Wheel Alignment

Packing Bearings

save-gas-benton-harbor

 

I remember my dad having the shop “pack the bearings” on the family car. Is this something I need to have done?

That’s a really good question. At one time, all wheel bearings were “serviceable” and needed to be taken care of from time to time. It’s a little trickier these days.

First off, the wheel bearings in your vehicle make sure your wheels rotate smoothly. As you can imagine, with all those revolutions per minute your wheels can generate a lot of heat. The bearings keep that heat down as much as possible. They’re packed in grease for lubrication. The term “packing the bearings” refers to putting fresh grease around the bearings.

On many modern vehicles, the wheel bearing assembly is sealed. These wheel bearings are not serviceable so there is no maintenance that can be performed on them. When the bearings wear, the entire assembly is replaced. Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc technician can perform a check of your bearings to make sure they are still functioning safely, and he can also tell you if your bearings need service. If you hear strange noises from your wheels – which may come and go at different speeds – it’s time to have your friendly and knowledgeable technician inspect them.

Wheel bearings on trailers are almost always serviceable. This means anything from a monster sized fifth-wheel camper to a little utility trailer. Boat trailers are especially susceptible because the hot wheel bearings are plunged into cold water when launching a boat into the lake. This temperature difference can draw water into the bearings. Have the bearings repacked at the end of the season to prevent corrosion.

It would be a good idea for Benton Harbor trailer owners to have maintenance service on their trailer wheels every year or so – it’s kind of hard to hear when they are groaning.

Now, when wheel bearings fail, the wheel can seize up and even break off. Of course no Benton Harbor driver wants that to happen, so follow a regular inspection schedule – your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service advisor can help.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Fuel Tip: Alignment

wheel-alignment-benton-harbor

 

Imagine you’re up in the arctic on a dog sled. Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground fast. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side. That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you’re covering less ground for the same effort. You’re wasting kibble.

The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that’s pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed on Benton Harbor roads. You’re wasting gas.

Have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. We can help you with that at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor. Get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side. Sometimes we bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.

So make sure you’re tracking straight in Benton Harbor. You’ll save at Benton Harbor pumps and your tires’ll last longer. Now, mush!

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/

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/

Tire Rotation and Balancing

tire_rotation_01

Drivers can make their vehicle tires last longer with regular tire rotation and wheel balancing.

Let’s start with tire rotation. In normal driving around, your front tires wear more on the shoulders because they handle much of the cornering forces in turns. Front-wheel drive vehicles have even more force on the front tires.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in , we rotate the tires so that all of the tires do some duty on the front end as well as getting a little break on the back end. That way, all four tires wear more evenly over their life and last longer for car owners.

For most vehicles, tires are rotated front to back. Some recommend a cross rotational pattern that includes the spare tire, and some high-performance vehicles have different size tires on the front and rear and may even have uni-directional tires that can only be on the left or the right side of the vehicle. Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc can help you sort that out and will perform the right tire rotation for your vehicle.

Your tire manufacturer will have a recommendation for how often you should rotate your tires.

Let’s move on to wheel balancing. That’s when there are heavy spots on the tire and wheel that cause it to wobble.

Balancing adds weights to the wheel to balance it out. Now, we are talking about very small weight differences. Variations in the tire and wheel manufacture can cause a slight imbalance. The valve stem, and now the tire pressure monitoring sensors in the tire, also play into the equation.

Even small differences can cause annoying vibrations at speed for drivers: the wheel is essentially bouncing a bit as it goes down the road. For example, at speeds, an out of balance wheel can be slamming into the road 14 times a second. That’s annoying and can cause tires to wear out more quickly for drivers.

If a front wheel’s out of balance you’ll feel the vibration through the steering wheel. When it’s a rear tire, you’ll feel the vibration through your seat. If you’re getting bad vibes from your vehicle, bring it in to Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in to see if it’s a balance issue or something else. drivers should balance the wheels whenever they get a new tire or remount a tire like when it’s been removed for a flat repair.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Wheel Alignment

wheel-alignment-promuffler-brake-benton-harbor

 

Simple Answers from Pro Muffler & Brake Shop: Wheel Alignment:
How do I know when I need a wheel alignment?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
When Benton Harbor car owners’ wheels are properly aligned they all point in the same direction. When they are out of alignment, most Michigan car owners notice a couple of things. First the auto pulls to one side when driving. It could be slight or pretty severe. If your wheels have been out of alignment for a while, you’ll also start to see uneven tire wear – the shoulder on either the outside or inside of the tire is worn down more than the other.

A whole bunch of steering and suspension components are joined together. Everyday Benton Harbor driving can cause Benton Harbor car owners’ wheels to go out of alignment over time just from the joints loosening up. That’s why most manufacturers recommend an alignment check every couple of years. Depending on where you live in Michigan or the conditions you drive in (off-road driving, harsh Benton Harbor winter conditions, poor pavement, etc.) – an alignment inspection every year at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop may be called for.

Suspension and steering components wear over time as well which can lead to dangerous and expensive alignment issues for Benton Harbor auto owners. Of course, a big bump like hitting a curb or pothole can knock a wheel out of alignment or damage a an important steering or suspension part.

Your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop technician will survey your tires for uneven wear. The type of wear provides clues for what might be wrong. Undercar parts are inspected for wear and damage. The alignment machine will provide a reading of how each wheel is aligned. The reading is compared with the alignment settings recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, and then the service professional makes the necessary adjustments and repairs to bring your wheels back into alignment.

Now putting off a wheel alignment in Benton Harbor can get pricey for Benton Harbor drivers because of tire wear: a bad alignment can chew through a tire pretty quickly. If you see uneven tire wear, if your steering wheel is off center, or your auto pulls to one side ask your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service professional about getting 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/

Wheel Alignment for your Car, Truck or Minivan

Proper Wheel AlignmentSouthwest Michigan drivers ought to be concerned about wheel alignments for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are out of alignment, they can pull to one side, maybe pretty hard. A moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic or off the road. And a bad alignment will chew up your tires very quickly while driving on Michigan freeways and surface streets. Continue reading

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