• Serpentine Belt Service At Bob & Dave’s Garage In Wyoming

      0 comments

    Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy Wyoming interstate? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator – which charges the battery; the water pump – which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty critical parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.

    Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. Like all critical moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around Wyoming, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing pricey engine damage. You can be sure that it won’t happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your vehicle towed to Bob & Dave’s Garage. It’s no wonder that auto makers recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It’s one of those “have-to’s.”

    Wyoming car owners who hear a squeal when accelerating or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. Your service specialist at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. If the belt has more than three or four cracks an inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

    Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled vehicle back to Bob & Dave’s Garage for vital repairs.

    You’re mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Wyoming Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

      0 comments

    Your browser does not support video

    Improved fuel economy has two benefits: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Wyoming cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Wyoming car owners may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.

    Michigan car owners that were around in the early 60′s may remember that the PCV valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Wyoming Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

    When fuel is burned in the vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

    Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

    Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Wyoming.

    Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine.
    Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the bad air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

    Wyoming drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your vehicle, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming. Some can even be checked by your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage advisor.

    Your vehicle car makers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some vehicle owner’s manuals, but at Bob & Dave’s Garage, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

    All of us Wyoming car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.

  • PCV Valve Service At Bob & Dave’s Garage In Wyoming

      0 comments

    Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a big job for Wyoming car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

    The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the vehicle 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.
    PCV Valve Service At Bob & Dave's Garage In WyomingThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause vehicle engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Bob & Dave’s Garage. At high speeds on Wyoming freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

    Back in the old days, auto manufacturers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the vehicle’s engine.

    This is much better for air quality and improves fuel efficiency also. (Budget-conscious Wyoming car owners take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. 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 decreased fuel efficiency.

    Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Wyoming car owners don’t know about it. Check your vehicle owner’s manual or ask your Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

    There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Bob & Dave’s Garage when it gets dirty.

    Please ask your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Wyoming service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Wyoming, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.

  • Timing Belt

      0 comments

    Ever heard the sad tale of a staggering repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let’s take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.

    First, let’s review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine, over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There’s at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves – that’s 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It’s called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything’s in sync.

    The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt . But some cars use a timing chain or timing gears instead of a belt. Timing chains and gears are much more durable, but manufacturers are using belts more because they are quieter – and cheaper. If you have a small or mid-sized passenger car, crossover or mini-van, chances are you have a timing belt.

    Unfortunately, timing belts fail without any warning. That shuts you down right away. A technician can inspect your timing belt and look for cracks and looseness. But getting to the belt to take a look can be almost as much work as changing it on some cars. That’s why manufacturers recommend replacing the belt from time to time. For most vehicles it’s from 60,000 to 90,000 miles or 95,000 to a 145,000 kilometers. If your owners’ manual doesn’t specify an interval ask your service advisor.

    One AutoNetTV producer has had two timing belts fail. The first was while he was waiting at a stop light – that repair cost several thousand dollars. The second was while driving on the highway – that one cost more than twice as much. Both had the cars out in the shop for three weeks. His cars had what we call “interference engines”, meaning that the valves and pistons are very close to each other. If the timing belt slips even one notch, the pistons will slam into the open valves. That’s why our friend’s highway failure was so much more expensive – his engine was traveling so fast that the valves were smashed and they chewed up the cylinder head.

    A non-interference engine will just shut down if the timing belt breaks. You’re stranded, but the engine doesn’t suffer permanent damage. In both cases, our hapless friend was just a couple oil changes past the recommended interval for changing the timing belt. This is one of those things that you just cannot put off. Now replacing a timing belt is not cheap – but repairs for a broken belt can be many times as much.

    Check your owners’ manual right away – especially if you have more than a 60,000 miles or 95,000 kilometers. You may need to get that belt replaced right away. And on many cars, the timing belt drives the water pump. So, it may be a good idea to replace the water pump while you’re at it because 90% of the work required for the new pump is already done with the belt change. Doing both at the same time saves you a lot of money because as they say, “timing’s everything”. Parts, Timing Belt

  • Emergency Items For Your vehicle

      0 comments

    Local Wyoming roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

    Your close-to-home kit for around Wyoming would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

    Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

    People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

    For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

    Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

    The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

  • Timing Belt Replacement in Wyoming

      0 comments

    Today we want to talk about timing belts. They’re something that many Wyoming drivers don’t know much about and yet your vehicle won’t run if it’s broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner’s manual, it’s not the kind of thing that most Wyoming car owners remember because it’s not well understood.

