Auto Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Car Ready for Autumn

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsWhile the month of October is considered the beginning of autumn, it’s also the time to prepare for the ice and snow sure to come your way. The following will discuss five basic maintenance tasks that will help prepare your car for winter. Strongly consider visiting an independent automotive service facility for better value and personalized service.

Inspecting Tires

Have a technician inspect and adjust the pressure of every tire, even the spare. Tires have been known to drop a pound of pressure for every dip of 10 °F. The key is following the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure set forth in the owner’s manual. Make sure to also have the tires checked for bald spots and bulges.

Another key thing to inspect is tread depth. Put a penny inside a few tread grooves and verify if a portion of Lincoln’s head always remains covered. If this is the case, the tire has more than 2/32” of tread depth left, which is the recommended by the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).

Switching to Winter Tires

When it’s less than 45 °F, all-season tires significantly lose their traction capabilities.  Winter precipitation, ice, slush, and snow, makes driving more difficult. As a result, keep in mind that when temperatures begin dropping below 45 °F consistently, it will be necessary to switch to winter (or snow) tires.

Snow tires are designed to provide traction superior to all-season tires by 25 to 50%. Vehicles can only achieve their performance potential by being fitted with the proper tires. This is especially true in regions that experience severe winter weather, when consistent braking and handling are critical.

Battery, Brakes, Heating and Defrosting, and Wiper Blades

To completely prepare for Old Man Winter, make sure to inspect the following items:

Battery – Ensure connections are tight, clean, and have no corrosion and that the battery is properly charged.

Brakes – Request a complete inspection of drums, linings, and rotors.

Heating and Defrosting – Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation are working properly will ensure comfortable passengers and being able to defrost the windshield.

Wiper Blades – Replace every six months for adequate windshield visibility.

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.

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.

mechanic, cars, Auto Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Using Tax Deductions for 2017 Vehicle Expenses – Part 1

mechanic, cars, Auto AlignmentsExpenses from operating a vehicle can only be deducted when you are driving for a particular purpose, such as business, medical, charity, and relocation. The deduction will depend on the total mileage driven for any of these purposes that are tax deductible.

Business

Driving from your job to a different work site or to attend a business or client meeting is considered a business purpose. However, the drive from home to your job is not considered by the IRS as a business purpose, but merely commuting. If you have a home office and drive to a client meeting or a location for business, the trip is tax deductible.

There are three different IRS forms for claiming deductions for business purposes. If you are self-employed, use Schedule C. Farmers should use Schedule F. Employees who have business expenses that were not reimbursed by their employers should use Form 2106.

Medical

When you drive to get essential medical care for dependents or for yourself, it is tax deductible. As advised by the IRS, use Schedule A to deduct the cost as a portion of your itemized medical expenses.

Moving

As a portion of a moving expense deduction, expenses from driving your car for moving to a new home is tax deductible if it meets certain conditions. First, your move must be related to work reasons. Second, the new home to work travel distance must be a minimum of 50 miles greater than the distance between your previous home to work commute. You must also have worked for the new employer for a minimum of 39 weeks during the 12-month period after moving. Use Form 3903 to obtain this deduction if you qualify.

Charity

The costs of driving your car are tax deductible if you are serving a charity. Examples are working as a volunteer for a hospital, church, or charitable organization. Use Schedule A to get this deduction in the section for charitable donations.

Part 2 will cover the differences between deducting actual expenses and claiming the standard mileage rates for tax deductions. Remember to consult a tax professional if you are unsure if you are eligible for these deductions.

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.

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Three Important Snow Tire Tips for Winter

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MDEven if it’s the middle of winter and you’ve been putting it off, it is worth putting on a set of snow tires on your vehicle now. They will increase driving safety dramatically and they will usually last at least three winters. The following lists three important snow tire tips for winter. Stop by an independent service facility for greater value and more personalized service for all your automotive needs.

Traction

Made of blended rubber, the treads of snow tires are designed to retain their flexibility in temperatures that are below freezing. Being flexible allows snow tires to have as much traction as possible on roads covered by ice or snow. In contrast, summer tires and all-season tires start losing their grip on the road when temperatures near freezing.

Pressure

The air pressure of tires actually supports a vehicle’s weight. When the temperature drops 10 degrees, it is estimated a tire will lose approximately one pound per square inch (PSI). For example, a tire that has an air pressure of 36 PSI at 85 degrees will decrease to 30 PSI when the temperature drops to 25 degrees. This makes driving less safe because traction is reduced when tires are underinflated. Constant underinflation also results in poor fuel economy and shorter tire service life.

Tread Depth

For car owners who drive through snow, slush, or sleet, snow tires should be replaced when they have worn down to about 5/32″ of remaining tread depth to retain sound performance.  Additional tread depth results in more traction. If winters are mild and roads are primarily wet with rain, tire replacement can be delayed until there is about 4/32″ of remaining tread depth. Sufficient tread depth promotes safety by decreasing the chances of hydroplaning.

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.

