car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Ten Tips for Prepping Your Car for Summer – Part 1

 car shop, repair, Annapolis MDThe last half of May means we should get our cars ready for summer. Better weather means more time on the road, driving your car on fun road trips. If you have kids, they will be out of school, and they’ll be asking, “Are we there yet?”

You may have not serviced your vehicle after a long winter, and now is the right time. The family will be spending hours on the highway headed to a favorite vacation spot, and so you will need the following ten tips for prepping your car for summer. For the best results, call a certified mechanic to give you a hand.

Battery Boosted

A standard battery needs regular checks to ensure it is at a proper fluid level. Visually inspect there are no stains or leaks in the top area. A sealed battery is essentially maintenance free, but a traditional battery will need its fluid level maintained.

Brake Fluid Clear and Full

As brakes are hydraulic devices, brake fluid is hydraulic fluid. The liquid should appear clear and be near or at the reservoir’s full marking. It operates in high temperatures, which would gradually result in a decrease of braking performance from degradation if neglected. Due to its hydroscopic nature, brake fluid absorbs moisture and degrades.

Brakes Inspected

Due to the extremes of winter temperatures in certain regions, brake pads often suffer serious wear and cracking. The rough weather may also impact brake rotors and drums, and they should be inspected as well.

Coolant On the Level

A car’s coolant level should be at the full line. Add a 50/50 proper mix of water and coolant if the coolant reservoir is low. For maximum performance, the coolant liquid should be changed annually.

Oil Inspected

After checking that the oil is at the proper level, take a look at its color. An amber color means the oil is still viable. When it is black, it is time for a change. Typically, regular oil can last from 4,000 to 5,000 miles, while synthetic lasts between 6,000 and 7,000 miles.

Part 2 will cover the second 5 of 10 tips for prepping your car for summer

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.

Auto Repair,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Why Your Car Needs a Checkup in Spring

car service center, Annapolis MDWinters can be tough on cars. The season takes its toll on  both  inside and outside of you vehicle. Now that it’s spring, you should address any issues caused by the rough weather. The following are six typical areas that should be looked at during a spring checkup to make sure your vehicle is ready and safe to drive during the warmer weather. We recommend bringing your car to a reputable independent automotive service facility, where an expert certified mechanic can give you a free inspection.

Air Filter

The drastic changes of weather during winter, bringing rain, slush, snow, and mud, have caused more strain on your car’s air filter. It cleans the air that enters the engine area. During winter, its effectiveness can be decreased by high levels of moisture, debris, and dirt caused by bad weather. The air filter should be inspected and replaced if necessary.

Alignment & Suspension

You may get a sensation of the steering wheel pulling in a direction that you do not expect, making it difficult to control your car. Occasionally, the vehicle shakes, causing the unsafe loosening of parts and components and making driving unsafe. Salt and sand used on roads during the winter often damage seals and deteriorate lubrication necessary to maintain the proper functioning of the suspension, which ensures the safe handling of every vehicle.

Brakes

During wintry conditions, especially when it’s icy, brakes can get lots of wear and tear because of situations involving slide-to-stop or hard braking. As a result, it is critical to have your car’s brake components examined by a certified technician. You may already know that brakes are one of the most important safety components of every vehicle. Spring driving can involve driving in heavy rainstorms, when road surfaces can get slippery, so your brakes should get inspected after every winter.

Rims/Wheels

Winter can not only be rough on cars, it also does damage to roads. When your car dips into potholes, it may damage the tire rims/wheels. A certified mechanic who is expert in tire care should take a look if any are bent and require repair or replacement. Tire rims are machined precisely, and a bent rim may cause vibration, especially at higher speeds, and damage to a tire resulting in a flat.

Tires

The beginning of spring is a good time to swap out winter tires for all-seasons or summer tires, depending on your region’s weather. Use this opportunity to ask a technician to inspect both sets of tires for excessive tread wear or cracking. Either set may need replacing, but the process will ensure your driving safety. In addition, you will be ready for both driving during the warm weather and the winter conditions several months ahead.

