Auto Repair

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

How Long Does Auto Repair Take?

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It’s hard to get by even one day without your vehicle. Most people use their car to get to work, to drive their kids to school, to run errands and so on. When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, it never feels convenient. And you don’t want the repairs to take very long. But how long is it going to take? You can’t have just one answer to that question. It depends on a number of things and can be influenced by all of them. Here are some of the factors that go into how long the auto repair on your vehicle will take.

The Service Needed

One of the first things that will determine how long the service will take is what service is being done. If you are getting new windshield wipers, that’s not going to take very long. If you need to have your engine rebuild, that’s something that happens in a matter of weeks. Most auto repairs can be done in a few hours. Larger ones, usually a day or two, but there are some that are more extensive.

The Company Doing The Service

The auto repair shop you work with will impact the length of your service as well. If you get a shop with lots of experience, they will be able to fix the vehicle efficiently and effectively while wasting very little time. If you get someone inexperienced, it will take longer, and you may not be able to guarantee the quality of the work. The company doing the repair matters a great deal.

The Time Of Year

There are times of the year that are busier than others. In the summer, there are usually more cars on the road, taking vacations etc, so there might be more auto repairs needed. In the winter, the cold impacts how vehicles operate and that can bring more into the shop as well. If you have to go in during a busy time, that will make the repairs take longer.

The Number Of Repairs

If you are getting an oil change in addition to a change in spark plugs, a tire rotation, and new brake pads, that’s, of course, going to take longer than one of those things alone. If you’re getting a bunch done at once, the time frame will be lengthened.

When you need to know how much time your auto repair in Philadelphia, PA is going to take, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center have the answers you need. We understand that there’s never a good time for auto repairs and we will do the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call us for an appointment at (215) 755-1270 and we can give you an idea how long the repairs will take so you can make ride arrangements as needed. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re here to help you with any needs you have on your vehicle, large or small. We offer honest advice and quality work to every customer.

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Identifying The Source Of Car Smells

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Is there a scent in your car that you don’t enjoy and can’t seem to get rid of? If you have a brother, or a pesky co-worker, check for fish under the seats. Otherwise, you might need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and you don’t even realize it. Before you leave the windows down at all times just to get through the drive to work or home, look through these scents and see if repairs might be necessary.

The Smell Of Rotten Eggs

Rotten eggs are never a good smell, and, in a home, it can mean a gas leak, which is very dangerous. In your car, it might be due to a bad catalytic converter. The engine or emissions system could be having issues that make the converter overheat which causes the rotten smell of eggs. Assuming you don’t eat (and drop!) eggs in the car, this could very well be the real root of the smell.

Musty Or Moldy Air

When you turn on the air in your car, you want fresh air, not a moldy smell. You might have mold or mildew actually in the AC system if you get that scent in the air when you turn the system on. You’ll want to have it cleaned out so you can get good air quality in your car when the windows are closed.

Burning Paper

You’ve lit a fire. You know what it smells like when paper burns. You don’t expect to smell it when you are driving, but if it happens when you are changing gears, the clutch might be slipping, and the friction could cause the paper-based facings to smell burned.

Burning Rubber

If you peel out from a stoplight, you are burning rubber and you expect the smell. If you are driving like normal and smell it, that’s a different story. It might indicate a slipped belt or a loose hose that might rub against rotating items and cause that burning smell. Get it fixed before the burning ruins a part.

Burning Toast

We’ve all had toasters that toast a little overzealously, but you shouldn’t have that smell in your car. If you notice it, perhaps an electrical component has short-circuited or maybe insulation is overheating. Any electrical odor should be taken seriously because they can start fires.

The Smell Of Gas

You likely always smell gas when you are at a gas station. And perhaps even on your hands when you get back in the car. But if you smell it at a random time, you could have a gas leak or a fuel injector leak. That’s very dangerous and requires immediate attention.

If you smell things in your vehicle outside of the fast-food snacks you forgot to throw away last week, it’s important to pay attention to your nose and what auto repair in Philadelphia, PA your vehicle might need. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 and tell us about the scent you’ve picked up. Then, visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll take care of whatever issue you have.

