Car Mechanic, Repair AnnapolisRepair, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Signs Your Car’s Muffler Needs Servicing

 Car Mechanic, Repair AnnapolisRepair, AnnapolisMaking sure your muffler is well maintained is crucial for the prevention of damage to your car’s exhaust system and engine. Fortunately, you can look out for indicators that a vehicle’s muffler requires repair or replacement. The following will discuss these signs. Once you spot them, take your car to an independent service facility for more personalized service and greater value.

Exhaust Pipe Condensation

As you car’s miles adds up, its muffler might begin leaking exhaust, especially during the warmer times of the day. If there is excess condensation leaving the exhaust pipe, this can indicate the muffler is starting to be affected by wear and tear.

Foul Odor

Exhaust fumes from a faulty muffler may leak into your vehicle and the foul odor can be smelled by passengers. Potentially fatal over an extended period, it’s important to address this problem immediately.

Holes and Damaged Components

Holes and damaged components are common problems that may require the muffler to be replaced. These can be caused when a car goes into a pothole and rocks or debris strike the muffler, creating a crack that causes it to leak exhaust.

Increased Fuel Consumption

A properly maintained and functioning engine and exhaust system will result in better fuel efficiency. However, if your vehicle begins using more gas, it may be an indicator there are problems with your exhaust system and muffler.

Louder Than Normal

If you hear your car running louder than normal, there may be a problem with the muffler. Bring your vehicle to a certified technician at your earliest opportunity to prevent potentially costly damages to the catalytic converter or other parts.

Rusting

Typically, a muffler will begin rusting over time because of water generated within the exhaust system. This is because the temperature inside does not climb high enough to completely evaporate the water. This will cause condensation and, ultimately, rust. Cars in regions with more precipitation or salt in the environment are more susceptible to muffler rust.

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.

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Making the Switch to Snow Tires the Right Way

Front-End Alignments,car mechanic, car services, Annapolis MDUsing the right tires on your car will let you drive more efficiently and safely. If you live in a region that experiences snow, you probably have two sets of tires: All season or summer tires and winter tires. Having both sets will help ensure the safety of your passengers no matter the season.

If you own winter (or snow) tires or plan to buy a set, the following will discuss the right way to switch to snow tires for your vehicle. Also get the recommendation of a certified technician at an independent auto service facility, where you can get greater value and more personalized service.

When to Switch

An easy rule to remember is to make the switch to snow tires when temperatures are below 45 °F consistently. Keep in mind that all-season tires are designed for driving on paved surfaces in dry or rainy conditions, not wintry weather. Snow tires are quite different from all-seasons in both tread design and the materials used to manufacture them, resulting in different performance capabilities.

Vehicles that Need Snow Tires

Front wheel drive vehicles will perform better than rear wheel drive vehicles on icy or snowy roads. However, their traction won’t be adequate unless equipped with winter tires. Cars with rear-wheel drive definitely need snow tires in wintry conditions because they have the tendency to lose traction when road surfaces are slippery. The winter performance and handling of even all-wheel drive or 4×4 vehicles can be improved when they are fitted with snow tires.

Snow Tire Advantages

Snow tires provide a number of technological advantages for winter driving. They are manufactured with compounds that give them greater flexibility in cold temperatures. Their tread have sipes (tiny cuts) that provide superior traction on snow than all season tires. Some winter tires are equipped with metal studs built into the tread pattern to improve traction, acceleration, handling, and braking capability on snow or ice.

In terms of safety, winter tires reduce the probability of accidents and being stuck in deep snow. This will help you stay on the road, warm and safe in your car.

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 Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Car Ready for Autumn

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsWhile the month of October is considered the beginning of autumn, it’s also the time to prepare for the ice and snow sure to come your way. The following will discuss five basic maintenance tasks that will help prepare your car for winter. Strongly consider visiting an independent automotive service facility for better value and personalized service.

Inspecting Tires

Have a technician inspect and adjust the pressure of every tire, even the spare. Tires have been known to drop a pound of pressure for every dip of 10 °F. The key is following the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure set forth in the owner’s manual. Make sure to also have the tires checked for bald spots and bulges.

Another key thing to inspect is tread depth. Put a penny inside a few tread grooves and verify if a portion of Lincoln’s head always remains covered. If this is the case, the tire has more than 2/32” of tread depth left, which is the recommended by the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).

Switching to Winter Tires

When it’s less than 45 °F, all-season tires significantly lose their traction capabilities.  Winter precipitation, ice, slush, and snow, makes driving more difficult. As a result, keep in mind that when temperatures begin dropping below 45 °F consistently, it will be necessary to switch to winter (or snow) tires.

Snow tires are designed to provide traction superior to all-season tires by 25 to 50%. Vehicles can only achieve their performance potential by being fitted with the proper tires. This is especially true in regions that experience severe winter weather, when consistent braking and handling are critical.

