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April 2020

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

What Kind Of Motor Oil Does Your Vehicle Need?

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When you get an oil change as part of your maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, do you pay very close attention to what kind of oil is being put into your vehicle? If you don’t know the difference, you might just sign whatever the technician puts in front of you and assume they know what’s best. If you’re working with a reputable company, that’s great. You can trust them. But it’s good to know the difference, at least between synthetic and conventional motor oil so you can make the choice for yourself.

One of the first things you need to do is look in your manufacturer’s handbook so you can figure out what kind of motor oil is best for your vehicle. Everything you need to know about maintenance and care is in that owner’s manual. For some vehicles, they will need a certain kind of motor oil for the first part of their lifespan. After they get over 100,000 miles, for example, they might need to switch to another kind to take better care of adding parts.

Overall, synthetic motor oil is higher in quality and gives you better engine performance and protection over conventional oils. That is, in part, why they are better in vehicles that have high mileage on them. They offer greater engine protection and can keep the engine cleaner at a nice, low temperature. They also stick around for longer, so you don’t have to get an oil change as often when you use synthetic oils. Though the synthetic oil costs more upfront, it often pays off in length and performance.

You might think you want to change over to synthetic oil automatically because it sounds like a better idea overall. However, you need to make sure it will match up with your manufacture requirements. Other things that come into play are how long you go between oil changes, how much you drive, where you drive, and so on. All of these moving parts have to come together to make the best recommendations for your vehicle.

If you aren’t sure which direction to take, the next time you get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, talk to the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. You can also call us at (215) 755-1270 between maintenance checks to talk about oil changes and what’s best for your vehicle. We’ll help you find the best oil for your particular use and vehicle so you can get the best performance and the most miles out of every oil change. We want your car to function well for you and that means keeping the engine in good working order with the right oil. When you need an oil change, or if you just have questions, stop into SAR at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to make sure you understand everything you want to understand about your vehicle. And we’ll take good care of everything you need as well.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Why Is Your Vehicle Overheating?

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It can be very scary to drive down the road and have your engine overheat. If it’s bad enough, you may not be able to see through the steam coming out from under the hood. You might think you’re on fire and you panic. As you shut the vehicle off after pulling over to the side of the road, you might assume this means you’re going to have a large, expensive auto repair in Philadelphia, PA on your hands.

While larger repairs are possible, that’s the worst-case scenario. When the car overheats, it’s showing you that the engine isn’t cooling properly. You definitely don’t want to ignore this, wait for the car to cool down and keep driving. That places lots of stress on the engine and can do further damage. If you leave the overheating issue alone for too long, it could lead to a complete engine replacement, which is hugely expensive.

Your engine could overheat for a number of reasons. Some of them are easy to solve while others require more work. The engine creates a lot of heat when it’s working so there has to be something that cools it down as it runs. You will see a temperature gauge on your panel control that tells you whether your engine is running in the normal range or heating up above where it should. Some older cars don’t have those gauges, but rather have a light that turns yellow when the temperature gets too high.

Most cars have a liquid cooling system that reduces the heat in the engine as it runs. Coolant is circulated through the engine to take on the heat and then vented through the radiator. Radiator fan cycles to ensure the airflow and the water pump keeps the coolant moving back and forth. If any of those components break down or leaks, you could overheat.

The most common problem that leads to overheating is a leak in the coolant system. IT could be a head gasket, water pump, a hose, or other things. Air will enter the system and the coolant won’t be able to do its job properly. Diagnosing those leaks is easy enough and can usually be fixed by professionals with ease as well. If there are radiator issues instead, that will cause some larger expenses to get things cleared up.

