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Bells Mill AutoCare

964 Bells Mill Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23322

(757) 436-5950

Straight And True In Chesapeake: Wheel Alignment

Posted on August 19,15 by truck2

Most Chesapeake folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Chesapeake car owners is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more costly than an alignment check in Chesapeake. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Chesapeake.

Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your pickup. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the pickup may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your pickup can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Chesapeake street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Norfolk driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your pickup, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Bells Mill AutoCare technician will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Bells Mill AutoCare service professional can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an inspection more often. Ask your considerate tech for a recommendation.

If your pickup is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your pickup pulls to one side when you drive around Chesapeake. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Chesapeake motorists should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get an inspection, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for Virginia Beach motorists, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Chesapeake residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Bells Mill AutoCare

Posted on May 12,15 by truck2

When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Chesapeake can cause your pickup’s wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time in Chesapeake when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded VA interstate. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.

Here are some alignment basics from Bells Mill AutoCare:

The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.

The ideal alignment for your pickup was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Bells Mill AutoCare starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare technician will look at tire condition.

From there, the pickup is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to pickup vehicle manufacturers’s specifications.

Your pickup owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Bells Mill AutoCare before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

Chesapeake Alignment Service

Posted on March 05,15 by truck2

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Bells Mill AutoCare can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

Bells Mill AutoCare
964 Bells Mill Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322
757.436.5950

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment For Your Chesapeake pickup

Posted on January 16,15 by truck2

Imagine you’ve left Chesapeake and you’re up in the arctic on a dog sled.

Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.

That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you’re covering less ground for the same effort.

You’re wasting kibble.

Alignment The same is true of your pickup when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that’s pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You’re wasting gas.

So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is essential to get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side.

Sometimes we Chesapeake car owners bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.

Chesapeake car owners need to make sure they’re tracking straight. You’ll get better fuel efficiency and your tires’ll last longer. Now, mush!

Bells Mill AutoCare
964 Bells Mill Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322
757.436.5950

Tracking True In VA: Wheel Alignment In Virginia Beach

Posted on October 03,14 by truck2

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Virginia Beach and Norfolk drivers until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Chesapeake expressway or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive pickup suspension problems.

Tracking True In VA: Wheel Alignment In Virginia Beach

But the big issue for Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake auto owners is safety. When your pickup wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake.

When undergoing an alignment service at Bells Mill AutoCare, your pickup is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Norfolk drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Chesapeake service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in VA that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Virginia Beach drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why auto manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your pickup owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Bells Mill AutoCare Russ Gibson or your service advisor at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Bells Mill AutoCare is cheaper for Virginia Beach car owners than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

Trip Inspection at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake

Posted on March 12,14 by truck2

Chesapeake drivers love their cars. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Chesapeake auto owners can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding VA byways or expressways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage. Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake to help you prepare your pickup for your big adventure. A lot of our Chesapeake customers prefer to go through this exercise with their considerate  technician to get their input and make sure they haven’t overlooked anything.

A great place for Chesapeake motorists to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn’t want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Chesapeake rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you’ll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that’s pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous for Chesapeake auto owners. 

And don’t forget your brakes, Chesapeake drivers. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Talk to your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tech.

Your engine air filter will be key. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you’ll notice improved gas mileage on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it’s due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don’t need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Bells Mill AutoCare is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other essential maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your pickup? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it’s an exhaust leak it could be fatal for Chesapeake auto owners and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you’ll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren’t getting the cold air you used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix for quick Chesapeake car owners. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven’t changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more vital as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient and pricey delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?

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Contact Information

auto shop repair

Bells Mill AutoCare

964 Bells Mill Rd.

Chesapeake, VA 23322

Phone: (757) 436-5950

Email Us

Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.


Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday
Closed


We also accept
Checks

  • tune up
  • tune ups
  • oil changes
  • oil change