Vehicle Maintenance

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/

Wheel Bearings

P90074423
Your wheel bearings may be something to which you’ve never given a thought while driving around Benton Harbor Michigan. Wheel bearings are what enable your wheels to spin freely. Since they bear the entire weight of the vehicle, they have to be tough. Wheel bearings can last well over 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometers. They do wear out though and must eventually be replaced.

You might hear a groaning sound from your wheels. The sound might disappear at some speeds and reappear at others. Your Benton Harbor Michigan service technician at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc can quickly tell if your bearings are bad by raising the vehicle and wiggling the wheel. When you grasp the top and bottom of the tire, it shouldn’t move along the vertical axis.

Many vehicles these days have wheel bearing assemblies that cannot be serviced at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc. When the bearings go bad, we simply replace the entire wheel bearing assembly.

For those vehicles with wheel bearings that can be accessed, we can do some preventive maintenance. You may have heard the phrase ‘pack the bearings‘. With this procedure we remove the bearings, carefully clean them and inspect for any imperfection or wear. If the bearings can be reused, we reinstall them and pack them with grease. If not, we put in new bearings. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Benton Harbor Michigan service advisor at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc if your bearings can be serviced, and if so, when should it be done.

Now, taking care of bad bearings is extremely important. When bearings go bad, they generate tremendous amounts of heat – enough to lock up the wheel. That’s not a good thing at any speed. In some cases the wheel can even fall off. Either of these could cause a serious accident. So have your wheel bearings inspected if you suspect a problem and replace them right away if there is one.

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 Takes Care of Your Vehicle’s Suspension

suspension_01
After many years and tens of thousands of kilometers, Benton Harbor vehicles’ suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Benton Harbor.As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Michigan highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads between Benton Harbor and Benton Harbor. In addition to just wearing out, vehicle suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole on a local , hitting a curb or a rock in a bumpy Benton Harbor road.

Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your recommends periodic inspections. During an inspection, your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc will check for worn, broken or missing parts.

Signs for Benton Harbor residents that shocks or struts are wearing out: The vehicle tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. Benton Harbor residents may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your vehicle dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come see us at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your vehicle wheels. Worn or broken shocks can cause premature wear or failure on other suspension parts such as ball joints and other steering components as well. If your vehicle suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so Benton Harbor residents should take care of these things.

When Benton Harbor residents replace their vehicle shocks, it’s usually to replace all four at the same time. That’ll provide more even handling. Be sure to your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service advisor because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Exhaust Systems

exhaust_system_01

We’ve all heard a car or truck in our Benton Harbor neighborhoods that needs a new muffler. But there’s more to the exhaust system than just the muffler.

The exhaust system has three main functions:

  • To safely get hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe
  • Treats the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants
  • Muffle the engine noise

Exhaust gas is poisonous. You don’t want it getting into the passenger compartment. For example, carbon monoxide can be deadly. That’s why you should never run your engine in a closed garage. If you have a leak in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and make you sick or even kill you.

If you smell exhaust in the vehicle, roll down your windows and get it inspected. You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak. Sometimes the sound from an exhaust leak is loud and obvious. Sometimes it’s a ticking sound when you start the engine that goes away as you drive. That could be a small crack or a bad fitting that leaks when it’s cold but seals up when the metal heats and expands.

Now, let’s address the environmental issues for our Benton Harbor community. Exhaust gas contains a number of pollutants and particulates. The catalytic converter scrubs some of those harmful substances. And diesel vehicles have systems to deal with soot.

Catalytic converters eventually wear out and need to be replaced. They’re expensive so you want to help them last as long as possible by keeping the fuel system clean and replacing your air filter. These components need to be tested for function with an emissions test from time to time.

And that leaves the muffler. The beauty of getting a new muffler is that you can suit your taste: Some want whisper quiet and others like a little rumble. And some like a roar when they drive down our Benton Harbor streets.

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

maintenance_01
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/

Timing Belt

timing_belt_01
Let’s address a maintenance item for everyone in Benton Harbor, Michigan – timing belt replacement. It’s important because letting this one slide can lead to very major  engine damage.Your timing belt choreographs the timing of your combustion process. Your pistons travel up and down in the cylinder. Intake valves open at the right time to let in air and fuel, they close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn, and then the exhaust valves open at the right time to let out the exhaust.

All this happens thousands of times a minute and it’s your timing belt that makes sure the valves are opening and closing at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your vehicle engine won’t run. And that’s the best case.

The worst case for Benton Harbor drivers is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars.

Now, timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner’s manual or with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor, Michigan to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. If you’ve never replaced your timing belt and have had your vehicle for a while, talk with your service adviser at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc right away to see if you’re due.

On some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt as opposed to the serpentine belt. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to replace the water pump when you’re replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected and possibly replaced.

Now, replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive routine maintenance items on service schedules. But not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you’re likely to ever have.

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

battery_01

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/

Alignment

wheel_alignment_01
It’s no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Coloma area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That’s called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other.Something that you won’t notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around Coloma when you’re out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That’s because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out fast because you’re constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip  – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road.

Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole in Coloma, smacking a curb in Stevensville or something like a rock in the road. And it doesn’t have to be a big shock, it can just be the regular bumps and bangs of daily driving that add up and eventually take your vehicle out of alignment. That’s why your owner’s manual or Benton Harbor service adviser at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc may suggest having your alignment checked periodically.

With an alignment service at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc, we measure each wheel’s alignment and to see where they are relative to factory specifications. While we have the vehicle on the alignment rack, we inspect the tires for wear as well as the suspension and steering components for damage or wear – things that can contribute to alignment problems. With some vehicles you can adjust all four wheels so we bring all wheels into alignment. On those vehicles where you can only adjust the front wheels, we bring the front into alignment relative to the rear.

Cost varies by whether or not it’s two or four wheel adjustable. Four-wheel drive vehicles may have an additional charge because they’re more difficult to align. At any rate, it’s cheaper than having to replace tires every few months.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had your wheels aligned, bring your vehicle to Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor for an alignment check.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Engine Overhaul and Preventative Maintenance

engine_01
Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
I’m Collins. I had my engine go out and had to have it completely re-done at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc. What could I have done to prevent this?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:
You’ve got to feel for Collins: an expensive major engine rebuild is pretty extreme. It’s a tough situation to be in: maybe you’re still making payments on your vehicle and nobody wants to buy it with a blown engine, so you really have no choice but to pay the money to get it fixed.This is why your manufacturer and Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc have preventive maintenance schedules – to help you avoid major repairs. Suppose you don’t change your timing belt on schedule and it breaks. That can mean bent valves and a damaged cylinder head.Maybe you’ve skipped over the Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc recommendation to replace your coolant and end up with catastrophic overheating. It could be you’ve skipped a few too many oil changes and now sludge has built up in your vehicle to the point that expensive parts in your engine are being damaged.

Whatever the case, preventative maintenance can almost always mitigate the damage or stop it before it begins.Check your vehicle oil level every month and follow your recommended service schedules. And if you’re behind on any services, ask your friendly and knowledgeable pro at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc to help you work out a plan to get caught up.

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/

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

Categories