Philadelphia, PA auto repairs

Temperature And You Tires

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There are a wide variety of temperatures to deal with in this area of the country and the changes can have an impact on a lot of things. For one, your attire changes drastically from the summer to the winter months. The way you maintain your home changes as well. You switch off the AC for the heat, for example. Did you know that your tires are also affected by the change in temperatures? They are and specialists in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA can help you understand what’s happening and why.

The outside temperature can impact your tires in various ways. If there’s a quick, drastic change, for example, the pressure in your tires could change quite a bit as well. If it’s cool one day and hot the next, the pressure in the tire increases. If the temperature drops from the interior of your garage to outside of your home, the tire pressure could drop accordingly. When temperatures fluctuate, keep an eye on the tire pressure in your vehicle to keep it safe and efficient. Many vehicles today have automatic readers and the computer within the car will alert you when pressures are too low or too high. If not, keep a tire pressure gauge in your car and check the pressure when you get gas.

Tires are made of synthetic and rubber compounds and the oils in those help with elasticity. When the sun heats up, the oil can dry up more and that can cause the tires to split and crack or become more brittle. Watch for any wear of that type so you can replace the tires before you lead yourself into an unfortunate incident or even an accident.

Cold weather often causes tires to become dangerously under-inflated, which can lead to hazardous driving, especially in snowy conditions. You use more fuel and create more wear on the tire. They could even blow out if they aren’t attended to.

Keep an eye on your tires as temperatures change and check the tires for the manufacturer date code. That is the date by which the manufacturer recommends replacement. The year is generally at the 6-year mark. Even if tires look decent, they may not be of the right age if they are well above their age to be replaced.

IT’s best to get your vehicle in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as temperatures change for new seasons so you can have your tires inspected, your oil changes, and everything else checked out as well. You want to be able to drive safely in the heat of the summer, the cold of the winter, and every temperature in between. Contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center if you have questions about your tires, what you need to do under certain weather conditions, or how to maintain them well. You can call us at (215) 755-1270 or visit SAR for a tune-up in person when it’s convenient for you at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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Are Winter Tires A Good Fit?

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It’s never too early to start thinking about the winter months and how that’s going to impact your commute to and from work, among other places in town. There are certain things you’ll want to do to your vehicle to ensure you get the most efficiency and safety possible from it. It’s a good idea, for example, to visit an auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA for a tune up to give yourself peace of mind that things are operating well, and you won’t get stranded out in the cold. While you’re there, you might also want to think about winter tires. What are the differences they can provide?

The biggest difference between winter tires and regular tires is the treat depth. Winter tires have a treat depth that starts around 9mm while regular tires are usually more along the 7 mm line. The wider, deeper grooves on winter tires gives a larger channel for the snow to travel through, which allows you to have a better grip on the road as you drive. Winter tires are also generally made with more rubber and silica compounds in the materials. That type doesn’t harden as much as pure synthetic rubber, which can also help improve the grip on the road.

Winter tires give you more road safety when weather conditions turn from wet rains to icy snow. The tires give you reduced stopping distances as well, which you might need when someone in front of you has trouble getting started on the snow.

If you are considering winter tires, you have more reason for them if you have a job that requires your attendance no matter what. If you work at a hospital, for example, and there are always emergencies, you have to be able to get in when you are on call. Perhaps you are a member of a media news team, who actually repots on the winter weather. You have to be there as well. Winter tires can help you get where you need to go safety, even when the weather is bad.

Winter tires also help extend the life of your other tires since you use the winter tires in the colder seasons. You can then put the other tires back on when spring hits and they will last longer since they got a break.

You want your vehicle to work well in any season of the year and it can do its best for you in the winter with winter tires. If you are thinking about auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, including possibly getting winter tires, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. Call SAR at (215) 755-1270 and ask about winter tire benefits and options. Depending on where you live, where you need to go, and how often you need to drive, they could be a good fit for you. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 to ask questions about maintenance, tires, or anything else vehicle-related and we’ll help in any way we can.

