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.

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.

Import, Repair ,Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Top Eight Vehicle Services for New Drivers – Part 1

Import ,Repair, Annapolis MDIf you are a new driver, typically a teenager, you are probably driving a used car. Since it may be several years old and has higher mileage, you will have to work harder to make sure your ride is in good shape. It will be worth it in the long run because you will have a more reliable car. Your hard-earned money should also not be spent on expensive repairs that would not have been necessary if you had done the scheduled or necessary maintenance. Part 1 will cover the first four of the eight most important services for your vehicle.

Air Filter

The air filter cleans the air flowing into an engine of harmful particles. Eventually, the element will be so clogged, there will be a severe reduction of airflow, forcing the engine to work much harder and causing inefficiency that hurts fuel economy.

In addition, particles that are allowed to pass through by the compromised air filter will harm the engine, resulting in repairs and shortened service life. Car makers typically recommend replacing the air filter regular mileage intervals. Check your owners manual for recommendations. also make sure to check for special circumstances. If you drive on dirt roads or in heavy/city traffic often, it is recommended that the air filter be replaced more frequently.

Battery

The lifespan of most car batteries is three to five years. However, service life can be shortened by tough driving conditions and extreme temperatures. When a battery becomes three years of age, start scheduling tests of its charge. Poor results will let you know that the battery is dying and should be replaced. You will avoid being stranded because you are unable to start the car and needing to pay both for a tow and a new battery. Aside from providing dependability, a battery in good condition will allow more efficient functioning of your car. Make sure to unplug battery draining chargers when the vehicle not in use. Just because your device isn’t attached to it, doesn’t mean it’s not still drawing power for your car.

Brake Pads

As brakes are applied, its pads undergo tremendous levels of friction. They are the only barrier separating the braking mechanism from the rotor. Frequent sudden stopping will wear them down more heavily and rapidly, so it is both safer and wiser to begin slowing down well before reaching a stop. Reducing speeds prior to braking will be more fuel efficient and extend the lifespan of brake pads, saving you money.

Once brake pads are very thin, they will may make noise or the low pad warning indicator may come on the dash. This is a sure sign you need new ones as soon as possible. Depending on the make, model and mileage, the rotors may need to be replaced as well.

Hoses & Belts

It is normal that a running engine will generate high temperatures. A vehicle cooling system in good condition will be able to maintaining the proper temperature and prevent overheating. However, as the miles pass, cooling system components will experience normal wear and tear. Hoses and belts will eventually dry, crack, and break. Hoses carry important fluids from part to part. Belts transfer rotational energy from one powered component to another that needs power so it can function. Broken hoses or belts may result in significant engine damage and costly repair services. It is a good idea to ask for an inspection of belts and hoses every time there is a regularly scheduled maintenance.

Part 2 will cover the topics of Oil Services, Spark Plugs, Tires, and Wiper Blades.

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.