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.

Auto Repair, Annapolis MD
Written by Stu Kushner

All-Season and Winter Tire Misconceptions

Auto Repair, Annapolis MDWhen road surfaces are not dry or even, tires may be considered as the most important safety feature of a car, following brakes. Their responsibilities include moving, stopping, and steering your vehicle. Surprisingly, many auto owners are not aware of their importance. Maybe it is because they do not know the basics of science behind their engineering and materials. The following will discuss five typical misconceptions regarding all-season and tires.

Misconception 1: All-season tires provide better traction than summer tires.

Tire design involves making compromises. The improvement of a single performance factor will almost invariably result in decreasing one or more other performance factors. Engineering an all-season tire will require compromising traction on wet streets for improved steering on snow and freezing temperatures. This is achieved by selecting materials that retain flexibility at cold temperatures, but decrease traction on wet roads.

Misconception 2: Winter tires are designed just for snow.

Winter tires are manufactured by using rubber compounds and various components that allow them to stay flexible in temperatures less than 45°F. This quality gives winter tires improved braking and handling in these lower temperatures, although there is no snow present on the road.

Misconception 3: All-season tires are adequate for winter.

Although mild weather variations make all-season tires ideal, freezing temperatures with ice and snow will require winter tires that will provide the needed performance for traction and safety. Resistant to becoming brittle and cracking in the cold, the flexible rubber of winter tires allows them to function better than all-seasons in freezing temperatures. In addition, they feature deep treads with specialized designs, giving them superior and safer traction in snow and slush.

Misconception 4: Winter tires are more costly.

Actually, winter tires are comparable in cost to both summer and all-season tires.

Misconception 5: Four-wheel drive vehicles do not need winter tires.

On snow-covered roads, four-wheel drive will give vehicles a boost for accelerating, but are of little assistance when stopping. Although the four-wheel drive provides more control over tires, this feature will be minimized in winter conditions if the tires are not adequately flexible to provide traction or their tread design cannot properly handle snow.

Last Advice

Aside from providing high-quality tires to satisfied customers, 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,services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Is It Time for Your Timing Belt?

car mechanic,services, Annapolis MDIt may be time to replace your timing belt, depending on your car manufacturer’s recommended service interval. The timing belt maintains the proper turning rate of the crankshaft and camshaft. While the crankshaft pulls pistons upward for compression and exhaust cycles, the pistons push downward for the power and intake cycles. In some cars, a timing belt will also control the injection, oil, and water pumps. The camshaft governs intake and exhaust by opening and closing the valves. The timing of a valve’s opening has to be correct to let fuel inside, and the timing for a valve’s closing must also be correct to permit compression.

Issues and Replacement

Unlike timing chains, timing belts do not make loud noises when they are loose or cracking. There are times when a timing belt must be removed to service another part, such as the water pump. However, it is not recommended to reinstall a used timing belt because it will have been stretched. Labor cost is most of the expense when replacing a timing belt or water pump. As a result, it makes sense to go ahead and purchase both a new timing belt and water pump when replacing either part, especially when they are near the end of their service lives.

When a Timing Belt Breaks

At best, the car’s engine will just stop running when a timing belt breaks because of the lost connection between the camshaft and crankshaft in a non-interference engine. However, the story is much different for an interference engine. One or several valves may have stayed in the open position, and pistons will smash upwards with great force into them. There will be some valves damaged as well as pistons broken. In the worst case scenario, rods and valves may push through the cover of the engine or the pistons may go through the oil pans, ruining the engine.

Service Intervals

Timing belt replacement intervals can range significantly depending on the manufacturer. It is wise to verify your auto manufacturer’s service interval for the timing belt in your car’s manual and follow their recommendation. This can mileage and/or time based. Failures usually occur during temperature extremes.

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 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 mechanic, Repair, maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

4 Common Car Problems of Summer

car mechanic, Repair,  maintenanceAfter being through a tough winter of driving, you may think that you can take it easy as far worrying about your car during the summer. Unfortunately, high temperatures can also cause damage to your vehicle. Road temperatures can easily exceed 100 degrees for several days in a row during a heat wave. Prolonged exposure to heat can affect every component of your car. The following are four common car problems of summer.

