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 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.

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.

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.

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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Auto Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Prioritize Wheel Alignments for Winter

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsAs a conscientious car owner, you probably know how important winter tires are and how much they improve vehicle handling and safety when temperatures drop below 45 degrees. You may not have noticed but rental cars are equipped with winter tires in snowy regions. The rental car companies want to make driving as safe as possible, so their cars are not damaged by accidents that cost time and money. However, there is another service that should be prioritized for the winter season.

Wheel Alignment

Often overlooked, performing a wheel alignment is a crucial aspect of a vehicle’s winter maintenance schedule. Experts recommend having a vehicle’s alignment inspected every time there is a change of tires from summer to winter or winter to summer. The vehicle should be checked for alignment concerns at each tire rotation, which should be performed every 6,000 to 10,000 miles.

The following are the top three reasons for checking and performing wheel alignments:

Minimize Wear & Tear

When wheels are out of alignment, the suspension and tires bear the brunt of the added strain on a vehicle. The soft rubber of winter tires will wear faster than both all-season and summer tires. Proper alignment results in longer service lives for tires, saving money in the long run.

Efficient Driving

An improper alignment will make a vehicle inefficient. Rather than travelling straight, the car will veer. In addition to more difficult steering, a poor alignment will result in greater fuel consumption and a loss of power.

Safety & Better Handling

When there is snow and/or ice on the road surface, driving a vehicle that is properly aligned will be safer. Poorly-aligned wheels make a car inherently more dangerous to drive.

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 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

Is Your Car Hard to Start? – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, hard starting is usually not a dangerous condition, but this problem should not be ignored by the car owner because it may lead to a car being unable to start at all, resulting in a costly repair. Part 2 will continue this article by discussing the most typical reasons why a vehicle is hard to start.

Battery

A starter motor requires voltage from the battery to function. A low or failing battery may be unable to generate adequate current for a starter to work properly. In addition, the battery terminals may be loose or corroded, causing a poor connection. A parasitic draw could also lead to the battery being unable to produce the proper current needed.

Fuel

Contaminated fuel containing water or too much alcohol will make a car hard to start or incapable of starting. This type of contamination can also seriously damage an engine that is running.

Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter will be unable to provide the injectors adequate fuel, making starting difficult.

Fuel Pump

A fuel pump is responsible for drawing fuel from the tank, then providing it to the injectors. A failing fuel pump will be unable to deliver the proper amount of fuel for normal starting.

Ignition Switch

As an engine ages, ignition switches will begin failing and eventually need replacement. A hot ignition switch usually indicates a problem with ignition switch wiring.

Relay Wiring

Relay wiring connecting the starter to the battery that is broken or loose will keep a starter from working normally.

Solenoid

Quite commonly, a failing solenoid makes a car hard to start. Replacement will be required.

Spark Plugs

When spark plugs are fouled, an engine will be difficult to start. When electrodes are worn down, the voltage needed to jump the gap for fuel ignition will grow, resulting in extended cranking needed prior to starting an engine.

Starter

Starters age from wear and tear and eventually need replacement. If nothing occurs after turning the key, this usually indicates a starter issue. Slow cranking is caused by several issues, including a bad starter that needs to be replaced.

Alternator

If the alternator is failing to adequately charge the battery, difficulty starting could be the first symptom.

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.

Engine Repair,Car shop,mechanics
Written by Stu Kushner

Will Your Vehicle’s Engine Fail?

Engine Repair Help

Your vehicle’s engine will fail if you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding its use and maintenance schedule or fail to pay attention to signs of problems. An engine that requires repair or replacement is typically the most expensive problem a car owner will have to address. This article will discuss the five most common reasons an engine will fail.

Dismissing Check Engine Light

Ignoring a check engine light (service engine soon light on some cars) is a good way to allow an engine to undergo a damaging condition. The check engine light can be activated due to many different conditions these days, not just an oxygen sensor or catalytic converter. It would be wise to bring your vehicle to a service center for diagnosis as soon as possible after the check engine light turns on.

Engine Flooding

A sudden heavy rainstorm can bring rapid flooding to roads in low-lying areas, where cars are trapped in high water. If a car is driven through a flooded area and water passes through the intake manifold, which provides an engine’s air-fuel mixture, and then into the combustion chamber, it may result in bent piston rods and a severely damaged engine.

Ignoring Oil Level

Ignoring an oil leak from your engine is a good way to end its life prematurely. Losing oil simply means losing lubrication, resulting in accelerated and damaging wear to an engine’s metal parts and leading to its eventual failure.

Not Changing Oil

Performing regular oil changes at the recommended intervals by the manufacturer is essential for an engine’s good health and long service life. It is also crucial to utilize the proper oil required by your vehicle’s engine. Many car manufacturers are specifying synthetic oils for newer vehicles so their engines can perform at their very best while consuming fuel efficiently.

