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Bells Mill AutoCare

964 Bells Mill Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23322

(757) 436-5950

Bells Mill AutoCare Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Posted on December 09,15 by truck2

Chesapeake service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Chesapeake drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Bells Mill AutoCare fuel system cleaning: Over time, the pickup fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Bells Mill AutoCare headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Bells Mill AutoCare inspections: Chesapeake drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for VA summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used pickup and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Bells Mill AutoCare oil change: – there are several options: Some Chesapeake centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Bells Mill AutoCare PCV valve replacement in Chesapeake:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Bells Mill AutoCare power steering service: Often overlooked. Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the pickup system running well for a long time.

Bells Mill AutoCare serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the pickup engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Bells Mill AutoCare shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Chesapeake people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Bells Mill AutoCare transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Bells Mill AutoCare tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Serpentine Belt Service At Bells Mill AutoCare In Chesapeake

Posted on December 01,15 by truck2

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your pickup hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your pickup. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Chesapeake.

Serpentine Belt Service At Bells Mill AutoCare In ChesapeakeMore importantly, the belt powers the alternator
. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your pickup’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most pickups, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Chesapeake cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Chesapeake auto owners realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why auto manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Bells Mill AutoCare.

At Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake, your considerate service professional can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your considerate service professional at Bells Mill AutoCare. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Bells Mill AutoCare, we recommend Chesapeake motorists that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your pickup.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s is important to the operation of your pickup. And it’s not that pricey to replace at Bells Mill AutoCare – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

Gas Savings In Chesapeake: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted on November 20,15 by truck2

High gas prices in Chesapeake increase the cost of living for VA drivers. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Chesapeake vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to VA news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Chesapeake: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Chesapeake vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Chesapeake folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Chesapeake business in the red.

So what does this mean to Chesapeake drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your gas mileage. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Chesapeake motorists honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Bells Mill AutoCare. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Chesapeake is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your pickup, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50
20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Chesapeake for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel efficiency can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Chesapeake. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180

 

So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Bells Mill AutoCare. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of bucks at Chesapeake gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

 

 

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto Running

Posted on November 06,15 by truck2

At Bells Mill AutoCare we’ve had a lot of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Norfolk clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years in VA. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Chesapeake folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this important question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average auto owners in the Chesapeake area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care in Chesapeake. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if quick Chesapeake auto owners stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some auto maker’s owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do Chesapeake drivers know what to do when they’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake, for example, leaves an opportunity for detrimental sludge to build up. Talk to your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tech.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Chesapeake are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps fuel efficiency from decreasing;
  2. it prevents expensive repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most vital thing auto owners can do. A full-service oil change at Bells Mill AutoCare means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service specialist a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get pricey. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Chesapeake area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service professional at Bells Mill AutoCare. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Bells Mill AutoCare strongly encourages Chesapeake motorists to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Chesapeake auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Chesapeake. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

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

Bells Mill AutoCare: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Posted on July 09,15 by truck2

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your pickup engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on VA highways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your pickup needs a lot of air to keep going in Suffolk. A lot of clean air is best.

Bells Mill AutoCare: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your pickup also works better when its internals are clean. When your pickup air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your pickup engine does you no good.

So, we’re talking potential damage for Chesapeake drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your pickup engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with fuel efficiency.

In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Suffolk fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your pickup engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in VA. A simple visual inspection at Bells Mill AutoCare will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Bells Mill AutoCare service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

Budget For Maintenance in Chesapeake

Posted on June 11,15 by truck2

Sometimes busy Chesapeake residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Chesapeake in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Chesapeake motorists spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Chesapeake motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Chesapeake car owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Chesapeake area auto service centers.

Chesapeake drivers should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Chesapeake is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, VA drivers can avoid many pricey pickup repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Chesapeake motorists can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Suffolk drivers know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your pickup will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Bells Mill AutoCare: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and VA auto insurance with an older Chesapeake vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for essential preventive maintenance in VA, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less costly!

Training Received by Technicians In Chesapeake, VA

Posted on June 03,15 by truck2

When your car breaks down in the Chesapeake, VA area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Chesapeake motorists a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

We’ve been checking into some of the vital training our Chesapeake VA technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

Today there are four cylinder engines around Chesapeake that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel efficiency keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Chesapeake car owners at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on VA freeways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Chesapeake auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It’s a real challenge for the technicians at  Bells Mill AutoCare and other Chesapeake auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Chesapeake service advisors go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Chesapeake automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

Service centers in Chesapeake, VA have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Bells Mill AutoCare subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Chesapeake car owners want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your pickup in. Chesapeake auto owners can trust their considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service professionals. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Bells Mill AutoCare. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

At Bells Mill AutoCare, we provide quality automotive service including cabin air filter, safety inspection and cabin air filter.<br><br>

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Chesapeake

Posted on May 05,15 by truck2

The hottest VA news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Chesapeake. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Chesapeake drivers can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Chesapeake environment. You can really improve your fuel efficiency by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Chesapeake car owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Chesapeake service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Bells Mill AutoCareservice specialist. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Chesapeake gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced MPG. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the pickup owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with vital information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Chesapeake car owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s harmful dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Chesapeake residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced gas mileage! And with current gas prices in the Chesapeake area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Chesapeake drivers cash at the pump. 

Now most Chesapeake drivers aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other important services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Bells Mill AutoCare knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Bells Mill AutoCare – which may also be updated with recall notices and critical maintenance schedule items from your auto manufacturer.

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

Posted on February 17,15 by truck2

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the auto manufacturer to issue recall notices to Chesapeake residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The auto manufacturer then tries to contact all Chesapeake auto owners who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Chesapeake service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
Bells Mill AutoCare
964 Bells Mill Rd Chesapeake, VA 23322
757.436.5950

These recalls always affect safety, so Chesapeake drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Chesapeake car owners and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Chesapeake motorists still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, auto makers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Chesapeake service centers (including Bells Mill AutoCare)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Chesapeake service professional receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Chesapeake car owners can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Chesapeake vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Maintenance Free Myth

Posted on January 20,15 by truck2


Sometimes we hear Chesapeake auto owners say, “What’s up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don’t break down.” While it is true that today’s cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Chesapeake drivers don’t realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today’s automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle’s components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don’t think we’re using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance – but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staff members to emphasize and show how vital it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and cash. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from a staffer who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in VA and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced – just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundred of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. Our staffer took his SUV in for the VA safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Chesapeake inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the cash. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind – over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little bucks on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Chesapeake car owners: don’t skip your vital annual inspections. The irony is that many Chesapeake service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy’s little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn’t get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire – so it was vigorous enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later – and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son’s maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done – it cost several hundred dollars. His wife’s car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed and the entire head was shredded and had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the car maker’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does – every time he passes a big-screen TV.

The team at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better and is more economical to operate in VA. Remember to save those maintenance records. It’ll show potential buyers that you’ve taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren’t any, assume that the maintenance hasn’t been done and take it to your Virginia Beach or Norfolk service center or Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake for an inspection. Take care of unperformed essential routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

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

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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