• What

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    Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

    Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like Michigan. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.

    There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.

    But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Wyoming. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Wyoming is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.

    Wyoming drivers may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Wyoming roads.

    Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

    Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Wyoming restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in Michigan. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. They will soon be available for
    Wyoming drivers.

    Wyoming motorists who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that essential preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

    When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most
    Wyoming service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.

  • Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your Pencil

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    High gas prices in Wyoming increase the cost of living for Michigan auto owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Wyoming vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

    According to Michigan news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

    Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Wyoming vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Wyoming folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

    Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may put their Wyoming business in the red.

    So what does this mean to Wyoming drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:

    Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
    Ring any bells? Can most Wyoming motorists honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

    Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

    Well, the average personal vehicle in Wyoming is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

    GAS PRICE
    $3.50
    $4.50
    $5.50
    20 MPG
    $165
    $255
    $345

    From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Wyoming for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Wyoming. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

    GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
    10 MPG $480 $660 $840
    20 MPG $165 $255 $345
    30 MPG $60 $120 $180

     

    So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of money at Wyoming gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

     

     

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

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    Hi Wyoming drivers. Let’s talk fuel injectors. 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 vehicle 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.

    Fuel System Cleaning at Bob & Dave's Garage for Better PerformanceVehicles 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 for Wyoming drivers.

    So it’s to Wyoming car owners’ advantage to keep their 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 fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to Wyoming drivers than do bargain Wyoming area service stations.

    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.

    Wyoming motorists should check their owner’s manual to find out how often they should change their 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 between Wyoming, Wyoming and Wyoming , your filter will need to be changed more often.

    You can also purchase cleaners at Bob & Dave’s Garage 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.

  • Gear Up: Transmission Service at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming

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    The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

    How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

    Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Wyoming drivers: it improves fuel efficiency and increases performance.

    But there is a drawback for Wyoming drivers: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Wyoming motorists. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

    That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a key part of preventive maintenance for Wyoming motorists. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

    Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

    New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Wyoming auto owners at Bob & Dave’s Garage. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Bob & Dave’s Garage. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing costly transmission repairs.

  • A Cold Day In Wyoming

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    Most Wyoming drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Michigan interstate but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Wyoming rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot vehicle.

    A lot of Wyoming drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the vehicle running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive in Wyoming.

    Wyoming drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing costly repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

    Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your vehicle air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more expensive repairs.

    At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we advise our Wyoming customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

    Check with your vehicle owner’s manual or with your Wyoming service advisor for information about how often your vehicle air conditioning system should be serviced.

    Another piece of good auto advice: if your vehicle air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a significant repair bill.

    On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Wyoming car owners in Michigan. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your vehicle.

    Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!

  • How Do You Save Gas In Wyoming Michigan?

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    No one in Wyoming, Michigan likes to spend a chunk of change at Wyoming gas pumps. Rising Michigan fuel prices, however, have spurred Wyoming car owners to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

    Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

    First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Wyoming service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

    Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

    So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his fuel economy.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

    Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Wyoming, Michigan. First get caught up on your key routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at Bob & Dave’s Garage. That’s a big item.

    If your check engine light is on, have your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service specialist figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

    Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Wyoming drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

    Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Wyoming folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Michigan freeways and Wyoming streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

    Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in Michigan. Don’t shell out any money to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

    Do some research and check with your technician at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming before spending your hard earned cash.

  • Keep Your Wyoming Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

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    Hey Wyoming drivers – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your vehicle burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

    That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very key but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your auto manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in Michigan affects when your filter needs to be changed.

    Dusty conditions around Wyoming or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

    When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your vehicle needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel efficiency and performance.

    Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more costly in Wyoming, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

    So it’s important for Wyoming auto owners to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming and it should easily pay for itself in better gas mileage before your next oil change.

    Stop by Bob & Dave’s Garage at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment.

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

  • Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance For Wyoming Drivers

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    Hello, Wyoming car owners. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

    Wyoming auto owners don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

    Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

    The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your vehicle owner’s manual or Bob & Dave’s Garage to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Bob & Dave’s Garage service specialist can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

    If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at Michigan highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Wyoming, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

    A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

    Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

    That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Wyoming motorists.

    Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to expensive repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage tech will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

    Good car care for Wyoming drivers means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Bob & Dave’s Garage and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved gas mileage, safety and peace of mind.

  • Water Pump

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    Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

    • the radiator
    • the radiator cap
    • the hoses
    • the thermostat and
    • the water pump

    The cooling system is vital for Wyoming car owners. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

    the radiator
    the radiator cap
    the hoses
    the thermostat and
    the water pump

    The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

    The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your auto maker’s owners’ manual or committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service professional to see what’s recommended.

    Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

    So how can Wyoming car owners tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it’s got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you’ve got a leak.

    Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can’t see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have your Bob & Dave’s Garage technician check it out.

    Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles – some longer. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it’s one of those that’s driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work’s already done with the timing belt change. And, if you don’t, and develop a leak later, you’ll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

    Wyoming auto owners can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin’ new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage technician what he thinks. Don’t feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. Your Bob & Dave’s Garage technician can get you back on the road and on with your life.

  • Power Steering Service At Bob & Dave’s Garage In Wyoming

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    Many Wyoming drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Wyoming as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

    The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

    Power Steering Service At Bob & Dave's Garage In WyomingPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects vehicle components from rust and corrosion.

    Wyoming car owners should be aware that car makers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
    At Bob & Dave’s Garage, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

    Unfortunately, many Wyoming car owners don’t realize how vital it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

    Wyoming motorists should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming.

    In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are critical mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Bob & Dave’s Garage includes an inspection of steering components.

    If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service specialist do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Bob & Dave’s Garage today at 616-532-7209.