• Brake Service at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming

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    Brakes really aren’t optional equipment for Wyoming car owners. And taking care of them isn’t optional either.

    A regular brake inspection is on every Michigan car’s maintenance schedule. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, our team will check your brake system and let you know if there are any important problems. Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into your Wyoming or Wyoming service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

    • Low or spongy brake pedal
    • Hard brake pedal
    • A brake warning light that stays on
    • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
    • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

    There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

    There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be pricey. But putting it off is dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

    Brake fluid is also key. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and detrimental brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Wyoming car owners should change the brake fluid when their car maker recommends it.

    There are different grades of brake pads sold in the Wyoming area. There are regular, metallic and ceramic – higher grades are more expensive, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the auto maker recommends.

    Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it’s a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Wyoming area body shop after an accident.

  • Can Your Car Last Another Year?

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    Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Wyoming car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Wyoming, Michigan folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

    Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Wyoming drivers.

    The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Wyoming auto owners when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

    Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Wyoming motorists have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.

    Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

    Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Bob & Dave’s Garage is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Wyoming.

    Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the costly damage that can be caused by failure.

    We know that this is a lot for busy Wyoming area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Bob & Dave’s Garage keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

    Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Bob & Dave’s Garage today for an appointment; you can reach us at 616-532-7209.

    Let us take good care of your car at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming, and it’ll take good care of you.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    Give us a call today at 616-532-7209.
    Or stop by at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519

  • Busting Automotive Myths In Wyoming Michigan

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    Myths passed around our Wyoming Michigan community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

    To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Wyoming area, come over to Bob & Dave’s Garage.
    You’ll find us at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519.
    Give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

    Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

    The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

    The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Wyoming. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Wyoming still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

    Another common rant you’ll hear around Wyoming is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Bob & Dave’s Garage would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

    This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

    Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

    The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local Wyoming community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

    Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

    You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Bob & Dave’s Garage have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Wyoming service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage, or do some research of your own.

  • Battery Replacement At Bob & Dave’s Garage In Wyoming

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    Hello, welcome to Bob & Dave’s Garage. Today’s focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Wyoming runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Bob & Dave’s Garage are those in our customer’s vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, car batteries wear out and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Wyoming drivers should know when looking for a new battery.

    Look for two measurements that come into play: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.

    Let’s start with cold cranking amps. Battery Replacement At Bob & Dave's Garage This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in Michigan, specifically how cold it is. (Many Michigan auto owners have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle’s 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 when the temperature dips. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in Wyoming. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.

    As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.

    Percent of Power Available Celsius Fahrenheit Power Required  
    100 27 80 100  
    65 0 32 155  
    40 -22 0 210  
    25 -32 20 350  

    So if you live where it’s cold in Michigan, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your vehicle was based on averages. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we like to remind Wyoming car owners that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their car makers recommend, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

    And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel vehicles require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.

    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 to Wyoming motorists these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your vehicle. 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 around Wyoming. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Bob & Dave’s Garage and upgrade if you need more.

    Talk with us at Bob & Dave’s Garage about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your vehicle: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.

    Batteries are a big ticket item for most Michigan auto owners, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Bob & Dave’s Garage about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.

  • Getting New Tires In Wyoming?

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    best tire shops in Wyoming

    There are so many tire choices in the Wyoming, Wyoming, and Wyoming area, selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for Wyoming drivers. And even though it’s kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they’re a significant investment for most Wyoming folks so you want do it right.

    Tip: talk with your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage tire professional. He’ll help you sort through the choices.

    Here are some of the critical issues you’ll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is critical. All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Wyoming tire professional can help stay within car makers’ specifications or program a different tire size into your vehicle’s computer.

    And you’ll want to discuss how and where you drive in Wyoming to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Wyoming auto owner’s needs.

    Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Bob & Dave’s Garage will last a long time and give Wyoming car owners good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Wyoming bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

    Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle, it’s vital to always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for vehicle brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

    Schedule a tire inspection at Bob & Dave’s Garage to see how much life is left in your vehicle tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

    Give us a call

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

  • Fuel System Cleaning at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming for Better Performance

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    A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

    Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

    The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

    Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine.

    Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance.

    So it’s critical to keep your fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name Michigan fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel than do bargain stations in the Wyoming area.

    The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

    Check your owner’s manual or Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming to find out how often you should change your fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

    You can also purchase cleaners that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use.

    If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming that will result in better fuel efficiency and improved vehicle performance.

    Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

  • Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter

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    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.

  • How Your Check Engine Light Works

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    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.

  • Training Received by Technicians In Wyoming, Michigan

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    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>

  • Bob & Dave’s Garage Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

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    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. Bob & Dave's Garage Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll 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.