Monthly Archives

June 2018

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.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy New Tires

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There are probably plenty of things you would like to buy. You might even have a nice long list. But most people don’t place “tires” on that list of wants. While you may not want to buy tires, sometimes you simply have to. And when that time comes around for you, there are a number of things you should consider before you make the investment. The professional auto experts at Schafer’s Auto Center want to help you put everything into place so you can drive away knowing you got the best option for your vehicle, whether you wanted new tires or not!

Do you need new tires?
The first thing you need to determine is whether or not you actually need new tires. There are some auto repair shops in Philadelphia that are going to tell you that you need new tires when that is not the case yet. You should know how to tell on your own so you can be the judge. Look at the treads to tell the full story. Measure the depth of those treads with a penny. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head because it isn’t covered by tread, you need new tires.

Where do you buy new tires?
There are plenty of options when it comes to a place to buy tires. One option is the car dealer where you purchased your car, but they will be the most costly. You might want to try a local tire retailer or local auto shops in Philadelphia, PA. Check for special promotions going on in the area. You might catch a special on balancing, tire rotations, and mountings when you get a new set of tires. And you can always count on SAC to give you the best possible deal.

What size do you need?
Just because you know what size shoes you wear doesn’t mean you know what size tire your vehicle needs. Tires are branded with the number that tells you about their type, width, diameter, and so on. There’s a lot of information on the small space of a tire and it can be confusing. However, any tire shop will let you select your make, model, and vehicle year to help you find tires that fit.

What lifestyle elements do you need?
Beyond size, you also need to know what your preferences and driving habits are like. If you have to drive a lot in the Philadelphia winds, you might want all-season tires. If you want a comfortable ride, durability in hot temperatures, or the ability to carry heavy loads, you need to know that as well.

Whether you know everything you need to know about tires or not, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help you find the tires you need. Give us a call at 215-755-1270 to make an appointment and we’ll take a look at your current tires and find a good deal on new ones. You can also stop by and look at the variety of tires we carry at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.