Philadelphia, PA brake repair

Do You Have Good Brakes Or Do You Need Brake Repair?

By | Brake Repair Shop | No Comments

There are some things you need to be confident about in your vehicle and the brakes are definitely one of them. You need to feel safe in your car and the brakes are directly related to how safe you can feel. If you need Philadelphia, PA brake repairyou can’t feel as safe as you should. You don’t want to find out you need brake repair when you are trying to stop and can’t. That can lead to a dangerous situation to you, anyone riding with you, and even those around you. Knowing that your brakes are in good condition can help you with peace of mind as you drive down the road.   

There are several things you can do to check up on your brakes and the best thing is to get them checked by a professional on a regular basis. You can have them looked over when you get an oil change, for example, or with every tire rotation. You should have the brakes inspected at least once a year, but you can certainly do it more often. A regular check can spot small problems before they become bigger issues and that can save you time and money down the road. You can also be mindful about how you use the brakes. Try not to stop suddenly and don’t ride the brakes with constant pressure. Use them gradually for stopping and avoid other instances.  

If your brakes do need brake repair, there are warning signs that you might want to get into the shop as soon as you can. Here are things to watch for:  

Grinding 

If your brakes growl or grind when you press on them, this is a big warning sign that they are wearing down and might need repairs. Get them checked out right away as they are no longer safe to operate.  

Squealing  

The squealing noise can come on for a number of reasons. Brakes that are wearing down will start to squeak and you might have a part or two that needs to be replaced. Added moisture can also induce the noise. If it only happens when you’re out in the rain, it might be a moisture issue. If the weather and roads are dry and they are still making noise, you need to get them looked at.  

Long Stops 

If it’s taking you longer to stop than normal, or you have to push on the brake harder to slow down, get the issues checked out. There might be worn parts or another internal problem that needs to be addressed before it gets worse.  

No one wants to have to have Philadelphia, PA brake repair, but if you drive your vehicle long enough, it happens to everyone. When you want a brake inspection, or you need repairs, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 for an appointment. You can also stop by SAR with your questions at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. 

oil change in Philadelphia, PA

What Kind Of Oil Do You Need In An Oil Change?

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Did you know there are choices for the oil you put in your car? Just like anything else, there’s a variety of options out there and when you get your next Philadelphia, PA oil changeyou can request a certain type of oil. If you don’t say anything, the technician will probably use the oil that the manufacturer recommends and that’s usually best for your vehicle. But you do have a say in the situation so it’s important to know the difference in the different types of oil you can have in your vehicle.  

Consider Viscosity 

Viscosity is how thick the oil is and how well it retains its properties at various temperatures. Synthetic oil is superior in this case because conventional oils will thicken when the weather gets cold and get thinner when it’s hot. Viscosity in synthetic oils is more uniform. Some new models might run better on lower-viscosity oil and the rating is expressed numerically. The lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many vehicles are designed to work at various levels.  

Premium Conventional Oil 

Most vehicles run just fine on premium conventional oil, which does a good job at protecting the engine from overheating and from everyday wear. There are additive packages available for different vehicles, but as long as you stick to a regular oil change schedule, conventional oil is usually a good option for most vehicles.  

High Mileage Oil 

Vehicles are lasting longer today, especially with good maintenance habits, and high mileage oil is formed to stop leaks and swell gaskets around valve corners that might have cracked over their years of use. There are better viscosity properties in high mileage oil, which can help things stay quieter and provide better protection for parts that might be loosening up a bit due to age and wear.  

Synthetic Blend 

This synthetic blend splits the difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil. Synthetic blends are better for SUVs and trucks and while they aren’t as costly as full synthetic, they do cost more than conventional oil. If your vehicle hauls heavy loads, this is something to consider.  

Full Synthetic 

This oil outperforms conventional oil in every way and is purer and more stable as well as more uniform. The viscosity properties are better, and this oil is factory-recommended for most new vehicles to protect and seal items within the engine. They are, however, also more costly, but they also last longer and don’t have to be changed out as often.  

If you want to know more about what you need for your next Philadelphia, PA oil changecheck your owner’s manual or ask your technician for details on what’s best for your vehicle. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center the next time you need an oil change at (215) 755-1270. SAR is here to recommend the right oil for your vehicle to make it run the best for as long as possible. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.  

