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 Shop,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Keep Your Car Strutting with Good Struts – Part 1

Car Repair Shop,Annapolis MDShocks and struts are automotive terms that are used interchangeably. Their tasks are somewhat the same, which is to dampen the movements of the coil springs and halt the oscillation and bouncing of a vehicle. Although they have similar jobs, shocks and struts are two totally different vehicle components. They are not interchangeable.

A car’s wheel will be equipped with either a shock or a strut, never both. However, some cars will be equipped with shocks on the rear axle and struts on the front. Shocks and struts are primarily differentiated in one way. While a strut is a structural component of a car’s suspension system, a shock is not.

A strut is also an important part of the steering system and significantly influences control, riding comfort, braking, and wheel alignment. Both caster and camber angles are typically adjusted on the strut itself. Moreover, a strut acts as a pivot point for the car’s steering system. As a result, an alignment is necessary every time a strut is replaced, which is part of the reason they cost more than shocks.

Frequency of Replacement

Typically, car manufacturers advise the replacement of struts after 50,000 miles. However, confirm the recommended service interval for the make and model of your vehicle. The suspension system should be given a thorough inspection by a certified mechanic annually. Struts should also be examined when there is a wheel alignment. In normal conditions, the strut’s gradual wear and tear will not be noticeable in terms of the deterioration of ride quality, handling, or control.

Part 2 will cover worn-out strut symptoms and cost of replacement.

Last Advice

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.

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Radiator Maintenance & Repair Basics – Part 2

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisAs discussed previously in Part 1, a car radiator that is functioning well has several important benefits, including ensuring the healthy condition of your engine over its lifetime. In addition, regular maintenance as recommended by the car manufacturer will keep a radiator in good shape. However, sometimes a radiator will need to be replaced, and this will be discussed in Part 2.

When to Replace a Radiator

Most car manufacturers will provide a maintenance schedule for the radiator, and this will typically require the replacement of coolant during a major service interval. This usually means between 30,000 to 60,000 miles, and this regular coolant replacement should prevent issues involving its delivery to the engine.

In the event there is overheating of the engine, there is likelihood there will be cracking of the radiator, which will cause serious damage if they are not repaired or replaced in time. A service facility will replace the radiator, thermostat and perform a coolant flush. They will also replace any failing hoses.

Some typical symptoms of having to replace the radiator are the low coolant level light coming on, temperature gauge fluctuations or visible coolant leaking from the engine. A coolant leak may be noticeable if a vehicle has been sitting for an extended period, especially in colder weather. You may notice a puddle of fluid underneath the car. Pay attention to the color of the fluid and check your owner’s manual to identify it. Coolant/Anti-freeze comes in many colors. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and some Hondas use blue coolant. Audi and Volkswagen use a pink/purple. Toyota and Lexus use a pink or red coolant. Universal coolants can be green or gold. If this happens, bring your automobile to a certified mechanic immediately to avoid extensive damage.

Replacement Process

A technician will examine the radiator for leaks, and will perform a pressure test for a better assessment of the cooling system. If a leak is in the radiator is identified, it will  have to be drained, removed and a new one will be installed. The system will then be serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended procedure.

After installation, the system will be pressure tested again to check for any additional leaks. Typically it is recommended that the radiator cap, thermostat and hoses also be replaced. In addition, an examination of the heating system will be performed, ensuring the proper functioning of the entire cooling system.

Last Advice

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.

brakes, Engine Repair, Car services,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

9 Basic Car Maintenance Tips

 brakes, Engine Repair, Car services,Annapolis MD

Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and using replacement products with correct specifications is the key for a car’s long life. Taking extra care of the interior and exterior of your automobile will also keep you proudly driving your vehicle for an extended length of time.

Below are 9 basic car maintenance tips that will help keep your four-wheeled pride and joy on the road for many years.

Oil Check and Change

Proper maintenance of a car’s motor oil and oil filter is the most important method of assuring long engine life. On the flip side, neglecting the above will lead to premature deterioration of an engine.

Transmission and Differential Fluids

Although service frequency is low, both will require changing at service intervals that a car manufacturer requires. It is also very important to use the specified type and viscosity.

Cooling System Flush

Performing a cooling system flush and replacing the coolant periodically is important. A 50/50 mixture of 50% coolant and 50% distilled water will properly maintain a cooling system by preventing the build-up of deposits and corrosion. Check the coolant concentration and make sure that it is sufficient for your climate.

Brake Fluid

Since brake fluid has the quality of hygroscopic, attracting moisture, it needs to be replaced at regular intervals. Braking components will corrode and fail because of a high level of moisture in the brake fluid. Replacing brake fluid is inexpensive, while replacing sensors, calipers, and hoses is not.

Exterior Maintenance

Obviously, keeping the visible exterior the vehicle clean will preserve its looks. The best way to beautify and protect a car’s paint job is by applying a fresh coat of wax twice a year.

Underside Cleaning

The underside of your car also needs to be cleaned regularly, especially during the winter when it is exposed to the effects of salt, dirt, and grime.

Interior Maintenance

Parking a vehicle in the shade or garage, as well as using a windshield visor and UV protective spray, will protect the interior’s plastic and vinyl from drying and cracking.

Lubricate Moving Parts

To assure the longevity of moving parts, they must be lubricated regularly. This includes drive line components like u-joints.

Wheel Bearings

As required by the manufacturer’s service intervals, wheel bearings should be inspected, cleaned, and repacked with grease. This procedure is cheap in contrast to replacing spindles and hubs.

Last Advice

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.

Engine Repair,Car shop,mechanics
Written by Jessica Golden

5 Big NO-NOs If You Care About Your Car’s Engine

 

Engine Repair,Car shop,mechanicsA car’s heart is its engine. Once it stops beating, your car won’t be able to move.

Like a human’s heart, a car’s engine needs expert care and regular checkups. The most expensive car part replacement is the engine. Costs can range up to $10,000 or more depending on the manufacturer. The following are 5 big NO-NOs if you care about your car’s engine.

Ignoring the Engine Light 

Damage to your engine may already be happening when the engine light turns on. It sometimes activates because the catalytic converter’s oxygen sensor need to be replaced. In any case, an engine light should not be ignored. Take your vehicle to a trusted certified mechanic immediately for diagnostics to prevent further harm.

Neglected Oil Services 

An engine cannot live without proper oil maintenance. The lifeblood of any healthy engine is oil. Neglecting oil changes by ignoring the proper intervals that your car manufacturer recommends will eventually kill your engine. And keep in mind that extended oil service intervals should not be exceeded.

Cooling System Contamination

Many mechanics recommend an engine coolant flush every 30,000 miles or three years. A likely reason your engine is overheats is a lack of coolant. Whatever you do, do not insist on continuing to drive an overheating car because doing so will certainly lead to serious damage to your engine.

Engine Flooding

Sometimes a storm will catch you by surprise, flooding the road ahead of you. Don’t drive through an area deep with water just because you are in a hurry. If water enters your intake manifold and finds its way into the combustion chamber, your engine’s pistons will bend and you’ll be stuck in the rain.

Oil Leaks

Take note of spots of oil on your driveway, especially when they are large. Major loss of oil means that your car’s engine is not getting enough lubrication. This means premature wear and tear and a failed engine in the future. Most vehicles have splash pans under the engine, so even a small drop could mean a larger leak.

Last Advice

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

Specials for both “First Time” and existing 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 happy to assist you.