    Let’s review what a timing belt does. As you know, the engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It’s called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.

    Now, not all Wyoming and Wyoming vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. Manufacturers started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now we’re left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous depending on where you are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.

    Interference engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it’ll cost thousands to repair the engine.

    So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. There aren’t tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from Bob & Dave’s Garage may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that’s in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the damage it’ll cause. There’s no middle ground.

    So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner’s manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles, ask your Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor right away if your manufacturer requires a timing belt replacement.

    Contact Bob & Dave’s Garage to learn more about your car’s Timing Belt
    You can find us at:
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    Or call us at 616-532-7209

    Sometimes you can go quite a while without a failure, but we’ve seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It’s not worth the risk.

    What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Wyoming or Wyoming? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it’s usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn’t a cheap procedure, but it’s a fraction of what it could cost to repair the damage caused by a failure.

    At Bob & Dave’s Garage we’re all about trying to prevent costly repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. Thanks to AutoNetTV for their great auto video tips.

  • Battery Replacement For Your vehicle

      0 comments

    Modern cars and trucks in and around Wyoming run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today’s vehicles 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. Plus there are all the 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.

    Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, 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 just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak and need to be replaced.

    Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries in the shop at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming Michigan. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the vehicle’s paint. Of course, avoid short circuiting the battery as well.

    Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger 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.

    Sometimes there is quite a price range for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as “good”, “better” and “best”. More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Headlamp Replacement

      0 comments

    Like everything automotive, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years.

    We can all drive more safely at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility down the road, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly.

    The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions.

    This is important because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night.

    And as the country’s population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

    Most new cars come with halogen headlamps.

    A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on the road, they’ re very bright and have a bluish tint.

    From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going.

    However, many people complain about HID lights in on coming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs.

    This has lead to several studies – your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

    All halogen headlamps dim over time. Experts recommend that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time.

    It’s easy to remember – when you change your clock,

    change your headlamps.

    Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time – then all your lights will be equally bright.

    You will appreciate it during those long winter nights.

    If you have an older car with old style headlamps – they make halogen replacement lamps for most cars. You’ll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

    In addition to regular halogen lamps, you can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that’s more like natural sunlight.

    This light’s easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

    Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive.

    These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair.

    If you want other drivers to think you’re running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her Michigan automotive service technician knows for sure.

    Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming, Michigan can restore your headlight covers.

    Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

  • PCV Valve Replacement

      0 comments

    The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine.

    But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out.

    These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up,

    eventually leading to expensive failures.

    Also, the pressure build up would cause seals and gaskets to blow out.

    Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.

    Gasoline engines used to simply have a hose that let the poisonous fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. Diesel engines are not required to have these valves.

    The positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, valve routes crankcase gases through a hose and back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine.

    Fresh, cle an

    air is brought into the crankcase through a breather tube.

    It’ s really a pretty

    simple system, but does an important job.

    The re-circulating air removes moisture and combustion waste from the crankcase, preventing sludge.

    This extends not only the life of your oil, but

    the engine as well.   The PCV relieves pressure in the crankcase, preventing oil leaks.

    Eventually, the PCV valve can get gummed up.

    Then it can not move enough air through the engine to keep it working efficiently.

    If the PCV valve is sticking enough, you could have oil leaks, excess oil consumption and a fouled intake system. If you experience hesitation or surging

    or an oil leak, it may be a sign of PCV value problems. Your owners’ manual may give a recommendation for when the PCV valve should be replaced – usually between 20,000 mi/32,000 km and 50,000 mi/80,000 km. Unfortunately, some manufacturers don’t list a recommendation in the manual, so it can be easy to overlook.

    Many PCV system problems can be diagnosed with a visual inspection.

    Fortunately, PCV valve replacement is both quick and inexpensive. Proper oil changes will greatly extend the life of the PCV valve.

    Skipping a few recommended oil changes can allow varnish and gum to build up in the valve, reducing its efficiency.  So now when your Wyoming service technician tells you its time to replace your PCV valve, you will know what he’s talking about.

    If you have had your car for a while and this is the first you’ve ever heard of a PCV value, ask your tech to check yours out or call Bob & Dave’s Garage at 616-532-7209.