Car Mechanic Annapolis Repair Maintenance
Written by Stu Kushner

How to Recognize Eight Symptoms of Engine Damage – Part 1

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisYour car gets the power required to function properly from its heart, the engine.  If there is damage to the engine, it will have a major effect on the performance of your vehicle. Here are eight symptoms of engine damage that if spotted early, will help save both time and repair costs. Bring your car to a reputable repair facility for more personalized service and greater value.

1) Check Engine Light

Using data from its On-Board Diagnostics system, a vehicle can warn you through dashboard warning lights about important problems. When the Check Engine Light activates, do not ignore it because the issue may cause greater damage to the engine and other components if not addressed. The typical causes for the activation of a check engine light involve the following:

  • Damaged catalytic converter requiring replacement
  • Loose fuel cap
  • Mass-airflow sensor needs to be replaced
  • Oxygen sensor requires replacement
  • Various electronic sensor and actuator related problems
  • Worn or faulty spark plugs, resulting in misfiring engine

2) Loss of Engine Power

Engines will struggle to run at their usual level if there is an internal problem. Your vehicle may stall, shake at high speeds or struggle with hills. If your engine isn’t working as well as it used to, get it checked by a mechanic.

3) More Fuel Consumption

Oftentimes greater fuel consumption is associated with a problem in the way your car’s engine processes fuel. If your car is using more fuel than normal, along with having an activated check engine light and other symptoms of engine damage, the problem can be critical and should be immediately checked by a technician.

4) Odd Noises

Engine knocks are a symptom of a degrading engine. They result from damage caused by wear and tear to an engine’s mechanical parts. This includes moving parts like bearings and pistons. Additional odd noises to beware of are spitting, popping, and backfiring from the tail pipe.

Part 2 will cover four more symptoms of engine damage.

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, maintenance, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Spark Plug 101 for Car Owners

car repair| maintenance, AnnapolisSpark plugs generate an electrical spark that crosses a small gap, allowing the ignition of the air/fuel mixture required to start a vehicle. Working in unison, spark plugs set the pistons of an engine in motion through a internal combustion process so your automobile has continuous power. They must tolerate extreme pressure and heat inside the engine’s cylinders. Their composition allows them to burn off deposits and contaminants.

Replacement

Fortunately, spark plugs do not need frequent replacement. Several years and numerous miles may pass before they must be replaced. The majority of automakers recommend replacing spark plugs about every 30,000 miles.

Keep in mind that the service life of a spark plug will depend on its type and the conditions of its use. Copper plugs last the shortest. However, high-quality spark plugs manufactured with durable and advanced materials can have service lives four times as long.

Wear and Tear

As miles pass, a spark plug will undergo a buildup of deposits. This results from the effects from the air/fuel mixture combustion. Occasionally, there is a pre-ignition of fuel, leading to an inconsistent and rough supply of energy for a vehicle.

Every time a spark plug ignites, the electricity it produces must jump across a gap to allow proper combustion at precisely the correct moment. As a spark plug gets older, this gap gradually becomes wider and wider because of extremely high temperatures and normal wear and tear. When this gap becomes too wide, the result will be ineffective and erratic combustion.

Symptoms of Spark Plugs Requiring Replacement

  • Rattling, pinging or knocking
  • Difficult starting
  • Decreased performance
  • Reduced fuel economy

New Spark Plug Benefits

  • Steady and optimal combustion
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Smooth and powerful starts
  • Decrease of harmful emissions

For Great Service

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

  • Service specials
  • Courteous, professional staff
  • Large, clean and comfortable waiting area with free Wi-Fi
  • Convenient location in the heart of Annapolis
  • 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on most parts and labor
  • Modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology
  • Prompt, reliable services and quality repairs
  • Accurate diagnostics for modern vehicle systems

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

car mechanic, car repair,maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Replacing Your Car’s Faulty Ignition Coil

car mechanic, car repair,maintenanceTransforming 12 volts of low voltage D.C. to 50,000 volts or higher of high voltage D.C., the ignition coil produces a spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture inside the engine that allows a vehicle to smoothly start and run properly.

In contrast, an improperly functioning ignition coil will not generate the spark that is needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture, resulting in a misfire. Worse, a faulty ignition coil can cause serious damage to an engine or catalytic converter.

If an auto has a coil over plugs, the standard recommendation is replacing the spark plugs when the ignition coil is determined to be faulty. However, if the auto has a single coil for the ignition system, replacement is not needed.

