Car Mechanic Annapolis Repair Maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Top 5 Indicators of Car Electrical Problems – Part 1

 Car Mechanic Annapolis Repair Maintenance A car’s electrical system features components that control many aspects of a car. Fixing problems involving electronics can be a challenge for weekend mechanics. Servicing complex vehicle systems controlled by computers should be left to certified technicians.

The following discusses the top five indicators of car electrical problems. Take your car to an independent automotive service facility for better value and more personalized service.

1) Battery Getting Old

The heart of a car’s electrical system is the battery which stores electrical energy for the times it is required. The typical lifespan of a battery runs just five years. If you live in a region with hot summers, experts recommend replacing a car battery every four years. This maintenance is a preventative measure so you won’t be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

A defective battery cell or a faulty alternator can keep a car battery from remaining fully charged. This will cut the lifespan of a battery, which is a good reason for getting a thorough and regular electrical system checkup for your vehicle.

2) Hard Starting

If you have trouble starting the car, it may not be because of the usual suspects, such as a faulty battery, starter, or engine issues. The cause may be related to an electrical component that is draining the battery and keeping the starter from cranking the engine.

Typically, the check engine light will be activated, indicating the car will not start. The clicking sound upon turning the key often indicates the starter is not receiving an adequate flow of electricity. The root cause is typically a faulty or drained battery.

A grinding noise when the engine is being cranked usually means a defective starter or flywheel ring gear. Cars with more years and miles under its belt are more likely to have problems due to faulty rotating electrical parts.

Fuel injection delivery issues while cranking the engine may also result in starting difficulties. Scheduling regular cleaning of the fuel injection parts and the throttle body helps prevent this problem.

Part 2 will discuss three more top indicators of car electrical problems.

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, car maintenance,Engine Repair
Written by Jessica Golden

How to Recognize Eight Symptoms of Engine Damage – Part 2

car repair, car maintenance,Engine Repair As discussed in Part 1, cars get their power required to function properly from their heart, the engine.  Damage to the engine will have a major effect on vehicle performance.  Part 2 will cover four more symptoms of engine damage that should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

5) Oil Patches

Oil patches beneath the vehicle are usually from an engine leak. When oil is depleted, there will be greater friction within the engine, generating excess heat and causing damage over time. The most typical oil leaks occur due to faulty engine oil seals, sump plugs, and sump plug washers.

6) Rough Engine

A rough-running engine will vibrate, stutter, or lose power as revolutions increase. Typical repairs to fix this problem are replacing the spark plugs and ignition coils, checking fuel pressure, cleaning the air flow meter, and getting a tune-up.

7) Smoke From Exhaust

The causes of smoke coming from the exhaust can be often determined by its color.

Black smoke indicates that an engine’s fuel combustion is incomplete, resulting in burning excessive fuel due to the problems below:

  • Clogged fuel return line
  • Damaged fuel injectors
  • Dirty or damaged air filter
  • Faulty sensors
  • Mechanical damage inside engine

Gray smoke can be a symptom of several issues, and it is more of a challenge to diagnose. The probable causes include:

  • Greater than normal oil consumption
  • Stuck PCV valve
  • Transmission fluid problems

Dark blue smoke indicates that an engine is burning oil because it is leaking into the combustion chamber. The reasons are listed below:

  • Damaged valve seals
  • Damaged or worn engine components
  • Worn out piston rings

8) Strange Odors

Emissions should never be smelled by passengers within the vehicle. The smell of exhaust, engine fumes, and strange odors could be symptoms of engine damage.

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 customer waiting area offers free Wi-Fi.

Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. Our courteous and professional staff will be very happy to see you.

Auto Repair ,Tune-up ,Auto Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Engine Valve Failure and Prevention for Your Import

Auto Repair ,Tune-up ,Auto AlignmentsThe cylinder head of your car contains valves that are an essential feature of your engine. They experience extreme stress, opening and closing a maximum of 2,500 times a minute when functioning normally. If one or more have damage, your car may experience loss of power, greater fuel use, and total engine failure. Valve failures are most commonly caused by bent or broken valves and burnt valves.

Bent or Broken Valves

When valves come in contact with pistons, they can become bent or broken. Valves touching the top of pistons occur from improper engine synchronization caused by a broken timing chain/belt or poorly fitted chains or belts. Do not try starting an engine if you suspect either case because more costly damage may result to the pistons, cylinder head, and cylinder bores.

Burnt Valves

Burnt valves result from combustion gases leaking between the valve and valve seat when they are not sealing properly. As a result, very hot combustion gases gradually burn off the valve’s edges, worsening if not repaired. This condition typically only harms the exhaust valves. However, intake valves can also be damaged.

Burnt valves will worsen fuel consumption and vehicle performance. Symptoms such as rough idling, loss of power, misfiring, and backfiring indicate valve burn. It would be wise to have your car inspected by a certified mechanic when you notice these signs because continued engine operation with burnt valve(s) will result in more damage and costlier repairs.

