Diagnostics

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)

EVAP_System_Overview_01.12

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/

Exhaust Service – Failed Emissions Test

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Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Tech Question:
My car failed its emissions test – what do I need to do?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
Let’s get this out of the way: a leak in your exhaust system could be deadly. If Benton Harbor motorists smell exhaust in the passenger cabin or hear an unusual exhaust sound, they should get their exhaust system checked and repaired. Talk to your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service advisor This is vital: Carbon monoxide in your exhaust is odorless, colorless and tasteless can be fatal to you and your passengers so don’t delay if you suspect and exhaust leak.

There could be a number of reasons for a failed Michigan emissions test so some vital diagnostic work is in order. A common reason for Benton Harbor auto owners is that the catalytic converter has failed. The catalytic converter removes some of the harmful elements in exhaust.

When a catalytic converter fails it must be replaced, which isn’t cheap for Benton Harbor auto owners. Many Benton Harbor folks stop there – but the converter failed for a reason. There may be any number of engine run conditions that led to the failure. It would certainly be smart to have your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop technician diagnose the cause so that you don’t end up with another pricey catalytic converter replacement down the road.

Oh, and that Check Engine Light that so many Benton Harbor motorists ignore: It might just be illuminated for a an important condition that could lead to catalytic converter damage. Have your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop technician get to the bottom of any check engine light situation.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Check Engine Light Diagnosis

check-engine-light-promuffler-brake-benton-harbor

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Tech Question:
My check engine light is on. What should I do?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
Many Benton Harbor drivers have had their check engine light come on. It’s an amber colored light that shows on your dashboard. In newer vehicles it might just be a problem with your gas cap not being screwed on tight enough (or a worn gas cap), causing the vehicle to fail the self-diagnostic evaporative emission test. All you need to do is go to your gas cap and verify that it is tight. If that was the problem, the light will turn off and everything will be fine within one or two days.

Resist the temptation to have someone “clear” the codes to turn off your auto check engine light. This erases important diagnostic information that your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop technician needs to diagnose the underlying problem for the check engine light – and any other pending problems that may be stored in the auto computer.

If the problem is still there – you still see the light – bring your auto in to Pro Muffler & Brake Shop in Benton Harbor and have your check engine light checked out as soon as possible.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

On-Board Diagnostics for Your Automobile

On-Board Diagnostics Some people in Southwest Michigan are confused by charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair, even though many other services in life include diagnostic fees – things like computer service and appliance repair.

Even when we go into the doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying her to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it. So receiving a diagnostic charge for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. Continue reading

Courtesy Inspection for Your Car or Truck

Most area auto owners, from St. Joe’s to Fair Plain to Benton Harbor come to us with specific services in mind and an idea of how much they’ll be spending. Sometimes, a courtesy car inspection and a review of your service history will uncover additional items that require attention. How should you react to that? Car Inspection at Pro Muffler

We aren’t saying “Do you want fries with that?” or “Supersize for 59 cents more.” We aren’t recommending something extra or something you don’t need. Recommendations are either based on the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule or on a problem uncovered during an automotive analysis. Continue reading

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of many in Southwestern Michigan and is totally ignored by just as many.
Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your minivan’s check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe engine damage. Naturally, drivers should get that taken care of right away at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc.

If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Benton Harbor highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads.

If the light is glowing steadily, Benton Harbor auto owners should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc to get it checked out.

An explanation on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative. Most of your minivan engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The minivan’s computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light. If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your minivan looked at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc.

Your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc technician will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor MI (49022) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 269.926.2006.

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
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
Kevin & Pro Muffler guys, “Many thanks for your prompt, courteous & special service today!Anita

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