A Short History On Tires From The Beginning To Now

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When you took history in school, you talked about the War of 1812 or how the settlers came to the U.S. You probably didn’t learn too much about tires, right? Well, today, you’re in luck! The experts at Schafer’s Auto Center would like to take you back to history class and teach you a little bit about the history of modern Philadelphia tires!

As you may have noticed in the last couple of decades…things change. There’s not much you can do to stop it. While you may click one button on your phone now to make a call instead of using a rotary dial, have you ever thought about how much tires have changed over the years? Probably not!

Before air was used in tires, they were covered by leather, wood, iron, or solid rubber. They weren’t very shock absorbent, but they had some grip to them and they were very durable! It took a number of years for tires to progress to the way we see them today.

The modern tire was actually created and patented by Robert Thompson in 1847. However, it wasn’t very successful. At that time, people preferred solid rubber because it was more durable. But when bicycles became popular in later years, the concept of a smoother ride became more popular. John Boyd Dunlop manufactured an air-filled tire in 1888 and the cushion allowed him to ride a bike without getting a headache on bumpy roads. The design was simple, but it worked!

The first few air-filled tire designs were simple and easy. However, the materials have changed over the years and the design, durability, and functionality have changed with it. Tire tread, for example, is one of the most innovative design changes to help the surface grip with the tires and aid handling. Tread and rubber can help vehicles handle better in many different road conditions.

Who knows what the future will hold when it comes to tire evolution. There are hundreds of factories around the world pumping out tires for a number of different reasons. You get the comfort and performance you need on a bike, in a car, and in a number of other areas. Whether you want a certain ride or a certain way of handling, there’s a tire for you. The only trick is finding the right tire for the job you have at hand!

Whether you know what you need today or not, you can count on the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center. SAC is here to outfit your vehicle with the best Philadelphia tire for your needs. Give us a call at 215-755-1270 and we’ll get started on finding that tire. If you do a lot of driving in the winter, we’ll make sure you have superior grip. If you’re more concerned about appearance, we’ll get you the best-looking tires on the market. Whatever you want, we’ll find it for you. Stop by at your convenience and see some options in person at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

What Do You Need In Tires?

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If there’s one thing your vehicle needs more than anything else, it’s tires. And tires are the only thing that connects the vehicle to the road. They take a lot over their years of use so it’s important that they get changed out at the right time. Of course, there are probably a lot of things you would rather buy instead of tires in Philadelphia, PA. But when your vehicle needs tires, it’s important to move forward with the replacement process. So what do you need in new tires? Here are some tips to help you decide:

Tip 1: Check To See What You Have

Before you buy tires that are too big, too small, or too fancy for your vehicle, check the tires you currently have and see what they are. The tires will tell you their size, brand, diameter, and many other things. Have you been happy with those tires? Have they lasted a long time? If you don’t really want a change, check and see what you have and get something that is similar to what you enjoyed in the past.

Tip 2: Consider Changes You Want

Are there things about your tires that you didn’t like? Perhaps they don’t do well in the hot Philadelphia weather or they give you a bumpy ride. When you are getting new tires anyway, it is a good time to look into possible changes to make your vehicle operate the way it should or the way you want it to. There are certainly plenty of options on the market and you can get tires that do well in snow, hold up to high temperatures, or endure heavy loads. Whatever you need, you can find.

Tip 3: Prices Are Relative

In many ways, you get what you pay for in the tire world. But you also want to make sure you are getting a fair price. There are some tire companies that will charge you more than others so once you decide what you want, shop around to make sure you get the best, most fair price. Paying a small price for tires, however, isn’t always a good idea as they may be low in quality. Once you find quality tires, compare those prices to other like-tires in order to find the best deal. Quality is important to longevity and you certainly don’t want to replace the tires again any time soon!

If you are in the market for new Philadelphia, PA tires, use the expertise at Schafer’s Auto Center. Our technicians know tires like the backs of their hands and we know just how to help those who need to find a certain tire, whatever that might be. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center by calling 215-755-1270 to ask questions about tires. If you aren’t sure what to ask, stop by SAC and show us what you have at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll come up with some recommendations as to what will serve your vehicle the best in the future.