Battery, Brakes, Heating and Defrosting, and Wiper Blades

To completely prepare for Old Man Winter, make sure to inspect the following items:

Battery – Ensure connections are tight, clean, and have no corrosion and that the battery is properly charged.

Brakes – Request a complete inspection of drums, linings, and rotors.

Heating and Defrosting – Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation are working properly will ensure comfortable passengers and being able to defrost the windshield.

Wiper Blades – Replace every six months for adequate windshield visibility.

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.

front wheel alignment,classic cars, service, Annapolis
Written by Jessica Golden

Alignment Settings for Classic Car’s Front Suspension – Part 1

front wheel alignment,classic cars, service, AnnapolisGetting a front end alignment should be routine for your car, but many of us don’t know how it affects handling. The factory specifications for an alignment are made as a compromise between tire wear and improved handling.

For example, a camber’s setting can seem to improve handling, but it will result in greater than normal tire wear. The decision regarding alignment settings then comes down to what type of driving is being done with your car.

The following will discuss the standard alignment settings for the front suspension of a typical classic car and their effects and benefits. Take care of your vintage vehicle at a reputable independent auto service facility, where you will get better value and more personalized service.

Caster

A caster allows shopping cart wheels to run straight. The steering pivot is located in front of where the wheel touches the surface and aligned toward the direction of travel. Forcing the wheel to invariably track straight, the cart travels forward or backward without swerving. This is the identical principle applied to the front end of the majority of rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Depending on the vehicle, factory settings place the angle near zero for the front wheels. This setting was effective when thin balloon tires were used decades ago. Nowadays, the contact patch or the foot print of a tire where it makes contact with the pavement is of significantly greater size.

A caster with a setting at or close to zero will result in a wandering vehicle with modern tires. The steering will also refuse to return to center after a turn. This condition is caused by the much larger contact patch, and there is also no opposing force providing the casters that force the wheels to run straight like those of a shopping cart.

The solution is having a positive caster. This is obtained by tipping the steering pivot angle toward the rear of the vehicle. As a result, the wheel has a force placed before the contact patch, keeping it aligned toward the direction of travel.

Part 2 will cover the Camber and Toe settings for classic cars.

For Great Service

Chesapeake Import 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 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.

Car Mechanic Annapolis Repair Maintenance
Written by Stu Kushner

How to Recognize Eight Symptoms of Engine Damage – Part 1

repair, maintenance, car mechanic, AnnapolisYour car gets the power required to function properly from its heart, the engine.  If there is damage to the engine, it will have a major effect on the performance of your vehicle. Here are eight symptoms of engine damage that if spotted early, will help save both time and repair costs. Bring your car to a reputable repair facility for more personalized service and greater value.

1) Check Engine Light

Using data from its On-Board Diagnostics system, a vehicle can warn you through dashboard warning lights about important problems. When the Check Engine Light activates, do not ignore it because the issue may cause greater damage to the engine and other components if not addressed. The typical causes for the activation of a check engine light involve the following:

  • Damaged catalytic converter requiring replacement
  • Loose fuel cap
  • Mass-airflow sensor needs to be replaced
  • Oxygen sensor requires replacement
  • Various electronic sensor and actuator related problems
  • Worn or faulty spark plugs, resulting in misfiring engine

2) Loss of Engine Power

Engines will struggle to run at their usual level if there is an internal problem. Your vehicle may stall, shake at high speeds or struggle with hills. If your engine isn’t working as well as it used to, get it checked by a mechanic.

3) More Fuel Consumption

Oftentimes greater fuel consumption is associated with a problem in the way your car’s engine processes fuel. If your car is using more fuel than normal, along with having an activated check engine light and other symptoms of engine damage, the problem can be critical and should be immediately checked by a technician.

4) Odd Noises

Engine knocks are a symptom of a degrading engine. They result from damage caused by wear and tear to an engine’s mechanical parts. This includes moving parts like bearings and pistons. Additional odd noises to beware of are spitting, popping, and backfiring from the tail pipe.

Part 2 will cover four more symptoms of engine damage.

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.

Front-End Alignments,Car Repair Help
Written by Jessica Golden

How Tire Balancing is Different from Wheel Alignment

Front-End Alignments,Car Repair HelpTires and steering are essential for the functioning of a car, and it’s important to know the difference between wheel balancing and wheel alignment. The following discusses the differences between the two. Bring your vehicle to a reputable independent automotive services facility for better value and personalized service.

Tire Balancing

Tire balancing should be done whenever tires are rotated or every six months. As the miles pass, wheels gradually lose their balance. Rough roads can cause uneven balances and the redistribution of weights on a tire. Typically, this is noticed when tires are wearing unevenly. If you feel the wheels vibrate, it is an indication that the wheels require balancing.