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.

car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Servicing Your Vehicle’s Emissions System

Car repair services, Annapolis MDAfter your vehicle has failed an emission test or if you are having muffler issues, it’s best to stop by a service facility to get an inspection. The usual indicator of an emissions problem is the activation of your car’s check engine light or oil light. Postponing the repair is not a good idea. There are states that prohibit driving vehicles that do not meet emission regulations. In addition, serious damage may result from continuing to drive with this type of problem. Neglecting to address faulty emissions may lead to far more costly repair bills.

Identifying Issues

Owners can follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules to make sure their cars comply with emissions standards. However, aging vehicles may develop emissions problems because their technology is no longer up to date. Certified technicians have diagnostic test equipment that can measure emissions and pinpoint where problems may be.

A common problem is a faulty catalytic converter. This may result in exhaust that has too many pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. A service technician will be able to diagnose issues as indicated by fault codes and analyzing emissions. After a car fails an emissions test, it is probable that repairs will be required in order to pass the retest. The service facility will present the results of testing and discuss the needed exhaust repairs with you.

Proper Repairs

Very few car owners have the ability and equipment to repair emissions systems. It is highly recommended to rely on a reputable service facility and their certified technician. The systems of modern vehicles are governed and monitored by sophisticated sensors and computers. In addition, the engineering of today’s fuel injected engines is very complex. Service technicians need training and continuing education to remain current regarding automotive technology with every passing year.

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,Auto Repair,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Four Typical Car Summer Breakdowns

Car Repair Shop,Annapolis MDNow that we are in the middle of summer enjoying the warm weather, we are spending more time on the road going to our favorite vacation spots. Why let car breakdowns get in the way of fun if you can prevent it? The following are four typical car summer breakdowns. We recommend stopping by a reputable local independent car service as an alternative to more expensive and impersonal dealership facilities.

Battery

Most of us think of a dead car battery occurring mostly in winter, but the heat waves of summer can place added stress on batteries, leading to battery fluid evaporation and damaging corrosion. As part of your car’s regular service schedule, have a technician inspect your car’s battery, alternator, and starter.

Check Engine Light

An activated check engine light is a potential indicator of several issues. While you may be able to handle a basic problem such as a faulty gas cap, the majority of issues require professional care. It is advisable to take your car to a certified mechanic and have a computer determine the fault codes to get a proper diagnosis.

Radiator

Summer’s high temperatures can often lead to overheating. You may be headed to a mountain cabin, and the climb up a steep grade may strain the engine and its cooling system. The temperature gauge on your dashboard will indicate when your engine is overheating, and it is better to pull over safely and turn off the engine before serious damage results. Have your car’s coolant levels inspected at the start of every season or long road trip by a professional.

Tires

Flat tires occur much more frequently in summer than during any other season. While it is quite useful for you to be knowledgeable and physically able to change your flat tire, it is far more important to have your tires inflated, balanced, and aligned properly as part of a regular inspection schedule. Tire pressure should be checked monthly to help ensure safety and even tread wear. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well.

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.

Car Repair Shop,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

How Car Computers Function and Fail – Part 2

Car Repair Shop,Annapolis MDAs mentioned in Part 1, amateur mechanics think of a car computer as some sort of mysterious black box that controls every engine function. Actually, a car computer or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is an information processor that converts electrical inputs from sensors into electrical outputs and system actuators. Part 2 will discuss the root causes of the failures of PCMs. We recommend that you bring your car to a reputable independent car service nearby for the best service value.

Root Causes of Failure

Determining the reason a PCM failed is important. There are some situations when a shorted actuator like a fuel injector or ignition coil can damage the injector or coil driver on older OBD I computers. Even though the majority of OBD II PCMs can shield their circuits from shorted actuators and other types of electrical overloads, the PCM can also be damaged by a deteriorated windshield seal that allows water to enter its case. Typically, rebuilders ask installers to provide a reason why a unit is being replaced to allow the returned core to be diagnosed and repaired with accuracy.

Replacement

During a PCM replacement, the installer is responsible for the inspection of the harness connectors for corrosion or damage. Also crucial is not touching the connector pins of a PCM due to the human body’s ability to transmit an adequate amount of static electricity that will damage a component inside the unit. Manufacturers also recommend, in most cases, the disconnection of the battery negative cable prior to the removal and replacement of the PCM. Finally, the PCM must be installed within its original mounting for the elimination of vibration that may eventually cause failure.

Programming & Testing

The majority of PCMs manufactured after 1996 need reflashing to permit the PCM to communicate with modules and other on-board computers. Aftermarket remanufactured PCMs can sometimes be reprogrammed by a rebuilder or stocking warehouse in order to conform to an application for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Once a new PCM is installed, engine functions like fuel delivery and ignition must be tested to make sure all sensors and actuators are properly operating. Certain scan tools are equipped with bi-directional controls that let a technician activate the ignition, fuel pump, fuel injection and other actuators for testing.