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Don’t Forget To Ask Your Auto Repair Shop

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When you approach a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop, of course you want to know what services they provide, what vehicles they work on, and whether or not their technicians are properly trained. But there are other things you might normally forget to ask, but you definitely need to know. Use this list of questions when you approach a new shop about working on your vehicle.  

What Type Of Warranty Do You Have? 

Any auto repair shop worth its weight will back its workmanship up with a warranty. That warranty might be different depending on the repairs you need, but in essence, if something goes wrong because of the repairs the shop does, they should repair it again and cover the costs without question. Ask about the warranty because you never know if you might run into a shop without one at all. If you do, don’t work with them. They might not do quality work in the first place, which might be why they don’t stand behind it later.  

What Are Your Labor Rates? 

Your vehicle might need something small on occasion, like a lightbulb changed or an air filter switched out. These are little things, but the labor on various auto repairs can really kill you. It’s best to know what the labor rates are upfront. Keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for. Choosing a shop with the lowest labor rates might mean they carry the lowest quality technicians around. Search for something that’s fair to both you and the shop’s employees.  

Are Your Estimates Free? 

Before you get any repairs done at all, you might want an estimate on what’s going to be done so you know what it’ll cost you. The best auto repair shops offer you free estimates. Don’t let a shop do an estimate without asking if it’s free only to have them come out with an estimate—and a bill for that estimate. The shops shouldn’t do any work on your car without permission so get an estimate first so you can assess if it’s fair before you move forward.  

Do You Have Shuttles Or Loaners? 

Having car repairs can be a real bummer if the repairs are going to take quite a bit of time and you don’t have a ride to another location. Ask the auto repair shop if they offer shuttle services so you can get home or to work without sitting around, waiting in the waiting room. They might also offer loaner vehicles for longer repairs so you can do what you need to do without question.  

There are plenty of things to ask a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop when your car needs help, but these questions are often things you might forget when you are dealing with repairs that have to be done. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 for an appointment or to ask questions about auto repair. You can also visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.  

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Questions To Ask Auto Mechanics—Have No Fear

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If you don’t know a lot about cars, you might feel a bit mystified about what goes on under the hood. Your Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic might feel a little intimidating to you. But they shouldn’t. Your auto mechanic is someone who has specialized training in cars. They don’t know about your line of work just like you don’t know about theirs and that’s okay. It takes all sorts of people to make the world work the way it does. If you have questions for your auto mechanic, ask them. Don’t have any fear about asking something they think is obvious. They’ll understand that you’re not an expert, just as they aren’t an expert in your field. Here are a few questions to ask your auto mechanic before you take your vehicle in.  

What Types Of Vehicles Does Your Shop Work On? 

Some shops take any and every type of vehicle while others might specialize in high-end cars like BMWs and other certain makes. Certain cars take specialized tools and proper training while others are more run of the mill. If you find a shop that accepts your type of vehicle, you’re in luck and can take it to them for service. If they don’t work on your type of car, you can ask for recommendations for a shop nearby that does.  

What Kind Of Equipment Do You Have In The Shop? 

Every time a car manufacturer comes out with a new vehicle, there are new systems that go with it. These systems are getting more and more sophisticated and many take updated equipment and diagnostics for repair. Your auto mechanic should have the latest technology so it’s worth you asking what they do have. You want your car to have the best repairs and diagnostics and you’ll never know what it’s getting unless you ask.  

What Type Of Replacement Parts Do You Use? 

Not every replacement part is the same and there are generic brands and plenty of options, just as there are in every other facet of the car industry. You often get what you pay for in this region and if you get factory-quality parts, your car will operate better. You have the right to ask where the replacement part comes from and whether or not the brand is recommended by the car’s manufacturer. It’s your car—you get to say what goes on it.  

There are plenty of other questions you can ask a Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic, but be clear about one thing—you should have no fears about asking. If your auto mechanic makes you feel bad about anything you ask, it’s time to look for a new mechanic. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to answer your questions, no matter what they might be regarding. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 or stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re honest and we understand not everyone knows auto mechanics like we do. We’re here for you when you need us. 

brake repair in Philadelphia, PA

Stay Ahead of Brake Repair Needs

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There are plenty parts in your vehicle that are essential to how it runs, but there’s nothing more essential to your safety than the brakes. The brakes are what you use to slow down fast if something gets in your path. They are the difference between getting into an accident or stopping in time. That makes Philadelphia, PA brake repair an essential car maintenance item. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, stay on top of break repair so you are proactive about your chances on the road.  