Get Into A Vehicle Inspection Routine

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Time has a way of sneaking by everyone. They say that a day can last a lifetime, but yet years seem to slide by like nothing. If you have quite a distance between your home and your office, it’s easy enough to rack up miles on your vehicle in Pennsylvania. You know you need a regular Philadelphia vehicle inspection routine in order to keep things operating well. But what do you need to do? It’s not too late to start a vehicle inspection routine. Here are a few things you should try to do, depending on the type of vehicle you drive.


There are a couple of items you will want to do on a monthly basis and they don’t take long. Mark your calendar for the beginning of the month or another date that is convenient to spend a few extra moments on your car. You can even do it while you are filling up with gas.  You will want to check the tire inflation to make sure all of the tires are properly inflated to the right level. You will also want to check the oil and transmission fluid levels. Check the lights to make sure they are working right and update the windshield washer fluid if it is low.

5,000 Mile Check

Every time you drive 5,000 miles, there are certain things you will want to do as well. You might need an oil change, for example, to prevent deposits from forming in the engine. You could also get a tire rotation to get even wear on your tires, which makes them last longer. If you take your vehicle in for an oil change, get a vehicle inspection and ask if there is anything else it needs to maintain its efficiency.

15,000 Mile Check

At 15,000 miles, you will want to replace air filters and cabin filters. You might also want to check the wiper blades if you have used them a lot. Make sure the battery has reserve staring power and check the battery cables and clean corrosion from them if need be. You might also want to inspect the belts for signs of cracks.

30,000 Mile Check

This is where the transmission fluid should be flushed, replaced, or changed out. You will also want to flush the coolant from the radiator and look for leaks. Check the engine over careful to make sure there aren’t any issues popping up there.

Any Time-Vehicle Inspection

If you need a vehicle inspection in Philadelphia at any point, all you have to do is contact Schafer’s Auto Repair. It’s hard to keep track of what needs to be done and when. Just stay on top of your regular oil changes at the right intervals and SAC will take care of the rest when you come in for those. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 or stop by and ask questions about what your vehicle needs at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to keep your car in working order!

Tire Safety Homework for Any Car Owner

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It might be a relief when schools let out so you don’t have to badger your kids about doing their homework any longer. But summer is just as important of a time to do your own homework on your tires as any other season of the year. When you ignore tire safety in Philadelphia, things happen. And that could mean you’re sitting by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck—or worse. Do your tire homeowner and you’re a lot less likely to get yourself into trouble where they are concerned. Here are a few homework items to put on your to-do list.

Check Tire Pressure

Your vehicle is designed to hold tire pressure at a certain level in order to remain functional and efficient. If your tire pressure goes down in one or more tires, things start to go awry. You could hurt your fuel economy or shorten the tire’s lifespan in the meantime. Get in the habit of checking the tire pressure when you get gas, or at least once a month, to make sure everything is good and at the right level.

Avoid Mixing Tires

If you have one tire that gets a hole in it, don’t buy a different tire to replace it. You need something that is the same size and tread pattern as the others or you will mix things and not have a vehicle that handles correctly. It’s always best to replace all four tires at once, but that’s not always possible. If you have to get just one, get the same one as the others.

Regular Rotations

No vehicle is always going to have even weight distribution and to fight off uneven wear, make sure your tires are rotated regularly. You’ll want to get them rotated ever 5,000 miles, or every oil change appointment. It’s an easy time to take care of that homework item.

Inspect Treat

You need to keep an eye on the tread of your tires to make sure they are at a safe depth. Take a penny and insert it into the groove with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is too low. When you keep an eye on the tread with regular inspections, you’ll see it happening and be able to anticipate when you need new tires.

Get Help As Needed

Not everyone is going to think about tire safety in Philadelphia on a regular basis. That’s why it’s nice to have a partnership with a shop you can trust, like Schafer’s Auto Repair. Our technicians at SAC are the best when it comes to tires and we’ll keep an eye on every important detail for you. Whether you know you need tire help or not, give us a call for your Philadelphia auto repair needs and we’ll take a look at the tires too. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 for an appointment or stop by 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 with your tire questions. We’re here to help!