Wheel Alignment

Also known as a tire alignment or front end alignment, adjustments are performed when there are signs that the steering has gone off. One indicator is when driving straight, the steering wheel must be turned slightly to the right or left. Another indicator is having the wheels pull to the left or right when you are trying to drive straight ahead.

Wheel alignments are adjustments to the angles of the tires. This includes working on the camber, caster, and toe; these are the ways wheel orientations are measured. Generally, the recommended service interval for wheel alignments is every 10,000 miles.

Last Thoughts

Deciding whether to have a tire balancing or wheel alignment will be made easier by knowing the signs as described above. People often confuse them because they both affect steering, so talk to a certified mechanic to confirm what your vehicle needs to set things straight.

Tire balancing is related directly to the tires being unbalanced, while a wheel alignment determines what steering components require adjustment. Both play crucial roles in making sure your vehicle can be steered properly and safely.

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.

Auto Alignments,car service
Written by Jessica Golden

Tire Alignment Basics and Benefits – Part 2

Auto Alignments,car serviceAs discussed in Part 1, a tire alignment allows tires to perform properly and have longer service lives. They also improve overall performance and handling. Part 2 will discuss Alignment, Feathering, Camber Tread Wear, Heel-Toe Tread Wear, and Tire Balancing.

Alignment

A faulty tire or wheel alignment can result in tires wearing prematurely and unevenly. The following discusses several kinds of tread wear and tear caused by misalignments.

Feathering is indicated when tread is lower/smoother on one side of a tire and higher/sharper on the other. This is typically caused by improper toe alignment.

Camber Tread Wear is indicated when the outside or inside of a tire’s tread is noticeably much more worn than its center. Negative or positive camber is attributable to this kind of wear.

Heel-Toe Tread Wear is caused when one side of a tire’s tread block wears down faster than the other. When your hand goes across the tread, it will feel like saw teeth. This type of tread wear could be an indication of insufficient tire rotation or under inflation.

Tire Balancing

Differing from tire alignment, tire balancing compensates for imbalances in weight found in the wheel/tire combination. It is usually performed with a wheel alignment. The two typical kinds of imbalance that require addressing are static (single plane) and dynamic (dual plane).

A static imbalance occurs on a single plane, the vertical movement that can result in vibration. In contrast, a dynamic imbalance occurs on two planes, both vertical and lateral movements. Either imbalance will need a special balancing machine to fix the issue.

A certified mechanic will mount each tire on a rim and adjust its pressure until reaching optimal inflation. Every tire will then be put on a balancing machine’s center bore. It will spin a tire rapidly to determine the wheel/tire combination’s imbalance. This will indicate how much weight is needed to be added to the wheel in order to balance the tire.

Crucial for proper tire care, tire balancing helps prevent premature tread wear. Performing an alignment and balancing every tire every 5,000 to 6,000 miles will help lengthen their service lives and improve their overall performance.

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.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Tire Alignment Basics and Benefits – Part 1

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MDAlso described as a wheel alignment, a tire alignment allows tires to perform properly and have longer service lives. In addition to improving overall performance and handling, tire alignments prevent cars from pulling right or left or experiencing unusual vibrations while moving.

Description

A wheel alignment involves adjusting the suspension system, which connects an automobile to its wheels. What makes an alignment effective is the proper adjustment of the tires’ angles, which determine how they will contact road surfaces.

When Needed

There are several signs that will indicate whether or not your vehicle requires a tire alignment. The following lists these important signs, and car owners who find them on their vehicle should contact an automotive service facility to perform an inspection as soon as possible.

  • Car pulls to the right or left
  • Steering wheel not centered while driving straight ahead
  • Tires’ tread wear uneven
  • Vibrating steering wheel

Camber, Caster & Toe

When an inspection of a car’s tire alignment is performed, the certified mechanic is primarily checking the three items below.

Camber – When seen from the vehicle’s front, a camber is the outward or inward angle of a tire. If the outward or inward tilt is greater than normal, this indicates a positive or negative camber. Either condition indicates an improper alignment and will require adjustment. The causes for both can involve ball joints and bearings that are worn. In addition, wheel-suspension components may contribute to camber misalignment.

Caster – The caster angle assists steering, balance, cornering, and stability. It is the steering axis’ angle when seen from the vehicle’s side. A positive caster will result in the steering axis tilting toward the driver. In contrast, a negative caster will result in the steering axis tilting away from the driver.

Toe – Differing from a camber alignment, a toe alignment is the measure of how much a car’s tires turn outward or inward when seen from overhead, respectively called toe-out or toe-in alignment. Either condition will need an adjustment.

Part 2 will discuss Alignment, Feathering, Camber Tread Wear, Heel-Toe Tread Wear, and Tire Balancing.

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.

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