Michigan

Tech Question On Tire Wear

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Tech Question:
My name is David. My auto tires wore out early and I had to replace them. What can I do to make my tires last longer?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Answer:
David’s problem – premature tire wear – is very common for Benton Harbor auto owners. Here are several ways to lengthen the life of your tires:

First, tires lose air pressure over time, so check them at least once a month and fill them up as necessary. A sticker on the driver’s side door jamb has the recommended pressure.

Tire rotation is also critical for Michigan drivers. Your front tires take the brunt of stopping and steering forces so they wear faster than the rear tires. They should be rotated regularly so that all four tires wear more evenly. Talk to us at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop in Benton Harbor.

Out of balance wheels can also cause a tire to wear too fast. Benton Harbor auto owners who feel a vibration in their seat or steering wheel may have a wheel out of balance.

Finally, bad wheel alignment and worn or damaged suspension can chew through a tire very quickly. Ask your friendly & knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service professional to have your tires inspected for signs of premature wear. Your service specialist will be able to pinpoint the cause and get it taken care of.

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/

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

Long Lasting Cooling System For Your Car

Our vehicles operate in a wide range of outside temperatures in Michigan. That’s why vehicle manufacturers use testing grounds from the frozen tundra to the blistering desert. Your engine coolant must be able to perform in these extreme temperatures, even if we don’t always get the extremes here.
A Long Lasting Cooling System For Benton Harbor Michigan Driving
Coolant has to move heat away from the engine to prevent costly damage. Water does a very good job of holding heat, but it freezes at thirty two degrees (Fahrenheit).
That’s why we mix anti-freeze with water – it lowers the freezing point of the coolant, and raises the boiling point as well. A fifty/fifty blend of water and antifreeze is the usual recommendation from Pro Muffler & Brake Shop.
And on top of that, coolant has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind of coolant you should use.
Coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have. Much of that can be avoided by following factory scheduled service intervals.
Check your owner’s manual or with your service adviser. We can also conduct a cooling system inspection to look for leaks, weak hoses or bad connections.
Give us a call at 269.926.2006, or stop by Pro Muffler & Brake Shop at 2094 South M-139 Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022.

Your Car’s Suspension Integrity

Today we’re talking about suspension integrity. Your skeleton provides the structure to hold up your weight. Your joints cushion you as you walk and allow you to change direction. Your minivan’s suspension system is similar: It bears the weight of your vehicle, absorbs bumps in the road and controls the body as you steer.

Like the bones in your body, minivan suspension parts are connected by joints that allow all the components to move as they should. Over time and miles, the joints start to wear and your suspension gets loose and doesn’t operate as precisely as before, reducing proper tire contact with the road. An accident, pothole or hitting a curb or rock can also damage or break minivan suspension components.

If you’ve ever hurt your foot, you know you’ve had to walk differently to keep it from hurting as bad. Do that long enough and your ankle, knee, hip and even your back will start to hurt from the strain of not moving normally. The same thing happens in your minivan when one joint or part is worn or damaged: it stresses everything else and causes premature wear to the whole system.

Signs of suspension problems include uneven tire wear, vibration, rattles or clunks when you hit a bump or turn on a windy Benton Harbor road, or the vehicle pulls to one side.

If you suspect a suspension problem, ask your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service specialist for an inspection of your suspension system. They can also check your alignment while they’re at it. Taking care of a worn or damaged suspension component early, will head off future damage and pricey repairs down the road.

Give us a call!

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

Need Your Car Battery Tested? We Will Do That!

Our cars and trucks have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos.

Testing Your Car BatteryPlus there are all the minivan engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life.

Fortunately, battery technology gives drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is; minivan batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak.

Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger minivan engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live in a cold climate you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.

In Michigan, batteries come in “good”, “better”, and “best” grades. More expensive batteries may have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things Benton Harbor auto owners need to purchase to keep their cars in good condition, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run. Ask your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service adviser to test your battery and advise you on how much life it has left.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc, we also offer brake service, winter preparation and oil change.

Give us a call -  269.926.2006.

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.

PCV Valve Replacement-Car Maintenance

Today, we are focusing on PCV valve replacement. The PCV valve is a little, inexpensive part  does a big job for your car and needs some looking after when it comes to car maintenance.  PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.PCV Valve Replacement At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc

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 in your minivan. At high speeds, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Car owners need to know that 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 wasted gas.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV valve and quick and inexpensive to replace it at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many drivers don’t know about it.

Check your owner’s manual or ask your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc adviser. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a PCV valve replacement.

Please ask us about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals, you can avoid some very expensive deep engine repairs.

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

Serpentine Belt Replacement At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc

Today’s Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. Next, the belt powers the alternator.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. Serpentine Belt Replacement At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop IncIn some minivans, power steering may have an electric drive and power brakes can be vacuum driven.

And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump (on some cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt).

Your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Drivers should be aware that there’s a special, spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley and sometimes an extra pulley call the idler pulley. Their job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. That’s why it’s often recommended that the tensioner, and the idler pulley if so equipped, be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s an important part for the function of your minivan. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 269.926.2006.

Cooling System Service At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc

Last week I was out running errands and my temperature warning light came on – total panic! I pulled over and my car was overheating.

Cooling System Issues

After it cooled down, I went right in to Pro Muffler and Brake Shop to have them take a look. My knowledgeable service adviser told me my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. He said water pumps just wear out and that you need to replace them because they pump the coolant that cools the engine.

He told me they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and that they were OK. But I was overdue for changing my coolant – like, embarrassingly overdue. I didn’t realize there was a schedule in my minivan owner’s manual for when to change my coolant.

My service adviser said that the coolant actually becomes corrosive over time and could damage my radiator, head gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, heater core, metal cooling pipes, expansion (frost) plugs, etc. That’s why they recommend changing the fluid on schedule.

So, we replaced the coolant with the kind my minivan manufacturer recommends – I learned there are different kinds of coolant and you need to use the right one – and I was on my way. It feels good knowing my minivan cooling system is healthy and I don’t need to worry about it.

Give Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc a call

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, MI zip code 49022

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.

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

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