Leave Certain Car Maintenance to Pros

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Some people just love to tinker around the garage. And since the car is generally in the garage, they might tinker with that as well. Whether they like to change the oil to feel handy or try out a few repairs, there are some items that are best left to the professionals at SAR. Because of the complexity within cars today, some things are just too complicated to handle on your own. Keep these items in mind as you consider a DIY approach on your vehicle in Philadelphia.

-Brake Repair
If you’ve noticed your brakes are taking longer to stop the vehicle, or you hear a squealing noise, you might recognize that it’s time for brake repair. Sure, it might just be the brake pads and that would be great. It’s the most inexpensive part to replace. However, when it comes to your brakes, you never want to mess around. Brakes are an important (if not the most important) safety element. You don’t want to miss anything or mess anything up and put your life and the lives of others with you and around you, at risk.

-Engine Diagnostics
The engine is one of the most fun parts on a vehicle to tinker with. It’s what makes everything run! You can look all you want, but when it comes to taking parts out and putting things back in, you should really leave it up to SAC. If your check engine light comes on or you start hearing unusual noises, you might want to get things checked out. Sure, you can take a look at your owner’s manual and see what you can figure out, but the pros at Schafer’s Auto Center have sophisticated equipment that helps you get to the bottom of the story. They can hook up computer programs that get an in depth look at the engine and their education will enable them to decipher the codes they get to allow the root cause of the problem to come out to be cured.

-Tire Balancing
Tire rotations sound easy enough, and you can easily jack up the car and swap the wheels around, but balancing those tires and checking for uneven wear is very important to the health and well-being of your vehicle and the overall safety you get when driving. Rotate your tires on your own and try to balance them, but you are taking a risk that things might not be so safe. IT’s really best to leave the job to the pros at SA.

If you need professional help with any of these things, or just a simple oil change in Philadelphia and tune-up, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 for an appointment. We’re here to help with anything from simple to complicated! Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’d love to have you come visit and ask questions. We want your vehicle to be as safe as possible and that starts with knowing what to do and when!

The Gift of Safety Comes in the Form of New Tires

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Your family might have just about everything you feel like you could want. You all have cell phones with more computing power than you could ever dream of. There’s an electric dog trimmer for the pets. You have personalized coffee mugs for every occasion. When someone’s birthday rolls around, what can you possibly get them that they don’t already have? Instead of floundering around the stores, think about giving someone (or your entire family!) the gift of safety. It’s not as shiny as something you open in a little box, but it’s a much better gift overall.

Tires aren’t’ a gift that just anyone will appreciate. They don’t have the same appeal as an edible fruit basket. But a set of new tires is much more than some people recognize. Once all of the elements are evident, they’ll appreciate it too. Here’s why!

  • Tires are the only part of the car that touches the road. When you want your family to be safe, you are showing your feelings for them. Getting new tires gives them capable handling and could even save their life down the road.
  • The right tires on a vehicle are like handing someone the gift of a good ride. Cars drive rough on worn down tires. Instead of a box of chocolates they’ll eat once, they get to enjoy the ride over and over again.
  • You get the gift of safety with new tires, but what about peace and quiet? There’s a lot to be said for quality tires, which can cut down on vibrations and road noise. People can converse in the car again, enjoy their music, and get a break from the rest of the world.
  • New tires show that you are dedicated to that person and to your family. Tires are something that last a long time and promote efficiency. They’ll save the family money on gas. They’ll get everyone where they’re going safety. There’s nothing like that kind of commitment to make a recipient feel good about the gift.

You may have never thought about giving someone, or your whole family, the gift of new tires. It’s not likely on anyone’s birthday list, after all. But living in Philadelphia puts demands on any vehicle and a new set of tires may be something your loved one truly needs. You can show them your love and commitment by providing a gift they actually need when there’s nothing else they could possibly want.

If you’re ready to look through some of the tire options, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270. We can help you get the exact right tire for your vehicle so it will fit like a dream and drive even better. We understand how important tires are. They’re the only part of the car touching the road! They keep you safe and that’s important to us! Stop by and see us in our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We are one of the most trusted auto repair specialists in Philadelphia, PA.

