Tire Buying Tips from Schafer’s Auto Repair (SAR)

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Tires are an important safety feature on any vehicle. Without them, no vehicle would go anywhere ever! They’re highly important all the way around. Even cars with the biggest engines and strongest brakes are at the mercy of the tire gripping the road. Every move you make behind the wheel affects the tires. When your tires are worn out, it’s time to make a purchase. But you don’t want to slap just any old tires on your vehicle. You want tires that work well on your car and are within a fair price range. Here are some tips to help you get what you need.

Tip 1: Get the Right Size
Not everyone knows much about tire size. It’s not like going to a store and trying on the right size pants. However, tires are marked on their sidewalls so you know what size you have. The code will tell you their size and what they are capable of. When you first look at the code, it may seem like gibberish. It will look something like this: P195/60R16 63H M+S. But each of those letters and numbers mean something. Let’s break it down so you understand better.

P-tire type
195-tire width across the tread
60-ratio of sidewall compared to the width
R-construction of the radial
16-rim’s diameter
63-loading rate of the tire
H-speed rating on the tire
M+S-this tire is suitable for driving in all seasons.

While you may not know what all of the letters and numbers mean and you may not even care, you need to get something that will fit your Philadelphia state inspection. Knowing what you have now can help you find something comparable.

Tip 2: Know Where to Get Tires
There are plenty of options when it comes to buying new tires. The most expensive option is usually going to the dealership where you got the vehicle. They will give you original equipment tires, which cost quite a bit more. Local shops, like SAR, are the best places for getting good tires at a good deal. You get reasonable prices and you can get help selecting the right type of tire for your vehicle.

Tip 3: Consider Driving Habits
It is a good idea to determine what you need based on the type of driving you do. If you never drive in Philadelphia’s winter weather, then you don’t need tires that do well in the snow. If you have a job that forces you to get out and about in all weather elements, you need something reliable that will get you where you need to go. Think through the driving habits you will have on the tires before you buy more than you need.

When you are ready to find the best tires for your particular vehicle (and your needs!) contact Schafer’s Auto Repair at 215-755-1270. We’re here to help you every step of the way. We understand that you don’t buy new tires every day, but we work with them all the time! We’ll guide you in the right direction to make sure your car drives like a dream. Visit SAR at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Why is Transmission Repair So Expensive?

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When it comes to what pushes your vehicle down the road, there’s nothing more complicated than the transmission. Whether you have a manual or automatic, it will help shift gears and change your speed. You get power to your wheels based on your speed and acceleration. Shifting between gears is necessary and it’s what your transmission takes care of for you. When you live in Philadelphia or other places around the country, keep an eye on that transmission.

Avoid Having to Replace or Rebuild
You should change your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to help avoid damage. You should also completely stop the vehicle from moving before you shift from drive to reverse or vice versa. If you hear a grinding when you shift or if there’s a delay when you change gears, it might be too late and you may need transmission repair. If you smell burning fluids or have high RPMs, you should take the vehicle in for attention right away.

Transmission Repair: Rebuilding
Rebuilding a transmission is labor intensive, but can save you money over buying and installing a new one. If you need transmission repair, you could get a simple fix like changing the fluid, adjusting some links, correcting a computer system that’s misreading the RPM, or replacing a sensor. When you have a transmission issue, don’t assume that you need a rebuilt transmission as part of transmission repair.

Transmission Repair: Replacement
Replacing a transmission is one of the most expensive repair jobs you can go through with your vehicle. You need to take your car somewhere you trust with experienced, honest technicians. It is a good idea to find a shop that specializes in transmissions so you can trust that they have worked with your type of vehicle before. Automatic transmissions will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 to repair and can even range up to $3,500 for a full replacement. Manual transmissions are less, but they’re still costly.

Finding the right auto repair shop is highly important if you want to save time, money, and headaches in the long run with Philadelphia , MD transmission repair. Ask your family and friends if they have any experience with transmission repair with local shops around Philadelphia. If you can’t find anyone you know who has experience, look online for reviews.

Whether you know what your transmission needs, or you just suspect repairs are inevitable, you can trust the friendly representatives at Schafer’s Auto Repair. We see transmission issues of every kind on a regular basis and we know just what to do about them. We won’t fix a thing until we explain everything to you and make sure you understand what we recommend. We’ll also give you price quotes up front so there are no hidden costs later. Give SAR a call at 215-755-1270 if you need your transmission fluid changed or you need transmission repair. We’re here to help! We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we hope to see you soon!

