Battery Testing

Dirty Battery?

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Batteries are a huge part of modern life. Think of how many battery chargers you have.

Of course, our purpose here is to talk about your car battery. When people come into Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc and need a new battery, they’re really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70 percent of batteries don’t make it for 4 years.

There are some things that you can do to extend the life of your battery. First, keep it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let us know at Pro Muffler & Brake and we can clean it off. A dirty battery runs hotter, and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us take a look at that, too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into the battery cables, we can replace them.

Also, running your battery way down is bad for it. Things like running the headlights or watching a DVD player with the car turned off can deeply deplete your battery. The typical battery can only take about 10 of those deep cycle depletions before it gives up the ghost.

Because we often take short trips around Benton Harbor with lots of stops for errands, our batteries can end up not getting fully recharged just by driving around. That also shortens battery life. You can hook up a good quality automatic battery charger at home from time to time. We recommend charging once a month during hot months and every three months during cold months.

Now when it’s finally time to get a new battery, we can help you find the right replacement. We’ll always make sure to meet your manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have special needs, like live in a very cold climate or run a lot of electrical accessories, we can look at an upgrade that’ll give you the power you need.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Battery Replacement

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The Pro Muffler & Brake Guide To Battery Replacement

Benton Harbor folks know that car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Benton Harbor drivers should know when looking for a new battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in Michigan, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold.

So the colder it gets in #BentonHarbor, more power is needed, but the available power drops. So if you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the recommends, but may want to upgrade if you live where it gets real cold.

An important note: #Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps – CA – number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps – or CCA – that is the number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons of Benton Harbor auto batteries.

Now with all this talk of cold Benton Harbor temperatures, it’s for Benton Harbor drivers to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the Benton Harbor summer months shows up with the increased demands on the battery when Michigan weather turns cold.

Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips between Benton Harbor and Benton Harbor. You’re not driving long enough for the vehicle battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine.

So go with the minimum recommended by your and upgrade if you need more. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Pro Muffler & Brake about options. If you need more from your vehicle battery, a high capacity battery may be called for. #Batteries are a big ticket item, so the warranty gives piece of mind. Be sure to ask about the warranty at Pro Muffler & Brake so you know what you’re getting.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

How long will my battery last in the cold weather?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
Due to the cold weather, how often should I replace my battery?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Car batteries last longer in cold climates than in warm. Cold starts put a greater demand on batteries, but heat is also a big factor in Benton Harbor. The fact is that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This can help avoid you being stranded with a dead battery as well as undue wear on your alternator.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor, we can test your battery and alternator to see if they need to be replaced. We may find they both test out as being OK – but for some other reason things are working properly. Remember we said that the serpentine belt drives the alternator? Let our team of friendly and knowledgeable service techs at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc get to the root of your problem.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Tech Question About Battery

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Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
I’m David in Benton Harbor, Michigan. For the last year and a half I’ve had some battery problems. I had trouble starting my car so I bought a new battery at a parts store in Benton Harbor. At first everything was fine, then about six months later I had problems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again, everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren’t you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I’ve been replacing good batteries. What’s wrong with my vehicle?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Answer:
Look, we can’t fault David for not knowing what’s wrong with his vehicle – he just didn’t have enough information. And frankly, neither do I.

Let’s talk about where our friend went wrong and what he could have done. First, he was right to suspect his battery. But if he had asked to have his vehicle battery tested when he first went to the auto parts store, he would have found out that his battery was still good and would have known he needed to take his car into Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc for further diagnosis.

There could be any number of reasons his car wouldn’t start. Unfortunately, he had a year and a half of unnecessary expense and inconvenience and still doesn’t know what’s wrong. When you find yourself in a situation like David, do yourself a favor and talk to a professional at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor. Your friendly and knowledgeable can get you on the right track.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Alternator Testing

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Simple Answers from Pro Muffler & Brake Shop:
My battery keeps going dead. I had it tested and it is fine – what could be the problem?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
Well, your problem could be caused by several things. Let’s start with a likely suspect: your alternator. The alternator is like a little electrical generator. It is spun by the serpentine belt on your engine and makes electricity. This electricity is used to power the vital electrical systems required to run your auto. It also powers all of your electronic accessories like your stereo, navigation, heated seats, and air fans, as well as charging all the electronics you have plugged in.

After the alternator has completed all that, any electricity that’s left over is used to charge your battery. You can see where we’re going: if the battery isn’t getting enough electricity to stay charged the problem may have something to do with the alternator.

Now it could be that the alternator is bad – they do wear out over time. There are a number of failure points within the alternator, but in practice, it is less pricey to simply replace the alternator than to take it apart and repair it.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop in Benton Harbor, we can test your alternator to see if it needs to be replaced. We find that typically the alternator tests out as being OK – but for some other reason it’s not putting out enough electricity to keep the battery charged. Remember we said that the serpentine belt drives the alternator? Well the problem can often lie with the serpentine belt system.