Beginner Tire Maintenance

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When you took driver’s education courses, you may have learned how to change a tire or where to keep the spare, but other than that, you spent more time on rules, simulators, and driving experience. Even if you did go over more than that, you probably don’t remember much. The rules of the road take over and how to maintain your vehicle properly stays in the background. As a driver, there are a lot of things to remember and keep in order so you can remain safe. But whether you just started driving or you have been driving for years, it’s always good to go back to the basics and start with the one part of the car that touches the road…the tires.

Tires are the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground, which makes them crucial. They are a safety feature, they help determine fuel economy, and they are something that should be maintained with vigilance. Make your tires last with this advice from SAR.

#1: Know Tire Pressure
You need to know not only how to check tire pressure, but also what pressure your tires should be at. You also need to know how to add and take air out in case you need to make an adjustment. IT’s really a simple process and if you don’t know how to do it, the technicians as SAC would be happy to show you during your next visit.

#2: Know When Routine Maintenance is Necessary
You need to have your tires rotated on a regular basis. You will be able to get a mileage in your owner’s manual or a local mechanic can give you a good idea. You can then base that maintenance around other items, like oil changes. If you get your oil changes at a certain mileage point too, you can then get your tires rotated every other oil change, or whatever is best for their mileage.

#3: Keep an Eye on the Tread
When you visit SAR for regular maintenance, we’ll keep an eye on the treads of your tires as well. But it’s always good for you to know what to look for yourself so you know when tire replacement is coming your way. A new set of tires is an investment and you might need to budget and save for it.

With this tire advice, and the help of true professionals, you can make the most of your tires and keep them as safe as possible in the meantime. Tire maintenance plays a big role in your vehicle’s safety and efficiency. Your tires won’t last forever, no matter what you do, but maintenance will help them last longer in a safer manner. If you need tire advice, contact Schafer’s Auto Center for an appointment at 215-755-1270. We’re here to help with advice, maintenance, new tires, or anything else you need for auto service in Philadelphia. Stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and let’s work together to keep your tires and vehicle safe.

Increase Gas Mileage Every Day

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You drive your vehicle every day, but do you feel like you’re also stopping by the gas station every day? Or at least more often than you should have to? When you bought your vehicle, you were smart about it. You looked into things like gas mileage and looked forward to saving money in that way. So how can you increase the gas mileage on your vehicle without trading it in? The pros at SAR have some tips for you!

Tip 1: Slow Down
You don’t want to disrupt traffic, but any time you can brake more slowly instead of slamming the brakes on, or accelerate gradually instead of trying to be in a race, you’re doing a good thing for your gas mileage. You may not always be able to control how you brake if someone pulls out in front of you, but the more controlled you are, the better.

Tip 2: Notice Wind Resistance
While it’s hard not to open a sunroof or window on a beautiful Philadelphia day, it can up your gas bill and decrease your mileage. If you are driving slowly in your neighborhood, go for it. But keep things sealed up when you are driving faster to make your gas mileage better.

Tip 3: No Warm Ups or Cool Downs
It might be tough to jump into your car when the cold Philadelphia winter hits, or when the hot summer settles in, even. But the more often you run your car, the more gas it will use. Suffer through a few minutes of hot or cold temperatures, if you can, and save money on your gas stops.

Tip 4: Lighten Load
No, you shouldn’t leave a child at home just to make the car lighter, but if you have a lot of heavy items in your trunk for no reason, take them out! Anything that you can do to lighten the vehicle will decrease your gas stops.

Tip 5: Get Auto Maintenance and Service
Your car needs to be running at the top of its game in order to maintain its efficiency. Get regular oil changes! Get an auto maintenance and service check as recommended in your owner’s manual! Do what the factory recommends and you’ll get the best gas mileage your vehicle is capable of getting.

Tip 6: Check the Tires
When you get auto maintenance and service, the technicians will check the tires for you, but it never hurts to keep an eye on them yourself between checkups. IF your tires are under or overinflated, it can drag and cause you to use more gas. Know what your tires should be and inflate them to that level to save money.

These are just a few of the things you can do to save money at the gas pump. If you need more advice, or you want to schedule your auto service in Philadelphia, contact Schafer’s Auto Repair at 215-755-1270. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148!

