Diagnostics

Clean your EGR

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Benton Harbor drivers realize it is pretty amazing how auto makers have been able to consistently build more powerful engines in vehicles that get better fuel economy while at the same meeting increasing environmental standards. One of the little miracles that helps make this happen is the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve. The EGR valve routes some exhaust back into the air intake system in both gasoline and diesel engines. The exhaust gas takes up some space in the engine cylinders, replacing some of the oxygen-rich air that would otherwise be in there. This means that the fuel burning event is cooler. Cooler combustion means fewer harmful nitrous oxides are produced.

Your EGR valve can get gummed up, messing up the timing and amount of exhaust that is supposed to be recirculated in the engine. Symptoms of EGR valve problems are rough idle and poor engine performance. Performance can be restored by cleaning or replacing the EGR valve, depending on how dirty it is.

EGR valves in diesel engines are particularly susceptible to becoming clogged because of the high soot content in diesel exhaust. (Note: the soot is ultimately filtered out of the exhaust further down the exhaust system, but not before it passes through the EGR valve.)

There are a couple of things you can do to lengthen the life of the EGR valve in your diesel engine. First, extended idling allows for more soot buildup because the engine operating temperature is reduced as it idles; the valve is not opening and closing, allowing particulates to accumulate in the valve. Next is fuel quality. Diesel fuel has a cetane rating: the higher the rating, the better the combustion will be. Unfortunately, the cetane rating is rarely posted on the pump and can vary from location to location. Adding a cetane booster to the fuel tank can help with this.

So, if you are experiencing rough idling or poor performance in your gas or diesel vehicle, have one of our Pro Muffler & Brake Shop expert technicians diagnose the problem. They can set things right and restore your vehicle’s performance.

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/

Differential Service

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
What is a differential and why do Benton Harbor drivers need to have it serviced? Watch this short video to help explain the process.

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

First of all – your vehicle does have a differential. If it’s a rear wheel drive, your differential is on the back. If it’s front wheel drive, your differential is built into your transaxle (transmission). Benton Harbor drivers with all wheel drive or four wheel drive will have differentials front and rear and maybe one in between.When you are steering through a turn at an intersection in Benton Harbor, the wheels on the outside of the vehicle have to spin faster than the inside wheels because they have to travel a slightly longer distant through the curve. The differential compensates for these speed differences between the wheels.

Because it is part of the equipment that transfers engine power to the wheels, the differential is working pretty hard. Differential fluid – a special heavy-duty oil – cools, lubricates and protects the differential. It needs to be replaced on a schedule to remove metal shavings and other contaminants. Note: if you have a front wheel drive vehicle, replacing your transmission fluid takes care of your differential service needs.

Differentials have become increasingly sophisticated for Benton Harbor drivers. Rather than the simple mechanical devices of yesteryear, they are more complicated and may actually be part of the computer controlled vehicle stability system. This means they are more so it pays for Benton Harbor drivers to have them serviced on schedule at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop in Benton Harbor to avoid premature wear. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Is it time to check your fuel pump?

Pro Muffler Anti-Lock Brakes
Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
Is it time to check your fuel pump?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Your fuel pump sends fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Fuel pumps just wear out over time: it might be the electric motor, a sensor, a valve, or a relay or some other electrical component. Whatever the exact cause for the fuel pump failure may be, the solution to getting you back on the Benton Harbor road is to replace the pump assembly. When one component has failed, another one is probably just around the corner so it makes sense to replace everything at once and save the future labor costs.

The fuel pump is inside the fuel tank on most vehicles, and for many cars, trucks, and SUVs, the fuel tank must be removed to replace the fuel pump. As you can imagine, that is pretty labor intensive: removing heat shields, retaining straps, all of the EVAP lines, fuel lines, and electrical connections. And of course, there is properly and safely handling the fuel that must be drained from the tank.

Some vehicles have an external fuel filter that should be replaced at the same time. The fuel tank may need to be replaced on some vehicles because of design specifications or if the fuel tank is corroded or otherwise damaged.