Learning the signs that your vehicle needs brake repair isn’t too hard. Much of it boils down to the sounds your vehicle makes. You know what your car sounds like normally so if you notice squealing or screeching when you are stepping on the brake, brake repair is probably in order. If you address the issue quickly, it is probably just a brake pad that needs to be replaced. That part is relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. If you ignore the sounds, there could be further damage in the future.  

Philadelphia, PA brake repairYou also know what your vehicle feels like as you operate it around the curves and down the road. If you feel vibrations in the vehicle when you are trying to brake, it might be that your brake rotors are wearing down from use. They can be warped over time and brake repairs are in order in those cases as well.  

You also likely know how long it usually takes you to stop. Consider your normal route to and from work and pay attention to when you press on the brakes and where you stop. If that changes and it takes you longer and longer to stop, it’s only a matter of time before you get into an unsafe situation. Get your brakes check to see if they need brake repair. Being able to stop in a short distance can make a huge difference in a dangerous situation. 

Ignoring brake repair is not in anyone’s best interest. You want to get where you need to go safely, and you want those traveling with you and anyone around you to be safe as well. The moment you notice that your brakes aren’t functioning up to par, you should get in for brake repair. It’s possible they just need a little adjustment or some new pads. But it’s certainly not worth the risk to drive on brakes that aren’t 100% working. You never know what’s going to happen out there and you need to have your vehicle in the best stopping order at all times.  

If you’re ready for Philadelphia, PA brake repair, or you just want to get your brakes checked out to see what they might need, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. We’ll set you up with an appointment and make sure your brakes are in perfect working order. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA and we’re here to help with your brakes before it’s too late. 

Philadelphia, PA oil changes

Budget Friendly Ways To Improve Your Ride

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If your vehicle is giving you a bumpy ride or the steering doesn’t seem to respond just as it should, there are things you can do to improve the experience you have behind the wheel. Philadelphia, PA oil changes, for example, can make a world of difference in the way your vehicle rides on a daily basis. There are other little things you can do for a small amount of money that also add up to a much better ride. Here are a few to consider.  

Wiper Replacement 

It might sound silly, but even the little change of replacing your window wipers can make a huge difference. IF you haven’t replaced your wipers in the last year, it’s definitely time. Even the best wiper only last 12 months or so. Wipers that don’t do a good job leave you with a streaky windshield, which makes it harder to see. You might have to crane your neck around streaks and smears, even when it isn’t raining, because the wipers just aren’t doing their job. This inexpensive fic can make a better ride with ease.  

Tire Rotation 

Your tires need to be rotated and it’s a cheap and easy way to get more out of the tires and your vehicle. Regular rotations will help you get even wear on all of your tires. It also enhances how the vehicle rides and handles. You’ll extend the life of your tires by thousands of miles and feel better about how it rides as well. It’s a good idea to get a tire rotation with every, or at least every other, oil change.  

Oil Change 

oil changes in Philadelphia, PA

An oil change is something you have to do for the sake of your engine, but it also helps give you a better ride. You get the most miles out of your car and the moving parts stay lubricated, which reduces friction and buildup. Every vehicle rides better when the engine is working well, and the oil change is something that is necessary to a healthy engine.  

Wheel Alignment 

When you hit a bunch of potholes around the city, who knows what’s happening to your wheel alignment. Get it checked every so often and get things lined back up when necessary. Your vehicle won’t drag in another direction when you are trying to steer it straight and you won’t have to worry about the tires being messed up by a bad alignment, either.  

There are plenty of ways to get your vehicle in better shape for a more comfortable ride. These ideas are just a start to keep you on budget. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can get you set up for a Philadelphia, PA oil change or any other service when you call them at (215) 755-1270. We want your car to be as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as possible. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA. Stop in and see us soon for adjustments on your vehicle.  

auto mechanic in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Mechanic Advice on Bigger Tires

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You may know quite a bit about cars, but unless you’ve studied them endlessly and work with them daily, you don’t know as much as a Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic. Before you upgrade your vehicle with bigger tires to show off your style, you might want to check into the details on what those tires will actually do to your vehicle. Use the advice from an auto mechanic to gauge whether or not it’s a good move.  