Signs You’re Overdue for an Oil Change

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There are certain things you do on a monthly basis. You pay your utility bills, for example. And there are some things you need to do every week, like get gas, perhaps. But when it comes to getting an oil change, the timing varies and you don’t always remember! It’s hard to keep track of everything you need to and should do for your vehicle, your home, your family, and everything else. But your car will tell you if you’re overdue for an oil change. Here are a few signs to help you know you’ve forgotten something important in Philadelphia.

Your Mileage Says So
The easiest way to tell whether or not you are overdue for an oil chance is to simply keep track of how far you have driven since your last oil change. Many service centers will place a sticker in the upper left corner of your windshield to remind you of when you need to come in for another oil change. Keep an eye on your mileage and if it goes way beyond what they recommend, you’re overdue.

The Oil Change Light Comes On
In many modern vehicles, there will be an oil change light that comes on when you need an oil change. The light could also come on if you are low on oil, which could mean your oil pump isn’t working right. Whatever the reason for the light, you need to see a technician right away. But keep in mind that not every vehicle will warn you in this manner if you have forgotten about an oil change.

Your Oil is Dark and Dirty
If your oil looks sludgy, it probably is and can clog up with whole system. Dirty oil running through the engine will have an effect on it sooner rather than later. However to see the oil, you actually have to open the vehicle and check it. If you want to know if you are overdue for an oil change, it’s a good way to go But if you’ve forgotten about the oil change, you may not remember to do that either.

The Engine Complains
Listen to your vehicle! It knows what it needs! If you forget your oil change long enough, the engine will start knocking or clunking. The engine rods will knock against one another and you don’t want to have to replace them…it’s expensive! If you hear a clicking sound, you might be low on oil. Check to see if you need an oil change, or top off the oil.

A Complete Breakdown
When one part of a complicated system isn’t doing well, the whole thing will follow suit eventually. The oil in your vehicle makes things run smoothly. If the engine starts to dry out, it’ll stop working.

Don’t let your vehicle suffer the consequences of your forgetfulness. Keep track of your Philadelphia , MD oil change and bring your car to Schafer’s Auto Repair for those regular changes. Give SAR a call at 215-755-1270 to schedule an appointment or visit our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Tire Purchasing Tips

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Buying new tires isn’t exactly a purchase you get excited about, but it’s something every car owner has to do at some point. When you need new tires, pay attention to the process so you can get something that will last a long time and suit your car well. Give your tires attention now and you can have peace of mind as you drive for years to come. Here are a few tips to help you figure out which tires will work best for your vehicle as you drive around Philadelphia.

Tip 1: Make Sure you Need Them
The first thing to do is figure out whether or not you actually need new tires. Perhaps your technician at Shafer’s Auto Repair is telling you that you need them, but you can also perform a visual inspection yourself between visits to see what’s going on. If you see wear on the tread, a cracked sidewall, discoloration or bulging, you should get new tires. You may even need new tires if yours are 10 years old or older. Rubber deteriorates over time and they need to be replaced even if they look okay.

Tip 2: Inspect the Vehicle
You need to know how your vehicle is doing before you get new tires. If you have something wrong with your vehicle and you get new tires, you could be throwing money away. Tires will wear quickly in certain situations (like if your vehicle has bad shocks or is misaligned). You can get an assessment on your vehicle before you put on new tires when you visit SAR.

Tip 3: Get Information from the Owner’s Manual
You will want to follow your owner’s manual regarding the size and type of tires that work best on your car. The information is placed in your car by law and it is in your best interest to follow it. You can get advice on further options from SAR technicians.

Tip 4: Buy a Full Set
Though you might want to just replace one or two tires, it’s best for the suspension and wear to get a whole new set at once. You’ll be able to maintain the tires better and evaluate issues in the vehicle when they arise because the tires are even.

Tip 5: Check the Spare
When you get new tires, check in on the spare tire as well. You might need a Philadelphia brake replacement there and can get a better deal by doing it at the same time.