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.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Top Eight Vehicle Services for New Drivers – Part 1

Import ,Repair, Annapolis MDIf you are a new driver, typically a teenager, you are probably driving a used car. Since it may be several years old and has higher mileage, you will have to work harder to make sure your ride is in good shape. It will be worth it in the long run because you will have a more reliable car. Your hard-earned money should also not be spent on expensive repairs that would not have been necessary if you had done the scheduled or necessary maintenance. Part 1 will cover the first four of the eight most important services for your vehicle.

Air Filter

The air filter cleans the air flowing into an engine of harmful particles. Eventually, the element will be so clogged, there will be a severe reduction of airflow, forcing the engine to work much harder and causing inefficiency that hurts fuel economy.

In addition, particles that are allowed to pass through by the compromised air filter will harm the engine, resulting in repairs and shortened service life. Car makers typically recommend replacing the air filter regular mileage intervals. Check your owners manual for recommendations. also make sure to check for special circumstances. If you drive on dirt roads or in heavy/city traffic often, it is recommended that the air filter be replaced more frequently.

Battery

The lifespan of most car batteries is three to five years. However, service life can be shortened by tough driving conditions and extreme temperatures. When a battery becomes three years of age, start scheduling tests of its charge. Poor results will let you know that the battery is dying and should be replaced. You will avoid being stranded because you are unable to start the car and needing to pay both for a tow and a new battery. Aside from providing dependability, a battery in good condition will allow more efficient functioning of your car. Make sure to unplug battery draining chargers when the vehicle not in use. Just because your device isn’t attached to it, doesn’t mean it’s not still drawing power for your car.

Brake Pads

As brakes are applied, its pads undergo tremendous levels of friction. They are the only barrier separating the braking mechanism from the rotor. Frequent sudden stopping will wear them down more heavily and rapidly, so it is both safer and wiser to begin slowing down well before reaching a stop. Reducing speeds prior to braking will be more fuel efficient and extend the lifespan of brake pads, saving you money.

Once brake pads are very thin, they will may make noise or the low pad warning indicator may come on the dash. This is a sure sign you need new ones as soon as possible. Depending on the make, model and mileage, the rotors may need to be replaced as well.

Hoses & Belts

It is normal that a running engine will generate high temperatures. A vehicle cooling system in good condition will be able to maintaining the proper temperature and prevent overheating. However, as the miles pass, cooling system components will experience normal wear and tear. Hoses and belts will eventually dry, crack, and break. Hoses carry important fluids from part to part. Belts transfer rotational energy from one powered component to another that needs power so it can function. Broken hoses or belts may result in significant engine damage and costly repair services. It is a good idea to ask for an inspection of belts and hoses every time there is a regularly scheduled maintenance.

Part 2 will cover the topics of Oil Services, Spark Plugs, Tires, and Wiper Blades.

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, maintenance and repair services
Written by Jessica Golden

Six Typical Fuel Filter Issues of Vehicles

car mechanic, maintenance and repair servicesListed below are some of the typical vehicle issues that involve the fuel filter. A cartridge on the fuel line, the fuel filter removes particles from gas before it enters the engine. As it filters impurities from the fuel, the filter becomes increasingly dirty and eventually clogged to the point it will not be able to work properly. A compromised fuel filter will affect the general performance of the car, resulting in undesired, costly, and occasionally hazardous issues. If any of the below apply to your vehicle, call your trusted certified mechanic for an inspection right away.

Starting Disabled

When the clogging of the fuel filter is so serious that it totally blocks the flow of gas into the engine, a vehicle will basically be disabled from starting. Keep in mind that an automobile will only be able to start when fuel is provided to the engine for ignition.

Hard Starting

In circumstances where the filter is partially clogged, a small amount of fuel will be permitted to flow into the engine. However, it will be much harder to get the engine to start. An issue like this should be fixed at the earliest opportunity because it may later result in very costly problems.

Rough Idling

Rough idling can result from excessive engine combustion because of a faulty or extremely dirty filter impeding necessary fuel flow and preventing the correct fuel/air mixture.

Hesitation

A dirty fuel filter can cause engine hesitation because it only permits a small amount of fuel to flow into the engine. This issue becomes most apparent when you are trying to accelerate a vehicle from a dead stop.

Stalling

When a fuel filter is in such a poor condition that it causes engine stalling, it is due to inconsistent fuel flow. Occasionally, a sufficient amount of fuel will be provided for the normal operation of the engine. However, there will be other instances when the fuel flow is reduced so much that the car’s engine shuts down. The seriousness of the issue will depend on the kind of debris trapped by the filter, the condition and capability of the fuel pump.

Erratic Performance

A vehicle with a dirty filter will sometimes function quite well at highway speeds, but then it will hesitate while running at low speeds. This can be explained by the varying pressures provided by the fuel pump. At high speeds, the fuel pump will deliver more pressure, allowing fuel to flow through a dirty filter and into the engine, permitting the proper functioning of the car. Unfortunately, when a vehicle is operating at low speeds, pressure will not be sufficient for providing the needed volume of gas, resulting in erratic engine performance.

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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