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 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.

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.

Auto Alignments, Front-End Alignments
Written by Jessica Golden

Alignment Settings for Classic Car’s Front Suspension – Part 2

Auto Alignments, Front-End AlignmentsAs discussed in Part 1, front end alignments should be routine for your car, but many of us aren’t aware how their settings affect handling. Part 2 will cover the Camber and Toe settings for classic cars. Bring your vintage vehicle to a reputable independent auto service facility, where you will get better value and more personalized service.

Camber

This is the angle of wheels as seen from the front. A negative camber is an inward angle or lean of the top of the wheel. Positive camber is an outward angle or lean. A negative camber is typically preferred because it will provide counteracting forces to the suspension’s tendency to lift the contact patch off the ground as the car corners in a turn.

This setting’s most significant effect is on a vehicle’s ability to maintain front end traction as it corners. Another major effect it has is on the uneven wear of tires. This is due to the inner edges of both front tires bearing larger loads than the outer edges, causing greater wear in that area over time.

Factory settings are typically zero to positive camber to retain understeer. This will give the front end the tendency to wash out or push. Automotive manufacturer’s lawyers prefer this setting because it reduces the likelihood of new drivers spinning out the rear end with an aggressive turn. The overall effects are reduced traction and a vehicle that turns slower.

Toe

The toe setting is the angle of the front wheel when seen from above. The front tires can either point inward or outward, and this setting is influenced by a vehicle’s ride height. An automobile travelling fast can undergo significant changes in its toe settings as the front suspension is affected by the forces of aerodynamics. The majority of vehicles have a toe in setting.

Settings

Discuss your driving preferences with a technician to help determine the proper settings for the camber, caster, and toe of your car’s front suspension. These factory standards can be gradually fine tuned to attain what is optimum for your vehicle.

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.

Annapolis Auto Import Repair
Written by Jessica Golden

Six Simple Summer Auto Care Tips

Annapolis Auto Import Repair

Schools out, and we are ready to hit the road for our favorite vacation spots. You’ll want to know how to make sure your family will get there without breaking down. Read the six simple summer auto care tips below and go to an independent service facility for greater value and more personalized service.

1) Battery Test

Hot summer temperatures speed up the loss of fluid, causing battery components to oxidize. Lots of drivers are not aware that heat is the top reason batteries fail and have shorter service lives.

2) Brake Inspection

The most important safety feature of every vehicle is its brakes. A rough winter and wet spring may have made driving conditions tougher, so get your brakes inspected and serviced before a long road trip.

3) Check Fluid Levels

Seasonal weather changes may result in low fluid levels for your vehicle’s power steering, coolant, transmission, and windshield wiper fluid. Studies have shown that the number one reason for breakdowns during the summer is overheating, so be sure to top off your coolant before your road trip.

4) Maintain Tire Pressure

Did you know your tires can decrease or increase in tire pressure depending on the weather conditions? Cold winter and spring temps will cause a 1-2 pound loss every month. Make sure all your tires, including the spare, are properly inflated before rubber hits the road for your family beach trip.

5) Oil and Filter Change

Extreme weather conditions will demand more from both your engine oil and oil filter. Oil is essential for keeping the parts of your engine lubricated. An oil filter catches dirt, metal fragments, and debris, making sure the oil is clean before entering the engine.

6) Wheel Alignment

Wheel misalignments can happen because of wear and tear or rough road conditions. Properly aligned wheels result in easier steering, better handling, smoother rides, longer tire and suspension service lives, improved braking, and safer driving.

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.

maintenance,Front-End Alignments,
Written by Jessica Golden

3 Most Common Reasons Why Transmissions Fail

maintenance,Front-End Alignments,A vehicle’s automatic transmission is crucial because it transfers engine power to the wheels while regulating the engine’s speed. A properly functioning transmission is essential to keep a car running, so it is worthwhile monitoring.

Automatic transmissions need transmission fluid in order to keep running, and that is why they are described as being “fluid-driven.” When the gears of a transmission grind, it is probably an issue related to this fluid.

The following discusses the 3 most common reasons why transmissions fail.  Fortunately, standard regular maintenance can prevent transmission failure, which can run in the thousands of dollars to repair. Visit a reputable independent service facility near you for greater value and more personalized service.

Clogged Filter

The majority of owners aren’t aware that their car has a filter for transmission fluid. This critical filter maintains a level of quality needed for the transmission fluid by keeping it clean. As the miles pass, impurities in the filter begin accumulating, and it will result in clogging. This prevents the proper volume of liquid to pass through into the transmission. Due to insufficient lubrication and cooling provided by the fluid, the transmission will eventually begin grinding and stop turning. It can also overheat. Both will lead to transmission damage that will be costly to fix.

Leaking

Perhaps the simplest method for spotting transmission issues is observing whether there is leaking fluid. Recognizable due to its red color, transmission fluid leaks are usually seen occurring around the seal or drain plug between the engine and transmission. Spots will then form on the driveway underneath the car. Leaking will result in an insufficient level that will eventually damage the transmission.

Poor Quality

Another important aspect of transmission fluid that should be monitored is its quality. If the fluid is in poor condition, it will be unable to perform its job properly. When fluid is flowing inside the transmission, it provides cooling and lubrication to the components it comes in contact with. If the fluid has degraded or is of an impure quality, the transmission’s performance will suffer. If poor-quality fluid is used for an extended period of time, the transmission will eventually cease functioning.

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 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.

Auto Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Get Your Car Ready for Spring!

car mechanic,car service,repairNow that spring is here, you should do several things for your car to make sure it’s in good shape after a long winter. It’s important because the cold weather may have caused some serious wear and tear to your vehicle. You will also be driving more now during the warmer weather, so here are some tips to make sure your car will be ready. For personal service and better value, consider working with a local reputable independent service facility.

Belts & Hoses

If your belts are squeaking, loose, cracked or frayed, have a certified mechanic inspect and adjust or replace them as needed. Hoses are equally important, so examine them for any leaks or cracks. If you spot problems, have a service facility perform a full inspection and replace them as required. Waiting too long may result in far more costly repairs.

Fluids

Ensuring your car’s fluids are at proper levels is very important for its health. This is something most car owners can easily check as most fluid containers have a fill line or dipstick for checking as laid out in the owner’s manual. If any fluids are low and you need assistance, take your vehicle to a service facility.

Tires

Roads covered with ice, snow and salt can be tough on tires. Inspect the tread wear of your tires because traction will be crucial when spring showers come. Make sure each tire’s air pressure is at the proper PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) called for in the owner’s manual. Lastly, switch to all season or summer tires if your car has been running on snow tires.

Wash Away Winter

To help prevent corrosion and rust, have your car washed thoroughly, including the undercarriage, to remove any deposits of salt and mud. Clean out the interior as well, especially the flooring.

Windshield Wipers

Winter can be brutal on windshield wipers because of snow, ice, and sleet. A worn wiper blade may no longer have enough contact surface to clear your windshield. Go ahead and replace them after each winter to ensure good driver visibility and safety during the spring rains.

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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