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Driving Safely Around Schools

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If there’s one place in your regular commute that you want to drive safely, it’s around the local school. It’s never great to get in an accident, but if that accident involves a child, things feel exponentially worse. The first thing you need to do is ensure that your vehicle is in good shape – and this might require Philadelphia, PA auto repair. Use the following tips to drive as safely as possible around schools, whether you’re dropping of a child of your own or you just have to drive by on the way to work.

Obey Speed Limits

It’s hard to slow down when you’re in a rush to get your kids to school or to get to the office yourself. But the speed limits around schools are posted for a reason. You never know when a kid’s going to dart out, late themselves, and if you are driving slowly enough, you can react and prevent disaster. Speed limits in that area may be different when school is in session versus other times of the day so watch the signs with care.

Keep Headlights On

Most modern cars have headlights that stay on at all times, but if yours doesn’t, put them on when you are around the school. There’s a better chance that you will be seen and that you will see others when headlights are involved.

Never Drive Distracted

It’s tempting to look at that text message, sing along to the radio, and think about everything you have going on that day, but around the school, let everything else slide away and simply concentrate on what you are doing. You need to keep distractions at bay so you are ready to react to whatever might happen around you.

Communicate With Others Well

You might not always use your turn signal, but around a school, make sure other drivers know what you are trying to do. If you are slowing to let a child hop out, put on your hazards so people know what’s going on. Don’t assume others know you are turning. Put that blinker on with plenty of notice.

Get Auto Repair When Needed

You certainly don’t want your car to overheat in the school drop-off line and you don’t want the brakes to fail when a kid runs out in front of you. Keep your car in good working order with checkups, maintenance, and repairs as needed. Be regular with your oil changes and get everything else checked out at the same time.

When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, of if you want more safe driving tips for the school areas in your neighborhood, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. We’re here to help you keep your vehicle as safe as possible. Contact us at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll answer questions by phone or set up a time for you to come in and get a maintenance checkup as soon as possible. You can find us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to help keep things working efficiently and effectively for anywhere you need to drive each and every day, even around the schools.

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The Little Auto Repairs That Matter

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You’ve probably heard people say that it’s the little things that matter. And when it comes to auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, that can really be true. Your vehicle will operate better if you take care of the little things. Those little things can help prevent bigger issues that can occur when you ignore the littler items. Here are a few little auto repairs that really matter in the long haul.

Wiper Blade Replacement

While old wiper blades aren’t going to have an impact on the engine or really any other important part of the vehicle, they are highly valuable to the driver. When you drive in Pennsylvania weather, you never know if you are going to see sun and then rain or snow and then sleet. The wiper blades are the only thing between you, the windshield, and your line of sight. The rubber on those blades can wear down and even dry out in the summer heat. Replace them at a regular interval, like before the bad weather seasons, so you can ensure you aren’t stuck driving in the rain with low visibility.

Oil Changes

Everyone knows that oil changes are essential to the inner workings of a vehicle, but not everyone knows why. The oil change takes old oil out of the engine and replaces it with new oil. If you leave old oil in too long, it can dry up or clog up the engine and those parts won’t operate correctly any longer. It can lead to an overheating engine, or worse. Something as small as an oil change every 5,000 miles or so can keep your car operating well.

Worn Belt Replacement

Belts aren’t things cars have to keep pants up, they are operating portions of the vehicle. Before they break completely, listen to your mechanic when they are getting worn. Replacing a belt with a new one can prevent you from being pulled over on the side of the road with a failed vehicle that now has a much larger issue. There are a number of belts in any vehicle and all of them can become worn, cracked, or loose over time.

Battery Replacement

Have you ever had to put new batteries into your remote control at home? How about your smoke detectors? Anything with a battery is going to wear out eventually and the same can be said about the battery in your vehicle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. But replacing the battery is a small issue compared to other accessories that cost much more.

