Anti-lock Braking System Explained

new-tires-vs-old-tires

Antilock Brakes – Easily Explained

Benton Harbor Citizens use their brakes to safely slow and stop their vehicles. You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve slammed on your brakes and started to skid. When your wheels are locked up, you are just sliding over the road. And if the road is wet or slick or covered with gravel – you really get out of control. Steering is next to impossible. That is why anti-lock brake systems (ABS) were invented: to help you maintain control in extreme stopping conditions on Michigan roads.

As mentioned, when wheels lock up, this your control. ABS keeps your brakes from locking – helping you stop while maintaining your ability to steer. Sensors on each wheel equipped with ABS, monitor wheel spin and compare it with vehicle speed sensors. When citizens are pressing on the brakes, still traveling forward, but the wheels are not turning, the ABS system steps in and modulates the brakes.

The ABS “pumps” the brakes, not allowing the wheels to lock-up while still applying braking pressure. This is all done automatically without any intervention on your part. You will feel a pulsation through the brake pedal and will hear a clunking as the brakes are rapidly being applied and let off over and over again. The first time this happens to you, you may be surprised and think something is wrong. Well, it isn’t – so just keep your foot on the brake and allow the ABS to do its thing. In fact, remember the 3 S’s of anti-lock brakes: Stomp, Stay, & Steer. Stomp on the brakes, keep the pedal down, and steer.

When you first start your vehicle, the ABS does a quick self-check to make sure everything is OK. The ABS warning light will briefly illuminate with all of the other warning lights on your dashboard and then go out. If the system detects a fault, the ABS light will come on and stay on. Benton Harbor Citizens should definitely take their vehicle in to Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor for a check if the ABS warning light is on.

Proper brake system service is the best way to protect your ABS. Replacing brake fluid that is depleted and/or contaminated will help preserve proper ABS operation and protect it against corrosion. Benton Harbor Citizens can visit their friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc to see if it’s time for servicing of their braking system.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

The Pro Muffler & Brake Guide To Battery Replacement

new-tires-vs-old-tires

The Pro Muffler & Brake Guide To Battery Replacement

Benton Harbor folks know that car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Benton Harbor drivers should know when looking for a new 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 engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in 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 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.

So the colder it gets in #BentonHarbor, more power is needed, but the available power drops. So if you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the recommends, but may want to upgrade if you live where it gets real cold.

An important note: #Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps – CA – number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps – or CCA – that is the number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons of Benton Harbor auto batteries.

Now with all this talk of cold Benton Harbor temperatures, it’s for Benton Harbor drivers to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the Benton Harbor summer months shows up with the increased demands on the battery when Michigan weather turns cold.

Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips between Benton Harbor and Benton Harbor. You’re not driving long enough for the vehicle battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine.

So go with the minimum recommended by your and upgrade if you need more. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Pro Muffler & Brake about options. If you need more from your vehicle battery, a high capacity battery may be called for. #Batteries are a big ticket item, so the warranty gives piece of mind. Be sure to ask about the warranty at Pro Muffler & Brake so you know what you’re getting.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

How do I know which tires to buy?

new-tires-vs-old-tires

Pro Muffler & Brake Tech Question:
How do I know which tires to get? Can Pro Muffler & Brake help!

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Let’s look at selecting new tires in light of three factors: Function, Fit, and Value.

Function: This gets at what your needs are for new tires: weather conditions, terrain, temperatures, etc.New family vehicles sold in Michigan come with all-season tires. They can be used all year long and do pretty well in most Benton Harbor road conditions – but they aren’t ideal at the extremes.Winter tires have a more aggressive tread for handling snow and ice and they have a rubber compound that helps them have better traction as temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Definitely better stopping and road-holding characteristics for Benton Harbor than all-season tires in Michigan winter weather.

Dedicated summer tires enhance warm weather performance driving.

If you drive off-road around Benton Harbor, there is a spectrum of tires from all-terrain (a good mix of highway and off-road capability) to dedicated off-road tires.

The key is to discuss the function you need with your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc tire professional to get the type of tire, load rating, speed rating and wear rating you need.

Fit: The easiest thing is to select tires in the same size that were installed at the factory. If you want a different size wheel or tire profile, be sure to work with a professional that can make sure that your new wheels and tires fit properly and don’t rub in bumps or turns. It’s also to make sure that important safety systems like anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control aren’t adversely affected by the new tire size (the computer may need to be recalibrated to make necessary adjustments).

Value: Note, I didn’t say price. The tire that meets all your needs AND has the warranty and tread life you expect will probably not be the cheapest option – but it may well return the best value for your tire dollar.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc tire professional will help you with options for this automotive decision.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Do you have dirty headlights?

 

A recent study showed that 9 out of 10 vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlights. This can decrease nighttime visibility by as much as 90 percent. When you gas up, wipe down your windshield.

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

Give us a call at 269.926.2006 and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.

Air Conditioning Service

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
When is the best time to get your Air Conditioning Service at Pro Muffler & Brake?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Most Benton Harbor people don’t service their vehicle air conditioning until after it fails. Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well.Along with the refrigerant, a special oil circulates in the system. The oil lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the vehicle air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Benton Harbor know that Benton Harbor AC repair can be .

Affordable air conditioning service at Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor starts with a thorough visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear.

The vehicle air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If an air conditioning leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested. Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc will also perform a temperature drop test. If needed, the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the vehicle air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way. How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your owner’s manual will have the ‘s recommendation and, of course, your Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc can tell you. It’s typically every two years.

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/

How’s your braking power?