Whether you need new tires or help with tire services or maintenance, call Schafer’s Auto Repair for an appointment at 215-755-1270. SAR is a locally owned and operated business and we want to make sure our fellow Philadelphia residents are driving on tires that are suited for their vehicles. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we have a full range of tire mounting from 13 to 30 inch. With nationwide road hazard warranties, free tire repairs and rotations for the life of the tire, it pays to work with us!

What Causes Abnormal Tire Wear?

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Your vehicle is an investment and you need it to work properly at all times to get you around Philadelphia when you need to be somewhere. There are many important elements that go into running an effective, efficient vehicle and the tires are one such element. The tires on your vehicle work very hard. They are the only link the car has between it and the road. The tires handle turning, braking, acceleration, and tons of weight. You’re going to see wear on your tires, but the longer you can make them last, the less money you will have to spend on replacing them. When you want your tires to last longer, it is a good idea to be able to spot abnormal wear patterns so you can correct what is wrong and extend the tire’s life. Here are some common reasons tires wear unevenly and what you can do about them.

The tire is overinflated
If your tires have too much air in them, you will get more wear in the middle of the tire than on the edges. In this case, simply let some air out of each tire. Check your manufacturer’s guide to see how much air you should have in your tires.

The tire is underinflated
If your tires don’t have enough air in them, you will see more wear along the edges of the tread. Keep in mind that when Philadelphia gets cold, the tires can vary on their air pressures. Check in with the tire inflation level regularly to ensure that they have the right level of air in each of them.

The wheel is out of alignment
If you see wear on one edge of the tire, but not the other, you may have a misalignment issue. Take your vehicle to Schafer’s Auto Repair (SAR) to be realigned and save your tires from wearing down too fast.

The tires are never rotated
Most technicians advise that you rotate your tires every other Philadelphia oil change or so. If you neglect to do that, you will see an uneven wear on the outer edge of the tires. The best way to combat that is to keep up with the rotations.

Shocks, Suspensions, or struts are worn or damaged
The tire will have an indented surface that is called cupping. The damaged parts can cause vertical forces to be rather erratic on the tires, which shorten their lifespan significantly. Get those items checked out for the good of your entire vehicle, not just the tires.

Whether you know what is going on with your tire tread or not, it is a good idea to have your vehicle looked over. The tread can tell you a lot about what’s going on and the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Repair can ensure that everything is up to par so your tires will last as long as possible. Give SAR a call for an appointment at 215-755-1270 or just ask us some questions over the phone.

Need Tire Services?

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Your tires aren’t something you think about, even though you use them every time you get in your vehicle. They are a huge part of propelling you down the highway and you need them to work well. Sure you notice them when one of them goes flat or blows completely, but do you pay much attention to them otherwise? You should! Here are some of the tire services you can get from Schafer’s Auto Repair to keep your tires in peak condition so they will last as long as possible.

You want your tires to last and you can maximize their lifespan by keeping your vehicle aligned well. This isn’t a service you have to get very often, but you will want to have it when you get new tires and if your alignment gets knocked out of whack for any reason. This can happen in an accident If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side or another, it might be misaligned.

Flat Tire Repair
If you have a lot of construction on your street, it’s possible to pick up a nail in your tire. You could have a puncture, a slow leak, or even a leaky valve stem. Rather than wait for the tire to blow and continuously stop at the gas stations to fill it up with air, it’s best to get it fixed before it wears itself out completely. You can often fix flat tires and use them for much longer.

Tire Rotations
Whenever you get an Philadelphia , MD oil change, SAR will do an 80-point inspection on your vehicle. Every vehicle has recommendations for tire rotations, but generally, you will want to get your tires rotated every other oil change. You’ll get better gas mileage and a smoother ride, and the tread on the tires will have a longer life as well.

When you get your tired rotated, they’ll need to be balanced as well. You’ll drive more safely and see less wear and tear on the tires. This tire service protects your investment in your tires.

New Tires
When you’ve driven your tires for many, many miles, the time might come to buy new ones and you can get just what you need from SAR. We can also include some of the above services to get the tires rolling in the right manner under your vehicle.

Whether you need new tires, a flat fix, or something in between, Schafer’s Auto Repair is here for you. We’re a family owned and operated business that has been in the Philadelphia area since 1954. We can fix anything, including tires. Give us a call for an appointment at 215-755-1270. We’re open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5:30pm. With local, hard working, honest people on your side, you’ll know we truly care about your car issues and not just about the bottom line on the bill. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help with your tire services.

