car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Pre-Summer Car Inspection Checklist

Car Mechanic | Car Services in AnnapolisSummer’s just around the corner, and soon you’ll be hitting the freeway on your way to your favorite vacation spot. You will want to get there and back without car problems that will ruin your family vacation. The following is a pre-summer car inspection checklist that will help make sure your vehicle will be trouble free.

Air Conditioning

Ensure your AC is working properly before taking a family trip in the hot summer sun.

Belts

Have your belts inspected for fraying, cracks, and other wear. Aside from damaging your car, a broken belt may ruin a summer vacation.

Brakes

Brakes are the most important safety feature of a car. Request a general brake inspection, which should include checking pad wear and the brake fluid.

Coolant

The condition of your car’s coolant and hoses should be examined to prevent overheating.

Headlights

To help you drive safely at night, have your headlights checked for brightness and adjusted for properly aiming.

Routine Maintenance

Prior to long road trips, a change of oil and filters is recommended, especially if your car is due for those services. If your car is older, a tune-up will help it run smoother and use less gas.

Service Intervals

Check your car’s manual for upcoming service intervals. It would be wise to address servicing major components like replacing the timing belt before driving long distances.

Suspension

Ask for an inspection of your vehicle’s shocks and struts to ensure vehicle handling and safety.

Tires

Request an examination for uneven tire wear and general tread depth. Make sure your tires are properly inflated for safety and fuel economy.

Transmission

Have your transmission fluid checked. If your car has been having trouble shifting, ensure a certified mechanic addresses this issue before you leave home.

Windshield Wipers

As you probably know, windshield wipers should be changed at least once a year. Take a look at the level of the car’s washer fluid reservoir and refill if needed.

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 service center, car mechanic, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Keep Your Car Strutting with Good Struts – Part 2

car service center, car mechanic, Annapolis MDAs discussed in Part 1, struts play a crucial part in the suspension, handling, and control of your vehicle. Good struts are essential for the stability and safety of a car. Part 2 will cover the symptoms of worn-out struts and the cost of replacement.

Worn-Out Struts

As struts wear down, a car’s capabilities in terms of handling and turning will gradually deteriorate. Typical symptoms become apparent when a car hits a bump, and it continues bouncing or bottoms out. Another indicator is uneven tire wear called cupping, which is created by the tire’s low and high spot patterns from the wheels bouncing. This results in the back tires making a dribbling sound while moving. Another visible symptom of wear is the leaking of hydraulic fluid from a strut. A mechanic will be able to spot such leaks during an inspection of the car’s suspension, which should be made every year.

Below is a summary of the main symptoms of worn-out struts:

  • Bottoming out
  • Bouncing excessively
  • Cupping tire wear
  • Nose diving or drifting upon braking
  • Rocking
  • Swaying

Cost of Replacement

Experts advise the replacement of shocks and struts in sets for stability and safety. In other words, the shocks or struts on each axle should be both replaced at the same time. The average cost of replacing struts can vary per set. If new coil springs are needed, they should also be replaced during the strut service. This will save on significant costs of labor because they will need to be removed whenever struts are replaced.

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.

Auto Repair, car maintenance, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Sure Signs of a Faulty Engine Control Unit (ECU) and What to Do

 Auto Repair, car maintenance, Annapolis MD

A major component of a vehicle‘s computer system, the ECU, regulates systems and subsystems of the engine, drive train and other major components. A defective ECU will affect the performance and efficiency, and a certified mechanic should be consulted regarding its replacement or repair. The following are five signs of a faulty ECU and what you should do.

Start Failure

A clear indication that there may be a faulty ECU is if your car refuses to start without any apparent reason. After your repair shop runs through its checklist inspection, including the car battery, starter, and alternator, and the vehicle still fails to start, a bad engine control unit should be suspected as being the cause.

Check Engine Light

Although there are several reasons a check engine light turns on, one of the most likely reasons is a problematic ECU. Once the check engine light is constantly on, it is time to have your car’s ECU inspected by an experienced mechanic.

Economy and Performance

An unusual increase in fuel consumption or poor engine performance can be attributed to either car computer problems or a defective ECU.