Read More
car repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Top Eight Vehicle Services for New Drivers – Part 2

 car mechanic, car shop, repair servicesAs discussed previously, a new driver will probably be driving a used car. The vehicle may be more of a challenge to maintain because it will be older with higher mileage. However, proper and regular maintenance will save you money in the long run. Part 1 covered the topics of air filter, battery, brakes, and hoses and belts. Part 2 will discuss the last four of the eight most important services for your vehicle.

Oil Change

Lubricating the moving parts of the engine, oil provides critical protection from high temperatures and friction. As oil gets older, its viscosity starts breaking down, and eventually it will lose its effectiveness. Although newer vehicles may not need oil services every 3,000 miles depending on the oil use, you should perform regular checks of the oil level. Make sure to discuss your vehicle, manufacturer’s recommendations and usage of your vehicle for the proper oil and service interval recommendations.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are responsible for the ignition of the air/fuel mixture within each cylinder of your engine. This results in multiple controlled explosions that provide the energy necessary to power every internal-combustion vehicle. As do every electrical element, a spark plug will eventually burn out. If a spark plug stops working, the engine will be forced to work harder, and this will be very inefficient. Check the manufacturer’s recommended replacement intervals. They can be recommended by both time and/or mileage.  Ensuring the spark plugs are in good condition will result in smoother running and an engine with longer service life.

Tires

Car tires are engineered to last for thousands of miles, and they can be costly. However, even tires of the highest quality will eventually wear and undergo a loss of air pressure. Maintaining proper tire inflation has three very important benefits. First, tires will last significantly longer because wear will be more even. Second, safety is enhanced because under or over inflated tires are much more likely to blowout at highway speeds. Third, proper inflation results in improved fuel efficiency, reducing costs. Other important tire services are regular tire rotations and alignments, which will also assure even tire wear.

Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are important because they help ensure a driver’s visibility, making driving safer. The longevity of your windshield wipers will depend on the region where you live. Rubber will degrade more quickly because of UV rays and high temperatures if you live in the Sunbelt. Similarly, cars driven in areas that experience freezing temperatures will have wiper blades that will degrade faster because of cold and salt. Depending on the normal weather conditions of your area, replacing wiper blades ever six to twelve months will be necessary to make sure they remain effective.

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.

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

How to Tell If Your Car Needs a New Starter

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisThe first reason people usually think of why a car won’t start is a dead battery. Sometimes that is the cause of the problem, but the issue can actually be the related to the starter. However, what are the symptoms of a faulty starter? The following will discuss several of these and provide important information, but it’s best to get solid information from a reputable and experienced certified mechanic.

Freewheeling

If the engine is cranked and the starter whines without the engine starting, this is called freewheeling. This is happening because the starter gear cannot engage with the flywheel. This defect will likely require replacing the starter.

Grinding

If the starter’s drive gear has been worn out or cannot engage properly, it will typically generate a grinding noise that sounds the same if a driver started the car’s engine and inadvertently engaged the starter once more. Ignoring this warning sign may eventually cause damage to the engine’s flywheel.

Oil Leak

As most starters are positioned near the bottom portion of the engine, they are quite vulnerable to soaking by engine oil or drive train fluid leaks. A starter that has been subjected to such liquids will have its service life considerably shortened. To prevent being left stranded because your car won’t start, any leaks should be fixed and a starter damaged because of fluid leaks should be immediately replaced.

Smoke

The sight of smoke is a sign of serious problems involving the starting circuit or starter itself. Typically, smoke is an indication of excessive power is being supplied to a starter. This is caused by shorting starter or connection issue. In any case, when smoke and a burning smell are noticed, the car owner is strongly advised to tow his or her vehicle to a service facility as quickly as possible.

Solenoid

Transmitting electrical current from the battery to the starter’s motor after the key is turned, the solenoid also inserts the starter drive into the flywheel to permit cranking. Lacking a solenoid, the starter will be unable to function. If an engine is unable to crank, there is a good likelihood that the solenoid is faulty.

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.