car when stopping.

8) Vibrating Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel vibrates every time you step on the brakes, it can be a sign of a uneven rotor. Brake rotors are large discs that are housed within wheels. After brakes are applied, the brake pads clamp the rotors, creating friction that slows down your car. To be effective, rotors should be smooth and uniform in thickness.

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,Chesapeake Import Services
Written by Jessica Golden

Don’t Miss These Eight Symptoms of Faulty Brakes – Part 1

Servicing your car’s brakes is a regular maintenance requirement you should not neglect. As with any component, every brake part has a maximum service life, and it will eventually have to be replaced for the entire system to properly function.

The brake system is probably the most important safety feature of a vehicle. When any of the eight symptoms discussed below become noticeable, get a certified mechanic to perform an inspection. Putting off necessary servicing can result in more expensive repairs. Your vehicle may also be unsafe to drive until the brake system issues are fixed.

Strongly consider an independent automotive service facility to take care of your cars for better value and more personalized service.

1) Activated Brake System Lights

If either the red or yellow light brake system indicator is activated in the dashboard, your car is probably due to have an inspection. There also could be a problem that needs to be addressed. However, the red light could also be on because the parking brake is engaged, and it simply needs to be released.

2) Bumpy Braking

Bumpy braking could be the result of damaged brake components because of the incorrect installation of lug nuts on a wheel. This causes a rotor to wear prematurely and unevenly.

3) Grinding Sound

Occasionally there will be a grinding sound and vibration that can be sensed on the brake pedal. This can indicate a minor issue such as gravel or rock trapped in the caliper unit. However, grinding can also indicate brake pads that have completely worn through. As a result, metal will grind metal, creating damaging and costly grooves in the brake rotor. There also can be insufficient lubrication in the rear drum brakes. The brake shoe could be scraping the backing plate because of rust.

Part 2 will discuss five more symptoms of faulty brakes.

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,Chesapeake Import
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Car Ready for Spring Driving

Your car has just gone through winter after you got it ready for the colder months. Well, warmer days are ahead, and you will need to prepare your vehicle for spring driving. The beginning of spring will require several services to ensure your car will perform properly and safely during the season. Below is a spring maintenance list that automotive experts recommend.

Change From Winter Tires

If you put on winter or snow tires on your car, it will be time to switch to tires made for warmer weather. They will have a better grip on the road when the road surfaces get hot from a sunny day or slick from spring showers.

Inspect Belts & Hoses

Winter can age a vehicle’s belts and hoses, so have them inspected. Belt wear and tear will force a vehicle to exert more effort, resulting in increased strain on the engine and decreased fuel economy. Hoses worn out by winter weather may eventually leak fluids, leaving you stranded.

Oil Change

Change the oil and filter your car used during winter by switching to oil that the manufacturer recommends for warmer weather. This will ensure your car’s engine will perform properly during the spring.

Tune-Up

Winter can be a rough on a car, so get a tune-up when spring begins. Ask a certified technician to inspect the major systems of your vehicle, which are the engine, fuel, exhaust, cooling, lubrication, electrical, transmission, and chassis.

Undercarriage Cleaning

If you drive in a region where it snows regularly and road crews use salt to melt ice, your car will probably have salt and grime buildup on the undercarriage. Leaving it there will eventually cause corrosion and damage. Make sure to get the underbody and wheel wells thoroughly cleaned by a professional when winter ends.

Wiper Blade Replacement

The ice, snow, and sleet of winter have put a lot of wear and tear on your wiper blades. It’s a good idea to replace them with new ones that will be able to handle the showers that will come during spring, so you will have the visibility needed for safe driving.

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
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.

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.

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic
Written by Jessica Golden

The ABCs of ABS Brakes

Front-End Alignments,car mechanicWhen you were a teenager learning how to drive, the instructor may have said, “Pump the brakes,” when your vehicle started skidding. If you reside in a region where you regularly get wet or icy roads, this way of braking is probably stuck in your head.

If we fast forward to the present, you may not be aware this practice of pumping brakes is no longer valid. Most every modern car now has a braking system that does the pumping for the driver. It is called the anti-lock brake system or ABS.

How ABS Works

You may have seen in real life or on TV a car sliding out of control after hitting a patch of black ice. Although all four tires are rolling on the road surface, they are not getting any traction, making braking tough or even impossible. ABS comes to the rescue by keeping the wheels from locking up and stopping the tires from losing traction.

Although the concept of ABS seems basic, the technology is a little more complicated. It depends on sensors that constantly monitor each wheel’s speed. They send the data to the controller, which is programmed to spot drastically swift decelerations, the initial signal a wheel is on the verge of locking up.

When it detects unusual deceleration, the controller activates a valve on the brake line to reduce pressure on the decelerating wheel, and it immediately accelerates. Then the controller raises pressure by using a pump, causing the wheel to decelerate again at a slower speed that matches the same rate of the car.

The mechanical process described above makes physically pumping the brakes unnecessary. ABS will do the job faster, more skillfully, and with greater accuracy.

ABS Supports Safe Driving

When the streets are slippery from a spring shower, fall sleet, or winter snow, ABS helps drivers by preventing skidding that might lead to fender benders. However, the best way to prevent accidents is simply safe driving and a brake system that gets regular and proper maintenance. Lacking these two important elements, an essential safety feature like ABS will lose much or all of its effectiveness.

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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