Irregular combustion from poor air/fuel mixture will generate carbon residues that will be deposited around the seat region, compromising the seal between the valve and its seat and resulting in valve burn. Regularly scheduled engine tune-ups and servicing can help prevent this problem. Using only good quality fuel will help minimize carbon build up around the valve seals.

The partial blocking of cylinder head cooling channels can result in insufficient cooling, resulting in burnt valves. In addition, valve clearances beyond specifications can compromise valve sealing and also result in this kind of failure. Proper maintenance that keeps the cooling system clean and running efficiently will prevent overheating.

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, 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 mechanic, car repair,maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Replacing Your Car’s Faulty Ignition Coil

car mechanic, car repair,maintenanceTransforming 12 volts of low voltage D.C. to 50,000 volts or higher of high voltage D.C., the ignition coil produces a spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture inside the engine that allows a vehicle to smoothly start and run properly.

In contrast, an improperly functioning ignition coil will not generate the spark that is needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture, resulting in a misfire. Worse, a faulty ignition coil can cause serious damage to an engine or catalytic converter.

If an auto has a coil over plugs, the standard recommendation is replacing the spark plugs when the ignition coil is determined to be faulty. However, if the auto has a single coil for the ignition system, replacement is not needed.

Effects of a Faulty Ignition Coil

A faulty ignition coil can damage spark plugs and ignition wires. To prevent problems, these two parts should definitely be inspected upon replacing an ignition coil. Ignition coils are frequently damaged by parts leaking hot oil upon them. This can be avoided by identifying and replacing leaking parts.

Replacement Process

  • Testing of ignition coil(s)
  • Removal and replacement of malfunctioning coil(s)
  • Inspection of electrical connectors and spark plugs

Prevention

In order to ensure a vehicle’s ignition system remains in good shape, follow the manufacturer’s regular maintenance schedule. The service technician should measure the spark plug wires’ resistance. Wires with excessive resistance can significantly shorten the service life of an ignition coil. A misfiring engine due to a malfunctioning ignition coil will activate the check engine light. In such cases, do not drive the vehicle for a prolonged period to prevent damage and expensive repairs.

Symptoms of Faulty Ignition Coil

  • Activated check engine light
  • Engine runs roughly and misfires
  • Vehicle cannot start

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 service center, car repair
Written by Jessica Golden

Typical Fuel System Services and Repairs for Your Vehicle

car service center, car repair

Every car having an internal combustion engine powered by gasoline relies on a functioning fuel system in order to run. A fuel system is not that complex, comprised of a filler hose, gas tank, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel injection system, and several fuel lines.

The least troublesome are the filler hose, tank, and fuel lines, which won’t fail except for extreme cases of rust or corrosion. However, the other components are more vulnerable to failure. The following will discuss the typical fuel system services and repairs for vehicles.

Fuel Filter

The replacement of the fuel filter is the most basic service for a vehicle’s fuel system. The fuel filter’s job is to remove contaminants from the gasoline to make sure the engine will not be affected by undesired moisture or debris.

A fuel filter will eventually begin to clog after many thousands of miles, preventing the free flow of gasoline to the engine. Clogging will cause a vehicle to idle poorly, run roughly, stall or even be unable to start. The fuel filter is the first thing to check if the delivery of fuel becomes a problem.

Fuel Injection

A car’s fuel injection system sprays gasoline into the engine’s combustion chambers. It will require cleaning after running for a number of years and many miles to make sure it continues to function properly. The leaking of individual injectors can also occur, and this problem will cause excessive consumption of fuel.

Fuel Pump

For modern vehicles, the fuel pump is powered by electricity and located within the gas tank. It may be a challenge to replace in terms of effort and cost, but it may be required in certain situations.

When a fuel pump starts failing, the car owner will hear odd noises such as clicking sounds coming from the back of the vehicle where the gas tank is located. The vehicle will also have trouble accelerating at times.

List of Typical Fuel System Services and Repairs

  • Fuel Filter
  • Fuel Injection Cleaning
  • Fuel Injector Replacement
  • Fuel Line Replacement
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Pressure Test
  • Intake Cleaning

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 shop, repair and maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

Automotive Diagnostics and Vehicle Components – Part 2

car mechanic, auto shop, repair and maintenanceAs discussed in Part 1, automotive diagnostics involve checking several systems in your vehicle. Part 2 will continue by discussing the Ignition System and the Air Conditioning System.

Ignition System & ECU

When the key is turned in the vehicle’s ignition, an electrical charge is sent to the starter motor to crank and start the engine. Afterwards, the ignition system, which is made up of an ignition coil, distributor, distributor cap, rotor, spark plug wires and spark plugs, takes over. An ECU (engine control unit) provides the computerized guidance for the ignition system to ensure optimal engine performance. This system should be inspected as part of the tune-up process.