Timing Belt Replacement Advice

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Timing belts started to replace chains in vehicles back in the 70s and 80s as auto manufacturers looked into ways to produce vehicles that were less expensive and lighter all around. Lighter weight vehicles increased mileage, which is never a bad thing for consumers. But many drivers in Philadelphia still have a lot of questions about timing belts and timing belt replacement. Learning a bit about the timing belt, what they do, and when they should be replaced can help your vehicle run well, and allow you to avoid a breakdown that will end up costing you a lot of money. Remember that not all cars have timing belts, but if you have one, you’ll want to know about it.

The Timing Belt’s Job
The timing belt keeps the crank and camshaft turning at the right rate. The crankshaft moves pistons up and down for compression and exhaust cycles. Depending on the type of car you have, the belt can also run the oil and water pumps, as well as the injection pump. The camshaft controls the valves that have to open and close for intake and exhaust. These valves have to open at the right time to get fuel into the chamber. They then have to close to allow compression to occur. If that timing cycle is off even a little bit, fuel might not come in as needed or could escape too quickly. The power’s engine can be lost without the right cycling.

Timing Belt Replacement
The timing belt is important on vehicles that have one, and if your vehicle has it you might wonder when you need to replace it. The old rule of thumb was to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles or so, depending on your vehicle’s style. But technology has improved over the years and some manufacturers say you can wait as far as 100,000 miles. You will want to check into the recommendations for your vehicle. Faulty timing belts can cause a loss of power and fuel economy, and you could feel a vibration. Noise can happen as well, but it’s not the most common indicator.

When The Belt Breaks
In the easiest situations, when the timing belt breaks, your engine stops. There’s no connection between vital parts. In harder situations, valves and rods can push through the engine, crash oil pans, and do other damage. In these cases, the engine is ruined. You never know what’s going to happen when the belt breaks, so it’s best to have timing belt replacement before that occurs.

The Professionals at Schafer’s Auto Repair are here to help you with your Philadelphia timing belt replacement. We can also help you figure out whether or not you need the replacement at this time. Call SAR at 215-755-1270 to make an appointment. We’re here to answer your questions! Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We want to ensure that you have a vehicle that works at its best level at all times.

What You Get from a Tune-Up Service

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It’s easy enough to tell when something is really wrong with your vehicle. It starts making weird noises, the dashboard lights are on, and things aren’t running smoothly. But you want to keep your vehicle in working order before those major problems hit. That’s where a tune-up service comes in handy. If you have a tune-up service in Philadelphia on a regular basis, you can avoid those major issues altogether. Technicians notice anything small going on and get it fixed before it becomes a larger problem. You save time; you save money; you save hassles. It’s a no brainer. When you bring your vehicle in to Schafer’s Auto Repair, here are a few things you can expect from a tune-up service.

Oil Changes
One of the first things SAR will do for your vehicle is simply an oil change. By draining the oil, replacing the filter, and putting in new oil, your engine will feel much better and run like a dream. We will also check and top off other fluids as well as check your tire pressure and include an 80-point inspection free with any service, including the oil change.

Brake Checks
The tune-up service also includes a brake inspection. Brakes are highly important to the safety and security of any vehicle and at SAR, we have 57 years of experience inspecting and repairing brakes. We will take a look at the brakes and diagnose any problems that are coming your way.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with a vehicle and the tune-up service may turn out a problem that needs to be looked into further. If SAR sees something fishy, we’ll go into detail and use one of our three different information systems to help the technicians figure out what’s going on quickly and easily so we can fix it in no time.

Schafer’s Auto Repair can also include a yearly Pennsylvania state and emission inspection with a Philadelphia tune-up service so you can get it all done at once. It’s a simple, easy, one-stop process when you bring your vehicle to us.

Rotations and Alignments
Part of your tune-up service should also include tire elements including tire rotations so they will wear evenly. We can also align and adjust your tires to ensure everything is lined up properly within your vehicle.

Get a Tune-Up Service from SAR
Schafer’s Auto Repair is here to help you with everything from tire rotations and oil changes to exhaust checks and brakes. We’ll take care of any tune-up service you need and warn you if anything is starting to look worn and will need a repair soon. You can avoid a lot with that type of information. Give us a call for your appointment today at 215-755-1270. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148, and we’re here to answer your questions and keep your car running smoothly for as long as possible.

