car maintenance, car repairs
Written by Jessica Golden

The Benefits of Using an Independent Auto Service Facility

car maintenance, car repairsGetting your vehicle serviced is a responsibility you will have as long as you own one. Although car manufacturers push car owners to take their cars to their dealerships for maintenance and repairs, oftentimes it is not necessary. Independent facilities can generally meet all your servicing needs. The following will discuss the benefits of using an independent auto service facility.

Less Expensive

Vehicles that are bought from dealerships have warranties. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it’s illegal for dealer to deny warranty coverage if your car had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. The costs of routine servicing at independent shops are typically considerably lower, saving you a considerable sum over the lifetime of your warranty.

Similar Expertise

A good independent auto service facility will have the same tools and knowledge offered by a dealership garage. They will generally be equipped with the identical software and have access to the same manufacturer service bulletins. Independents will also be able to provide high-quality parts. During the last decade, many independent auto service facilities have achieved a standard of quality comparable to dealerships and remain competitive in terms of feedback from online reviews.

Skilled Technicians

Just as at a dealership, skilled technicians can also be found at independent garages. As a smart consumer, make sure to choose a service facility with certified mechanics. They are required to pass an exam, and their certification must be renewed every five years. In addition, the careers of many mechanics start at dealerships. They then bring their valuable experience, knowledge, and skills to an independent facility.

Personal Attention

It is rare for vehicle owners to have significant interaction with car dealership mechanics. Instead, their only interface is with a service salesperson. In contrast, a car owner tends to build a relationship built on years of great service with the mechanics and staff members of an independent auto service facility. This loyalty typically results in discounts on parts and services.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Implementing a Fleet Preventive Maintenance Program – Part 2

car repair services, Annapolis MDAs discussed in Part 1, a preventive maintenance program (PMP) should be implemented by every organization that has a fleet of vehicles. It is essential for the upkeep of every vehicle serving an organization. Part 2 will discuss Preventive Maintenance Methods and Implementing an Effective PMP.

Preventive Maintenance Methods

There are two methods for the performance of vehicle maintenance and repairs:

  1. Proactive
  2. Reactive

Made up of preventive maintenance tasks, repairs, and driver inspections, scheduled vehicle service is proactive. In contrast, unscheduled breakdown maintenance due to neglected preventive services is reactive. It is also much costlier, and the goal should be minimizing its occurrence.

Implementing an Effective Preventive Maintenance Program

To implement an effective PMP, the program should have the following features:

  • Preventive maintenance services and safety item checklists
  • Preventive maintenance interval of each required service
  • Driver documentation of inspections and vehicle issues
  • Automotive service facility staffed by in-house or outsourced professional automotive technicians
  • Computerized scheduling and recordkeeping of maintenance and repairs
  • Driver training regarding proper vehicle inspection and reporting

The items listed below should be included when routine preventive maintenance services are performed:

  • Engine oil change
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Transmission fluid
  • Fuel system
  • Cooling system
  • Engine and transmission mounts
  • Drive shafts and CV joints
  • Belts and hoses
  • Tune-ups
  • Electrical system
  • Braking system
  • Steering and suspension
  • Wheels, rims, and tires
  • Exhaust system
  • Body, frame and undercarriage
  • Exterior and interior lights
  • Windshields, windows, and mirrors
  • Windshield wipers
  • Seats and seatbelts
  • Fluid leaks
  • Auxiliary systems

Conclusion

In-house certified automotive technicians or a local certified automotive service center skilled in performing preventive maintenance for fleet vehicles can oversee the PMP of an organization. Outsourcing may be a good option for companies that may not have the space for their own service facility or prefer to have a smaller staff of employees.

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 mechanic,Auto Repair,Annapolis MD
Written by Stu Kushner

Implementing a Fleet Preventive Maintenance Program – Part 1

Car mechanic,Auto Repair,Annapolis MDA preventive maintenance program (PMP) should be implemented by every organization that has a fleet of vehicles. It is essential for the upkeep of every vehicle serving an organization. A PMP typically provides inspection, adjustment, cleaning, lubrication, repair, testing, repair, and parts replacement. The service program for a vehicle will be based on its model year, mileage, engine’s service hours, and fuel consumed.

Importance

The reduction of vehicle downtime results in maximum fleet vehicle availability, which is important for every business that depends on transport. In addition, regularly scheduled preventive maintenance is the key to extending the service lives of vehicles.

Due to how they are used, certain types of vehicles are more likely to break down frequently and also need costly repairs, and a PMP is the primary method for alleviating this problem.

Obviously, a vehicle that is out of service will affect the bottom line. The greater the number of fleet vehicles that are out of commission, the greater impact on customer service and profitability.