Effects of a Faulty Ignition Coil

A faulty ignition coil can damage spark plugs and ignition wires. To prevent problems, these two parts should definitely be inspected upon replacing an ignition coil. Ignition coils are frequently damaged by parts leaking hot oil upon them. This can be avoided by identifying and replacing leaking parts.

Replacement Process

  • Testing of ignition coil(s)
  • Removal and replacement of malfunctioning coil(s)
  • Inspection of electrical connectors and spark plugs

Prevention

In order to ensure a vehicle’s ignition system remains in good shape, follow the manufacturer’s regular maintenance schedule. The service technician should measure the spark plug wires’ resistance. Wires with excessive resistance can significantly shorten the service life of an ignition coil. A misfiring engine due to a malfunctioning ignition coil will activate the check engine light. In such cases, do not drive the vehicle for a prolonged period to prevent damage and expensive repairs.

Symptoms of Faulty Ignition Coil

  • Activated check engine light
  • Engine runs roughly and misfires
  • Vehicle cannot start

For Great Service

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

  • Service specials
  • Courteous, professional staff
  • Large, clean and comfortable waiting area with free Wi-Fi
  • Convenient location in the heart of Annapolis
  • 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on most parts and labor
  • Modern, well-equipped facility utilizing the latest technology
  • Prompt, reliable services and quality repairs
  • Accurate diagnostics for modern vehicle systems

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

What’s Important About a Tune-Up

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MDIn the old days, a tune-up involved a lot more labor due to carburetors and mechanical parts. However, like the old days, today’s tune-ups still involve maintenance tasks, adjustments, and repairs beneath a vehicle’s hood, as opposed to other sections or parts of a car such as shocks or brakes.

Understanding the basics of a tune-up will help you keep your car running better and lasting longer. The following are the most important aspects to keep in mind about tune-ups:

Tune-Up Basics

The tune-up of an engine will normally focus on components beneath the hood that need to be repaired, cleaned, or replaced. These components include:

  • Belts and hoses
  • Distributor cap
  • Fluids
  • Fuel injection system
  • Rotors
  • Spark plugs
  • Wires
  • There are tune-ups that also include the inspection of other components like filters, valves, and pumps. These will vary, depending on the make, model, and production year of a vehicle. If you think your vehicle needs a more comprehensive inspection, a complete car-checkup will include several additional key features.
  • Regarding how often a tune-up should be performed, every vehicle will have different requirements. However, having one a year is usually a good standard. You should certainly have your vehicle inspected and have a tune-up performed if there has been a noticeable loss of engine power, problems starting, or odd noises, vibrations, or odors emanating from the engine. Consult with a certified technician about the proper tune-up schedule for your car.

Regular Tune-up Benefits

The following are the benefits from having regular maintenance inspections and precision tune-ups performed for your vehicle:

  • Conserve gas and save money
  • Ensure your car retains a greater resale value
  • Get greater reliability from engine
  • Maintain your vehicle at its peak performance
  • Prevent major breakdowns and costly repair expenses
  • Reduce emissions that pollute environment
  • Restore engine power and car acceleration

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, car services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Benefits of Buying New Tires for Summer

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MDProper maintenance of tires not only extends their service life, it also helps lengthen the lifespan of a vehicle. Keeping tires in good shape also results in long-term savings in car repair and service costs.

You are most likely planning some longer road trips over the summer, which will put more stress on your tires because of the warmer weather. Before the rubber hits the hot asphalt, you should have your tread wear checked. If your tires are worn down, it would be wise to buy a new set before driving to your dream vacation spot.

New tires of higher quality will be an expense, but there are several important benefits that you will get in exchange. Call a local trusted independent automotive service facility for new tires and servicing that is personalized and affordable.

Better Performance

When tires are worn down, you and your car will need to work harder to accelerate, turn or stop. New tires will instantly improve the overall performance of your vehicle in terms of handling because they provide greater traction.

Gas Economy

A car’s gas economy can be negatively impacted by older tires that have uneven tread patterns. Additional effort will be needed to travel over surfaces, turn, speed up or stop, decreasing fuel efficiency. Properly inflated new tires will result in better gas mileage.

Greater Safety

Worn out or damaged tires make it harder to brake quickly, which may lead to an accident that could have been avoided. Tires in bad condition can cause poor handling, swerving, and pulling. When roads are covered with mud, sand, or water, new tires will perform better, increasing safety. For example, hazardous hydroplaning during rainstorms is less likely to happen with new tires.