Car Maintenance for Professionals Only

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There are a number of things that handy people can do to their vehicles on their own. While it’s something that some use as a pastime, it’s not something that just anyone can do. And there are some things that should only be left up to a professional auto repair shop. Here’s a short list of car maintenance items that only professionals should do for you.

Diagnose Engine Issues
When the check engine light comes on, it can be any number of things. However many people think they can diagnose the issues because there are smartphone apps and other devices that allow you to talk to the computer in your car. But some of the codes are vague and really require more sophisticated equipment. Plus, they can leave a lot out as well. You don’t want to figure out how to turn the light off on your own only to leave the problem uncured. Let the pros figure out what’s going on using their education to decipher the codes they get. This will help you get to the root cause of the issue that needs to be addressed.

Internal Engine Repair
Sure, there are plenty of people who understand internal combustion within an engine, but newer engines have tight tolerances and specific torque on their nuts and bolts. Add on to that a bunch of other new technology and electronics and what you have is something beyond many people’s understanding. Modern cars are different than those you may have played around with as a kid with your dad.

Tire Rotations
It sounds simple enough to jack up a vehicle and swap the wheels into different positions, but when professionals do it, they also re-balance the tires and look for tread damage, uneven wear and other items. These things require a trained eye and equipment that is too expensive for most people to have on hand. If you rotate your own tires, you might be driving on tires that are unbalanced and unsafe. This maintenance item is inexpensive when you take your vehicle to an auto repair shop so leave it to the experts.

Air Conditioning Fills
If your air conditioner isn’t working on your vehicle, you might think you can get a can of Freon and solve the issue. But the system is sealed so if it’s leaking, there’s a problem somewhere. Filling it with Freon is like putting a small bandage on a big problem. Plus, adding Freon can burn the compressor up in no time flat. Leave it to the auto repair shop to figure out what’s up.

If you know quite a bit about cars, that’s great! You can help Schafer’s Auto Center by giving detailed descriptions about what’s going on with your vehicle. But you’re still in better hands when you bring your vehicle to a Lexus auto repair shop in Philadelphia for the major items. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’d be happy to help you. Give us a call at 215-755-1270 to make an appointment.

Keep an Eye on the Spare

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Every vehicle should have a spare tire on it or in it somewhere. Do you have one? If you aren’t sure, chances are you don’t and that’s dangerous. Even if you do have one, do you know if it’s in good condition? Your spare tire is one of the most important safety accessories on the vehicle, but it’s something not a lot of people think about very often. If you never check your spare tire, it might not be something you can count on when you need it the most. Here are a few steps you might want to take to make sure your spare tire is ready if you need it.

Step 1: Check the Tires
Whenever you check your tires for pressure and other items, check the spare as well. The spare tire should have a regular amount of air in it too, depending on your type of vehicle. Some spare tires are compact and known as donut tires. Those are higher in air pressure than others. Check the owner’s manual to know how much your spare tire should carry and then commit to checking on it every time you check your tires.

Step 2: Replace it
Not every car comes with a spare tire and many of them won’t have a new tire as a spare. If your car is one you bought used, or if you’ve had it for many years, you’ll need to watch for certain things in your spare. First, check the manufacturer’s date on the sidewall. Tires do have expiration dates! If the tire is older than 6 years, it’s more likely to fail. Spares can last as long as 10 years, but it’s safer to replace it if it’s older than 6 years of age.

Step 3: Examine Condition
Spare tires can sometimes be old, patched tires that were previously used and repaired. Examine your spare and look for cracks, scars, worn tread, plugs, and other issues. If you see things that can make the tire blow if you were to ever use it, it’s best to get a new one.

Step 4: Understand Spare Safety
Once you have a spare tire in place and you know it’s a good one, you still need to know how to use it. Spare tires are usually only meant for emergencies. You shouldn’t use them as everyday tires and you should only drive 50 mph on them. Avoid the highways if you can and get a new tire on the vehicle as soon as you can. Spare tires can come in handy to get you to safety if you get a flat.

If you want a professional to look over your spare, or if you need a new one, contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center, one of the top auto repair shops in Philadelphia is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’d be happy to help you with all of your tire needs. Give us a call at 215-755-1270 with your questions or to make an appointment.