Can You Pull Off Auto Maintenance and Service?

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If you feel like you know a thing or two about vehicles, there may be certain things you think you can do on your own. There are plenty of things that most car owners can do (like check the tire pressure on the vehicle and pay attention to warning lights) but there are other things that you might want to leave up to professionals. Can you pull off auto maintenance and service in Philadelphia on your own? Maybe, at times, you can! And good for you! But there are advantages to using professional services as well. Here are just a few.

Time is Money

When it comes to your time, it’s precious. You don’t really want to spend any more time on tasks than absolutely necessary because there are so many other things to do. You might know how to change the oil in your vehicle, but when it comes right down to it, this is an auto maintenance and service that is simple and easy for the professionals to do. They can do it quickly and efficiently and you can work or just relax in the waiting room while you wait. Getting two things done at once can help your time crunch.

Guarantees are Always Helpful

When you do the work yourself, you have nothing to back you up. Sure, you think everything will go fine and maybe it will, but what about that one time when it doesn’t? You have to fix the issue yourself or take the vehicle in to get auto maintenance and service in a shop in Philadelphia. Then, you will have lost the time you spent on the vehicle, the money you spent on supplies, and you still have to pay for repairs at the actual shop. Go around all that by going to professionals in the first place and getting guarantees. If anything goes wrong with the repairs on their watch, they fix it free, not questions asked.

Get Experience You Don’t Have

You may have tinkered with some cars from time to time over the years, but do you work on them every day? Probably not! Btu professionals at the auto maintenance and service shops do. And when you take your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance, they can use that experience to help further your goals. They might notice something small wrong, for example, that can easily be fixed now. If it’s left alone, it can turn into a larger, more expensive ordeal later. At the very least, they’ll use their experience to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

There’s nothing wrong with doing some work on your vehicle yourself at times, as long as you know what you’re doing. But it’s usually better and easier to bring it to the professional auto maintenance Philadelphia experts at Schafer’s Auto Center. Call us for an appointment at 215-755-1270 or stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Necessary Auto Repair Visits

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While you don’t like to spend any more time in the auto repair shop than necessary, there are certain times when it simply has to be done. When you have a shop in Philadelphia that you trust, you now you can avoid repairs by doing what they say in terms of regular maintenance. Here are some of the necessary auto repair visits you will have to go through in order to maintain a safe, reliable vehicle for years to come.

Visit 1: Oil Changes

Besides putting gas in your vehicle, there’s nothing more important to making it run than getting regular oil changes based on your manufacturer’s recommendations. You can get reminders from your auto shop or you can keep an eye on the sticker they place in your car to help you remember when you need to go in again. These oil changes keep your engine in shape and you on the road for as long as possible.

Visit 2: Regular Inspections

When getting an oil change, many car owners like to have an inspection of the vehicle done as well. The best thing you can do to avoid larger repairs is keep things tuned up. If there’s anything small going wrong, they can catch it and fix it before it becomes a major, expensive deal. Plus, your vehicle will run more efficiently and use less gas when you keep it in prime conditions.

Visit 3: Tire Rotations and Alignments

Your tires are an integral part of getting you where you need to go. If you have your vehicle long enough, chances are you will need new tires at some point. But if you want the tires to last as long as possible, and drive well in the Philadelphia winter, you need to rotate them every other oil change or so. Rotating the tires will help them wear evenly so they last longer.

Visit 4: Maintenance Checks

In addition to inspections, there are certain things your manufacturer will recommend you do at certain points. You might have to get new transmission fluid when you go over 100,000 miles and other such items. Keep an eye on your manufacturer’s book and have your auto repair shop keep you in tune with what needs to be done and when. These small items add up in the long run and keep your vehicle in good shape.

If you are able to visit your auto repair shop Philadelphia just a few times a year for these tasks, your vehicle will be much better off. You want to keep your car in good condition so it is reliable and will get you where you need to go. You also want it to cost you as little as possible, which means maintaining it properly. And you want it to have the highest resale value possible when you decide to trade it in as well. For all of these things, you need the professionals at Schafer’s Auto. Call us at 215-755-1270 or stop by our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.