Benton Harbor

Viva la Differential

save-gas-benton-harbor

 

Viva la Differential

With front-wheel drive being so common these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service at Pro Muffler & Brake, so most Benton Harbor drivers don’t even have to think about it. And most rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for many miles or kilometers, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the minds of Benton Harbor drivers. So it’s not uncommon for people in Benton Harbor to not know they have a differential, let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds on drive wheels between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

Differentials do a lot of work and require very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Benton Harbor driver’s four-wheel-drive vehicles need special attention to their differentials because they have a differential on both the front and rear axles that work at different times and sometimes under heavy loads; they may need to be serviced at different intervals.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake service advisor can look up the manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. And of course, we stand behind our work and the parts we install. Let Pro Muffler & Brake be a part of your family’s car care.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Diagnostic Service

car-repair-benton-harbor

 

Certified Technicians

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options.

This same scenario plays every day at auto repair facilities in Michigan. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the vehicle will need to undergo a diagnostic process. The typical vehicle has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles/kilometers of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at Pro Muffler & Brake are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined the cause of the problem, they can work out the plan for how to fix it and tell you how much it will cost.

When you look at it this way, it makes perfect sense that, 1) the Pro Muffler & Brake service advisor cannot provide an estimate before the diagnosis is done, and 2) there is a charge for this diagnostic services. You expect to pay for an office visit to the doctor and for any needed tests before you can be presented with your treatment options and costs; the same goes for your vehicle. Though we will work with you to keep the cost as low as possible and will NEVER recommend any work that does not need to be done on your vehicle.

We know it can be frustrating when something is wrong with your car and you aren’t sure what is going to be involved in getting it fixed. We’ll do everything we can to help you through the process, communicating with you at each step along the way. At Pro Muffler & Brake in Benton Harbor, we have highly trained diagnostic technicians and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to uncover the cause of your problems. We use quality NAPA parts to help make sure you stay on the road after the repair is done. That’s our prescription for automotive peace of mind.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

What is power brake service?

step-on-brake

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Question:
What is power brake service and why do Benton Harbor auto owners need to have it done?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
Imagine: you pour a tablespoon of water in your hand and throw it as hard as you can. Now, suppose you suck up a tablespoon of water into a syringe, push the plunger and squirt it out. Which would go further?

Of course it’s the water squirting out of the syringe. That’s because you pressurized the water. Your power brake system is kind of the same thing. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes brake fluid which actuates the brakes so you can stop. Benton Harbor drivers who don’t have enough pressure – can’t stop.

A leak in your brake system would impair – or even eliminate – your stopping power. Brake fluid attracts moisture which can cause dangerous leak-inducing corrosion. So a great way for Benton Harbor auto owners to keep their brake fluid free of contaminants is to change it as recommended.

Enough brake fluid is essential for the proper function of Benton Harbor car owners anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control systems. Your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service professional will check your brake fluid level during a full-service oil change. If it’s low it may indicate that a thorough brake inspection is key. Low brake fluid is most usually caused by worn brake pads.

Some of the signs of a leak are reduced stopping power and spongy or hard pedal feel. If you suspect a problem, come into Pro Muffler & Brake Shop for a brake inspection right away.

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/

Tech Question: Your Fuel Pump

Tech Question from a customer:
I was driving down 139 and my car started sputtering and then the engine finally quit and I couldn’t get it started. I had my car towed to you and  found out I had to replace my fuel pump.

What could I have done to keep my fuel pump from falling apart?

Fuel Pump Pro Muffler and Brake Benton Harbor

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
This is a tough one because there isn’t any maintenance recommended for fuel pumps. They’re inside the fuel tank and you really can’t get to them without removing the tank. But you can do some things to make the  job easier so your fuel pump can last a little longer.

A lot of vehicles are equipped with a fuel filter on their gas line. This filters out dirt and rust from the gas tank before it gets to the engine. Replacing a clogged fuel filter as recommended reduces the strain on your fuel pump.

Many newer vehicles have their fuel filter inside the fuel tank so it cannot be changed. A good tip for Michigan auto owners is to not run the fuel tank too low – this can cause fuel starvation that excessively wears the pump. Also, you can’t go wrong using good quality gas with high levels of detergent. This helps prevent the buildup of varnish and gum all along the fuel system.

A professional fuel system cleaning will clean fuel injectors and help remove carbon deposits from the valves and combustion chamber.

All these things improve fuel economy and increase performance for Southwest Michigan drivers. You can always ask one of our techs if a fuel system cleaning is recommended.

Give us a call!

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

Tech Question On Your Water Pump

cooling system repair Benton Harbor“I was driving on the freeway in Michigan and my auto engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive about 80 miles to my meeting but it turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this?”

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
This guy’s story really did have a happy ending. If you continue driving when your engine’s overheating, you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your auto engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns.

Now there’s no way to predict when a water pump will fail – they just wear out. This water pump replacement was more expensive because his water pump is driven by his timing belt. That requires a lot of hours to get to the water pump and then put everything back on the engine.

Here’s a money saving tip: if your water pump is driven by your timing belt – replace the pump when you have your scheduled timing belt replacement. That way most of the work is already done and you don’t have to pay for it twice.

Stop by and ask us when your timing belt should be replaced.

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

Changing Your Engine Air Filter

Your auto engine really needs clean air to operate efficiently: it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. And clean air is much better than dirty.Dirty Air Filter Pro Muffler and Brake

When your air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the dirt just passes through into your air intake system. From there it can get into the engine combustion chamber. And burning dust and pollen in your engine as you drive does you no good. Continue reading

Your PCV Valve – Why it Needs Service

PCV Valve The Michigan push for fuel economy has the benefit of using less gas as well as fewer emissions. Cars and trucks run cleaner than ever.

Many people in Southwestern Michigan may not realize this but the first federally mandated pollution control device came in 1960: the PCV valve.

‘PCV’ stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. When fuel is burned in the engine some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase. Continue reading

Need a Suspension Inspection for Your Automobile?

Car SuspensionYour suspension system keeps your car up off the road. From there, it’s responsible for a smooth and comfortable ride around our area. It also keeps your auto wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves on roads and freeways.

Your suspension system has many critical parts that do a big job. They should be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time would be when you get your alignment checked. Continue reading

Disc Brake Maintenance

Today, we’re talking about disc brakes. Your vehicle weighs several thousand pounds and it takes a lot of force to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to the auto. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and spins with the wheel as you drive. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel. The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which rub on the rotor when you step on the brakes. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your brakes.

Disc Brake Pad Replacement Benton HarborYour auto brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads are worn out and need to be replaced. If you don’t replace brake pads when they’re worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. Continue reading

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

Categories