Bad air quality while you’re driving around Wyoming is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they’re fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don’t know about them yet.
These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as thee microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
So your cabin air filer can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores, to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner’s manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around twelve to fifteen thousand miles.
The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you’ll want to have your Wyoming Michigan service center, Bob & Dave’s Garage, take care of replacing them.
As we said, many people don’t realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.
People who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.
Of course if you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted conditions, you’ll need to change your cabin air filter more often.
Have you ever had an experience like this in Wyoming Michigan? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing!
You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off.
You wonder; “What was going on?” Well, it’s actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.
Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn’t be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something’s wrong. Whatever’s wrong could cause some serious engine damage.
Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action.
It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I’m still concerned, I’ll keep this light on for now.
Then the Check Engine Light goes off in a day or two.
The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it’s gone now. The danger is past, I’ll turn that light off.
Now a flashing check engine light is serious. You need to get it into our Wyoming Michigan shop as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?
Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air to fuel mix, spark advance, and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.
The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the check engine warning.
The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can’t compensate for the problem, the check engine light stays on.
The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what’s wrong?
Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t really tell you why, because there could be any number of causes.
Let’s say you’re feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees.
You know your symptom – a fever – but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?
You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.
There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.
There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory, and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer’s computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.
A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy or that the auto parts store uses, doesn’t have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Wyoming Michigan service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.
The second problem is that once you’ve got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.
So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor, which are not cheap, and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.
How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Give us a call at 616-532-7209 and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.
When your car breaks down in the Wyoming, Michigan area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Wyoming car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.
We’ve been checking into some of the important training our Wyoming Michigan technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.
Today there are four cylinder engines around Wyoming that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel efficiency keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Wyoming auto owners at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.
Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on Michigan freeways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Wyoming auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.
It’s a real challenge for the service professionals at Bob & Dave’s Garage and other Wyoming auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.
So where do Wyoming techs go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.
And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Wyoming automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.
Service centers in Wyoming, Michigan have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Wyoming drivers want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.
So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. Wyoming motorists can trust their committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.
At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we provide quality automotive service including auto repair, auto repair and auto repair.<br><br>
Today’s Bob & Dave’s Garage auto maintenance 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 vehicle air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Wyoming.
Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your vehicle’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. All Wyoming drivers know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.
The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Wyoming auto owners. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)
So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail. Your Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor 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.
Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its 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. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt. All in all, the serpentine belt’s a critical part for the function of your vehicle. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Bob & Dave’s Garage – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.
Today in our Bob & Dave’s Garage blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn’t the only aspect of your life in Wyoming with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?
Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.
Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Wyoming takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.
So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Wyoming neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.
From a practical standpoint, Wyoming people don’t need to memorize their vehicle owner’s manuals. You can let your Bob & Dave’s Garage advisor remind you of the guidelines established by auto makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Bob & Dave’s Garage professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.
For Wyoming drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for Wyoming motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.
First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.
And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Wyoming car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Bob & Dave’s Garage for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.
And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your vehicle doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.
Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.
Nowadays, Wyoming auto owners are paying more at Wyoming gas pumps. For some families in the greater Wyoming area, it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That’s got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many Michigan motorists are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.
Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Wyoming, Michigan freeways have over 75,000 miles on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in Wyoming can’t afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a break down. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.
Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many automobile manufacturer’s manuals don’t publish service intervals after 60,000 miles. Thus, Wyoming drivers need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.
You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you’re past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles. Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles for as long as you have your car.
Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some Wyoming automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners’ manual or service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.
And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your vehicle.
Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.
And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain special additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.
Older vehicles in the Wyoming, Michigan area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don’t. Things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.
With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important. The first is with your service specialist at Bob & Dave’s Garage. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget, and for the Wyoming, Michigan area driving conditions.
The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We’re not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean – pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage and head off problems. We can’t do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Wyoming, Michigan roads.
Take a look at the attached automotive tips video from AutoNetTV
Wyoming motorists know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.
There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.
Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.
Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the vehicle engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the vehicle engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.
When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.
Wyoming auto owners should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more costly. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.
So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.
If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Wyoming drivers will enjoy better gas mileage and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.
Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.
The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Bob & Dave’s Garage will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.
The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.
See your owner’s manual or ask your Wyoming service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.
Some Wyoming motorists wonder why Bob & Dave’s Garage and other Wyoming auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Wyoming HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Wyoming doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Bob & Dave’s Garage for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Wyoming area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Michigan expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, Bob & Dave’s Garage diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Wyoming drivers’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Wyoming, Wyoming, and Wyoming drivers that the trouble code tells the Bob & Dave’s Garage technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The vehicle computer’s trouble code just tells the Bob & Dave’s Garage technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Bob & Dave’s Garage customers. The Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Wyoming service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Bob & Dave’s Garage wants to figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.