These are a few of the smaller things that pay off when you pay attention to them and take care of them when you need to. If you aren’t sure when these auto repairs in Philadelphia, PA are necessary, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help. Call us at (215) 755-1270 and we can help you figure out what needs to be done and when. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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Tire Auto Repair Needs

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There are a lot of important aspects in any vehicle, but when you think about it, the tires are the only thing that connect the vehicle to the road. They are an integral part to a vehicle’s safety and efficiency. When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, it could be due to the tires. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that the tires operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Get Tire Rotation

Tires have tread on them that helps you to operate the vehicle safely. Once that tread wears down, the vehicle is no longer safe to drive. The thing is, the tread doesn’t always wear evenly, which can cause you to replace the tires before you should have to. The front and rear portions of your car support different weights so they will wear differently. Instead of allowing that, have the tires rotated every or every other time you get an oil change. This will help them to wear evenly so they last longer.

Check Wheel Alignment

The wheels on a vehicle have to roll freely and correctly at specific angles. When they are aligned well, they will wear evenly, and things will go just right. If they aren’t, the suspension could have issues. The biggest reason a car is knocked out of alignment is through a sudden impact. That could be something as large as an accident or as small as a pothole. When you have to get new tires, have the alignment checked and redone to make sure the entire system is on par.

Have Tires Replaced As Necessary

Have you heard of the penny check? IT’s a simple way to take a look at the treat on your tires yourself. Take a penny and insert it between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is too worn. When you go in for regular oil changes, you can have the tires checked and the technicians will give you percentage as to the wear on your tires. That can help you plan ahead and know about when the tires are going to need replacement. You can plan ahead, budget for the expense, and be prepared when the time comes.

When you work with Schafer’s Auto Center, we’ll take the best possible care of your vehicle from top to bottom, including the tires. When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or even general maintenance, we’ll keep the tire’s health in mind and give you advice as to what you can do to make them last as long as possible. When you do need new tires, SAR is here to guide you through that process, too. Call us for an appointment at (215) 755-1270, whether you need tire rotation, an oil change, or something else. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and you can always stop by with questions. The tires on your vehicle are very important to helping you get where you need to go safely.

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Routine Auto Repairs To Remember

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If you’re not a car person, it’s important to learn at least a little bit about car ownership and maintenance so you can stay on top of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. While you don’t have to know the inner workings of the vehicle, you will want to know about some of the routine maintenance items that you have to take care of on a regular basis. Cars are machinery and they log hundreds of miles (or more) each month. The parts that operate together wear and you’ll need to keep everything in working order to get what you need from the vehicle. Here are some of the routine repairs and maintenance items you will need on any vehicle.

Oil Changes

The most notable and normal maintenance routine is the classic oil change. It’s essential to keep the oil in your vehicle clean and running smoothly so you don’t have engine problems, like overheating, that could cause huge and costly damage to the vehicle. It usually doesn’t take long for a service shop to do the job, especially if you have an appointment, and it can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your vehicle over the long haul. It’s also a good chance for mechanics to do a quick check up on the car.

Tire Replacement

The tires on your vehicle are the only things connecting the car to the road, so they take a lot of the wear when you stop, go, turn, and so on. Tires have tread patterns that help you drive safety and eventually, those wear down. Once the treads are worn, the car is no longer safe to drive ad you’ll need new tires. That happens, on average, every 50,000 miles or so. You can get more out of your tires by having them rotated to wear evenly.

Brake Maintenance

The brakes are a hard-working system. Think about bringing a large, heavy, metal object to a stop over and over again. The braking system could require a number of things over the years and they all need attention. The brake pads are the most common thing that needs to be replaced as they will be the first thing to wear. If you keep them fresh, the rest of the brakes are better off. You might also need a brake fluid flush to keep things operating well.

These are just a few of the main auto repairs in Philadelphia, PA that you will need on a regular or semi-regular basis as your vehicle ages and gets you from place to place safely. IF you aren’t’ sure when things need to be done, you can rely on the technicians at Schafer’s Auto Center to help you get on a regular schedule. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and tell us about your vehicle. We can then look at manufacturer recommendations for things like oil changes and help you set up something that works for you. We’ll also check over the entire vehicle whenever you bring it in to watch for brake wear and other important things. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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Creating A Budget For Auto Repairs

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Have you ever been in the situation where you had an unexpected repair and your budget just couldn’t handle it? You likely know, possibly even from experience, that auto repair in Philadelphia, PA never happens at a ‘good’ time. There’s no such thing as a convenient time for your car to need repairs, right? Since your car is vital to your life, it’s important to budget for repairs so you are prepared for those inevitable times.