Bigger tires and wheels are often a desirable upgrade for those who love to go off-roading or those who just want to drive regular places every day. You can go to any parking lot and count the number of SUVs with tires that are obviously larger than those the vehicle came with. Everyone wants their vehicle to look “cool,” but tires can make or break the vehicle in both the style and performance realm.  

Driving on bad tires or tires that don’t fit the vehicle properly can take a toll on any car. When you upgrade to bigger tires, keep in mind that you also have to upgrade your rims. There are plenty of benefits to bigger tires, but there are disadvantages as well.  

If you are driving a truck, you might want a lift kit to allow room for bigger tires and wheels to give you the height you want. This often a good option for those who like to drive off-road. The lift kit not only makes room for the larger tires, but it gets the vehicle farther off the ground, so it handles better on rough terrain. However, these kits can be expensive. New wheels, tires and a lift kit add up and that’s not even putting anything into parts and labor yet. Lift kits can also change the center of gravity on a vehicle, so drivers need to be careful making sharp turns. And larger tires and wheels could decrease gas mileage.  Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic

If you have a car and want bigger tires, it doesn’t make quite a much sense. Your tire diameter can affect the accuracy of your speedometer, so you need to make sure the tires and wheels fit under the fenders. You can do that with “plus sizing.” This method uses wheels that are larger in diameter, but smaller in the side wall. They are faster and better with handling, but they can also slow acceleration capabilities.  

If you are thinking about getting different tires of any kind, whether larger or normal in size, contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center. Your Philadelphia, PA auto mechanics are experts in the field and we can tell you just what your car or truck can handle and what would be best for your preferences. Give SAR a call at (215) 755-1270 to ask questions about tires or to make an appointment. You can also stop by and visit us with your inquiries at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA. We want your vehicle to run as good as possible and that often starts with quality tires.  

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

What To Do With An Overheating Car

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The summer months bring a lot more than fun in the sun. They also bring plenty of heat and humidity. Whether you’re on vacation in an even hotter region of the country, or just trying to get by in Pennsylvania, you might need Philadelphia, PA auto repair at some point because of the heat. Because when the weather outside is hot, things are even hotter in your car. You can’t always prepare for overheating to happen so it’s good to know what to do when it occurs.  

Prevent Overheating 

If at all possible, it’s best to prevent overheating from happening in the first place. First, you need to get auto repair and maintenance on a regular basis, so you can avoid engine trouble. There are lots of systems in the vehicles today that regulate temperatures. Engine oil, for example, lubricates the moving parts in the engine. When the oil badly needs to be changed, the engine can overheat. There are a lot of cooling systems in a vehicle including belts, coolant fluids, fans, and more. If any of those things go bad, overheating can happen. Keeping up to date with maintenance is your best overheating prevention method.  

What To Do When Overheating 

Whether you are good at maintaining your vehicle or not, overheating can happen. If it happens to you, follow these steps to ensure you get through the situation safely.  

Step 1: Pull Over 

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

When you pull off to the side of the road, as far away from traffic as you can get, turn on your hazard lights so other drivers can see you. Also, turn the engine off.  

Step 2: Don’t Open the Hood 

It’s tempting to pop the hood of your vehicle if you see steam rising, but instead, you should let the vehicle cool down for half an hour or so, or until the temperature gauge has a normal reading on it.  

Step 3: Check Coolant Levels 

Take a peek at the transparent reservoir near your radiator. If the levels are low, get coolant and fill up. You might want to carry an extra bottle in your vehicle on hot days or for long trips.  

Step 4: Check for Leaks 

Look at the various hoses and see if they are leaking anywhere. If you don’t feel pressure in the hoses, there’s a leak and you have a problem that needs auto repair.  

Step 5: Get Auto Repair 

If you aren’t sure what’s wrong or how to fix it, find an auto mechanic to help. You can get roadside assistance or call a trusted auto repair shop.  