Transmission Issues

Defective ECUs may cause automatic transmission issues, involving sudden jerking or stopping when shifting gears, even though your service facility has been performing proper and timely maintenance.

Diagnostics

A suspected damaged or failing electronic control unit should be quickly addressed. Only select a service center equipped with up-to-date computer diagnostic equipment because an ECU is a complex component that works with your car’s computer system.

By visiting a manufacturer- certified facility, you’ll ensure accurate readings.

ECU Servicing Costs

Servicing ECUs can be expensive. Depending on the car, a new ECU replacement may run from $1,000 to $3,000. Labor costs of around $600 are additional. However, in many cases repairing or reprogramming is possible, saving a lot of money. Expect to pay between $300 to $750 for this service, along with a $150-$300 fee for inspecting and testing the engine control unit first.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import Services has provided reputable and trusted 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.

auto repair shop, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Strength in Numbers

CAR FoundersIndependent auto service centers are banding together to use their combined strength to gain buying power and to help pass favorable legislation. Chesapeake Import Services was a founder of this group. The group they helped start is the Council of Automotive Repair (CAR).

Back in 2008, six Maryland shop owners created this organization: Billy Hillmuth (Hillmuth Certified Automotive with four locations in Maryland), Stephen Powell (Thoroughbred Auto Care in Laurel), Frank Eberle (Eberle Automotive in Severn), Clyde McLaughlin (Chesapeake Import Services in Annapolis), Walt Eger (Walt Eger’s Service Center in Severn), and Lewis Schnauble (Schnauble Automotive in Westminster).

  • CAR was created to give a collective voice the chance to speak on behalf of the many independent shops in the Maryland-Delaware area.
  • These seven successful shop owners knew each other through WMDA, and all were mired by typical dilemmas facing independent repair shops: rising parts and equipment prices; expensive training costs; and legislation affecting their operations.

Since WMDA heavily focused on service stations, they decided it would be beneficial to start a similar group focused on auto care.

Click here to read the entire article.

repair services, maintenance, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Visit Your Trusted Dealership Alternative for Tire Services

Repair Services, Annapolis MDThe trusted dealership alternative you use to take care of your car should also be your first stop when you need your tires serviced or replaced. Sure, franchise discount tire stores will try to lure you with ads and commercials about sales, but many of them will give you “discount services” as well. It often feels like they care more about making a sale, than if the tires they are recommending are the right fit in terms of your driving needs and safety.

Personal Service

When you use your trusted facility, they know both you and your car very well. They will understand what kind of tires you need. The professionals will ask the right questions. What kind of driving do you do every day? Are your commutes stop-and-go or long freeway trips? Do you ever use your SUV to go off road? Are you looking for performance or durability? With this information in hand, they will be able to advise you in a personal way.

Thorough Services

Your trusted mechanic will be thorough when it comes to inspecting your tires. Every tire inspection should always include the spare (if equipped), and this is often a cut above budget-tire places. A certified dealership alternative will also provide excellent record keeping. They will note the items below for each one of your tires at every inspection:looo

  • Type/Brand, Size
  • Speed/Performance Rating
  • Condition
  • Tread Depth
  • Production Date
  • Wear Pattern
  • Tire Pressure

After recording all of the above, each tire will be inflated or deflated to attain its correct PSI (per square inch) pressure. If the mechanic advises your tire(s) need repair or replacement, you will get advice involving your safety and options, along with an estimate.

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.

Auto Repair,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Finding a Dealership Alternative Right for You

Auto Repair,Annapolis MDWhether you have a brand new car or one with more than 100,000 miles, finding an automotive repair dealership alternative should be considered seriously. Aside from manufacturer recalls, a properly trained and certified independent mechanic can keep a new car’s warranty in effect or service and repair an older car. There are several advantages using an independent repair shop as opposed to a dealership service department.

Less Expensive

You’re probably well aware that dealership facilities are more expensive than independents because they charge more per hour for the work of their mechanics. They also have a greater markup on replacement parts. In addition, dealerships ask their sales teams to push services on customers

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