When you set up your family budget, you likely have a car payment and insurance on that budget. But you would be smart to set aside a little every month for auto repairs as well as maintenance. You know you are going to have to get oil changes and it’s good to have maintenance checks as well. And you never know when something else might come up so it’s nice to have that pocket of money available for when things turn south on your vehicle.

Driving a car isn’t all about buying the car upfront. There are a lot of other expenses that go into car ownership. You have to get gas to make the car run, for example. You have to spend money on oil changes, new filters, and other such items. The car has to run smoothly to do you any good and, in the long run, that can cost you. Anticipate those costs and keep an eye on the owner’s manual so you know when the transmission fluid needs to be changed and other such things and you can prepare your budget accordingly.

You likely know how important care maintenance is. IT makes sense that by spending a little on maintenance checks on a regular basis, you can save a lot in the long run. It’s cheaper, for example, to get something small fixed now than to wait, have something major break down, and have huge costs ahead of you. While it might feel like your vehicle costs a lot, even on small things, it could be much worse.

If you need help budgeting for your auto repairs, the professionals in the industry can aid you in that process. While they can’t help you save or tell you how to control your money, they can tell you how much certain elements you will need cost (like oil changes!) and how often you will need to have those things done so you can ensure you have the money for it—plus some extra for unexpected repairs.

When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or maintenance of any kind, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. You can call us at (215) 755-1270 to set up an appointment or you can stop by and see us in person to talk over some issues at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We understand your vehicle is an investment and also a necessity in your life and we’ll help you take good care of it and make it last as long as possible.

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Auto Repair For An Overheating Vehicle

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There’s never a good time for your car to overheat. In fact, it usually happens at the worst possible time, right? And it could mean your vehicle needs serious auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. If you notice the temperature gauge rising toward the hot side, you shouldn’t continue to drive. Pull over so you don’t damage the engine by overheating it. Rather than risk expensive repairs later, it’s best to get things in line right away. Here are a few things that could be wrong if your vehicle has overheated.

Coolant That Isn’t Circulating

The coolant within the engine is responsible for keeping the temperature at the right level. This mix of water and antifreeze prevents the engine from freezing in cold months and overheating in hot months. If there’s a crack or leak, it can leak out or evaporate completely, which means there won’t be anything left to cool the engine and it will overheat. If there are hoses that are broken and not allowing the coolant in, the same can happen.

Leaking Fluids

If the antifreeze levels are always low, even when you add more, it’s likely because there is a leak in the system somewhere. You may or may not know where, but before you experience overheating on the side of the road, it’s best to get repairs done quickly.

Hoses Need To Be Replaced

Hoses can wear out and they can get blocked or even detach. If they aren’t blocked entirely, but only in part, they can still prevent the proper coolant levels from circulating to the right places. Hoses aren’t hard or expensive to replace, but if ignored, they can cause large enough issues.

Engine Malfunctions

If the coolant levels are normal and working okay, there can be serious engine issues that you need to address as soon as possible. They will only get worse if you let them sit so get them inspected as soon as you can get into the repair shop.

Reacting To An Overheating Situation

It can be very scary when your engine overheats, but it’s important to pull over and turn off the air conditioning right away. Instead, turn on the heater to blow some of the heat away from the engine of the vehicle. Try putting your car in neutral and then revving the engine to make the fan and water pump work fast and pull air into the radiator to cool down the engine. You can also open the hood to release heat and let air circulate, but be careful of possible hot steam that might come out.

If you need help with your engine, whether you suspect it’s going to overheat, or it already has, contact the specialists in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA at Schafer’s Auto Center. Call us at (215) 755-1270for an appointment or to ask questions. You can also visit with us in person or bring the vehicle to 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. SAR technicians are here to help however we can.