Overlooking Cooling System

Automotive experts recommend an engine coolant flush at intervals of 30,000 miles or every three years, whichever comes first. Unfortunately the majority of car owners do not pay attention to their vehicle’s cooling system until it has deteriorated or been damaged. As a result, the cooling system will not function properly or will leak coolant, leading to an engine overheating and becoming seriously damaged.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import Services 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.

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

How to Tell If Your Car Needs a New Starter

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisThe first reason people usually think of why a car won’t start is a dead battery. Sometimes that is the cause of the problem, but the issue can actually be the related to the starter. However, what are the symptoms of a faulty starter? The following will discuss several of these and provide important information, but it’s best to get solid information from a reputable and experienced certified mechanic.

Freewheeling

If the engine is cranked and the starter whines without the engine starting, this is called freewheeling. This is happening because the starter gear cannot engage with the flywheel. This defect will likely require replacing the starter.

Grinding

If the starter’s drive gear has been worn out or cannot engage properly, it will typically generate a grinding noise that sounds the same if a driver started the car’s engine and inadvertently engaged the starter once more. Ignoring this warning sign may eventually cause damage to the engine’s flywheel.

Oil Leak

As most starters are positioned near the bottom portion of the engine, they are quite vulnerable to soaking by engine oil or drive train fluid leaks. A starter that has been subjected to such liquids will have its service life considerably shortened. To prevent being left stranded because your car won’t start, any leaks should be fixed and a starter damaged because of fluid leaks should be immediately replaced.

Smoke

The sight of smoke is a sign of serious problems involving the starting circuit or starter itself. Typically, smoke is an indication of excessive power is being supplied to a starter. This is caused by shorting starter or connection issue. In any case, when smoke and a burning smell are noticed, the car owner is strongly advised to tow his or her vehicle to a service facility as quickly as possible.

Solenoid

Transmitting electrical current from the battery to the starter’s motor after the key is turned, the solenoid also inserts the starter drive into the flywheel to permit cranking. Lacking a solenoid, the starter will be unable to function. If an engine is unable to crank, there is a good likelihood that the solenoid is faulty.

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.

Car Mechanic, Repair AnnapolisRepair, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

The Effects of Winter on Your Car’s Exhaust System

Dealer Import Repair AnnapolisA vehicle’s exhaust system is a critical component, and it should be inspected annually. As winter is coming, car owners should be aware of the dangers ice and salt pose to their exhaust systems. The following will explain why damaged muffler and exhausts must be repaired as soon as possible to prevent noxious gases from entering a car and harming those inside.

Damages to the Exhaust and Muffler

Mounted on the rear underside of most vehicles, the exhaust system and muffler are especially vulnerable during the winter. They can be compromised by potholes, jarring, and bumps, wintry conditions add ice, salt, and other road debris to the dangers.

Frequent short trips also negatively affect your car’s exhaust system during the winter months. You may be unaware that the beginning 20 minutes of your trip are toughest on a vehicle while it warms up. When moisture is present from snow or sleet, a car does not have time to burn off collected water vapor during that short period. Salt from roads can also gather with water beneath a vehicle. When a car’s ignition stops, corrosion on the exposed parts will begin. That is why it is critical to wash off salt and road grime during period of nice weather.

Moisture within a muffler will cause rust. In addition, water that has entered an exhaust system will mix with sulfur from exhaust gas. This combination produces corrosive acids that corrode parts, and hard-to-detect exhaust leaks can occur. Damage may also be caused to pipes and hangars.

Repairs to Muffler and Exhaust

Exhaust noises may signify issues, but their absence does not necessarily mean there isn’t a leak. Thus, it’s important to have inspections performed of the exhaust system regularly before problems worsen. Hissing, rattling, vibrations, and an incessant roar are noises that should raise concern. Another serious symptom is colored exhaust exiting the tailpipe. Components that will require examination and perhaps repair are the oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, EGR valves, EGR sensors, manifold, exhaust pipes, resonator, muffler, and tail pipes.

Dangers of Exhaust Gases

Containing carbon monoxide, exhaust gas is hazardous and could be fatal to passengers if it enters the car’s interior. Difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. It can cause drowsiness and impair a driver’s judgment and skills.

If your car is trapped and immobilized by a blizzard, ensure that the exhaust pipe is free of snow and obstruction at all times. Clogged or plugged up, carbon monoxide gas will enter the passenger area. Make certain to have the engine running only if the exhaust system is completely clear and only for intervals between confirming that it is free from snow. In addition, windows should be rolled down regularly to refresh the air of the car’s interior and allow harmful gases to escape.

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.

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