More Comfort

New tires provide more surface area that maintains contact the road. This results in a smoother, quieter, and comfortable ride in your vehicle. In contrast, rides on older tires are generally rougher, louder, and uncomfortable.

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 waiting area for our customers offers free Wi-Fi. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

Auto Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Car Ready for Spring!

car mechanic,car service,repairNow that spring is here, you should do several things for your car to make sure it’s in good shape after a long winter. It’s important because the cold weather may have caused some serious wear and tear to your vehicle. You will also be driving more now during the warmer weather, so here are some tips to make sure your car will be ready. For personal service and better value, consider working with a local reputable independent service facility.

Belts & Hoses

If your belts are squeaking, loose, cracked or frayed, have a certified mechanic inspect and adjust or replace them as needed. Hoses are equally important, so examine them for any leaks or cracks. If you spot problems, have a service facility perform a full inspection and replace them as required. Waiting too long may result in far more costly repairs.

Fluids

Ensuring your car’s fluids are at proper levels is very important for its health. This is something most car owners can easily check as most fluid containers have a fill line or dipstick for checking as laid out in the owner’s manual. If any fluids are low and you need assistance, take your vehicle to a service facility.

Tires

Roads covered with ice, snow and salt can be tough on tires. Inspect the tread wear of your tires because traction will be crucial when spring showers come. Make sure each tire’s air pressure is at the proper PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) called for in the owner’s manual. Lastly, switch to all season or summer tires if your car has been running on snow tires.

Wash Away Winter

To help prevent corrosion and rust, have your car washed thoroughly, including the undercarriage, to remove any deposits of salt and mud. Clean out the interior as well, especially the flooring.

Windshield Wipers

Winter can be brutal on windshield wipers because of snow, ice, and sleet. A worn wiper blade may no longer have enough contact surface to clear your windshield. Go ahead and replace them after each winter to ensure good driver visibility and safety during the spring rains.

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.

car repair, maintenance, mechanic
Written by Jessica Golden

Can You Spot These Car Electrical Warnings? – Part 1

Every modern vehicle has a multitude of electronic features including those that operate turn signals and start the engine. Attempting to repair them will be quite difficult without proper training and equipment, especially with the complex components that are now standard in today’s vehicles. Fortunately, there are simple signs that can still tell us when there is something wrong. The following will discuss five car electrical warnings that most car owners can spot. 

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car mechanic, Auto Alignments, maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Keeping Your Vehicle in Good Shape During Winter

car mechanic, Auto Alignments, maintenanceWe 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. 

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car service, maintenance, mechanic
Written by Jessica Golden

Is Your Car Hard to Start? – Part 1

car service, maintenance, mechanicIf your vehicle is hard to start, it can quickly become a headache, especially if you are in a hurry.  Although hard starting is typically not dangerous, it is capable of slowing you down, making you late, and causing frustration. Several types of problems will make a car difficult to start.

If you want to save time, take your car to an experienced certified mechanic for a professional inspection. Do not ignore hard starting issues as they may lead to more damage. The following will discuss starting, inspections, and the related issues that affect getting your car started.

How Starting Works

To start up, an engine has to be turning at a speed that allows it to draw air and fuel into the cylinders, then compress the air/fuel mixture, then ignite it.

A starter is an electric motor that cranks the engine in order to start it. The typical starter has a small pinion gear wheel designed to engage with a gear ring that is larger and located at the engine flywheel’s rim.

Drawing electricity from the car battery, a starter requires heavy current, so it needs a solenoid to prevent sparking. An ignition switch activates the starter motor. Upon turning on the ignition, electrical current runs through the solenoid and enters the starter. When the vehicle’s engine starts and the driver releases the key, the starter shuts down.

Starting Inspection

A mechanic will inspect the starter, battery, wiring, and other key components. An inspection will also testing the vehicle for spark, ignition signal, fuel pump activation and other parts relied on for starting. The technician will also crank an engine several times for a thorough and proper diagnosis that will determine the root cause of a vehicle’s hard starting.  A comprehensive inspection report is then provided which details the service facility’s recommendations for repair and cost estimate.

Importance

If an owner ignores hard starting for a period of time, it may eventually result in the car being totally unable to start, along with costly damage that could have been prevented. Once you experience hard starting, the smart move is to have your car inspected and fixed quickly.

Part 2 will continue this article by discussing the most typical reasons why a vehicle is hard to start.

Last Advice

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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