Schafer’s Auto Center is here to help you avoid overheating on the side of the road. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 for all of your Philadelphia, PA auto repair needs, and we’ll keep your vehicle in good shape, so you never end up stranded when you’re trying to get somewhere. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA and we can repair or maintain anything on your vehicle whenever you need a tune-up. 

oil change in Philadelphia, PA

Don’t Get Oil Changes Too Often In Philadelphia, PA

By | Auto Maintenance, Auto Service | No Comments

If there’s one thing you know about your vehicle, it’s likely that it needs a Philadelphia, PA oil change at a certain interval. It used to be that people would try to come in every 3,000 miles to get the oil on their vehicles changed, but as technology changes, so do vehicle needs. While you may know the benefits of getting your oil changed when it is necessary, have you heard reasons not to change the oil too often? Here are a few to consider:  

Philadelphia, PA oil changeYou’re Wasting Money 

If there’s anything you can do to put more money into your budget without wasting anything, you’d like to do it, right? When you get your oil changed before it needs to be done, you’re wasting money. You have “oil to burn,” so to speak and getting the oil change done before you need it start burning new oil when you had old oil left to burn. No one wants to waste money on car maintenance unless it’s necessary.  

You’re Not Guaranteeing Anything 

Some drivers use oil changes as somewhat of a cheap insurance on their vehicles. If they change the oil often, nothing else will go wrong on the car, right? No, that’s not right at all. You can ensure that your oil is in good condition and that helps a number of things, including the engine, but it doesn’t ensure that everything is lined up perfectly all the time. All it really does is spend your money. Things might still break down later.  

Other Things Could Be “Found” 

Have you ever gone to a quick service oil change place only to learn that the mechanic thinks you also need new filters, new brakes, or any number of other things? Getting your oil changed too often won’t hurt your vehicle, but if you visit the wrong place, it could hurt your pocketbook even more with unnecessary fixes.  

If you really want to know how often you need an oil change, it is best to consult your owner’s manual. If you don’t want to look into anything car-related, ask a trusted mechanic for an estimate. Most vehicles are good today until about 5,000 miles. While you don’t want to get an oil change too soon, you also don’t want to go in too late. Finding the perfect balance spends your money in the appropriate way and gets the most out of the oil you have placed in your vehicle.   

Are you ready for an oil change? Do you need help finding a good balance on mileage between the oil changes? Contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center by calling (215) 755-1270 for an appointment. We’re here to help you get the oil changes you need—when you need them. We never tell you something needs to be done on your vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 for your next Philadelphia, PA oil change. 

 

Philadelphia, PA brake repair

Do You Need Brake Repair For A Stuck Parking Brake?

By | Brake Repair Shop | No Comments

Drivers use their regular brakes on a daily basis, but the parking brake is a different story. It’s something that only gets used when you park on a big hill and are worried about your car rolling when it is parked. Since it’s not something you use every day, you might not be completely sure how hard you need to yank on it to get things into place. Putting too much force on the parking brake can cause a jam and Philadelphia, PA brake repair may even become necessary. Understanding how and when to use the parking brake can help you avoid brake repair you’d rather not have.  

brake repair in Philadelphia, PAWhen To Use The Parking Brake 

If you drive a manual transmission, you might use the parking brake every time you park your car. That helps you understand how to use it a little better so you are less likely to get it stuck. On the other hand, since you use it so often, there are more opportunities for you to get into a jam. The parking brake engages a parking pawl, which is a metal pin that goes into a ring attached to the transmission. The transmission shaft can no longer turn so your vehicle won’t roll when parked. This brake is often a safeguard people use to keep their vehicle from moving on a hill.  

How Do Parking Brakes Get Stuck? 

Parking brakes are like any part on a vehicle—they can wear out. One issue with these brakes is corrosion. Water and dirt causes things to erode and that can then cause the brake to fail. Cables can snap and brake pads can stick. When that happens, you’ll need brake repair. To avoid corrosion, use the parking brake more often. At the very least, you will know when it needs to be fixed before it becomes an emergency.   

Another reason parking brakes get stuck is because you might have pulled on it too hard. The brakes can get stuck against the wall of the wheel drums if you pull on the lever too hard. To release a brake when it is stuck, try rocking the vehicle back and forth or climb under the car and manually pull the cables. You can also try setting and releasing the brake to knock them free. If you can’t get anything to work, you might need brake repair and a tow truck.  

The best way to avoid getting stuck with a parking brake that doesn’t work is to get Philadelphia, PA brake repair and maintenance checks. When you have your vehicle in to Schafer’s Auto Center for tune-ups, the professionals will check everything over and make sure things are operating in the highest order, including the parking brake and the ordinary brakes. Call us at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment and we’ll get started on any maintenance items your vehicle needs. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help your car in any way we can.