The serpentine belt transfers power from the engine to the alternator. When the belt wears away to a certain point, it is no longer able to provide enough grip and the belt can slip on the alternator pulley so that it is not spinning fast enough to generate all the electricity that your auto needs.

A possible related problem for Benton Harbor drivers is a worn serpentine belt tensioner pulley. This pulley provides tension on the serpentine belt so that it is tight enough to spin the alternator and other accessories. When the belt is too loose, it can slip on the alternator pulley and, once again, not enough electricity is made.

So, when you battery is going dead – test it. If the battery is still good – test the alternator. If the alternator is still good – inspect the serpentine belt and belt tensioner. Chances are good that your service center or the team of friendly & knowledgeable service professionals at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop will get to the root of your trouble.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Testing Your Car Battery

Replacing Your Car BatteryPro Muffler & Brake Shop Tech Question:
I’m David in Benton Harbor, Michigan. For the last year and a half I’ve had some battery problems. I had trouble starting my car so I bought a new battery. At first everything was fine, then about six months later I had problems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again, everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren’t you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I’ve been replacing good batteries. What’s wrong?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
Look, we can’t fault David for not knowing what’s wrong – he just didn’t have enough key information. And frankly, neither do I.

First, he was right to suspect his battery. But if he had asked to have his auto battery tested when he first went to the auto parts store, he would have found out that his battery was still good and would have known he needed to take his car into a shop for further diagnosis.

There could be any number of reasons his car wouldn’t start. Unfortunately, he had a year and a half of unnecessary expense and inconvenience and still doesn’t know what’s wrong. When you find yourself in a situation like David, do yourself a favor and talk to a professional.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
269.926.2006
http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Replacing Your Car Battery

CReplacing Your Car Batteryar batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things car and truck owners should know when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold auto engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live around Southwestern Michigan, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the auto engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold. Continue reading

Tips to Maintaning Your Battery Electrical Power

In today’s Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc auto care blog, we are focusing on battery maintenance. Eventually your car battery will fail and you will need to replace it. In fact, 70% don’t even make it four years. There are some things Southwestern Michigan auto owners can do, however, to make their battery last a little longer.
Car Battery Electrical Power
It’s all about the flow of electrical power. When you start your minivan, the battery uses power to get your engine cranking. As your engine runs, your alternator generates electricity to run all your electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control, power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos – the list goes on. Any leftover electricity goes to recharge your minivan battery. Then you turn on your radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and pretty soon there isn’t much extra electricity to go back into the battery.

Now, if you were on a long MI road trip, no sweat – you’d have plenty of time to fully recharge your battery; but not if you’re making stops around Benton Harbor. Every time you start your minivan engine, your battery takes that big hit again. Multiple starts – multiple hits. By the time you get home, you have less than a full charge.

When the battery is continuously in a discharged state, it loses its ability to fully recharge. This starts a downward spiral in your battery life. Now when your battery is on its way to getting this bad, your alternator is working overtime trying to keep it charged – which causes the alternator to wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced technicians suggest replacing your battery after five years, even though it hasn’t yet failed, as a maintenance item to extend alternator life.

Now, there is something you can do to help your battery last longer by hooking up a battery charger once a month in the summer and every three months in winter. This will ensure your car, truck, SUV or minivan battery routinely has a full charge. You can do this less often in the winter because the electrochemical process slows down when it’s colder and less damage is done when your battery is low. Computerized battery chargers are real easy to use because they monitor and control the charging rate to keep the battery from overheating while it’s charging.

We recommend that you ask your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc advisor to test your battery so you know how much life is left. If it’s good but needs maintenance service, he’ll have it cleaned up and make sure the connections and cables are good. If it’s looking like you ought to replace it, he’ll help you with a battery that’s right for your minivan and driving needs.

Give us a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc
269.926.2006
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor MI (49022) we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

Need Your Car Battery Tested? We Will Do That!

Our cars and trucks have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos.

Testing Your Car BatteryPlus there are all the minivan engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life.

Fortunately, battery technology gives drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is; minivan batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak.

Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger minivan engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live in a cold climate you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.

In Michigan, batteries come in “good”, “better”, and “best” grades. More expensive batteries may have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things Benton Harbor auto owners need to purchase to keep their cars in good condition, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run. Ask your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service adviser to test your battery and advise you on how much life it has left.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc, we also offer brake service, winter preparation and oil change.

Give us a call -  269.926.2006.

Thank you Pro Muffler & Brake Shop! If I have a problem with my brakes or my muffler again, I will come to you! Many thanks to you & staff. My car runs so much better and because of you guys I have confidence in driving my car. Customer of '97 Honda Civic
Dear Kevin & Rich,We finally made it to the West Coast. We’re in Northern California headed down to San Fran. We picked up my PT Cruiser and it’s holding up well… So far. I don’t want to jinx myself. Hope all is well in Michigan. Perhaps we’ll meet again. Thanks for all your kindness!Sincerely, Beth & Jerod
Kevin & Pro Muffler guys, “Many thanks for your prompt, courteous & special service today!Anita

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