Air Conditioning System

Typically, the air conditioning (A/C) system of your car should be inspected annually, but check the owner’s manual for your vehicle to confirm the recommended service interval. As time passes, a car’s A/C system gradually becomes less efficient. The main causes may involve defective parts, leaking refrigerant gas, and insufficient pressure.

A/C System Inspection

Inspections of the air conditioning system should include the following three items:

  • Visually check all tubes, pipes, connections, and components.
  • Search for leaks.
  • Check refrigerant gas pressure.

Servicing the air conditioning system of your vehicle will require the removal of the refrigerant gas. Then the pipes, tubes, and connections will be inspected for leaks and necessary repairs are made. Afterwards, the A/C system will be refilled with pressurized refrigerant gas.

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.

Written by Jessica Golden

Common Causes of Fuel Fumes

Auto Repair,Auto AlignmentsIf you smell fuel inside your car, it can be very hazardous and harmful for your health as well. You and your passengers should never be smelling gasoline fumes while you are driving a vehicle. There is certainly a problem, and the following will discuss the six common causes of car gasoline fumes. Bring your car to an independent automotive services facility for greater value.

Faulty Canister

The majority of people are not aware there is a charcoal canister inside their vehicles. Filled with charcoal, the canister is used to purge excessive fuel vapors from the fuel tank, decreasing emissions prior to being released into the environment. However, if it has a crack or leak caused by a defective seal or vent, it will allow fumes to escape into the vehicle. The check engine light will probably be activated, and the computer fault code from diagnostics will pinpoint the issue.

Fuel Line Leak

Running beneath the vehicle from the gas tank to the engine, a faulty fuel line can be a cause for fumes. As they are exposed to the elements and can be struck by road debris, fuel lines, especially those made of rubber can eventually be compromised by wear and tear after lots of mileage. Fuel-injected vehicles have high-pressured fuel lines, and a faulty fuel line will spray gas out in a mist, creating fumes.

Fuel Tank Leak

Perhaps the most typical cause of fumes, there are several reasons why a fuel tank leak occurs. Corrosion and punctures are two causes. The filler tube running into the tank may also be faulty. A leak may leave a stain underneath the vehicle wherever it is parked. Fuel dripping from the tank can be a hazard because it is flammable and should be repaired immediately.

Gas Cap

A missing or loose gas cap is an obvious reason for gas fumes inside your car. It is also possible that your vehicle’s gas cap is defective, allowing fumes to leak into the passenger area. This problem will activate the check engine light on newer cars.

Injector Leak

The reason for this kind of fuel leak is the injector rubber seal or o-ring.  Every fuel injector is equipped with a rubber seal at its bottom and an o-ring at its top. Over time, the rubber will harden, become brittle, and ultimately crack, needing replacement.

Fuel Pump

On some vehicles, the fuel pump seal could fail causing fumes inside the vehicle. There may be no visible signs of fuel leakage. This is fairly common issue on some Volvos and there was even an extended warranty. Check with your professional automotive technician to see if your vehicle fails within the affected model ranges.

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 Mechanic, Repair AnnapolisRepair, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Post-Summer Tune-up for Fall Driving

Transmission,car mechanic, Repair AnnapolisRepair, AnnapolisIf you are like many Americans, you took advantage of the summer to spend more time with family and friends. That probably means your car logged many miles on the road the last couple of months, causing faster wear and tear. Now that it is Fall, your vehicle may be due for a tune-up if it has the symptoms below.

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Decreased engine power
  • Rough idling or running engine
  • Stalling when standing still
  • Engine knocks when car accelerating
  • Engine continues running even after turning off ignition
  • Check engine light activated

Basic Engine Tune-up

Bringing in your vehicle for regularly scheduled maintenance will extend its service life. Certified mechanics will perform a maintenance check, run diagnostics if necessary, and make recommendations based on their findings. Technicians typically use a checklist like the one below for a misfire related engine tune-up, which contains tasks intended for preventative and restorative maintenance.

  • Spark plug appearance – Inspect appearance for wear. Examine color of insulator firing noses. Engines running well will have spark plugs that have gray or beige insulator firing noses. Other colors could indicate an engine issue.
  • Spark plug performance – Check spark’s color and whether or not it is properly igniting the fuel/air mixture.
  • Inspect spark plug wires, if equipped, to ensure they are not cracked or brittle.
  • Inspect fuel filter for age and condition.
  • Test fuel pump operations if suspected of being faulty.
  • Check fuel injectors, if accessible, for dirt and other deposits that may decrease how much fuel will be provided to the engine.
  • Verify whether buildup on fuel injectors is causing spark plug to misfire.
  • Inspect PCV system for leaks, which may include smoke testing.

Tune-up Procedures Will Vary

A car’s make, mileage, age, maintenance record, and manufacturer’s recommendations all have an impact on the tune-up services that are needed. Certain vehicles will require an inspection of a greater number of engine components than those noted above.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Imports 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.

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