Now there are a couple of things you can do to help your fuel pump last longer. One pump killer is contamination in the fuel tank. Sometimes this comes from the fuel itself. Buying fuel at a reputable station will help make sure you are putting clean fuel into the tank. Older vehicles tend to have more sediment in the tank from years of rust or corrosion from the tank itself. The tank may need a thorough cleaning or replacement.

Another thing you can do is refill your tank when it gets down to about a quarter full. The fuel pump is submerged in the fuel which cools and lubricates it. When the tank runs low, the pump has to work harder to suck up the fuel from the bottom and there is no fuel to cool it. This can lead to premature wear.

When the day comes that your fuel pump needs to be replaced, Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor will use a quality replacement pump that meets or exceeds your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. The entire assembly should be replaced. We’ll be sure to install a replacement pump that is compatible with your fuel type. For example, if you have a FlexFuel vehicle that can run on gasoline with up to 85% ethanol content, your fuel system components – including the fuel pump – must be able to withstand the corrosive effects of high alcohol content fuel.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

PCV Valve Replacement

Pro Muffler PCV Valve Testing
Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
What is a PCV Valve and should I test it?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

The PCV valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a big job for Benton Harbor and our environment here in Michigan. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause engine corrosion. At high speeds, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and reduced .

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV valve and quick and inexpensive to replace at Pro Muffler & Brake in Benton Harbor. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many people in Benton Harbor don’t know about it. Check your owner’s manual or ask our friendly and knowledgeable technicians at Pro Muffler & Brake. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

Please ask us at Pro Muffler & Brake about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals at your favorite Benton Harbor drive-up window, you can avoid some very expensive deep engine repairs.

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/

Dead battery? Check your alternator

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

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Well, your 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 electrical systems required to run your vehicle. 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 preformed 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 to simply replace the alternator than to take it apart and repair it.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor, we can test your alternator to see if it needs to be replaced. We may find that 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 enough to generate all the electricity that your vehicle needs.

A possible problem related to Benton Harbor a worn serpentine belt is the 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 and knowledgeable service advisors at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc will 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/

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Technician Training Part 2

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It’s very important to your Benton Harbor service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money Benton Harbor service centers spend every year to make sure their technicians are properly trained.

Benton Harbor area service centers, including Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor, offer a variety of car care services to many kinds of vehicles. They need to be up to date on the latest techniques and parts so that they can care for your car properly. Centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service has a checklist of standard procedures. Your friendly and knowledgeable professionals at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service to their valued customers.

Some Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc services require the use of specialized equipment. Technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc and outside trainers. It’s not only important that technicians be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to spot potential problems before they become serious.

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to customers. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles, or 48,000 kilometers, and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better service decisions.

Benton Harbor drivers may be interested to know that Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service technicians are trained in compliance with federal and local laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of the team here at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc to provide fast, courteous service. Benton Harbor drivers should feel free to ask us any questions about your vehicle’s service or manufacturer recommendations.

Well-trained service providers, established procedures, and industry standards combine to give you the best service experience possible at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Evaporative Emissions Control (EVAP)

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The purpose of an EVAP system is to capture vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program.

The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the top 5 reasons for a Check Engine Light to be illuminated. Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc can pull the trouble codes and begin a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault.

With the proper equipment, your can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine Light.

While EVAPs don’t generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact that they trigger the Check Engine Light can mask other more serious problems if left unaddressed. After all, there are hundreds of conditions that can trigger a Check Engine Light – but there is only one light. So if the light is on because of an EVAP issue you haven’t fixed and another arises, you won’t be alerted to the new condition because the light is already on.

Of course, if you live in a jurisdiction in that requires emissions testing to register your vehicle, you won’t pass the test until you make the repairs. An EVAP trouble code could be caused by something as simple as a loose or worn gas cap or a leak in a hose, to problems with a purge valve or even a rusty fuel filler pipe.

When your Check Engine Light comes on, bring your vehicle into Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in and let us check it out. Your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc will be able to diagnose the problems and work out a plan to address anything that is uncovered. There’s peace of mind for that comes from knowing what is wrong and taking care of it.

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/

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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