Pro Muffler Anti-Lock Brakes

 

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
What is the Power Brake Service?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Howdy, Benton Harbor. Let’s talk about your brakes. Basically, the power brake system helps you provide braking power so that you don’t have to do all the work with your brake pedal. The brakes themselves are applied at the wheel using hydraulic pressure. When we step on the brake pedal, we create pressure in the power booster that’s multiplied by vacuum from the engine. The resulting pressure pushes brake fluid through the master cylinder into tubes and hoses that run to the brake at each wheel.

When there’s a problem, it’s usually a fluid leak somewhere along the line. It could be at a fitting or a hose, or even an internal leak in the master cylinder. A leak gives the pressurized fluid somewhere to go other than to the brakes, so stopping power is hurt. Lose enough fluid and you can’t stop at all. Of course that’s extremely dangerous for us Benton Harbor and the others on the road.

If you notice any decrease in stopping power or if your pedal seems mushy, you could have a problem. There are some preventive maintenance items for the power brake system that will help them last longer. At Pro Muffler & Brake Shop in Benton Harbor, we provide comprehensive brake maintenance and repair service.

Obviously Benton Harbor want to make sure their brake fluid is filled to the recommended level. Low fluid in the master cylinder could indicate a leak or worn brake material. Master cylinder leaks are usually just because it’s worn out but, leaks in the brake lines and connectors can be minimized by replacing the brake fluid from time to time. Brake fluid has additives that protect against corrosion that can damage brake components.

Benton Harbor should take note that brake fluid also attracts moisture which can lead to rust – not a good thing for expensive anti-lock brake components. Also, significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power because the water has a much lower boiling point than brake fluid. In the high temperature environment of the brake system, the water can vaporize – and steam doesn’t do a very good job of providing hydraulic pressure.

A final word – make sure you use the recommended type of brake fluid. There are several kinds and using the wrong one can lead to total brake failure. Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop technician can help you.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

April is National Car Care Month

Pro Muffler Anti-Lock Brakes

April is National Car Care Month!

Spring has Sprung and it’s time for your vehicle maintenance check up. Let the professional technicians at Pro Muffler & Brake inspect and advise you on keeping it in tip top shape. April is national car care month, what better month than April to get your vehicle running properly.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Is it time to replace your windshield wipers?

Pro Muffler Anti-Lock Brakes
Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
When should I replace my windshield wipers?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Well, most Benton Harbor drivers wait until they fail. The problem with that is that you find out they have failed when you actually need them most – a little too late.Wiper blades are really a safety system for Benton Harbor drivers. As you can imagine, 90% of our driving decisions are based on what we see. If you can’t see well because your wipers can’t clear your windshield, your ability to drive safely is significantly impaired.So the simple answer: of course, Benton Harbor drivers should change your wipers if they don’t work well. But replace them before they go bad so they are always ready when that storm hits. For some Benton Harbor drivers, once a year may be enough. For others – those who drive a lot, whose wipers are exposed to a lot of sun, or use their wipers more – replacing the blades a couple of times a year might be in order.

There several types of wiper blades. The conventional blade is the base model. On the other end of the spectrum are beam blades. These have a solid beam that provides uniform pressure over the entire wiper surface for better contact with the windshield. And there are hybrid blades that are a combination of conventional and beam blades.

Upgraded wiper blades last longer and provide a cleaner wipe. Benton Harbor drivers can always upgrade, but should never go with a lower grade blade than what was installed on your vehicle from the factory.

Finally, there are special winter blades. The special design of winter wiper blades resists snow and ice build-up in the blade.

Remember, using your wipers on an icy windshield will tear up your wiper blades. Scrape your windshield before running your wipers.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc service advisor can give you wiper blade options and help you select what’s best for this safety system.

Give us a call

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

http://promufflerandbrake.com/

Is it time to check your fuel pump?

Pro Muffler Anti-Lock Brakes
Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Question:
Is it time to check your fuel pump?

Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc Tech Answer:

Your fuel pump sends fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Fuel pumps just wear out over time: it might be the electric motor, a sensor, a valve, or a relay or some other electrical component. Whatever the exact cause for the fuel pump failure may be, the solution to getting you back on the Benton Harbor road is to replace the pump assembly. When one component has failed, another one is probably just around the corner so it makes sense to replace everything at once and save the future labor costs.

The fuel pump is inside the fuel tank on most vehicles, and for many cars, trucks, and SUVs, the fuel tank must be removed to replace the fuel pump. As you can imagine, that is pretty labor intensive: removing heat shields, retaining straps, all of the EVAP lines, fuel lines, and electrical connections. And of course, there is properly and safely handling the fuel that must be drained from the tank.

Some vehicles have an external fuel filter that should be replaced at the same time. The fuel tank may need to be replaced on some vehicles because of design specifications or if the fuel tank is corroded or otherwise damaged.

Now there are a couple of things you can do to help your fuel pump last longer. One pump killer is contamination in the fuel tank. Sometimes this comes from the fuel itself. Buying fuel at a reputable station will help make sure you are putting clean fuel into the tank. Older vehicles tend to have more sediment in the tank from years of rust or corrosion from the tank itself. The tank may need a thorough cleaning or replacement.

Another thing you can do is refill your tank when it gets down to about a quarter full. The fuel pump is submerged in the fuel which cools and lubricates it. When the tank runs low, the pump has to work harder to suck up the fuel from the bottom and there is no fuel to cool it. This can lead to premature wear.

When the day comes that your fuel pump needs to be replaced, Pro Muffler & Brake Shop Inc in Benton Harbor will use a quality replacement pump that meets or exceeds your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. The entire assembly should be replaced. We’ll be sure to install a replacement pump that is compatible with your fuel type. For example, if you have a FlexFuel vehicle that can run on gasoline with up to 85% ethanol content, your fuel system components – including the fuel pump – must be able to withstand the corrosive effects of high alcohol content fuel.

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
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

Categories