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.

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.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

What’s Important About a Tune-Up

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MDIn the old days, a tune-up involved a lot more labor due to carburetors and mechanical parts. However, like the old days, today’s tune-ups still involve maintenance tasks, adjustments, and repairs beneath a vehicle’s hood, as opposed to other sections or parts of a car such as shocks or brakes.

Understanding the basics of a tune-up will help you keep your car running better and lasting longer. The following are the most important aspects to keep in mind about tune-ups:

Tune-Up Basics

The tune-up of an engine will normally focus on components beneath the hood that need to be repaired, cleaned, or replaced. These components include:

  • Belts and hoses
  • Distributor cap
  • Fluids
  • Fuel injection system
  • Rotors
  • Spark plugs
  • Wires
  • There are tune-ups that also include the inspection of other components like filters, valves, and pumps. These will vary, depending on the make, model, and production year of a vehicle. If you think your vehicle needs a more comprehensive inspection, a complete car-checkup will include several additional key features.
  • Regarding how often a tune-up should be performed, every vehicle will have different requirements. However, having one a year is usually a good standard. You should certainly have your vehicle inspected and have a tune-up performed if there has been a noticeable loss of engine power, problems starting, or odd noises, vibrations, or odors emanating from the engine. Consult with a certified technician about the proper tune-up schedule for your car.

Regular Tune-up Benefits

The following are the benefits from having regular maintenance inspections and precision tune-ups performed for your vehicle:

  • Conserve gas and save money
  • Ensure your car retains a greater resale value
  • Get greater reliability from engine
  • Maintain your vehicle at its peak performance
  • Prevent major breakdowns and costly repair expenses
  • Reduce emissions that pollute environment
  • Restore engine power and car acceleration

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 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.

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.

Auto Alignments,Car Repair Help
Written by Jessica Golden

Typical Transmission Issues During Winter

Auto Alignments,Car Repair HelpThe middle of winter brings conditions that negatively impact the transmission of your car. This article will discuss how the colder months can put more stress on a transmission and the typical issues that may arise.

Frozen Gears

Gears may freeze to each other if they have been sitting idle for a while. Symptoms are the car does not shift as fast and shifting is more difficult, which may lead to damage over an extended period. To help prevent this, warm up your vehicle gradually by driving it gently for the first few miles. Idling for a long period will not be as effective.

Iced Fuel Lines

When temps are at freezing or below, a typical issue is fuel lines becoming frozen over with ice. This may compromise fuel line integrity, resulting in significant conditions that involve the entire car, along with the transmission. One way of preventing fuel lines from icing is ensuring your vehicle’s fuel tank remains as full as possible.

Slipping

Temperatures near or below freezing contract the components of a transmission. When this occurs, leakage from the fluid line as well as decreased line pressure may result, making the gears slip because of lower transmission fluid levels.

Thickened Fluid

Prolonged exposure to cold weather will eventually cause a vehicle’s transmission fluid to thicken and lose viscosity. Major transmission issues result from this condition and the performance of the car will suffer. A solution may be found in using less viscous fluid during the winter season.

Uncontrolled Revving

This is a common problem that occurs when a car that has not been used for a long time is started when it is very cold. The engine will begin revving uncontrollably and you will be unable to stop the revving. The issue usually resolves itself after several minutes when the car is warmed up and achieves an adequate temperature.

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.

car maintenance, car repairs
Written by Jessica Golden

Basic Car Maintenance Tips for the Fall

Fall is just a few weeks away, and the warmer and dryer days of summer will be replaced by cooler and wetter conditions. Take the opportunity to get your car ready for rougher weather. Below are basic car maintenance tips for the fall. Find a reputable independent automotive service facility near you for better value and personalized service.

Brakes

A summer of long drives has taken a toll on your car’s brakes, and it makes sense to have them inspected before autumn brings rain and maybe even snow. Make sure your brakes are functioning well, so you have enough stopping distance on wet surfaces. Brakes are the most important safety feature of your vehicle.

Inspect Lights

Conduct an inspection of your vehicle’s headlights and signals. The days are gradually getting shorter, and commutes that were in sunlight will eventually be in darkness. If any signal lights are faulty or burned out, have them replaced. For your headlights, have their vertical and horizontal alignment checked and adjusted accordingly.

Tires

If you reside in a region that has four seasons, being prepared with seasonal tires is crucial for keeping your car safe by optimizing its traction on the road. Many independent car service shops provide new tires, installation, balance, and alignment, along with expert advice. They can help you meet seasonal driving conditions with the correct tires.

Windshield Wipers

It is a good idea to replace your wiper blades every fall before the wetter and colder weather arrives. Properly functioning wipers help ensure driver visibility and promotes driving safety. If it has been more than year since you have had your windshield wipers replaced, take the opportunity to do this before fall and winter brings ice and snow.

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.

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 repair services, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Pre-Summer Car Inspection Checklist

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

Air Conditioning

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

Belts

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

Brakes

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

Coolant

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

Headlights

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

Routine Maintenance

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

Service Intervals

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

Suspension

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

Tires

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

Transmission

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

Windshield Wipers

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

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import Services has provided reputable and trusted services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

car mechanic, Repair, maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

When to Service and Replace Spark Plugs

Vehiclecar mechanic, Repair,  maintenance manufacturers frequently advertise that their cars feature extended-life spark plugs that are capable of retaining a precise gap for 100,000 miles. Waiting for this milestone may be shortsighted considering an 80,000-mile spark plug has only 20% of its service life remaining. The more a spark plug gap widens, the further away it will be from specifications. As a result, both engine performance and fuel efficiency will decrease.

Wear and Tear

Staying fixed in place for many thousands of miles, old spark plugs tend to seize inside the cylinder head, and the two-piece designs are prone to breaking. If this occurs, the repair job can be quite expensive because of the difficulty of removing the spark plug. Replacing spark plugs well before the end of their service life is a good idea to prevent a breakdown while driving.

Regular Inspections

Although your car may have extended-life spark plugs, they should be regularly inspected at 30,000-mile intervals to ensure proper functioning. During that service, the fuel filter, air filter, and cabin air filter should also be checked if they need replacement. The tires and brakes, along with the battery and charging system, should be inspected as well. Regular maintenance plays a big part in maintaining the reliability, safety, and resale value of a car.

Recommendations

It is advisable that the replacement spark plugs are of the same type which originally equipped the car. Engineered by the manufacturer specifically for your vehicle, these new spark plugs are the perfect fit for your engine. Some cars feature spark plug wires, and they should be checked when the spark plugs are replaced. An older wire can become brittle, and it may even disintegrate when being disengaged from a spark plug. Well-made spark plug wires have a service life ranging from 60,000 to 70,000 miles. Similar to old spark plugs, it would be wise to replace them before the end of their service life to prevent engine misfiring. Misfiring may seriously damage the catalytic converter, a very expensive part to remove and replace.

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.

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