Whatever the cause, if your car overheats, or you notice the engine gauge is running hot, you need to get things checked out right away. You need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, small or large, before things get worse and cost you more than you expected. As soon as you notice the engine getting too hot, bring the vehicle to Schafer’s Auto Center for an inspection. With any luck, it’s something small and simple that you caught early so the professionals can fix it fast and have you on the way. Either way, you want your vehicle to run well and safely whenever you take it on the road.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Budgeting For Auto Repairs

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Once you purchase a vehicle, you know that’s not the end of the costs, but rather just the beginning. It’s important to keep those costs in mind for the duration of your car ownership. You don’t want to be stuck with bills for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, and no money to pay for them. It’s smart to budget for the things you know about and save a little extra for those unexpected things that tend to pop up here and there. Keep the routines in mind and space them out based on your owner’s manual suggestions and the way you drive. Here are some things to plan for.

Oil Changes

You know you are going to need an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on your vehicle’s needs and the way you drive. This is the biggest regular maintenance item on the list. You can budget for it on a quarterly basis or however often you need those changes.

Tire Replacement

Your tires are going to wear down eventually, even if you rotate them and wear them evenly. You’ll probably need to replace them every 50,000 miles or so, or whenever the tread starts to wear low enough that things are getting dangerous. Since you know the basic tire costs and that you will need them at certain intervals, you can save for that process and see it coming as the wear goes down on the tread.

Brake Pads

Your brakes are something you use every time you get into the vehicle. You will likely need new brake pads somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles and you could need a brake fluid flush on average every two years or so. Those expenses can add up if you don’t see them coming, but since you know they are necessary, you can save for that as well.

Wiper Blade Replacement

You might not think about your wiper blades until you need them, but they are crucial to your safety on a rainy or snowy day. It’s best to replace them before the winter begins each year so you are ready, and they don’t cost very much. You can even replace them with ease. It’s a small cost you can plan on regularly.

The Unexpected

If you keep up with regular maintenance, you’re a lot less likely to have issues. But most vehicles have some expenses that are unexpected from time to time. You will want to save a little every month to put towards those repairs as they pop up, so you aren’t drowning in bills when they arrive.

If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or if you want help taking care of regular maintenance, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here for you. We can give you tips on what you need to maintain and when and we are here to help with repairs, expected and unexpected, whenever they arise. If you want to know about the services we offer and our history, visit us online at Schafersauto.com for those details and many others.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Watching For Power Steering Auto Repair Needs

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You know your power steering is out when your vehicle is all of a sudden impossible to steer. It’s not something you want to have happened when you are driving and need to turn. If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, it’s best to get it right away. There are a few common issues that go along with power steering failure. Here are those that are often linked:

Leaking Fluid

Your power steering system uses a fluid that takes the pressure and changes the direction your wheels are turning. If the fluid is leaking, it can’t direct the wheels and it might make taking turns next to impossible. You could notice this fluid dripping from the vehicle, and you might get a grinding noise when you take turns as well. Don’t delay and get repairs quickly so you don’t burn out the power steering pump, which costs more to fix.

Worn Out Hose

Every part within a vehicle will wear out, given enough time and use, and the hose that helps the power steering operate can crack and harden. If that happens, you could see the power steering fluid leaking, which will cause failure eventually if you don’t get it repaired.

Loose Couplings

Just as the hose can become damaged, the couplings that attach it to other parts can loosen and leak fluids as well. That can happen over bumps (like hitting potholes) or even just in normal vibrations as time goes by. The system might lose pressure quickly or fluids might leak gradually.

A Slipping Drive Belt

If the drive belt on the power steering pump slips off, you will not be able to turn at all since there will be no fluid pressure in that part of the vehicle. You will also hear a squealing sound when you try to turn the vehicle.

Pump Failure

Again, every part on a car will wear out eventually and if your vehicle is older, the power steering pump could wear out. When seals or internal parts on that pump wear down, they could allow fluid pressure to all. You will notice the steering becoming harder and possibly steering squealing sounds as well.

It’s important to recognize problems in your power steering as soon as possible so you can fix smaller issues fast before larger things go wrong. Any time your vehicle starts making noises or struggling against you when you try to turn, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. You can contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center with questions or call us at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment. We’ll check your vehicle over and make sure you know exactly what’s wrong and how we plan to fix it before we do anything at all. We won’t touch a thing until you know the charges that will result from the repairs. You can visit with us in person and show us what’s happening with your vehicle at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We want you and your car to be safe.