Neglecting preventive maintenance can also result in vehicles that are less safe. This may result in an increased number of accidents and injuries, which will take affected vehicles and drivers out of service and perhaps drive up insurance rates.

Legal Liability

A solid PMP will help decrease liability and discourage lawsuits for negligence regarding maintenance. In instances where fleet vehicles became unsafe due to neglected repair or maintenance, management may be held liable. This “negligent entrustment” occurs when an employee is provided a dangerous vehicle when there was knowledge that the vehicle was unsafe to operate and presented an unreasonable risk of harm to others.

For example, if it is determined that brakes failed due to poor maintenance which caused an accident resulting in injury or fatality, authorities can seek a subpoena to obtain vehicle maintenance records. If it is found the organization did not perform reasonable preventive maintenance, there could be prosecutions for criminal negligence.

Part 2 will discuss Preventive Maintenance Methods and Implementing an Effective PMP.

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

Using Tax Deductions for 2017 Vehicle Expenses – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, expenses from operating a vehicle can only be deducted for business, medical, charity, and relocation purposes. Part 2 will cover the differences between deducting actual expenses and claiming the standard mileage rates for tax deductions. 

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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.

auto repair shop, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Independent Auto Repair Facility Myths

Misconceptions regarding independent auto repair facilities are spread by films and television shows. They are then repeated by family or friends. Even though they are owned and staffed by mostly honest and hardworking people, automotive repair shops are one of the most distrusted businesses. The following discusses the most prevalent myths and how they match up with reality.

Dealership Service Superior

Many car owners assume that dealership service is superior to independent facilities because of their affiliation to the manufacturer. However, dealerships are often franchised, and the quality of work can vary greatly from location to location. For the same reason, customer service at dealerships can range from friendly to impersonal. In contrast, independent repair facilities must take pride in ownership to prosper. Their standards for quality and service must be high to remain competitive.

Dishonest Practices

Like most successful business models, automotive repair revolves around the making and keeping of long-term relationships with customers. Independent repair facilities succeed at this by building trust through providing great service at a high value consistently. This combination results in return customers and excellent word of mouth, which in turn generates new clients. For the very few who use fraudulent business practices, whether dealership or independent, modern social media will quickly mark them as untrustworthy and to be avoided. A damaged reputation is very difficult to shed.

Manufacturer’s Warranty Voided

Many believe that having an independent service facility perform the required maintenance schedule will void a vehicle’s warranty. However, a warranty can be voided only when a service is not performed at the recommended service interval as stated by the vehicle’s manufacturer in the owner’s manual. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, ensures that car makers cannot compel consumers to use the services of dealerships under threat of voiding a vehicle’s warranty.

Unprofessional Environment

TV shows often portray local garages as being dirty and staffed by foul-talking mechanics stained by grease. The reality is that this industry has matured, and independent repair facilities are proud of creating a professional environment both for their customers and staff, often equal to dealerships. Typically Wi-Fi will be available at clean waiting rooms that provide beverages, snacks, and entertainment. They employ technicians that are highly-qualified. They receive continuous training and work with modern diagnostic equipment and tools.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import has provided automotive services to Annapolis reputable and trusted  and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

Tune-up, car mechanic, car services
Written by Jessica Golden

Car Maintenance and Repair Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Passed in 1975 by the Tune-up, car mechanic, car services U.S. Congress, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) is a federal statute that governs warranties on consumer products, including vehicles. As set forth by MMWA, an independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even the owner may perform routine maintenance and repairs on a vehicle during the manufacturer’s warranty period.

The law makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to void a warranty or deny coverage because someone other than the dealer did the work. However, the manufacturer or dealer may require consumers to use specific repair facilities if services are provided free of charge.

Limitations for Repairs

Under certain situations, a repair may not be covered by the warranty if it were performed by the owner or an alternative dealer service facility. For example, an improperly installed timing belt that damages the engine may allow the manufacturer or dealer to deny responsibility after demonstrating that the faulty installation was the cause. In any case, the warranty would still be in effect for other parts of the car.

Aftermarket or Recycled Parts

Voiding a car warranty because an aftermarket or recycled part was installed is unlawful according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. However, it is important to note that the dealer or manufacturer may require car owners to use a specific replacement part if it is provided to consumers at no cost under the warranty.

Limitations for Aftermarket or Recycled Parts

If an aftermarket or recycled part were defective or were improperly installed and causes damage to a part covered under the warranty, the dealer or manufacturer may deny coverage for the damaged part and charge for any related repairs. However, the dealer or manufacturer must demonstrate that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the necessary repairs.

Last Advice

A top dealership alternative, 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.