Wipers

It’s safe to say that all windshield wipers take a beating from snow, ice, sleet, salt, and dirt during the winter. This is all for the sake of maintaining visibility while driving, and this needs to be maintained even in warmer weather. The rubber components of your car’s wipers typically deteriorate significantly due to wintry elements, and they should be replaced as part of regular maintenance after every winter.

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 Repair ,Help,Tune-up
Written by Jessica Golden

Inspect Your Brakes Before Winter Comes

 car mechanic,Auto RepairReliably good brake performance is the key to maintaining vehicle control on roads covered with snow or ice. It is highly recommended by safe driving experts to ask a certified mechanic inspect your vehicle’s brakes before the onset of winter. Badly worn brake components or a brake system lacking hydraulic fluid will deprive a car’s driver of the control necessary for safe winter driving. Slippery roads can worsen existing brake system issues. It is crucial to schedule an annual brake inspection for your car at a qualified service facility before winter weather makes driving hazardous.

Warning Signs

The most common initial sign of worn-out brakes is a brake pedal that increasingly needs more foot pressure to stop the car. Noises such as chirping, scraping, and squeaking coming from the wheels while breaking are other symptoms of excessive brake wear. In addition, a car that pulls either right or left as brakes are applied also spells trouble. Drivers should not postpone brake services until the red brake warning light turns on.

Proper Inspection and Maintenance

Car owners should request an annual brake inspection if the above issues are present. For a thorough checkup, all the vehicle’s wheels will need to be removed. The following components of the braking system will be examined by a certified technician:

Brake Lines – The steel brake tubing that run from the master cylinder to all four wheels must be examined for leaks due to rust or damage.

Brake Hoses – The rubber brake hoses connecting the brake lines to the brake calipers and wheel cylinders must be examined for wear or cracks.

Lining and Pads – The brake components that generate friction and dissipate heat must be inspected for excessive or uneven wear. Other potential issues may arise from contamination or glazing from leaking grease seals or brake fluid.

Master Cylinder – The brake fluid reservoir must be inspected regularly to make sure there are proper fluid levels.

Parking Brake –The operation of the parking brake should be inspected and adjusted if needed.

The flushing and replacement of brake fluid is a critical maintenance task often neglected. Brake fluid is susceptible to the absorption of water collected at low points within the hydraulic system, where it can cause rust, fluid leaks, and, inevitably, brake failure. This moisture can also damage expensive electro-hydraulic control units of cars that have antilock brakes. As a result, a brake system flush and brake fluid replacement is recommended every two to three years by most manufacturers. The recommended service interval for a vehicle can be confirmed in its owner’s manual.

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 Repair , Help, maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Facts About A Brake Fluid Flush

 Car Repair , Help, maintenanceLike the other fluids that help a car function, brake fluid has a manufacturer’s recommended service interval. Typically, brake fluid needs to be replaced every two years or 30,000 miles. A certified mechanic will use an electronic meter or test strips to determine the brake fluid’s contamination level in the reservoir.

Effects of Moisture

Brake fluid gradually absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. When the percentage of moisture rises, the brake fluid’s boiling point drops commensurately. Certain types of driving will cause an overheated brake system, ultimately boiling the brake fluid. As the fluid ages, it will also allow excessive moisture to enter the system, resulting in rust, increased contamination, and the premature failure of brake components.

Effect of Contamination

The master cylinder reservoir can be gradually contaminated by dirt and dust.

Particles of rubber and metal from its components actuating also add to brake fluid contamination. In time, these contaminants may cause the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to fail. The first sign brake fluid needs changing is an activated ABS warning or brake warning light.

Costs of Flush

Servicing that involves opening the brake-hydraulic system, such as the replacement of the brake line, wheel cylinder or caliper will include the cost of a brake fluid flush. This is because the system will require purging, and this is done by flushing air by pumping out the old brake fluid. A simple flush will cost around $100. Certain cars will need a special scanning tool in order to purge air from the ABS pump, and this service will come with an additional charge.

