Pro Muffler and Brake Shop

Certified Technicians

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Certified Technicians

Today’s vehicles in Michigan are rolling computer networks with multiple processors, sensors and miles/kilometers of wiring. The mechanical elements — from the suspension to the engine valve train — are extremely sophisticated. Diagnosis and repair is more exacting that ever before. Even a simple tire rotation may involve resetting the tire pressure monitoring system.

Our technicians at Pro Muffler & Brake train hard to stay current on automotive technology, repair best practices and diagnostic techniques. Many have earned multiple certifications in various specialty areas. They obtain training from parts manufacturers, suppliers, independent trainers and recognized certification programs.

In our view, this is all a part of what it takes to be a sustainable business. You expect service and repairs to be done right the first time. We have to deliver that in order to continue to earn your trust and business. 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/

Viva la Differential

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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

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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/

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/

Time To Get Your Brakes Checked!

Brake Service at Pro MufflerMost  drivers know that braking means slowing or stopping a vehicle. The mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake system and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A car or truck rolls brand new off the showroom floor at a Southwest Michigan dealer. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and the power assist are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the auto tires are brand new, with full tread. Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Continue reading

Replacing Your Car Battery

CReplacing Your Car Batteryar batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things car and truck owners should know when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold auto engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live around Southwestern Michigan, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the auto engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold. Continue reading

Go Straight With A Wheel Alignment

Ever been in your local Southwest Michigan grocery store and had one of those shopping carts – you know the one with a messed up wheel that wobbles like crazy. Your cart shakes and pulls to one side – if you’re not careful it’s clean up on aisle three.

Wheel alignment on your minivan is a lot like that. One or more of your wheels can get out of alignment; you feel a vibration in your steering wheel – which may also be off-center. Your minivan might pull to one side and your tires start to wear unevenly – you could chew through a tire in a few months.

Sometimes wheels get knocked out of alignment by something big like hitting a curb on a bumpy Benton Harbor road or slamming into a pothole. But everyday driving takes a toll and minivans lose alignment over time. That’s why manufacturers recommend an alignment check at regular intervals. At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc, we offer a full menu of quality auto repair and maintenance services including wheel alignment.

In your alignment inspection, your knowledgeable technician will check your tires and your suspension system for damage. He’ll test your alignment to see if it’s within manufacturers specifications. If not, he’ll make necessary adjustments to get your minivan wheels all pointing the same direction again.

If your minivan pulls to one side, you feel a vibration in the steering wheel or your tires seem to be wearing abnormally, talk with your service adviser. You may need to put an alignment inspection at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc into your shopping cart.

Give us a call!

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc
269.926.2006
2094 South M-139
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc.,  we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 269.926.2006.

Tips to Maintaning Your Battery Electrical Power

In today’s Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc auto care blog, we are focusing on battery maintenance. Eventually your car battery will fail and you will need to replace it. In fact, 70% don’t even make it four years. There are some things Southwestern Michigan auto owners can do, however, to make their battery last a little longer.
Car Battery Electrical Power
It’s all about the flow of electrical power. When you start your minivan, the battery uses power to get your engine cranking. As your engine runs, your alternator generates electricity to run all your electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control, power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos – the list goes on. Any leftover electricity goes to recharge your minivan battery. Then you turn on your radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and pretty soon there isn’t much extra electricity to go back into the battery.

Now, if you were on a long MI road trip, no sweat – you’d have plenty of time to fully recharge your battery; but not if you’re making stops around Benton Harbor. Every time you start your minivan engine, your battery takes that big hit again. Multiple starts – multiple hits. By the time you get home, you have less than a full charge.

When the battery is continuously in a discharged state, it loses its ability to fully recharge. This starts a downward spiral in your battery life. Now when your battery is on its way to getting this bad, your alternator is working overtime trying to keep it charged – which causes the alternator to wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced technicians suggest replacing your battery after five years, even though it hasn’t yet failed, as a maintenance item to extend alternator life.

Now, there is something you can do to help your battery last longer by hooking up a battery charger once a month in the summer and every three months in winter. This will ensure your car, truck, SUV or minivan battery routinely has a full charge. You can do this less often in the winter because the electrochemical process slows down when it’s colder and less damage is done when your battery is low. Computerized battery chargers are real easy to use because they monitor and control the charging rate to keep the battery from overheating while it’s charging.

We recommend that you ask your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc advisor to test your battery so you know how much life is left. If it’s good but needs maintenance service, he’ll have it cleaned up and make sure the connections and cables are good. If it’s looking like you ought to replace it, he’ll help you with a battery that’s right for your minivan and driving needs.

Give us a call

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

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor MI (49022) we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

Time to Replace Your Engine Air Filter

Engine Air Filter

Clean, Dirty!

When driving around Southwest Michigan, your minivan engine needs clean air to burn the fuel – and it needs a lot. In fact, a typical vehicle needs about 216,000 gallons of air for every tank of gas. This is where your air filter becomes very important!

All that air passes through a filter that catches the dust and dirt. Eventually the filter gets completely full. Because the filter can only hold so much, dirt starts getting through. This dirty air passes through the mass airflow sensor, and starts to accumulate on the delicate sensor element. The mass air flow sensor measures how much air is getting into your engine. When the airflow reading is incorrect, your minivan engine doesn’t get the proper amount of fuel. It runs rough and doesn’t perform as well as it should.

Eventually, the sensor is so damaged it needs to be replaced – which is pricy. In fact you could buy a case or two of air filters for the cost of a sensor replacement.

Of course, that dirty air keeps on going through to your minivan engine where it’s burned along with the fuel, which dirties up your combustion chamber and increases harmful exhaust emissions – not a good thing for Benton Harbor air quality, not to mention our lungs.

When your knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service adviser brings out your dirty air filter and recommends a replacement, remember the cost and poor performance that can be waiting for you down the road if you neglect this simple Pro Muffler & Brake Shop service. Ask your adviser if it’s time to replace your engine air filter.

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc.  provides quality auto repair services for Southwest Michigan. Our specialties include winter preparation, tune up, and oil change.

Give us a call

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

At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop, we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 269.926.2006. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

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.

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
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

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