Summary

Certified mechanics will completely remove old, fluid from the brake system, totally flushing out the contaminants previously mentioned Brand new and pristine fluid, meeting the manufacturer’s specifications of car, will then be used to refill the brake 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.

Car Repair ,Help,Tune-up
Written by Jessica Golden

Service Your Braking System for Safety

 Engine Repair, Help,Annapolis MDThe most critical safety feature of any vehicle is its braking system. Yearly maintenance performed by certified mechanics will ensure that your brakes are working properly for safe driving. Regular maintenance also prevents expensive repairs caused by neglect. As the miles add up, the parts composing your car’s braking system will inevitably have to be replaced because of normal wear and tear. That’s why following your car manufacturer’s recommendations for regular servicing of your brakes is a priority.

Most Common Brake Service

With each press of the brake pedal to slow or stop, the energy from a vehicle’s movement will be transformed into heat, causing the linings of shoes or brake pads to gradually wear down to a point where they can no longer be used effectively or safely. As a result, replacing shoes or brakes pads is the most common service for the braking system. Its frequency will be determined by the kind of driving you do. City driving will require more frequent slowing and stopping than long commutes on a freeway or other open road.

Warning Signs

Your braking system will give warning signs that, if heeded, will give you enough time to take preventive measures prior to the failure of a component or avoidable damage. Using your senses of sight, touch, and sound may be the best way to detect problems in your brakes as listed below:

  • When you are driving, does the warning light of your car’s braking system go on?
  • Are you experiencing steer or pull of your car to one side while applying brakes?
  • Are there grinding or squealing sounds when you press on the brakes?
  • When you depress the brake pedal, does it feel spongy or is there pulsing?

If you are experiencing any of the above, it is best to immediately seek the services of a certified mechanic and request an inspection of your braking system. Not only are you ensuring the safety of you and your passengers, but you will be saving time and money.

Make an appointment with us here at Chesapeake Import Services and let us inspect and service your car’s braking system. We will be very happy to see you. Call us at (410) 267-8411.

Car mechanic,Auto Repair,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Is Your Family Vehicle Ready for Summer?

Car mechanic,Auto Repair,Annapolis MDYour spouse, children, and pets will be spending a lot more time on the road to take advantage of the beautiful weather, and so your family vehicle will need maintenance to keep your loved ones safe. Below are a few important things to check before summer arrives.

Brakes

Severe winter conditions may have caused the warping and cracking of your vehicle’s brake drums and rotors, affecting your driving safety.

The most critical safety feature of every vehicle is its braking system. Properly working brakes are crucial to the safety of every person on the road, so have your brakes checked before summer comes.

Tires

If you haven’t yet, have your winter tires replaced with performance tires more suited for summer driving. Also have your mechanic make sure that the treads are in good condition and your tire pressures are correct to prevent uneven wear and to avoid dangerous blowouts.

If your tires have uneven wear, immediately have your shop deal with this issue to make sure both your steering and suspension are working properly, keeping you and your loved ones safe.  It’s also a good idea to have your mechanic rotate your tires.

Battery

Extreme temperatures might shorten the lifespan of even high-quality batteries. During a hot summer day, its components inside undergo severe expansion and contraction, possibly causing them to become prematurely defective.

Avoid the unpleasant feeling of being stuck somewhere under a blazing sun because your vehicle won’t start by having your battery checked by an expert before you go on vacation.

Fluid Levels

Another way to keep your car reliable during the summer is having its fluids inspected, replaced, and refilled. Good mechanics always go through a checklist, and it will include engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant system, brake fluid, and power steering.

They will also check for leaks and recommend repairs if needed to keep you and your family headed down the road.

Belts & Hoses

Have your belts and hoses checked before you head for your summer getaway. Belts may have frays, gaps, and damage from engine oil. Hoses may have splitting, swelling, blistering, and loose hose clamps.

A defective belt or hose may seriously damage your car and leave you talking to a tow truck driver before you arrive at your favorite destination.

Last Advice

Make an appointment with us here at Chesapeake Import Services and let us get your family vehicle ready for the golden days of summer. We will be very happy to see you.

Phone: (410) 267-8411