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auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Clean Air Filters And Auto Repair Needs

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How often do you think about the air filter in your vehicle? Um, never?! There are plenty of regular needs for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, like oil changes, tire rotations, and so on. But the air filter? It’s not at the top of most people’s minds. But did you know that your air filter (when it’s clean) can increase the fuel efficiency on your vehicle and prolong the life of the engine, too? It’s a huge job! The air filter was meant to give your vehicle 10,000 gallons of clean air every time you burn a gallon of gas on the engine. It’s a small component that delivers that air. And the filter plans a large role in how it all operates.

Car engines need the right amount of fuel and the right amount of clean air in order to operate smoothly and efficiently. If you want your engine to get the cleanest air, it can prevent damage from small, dirty particles that can get into the engine when the filter is able to take those out. Here are some of the biggest benefits you’ll get from clean air filters:

Better Fuel Economy

Cars get hit with all types of things…leaves, bugs, mud, salt, and so on. Some of those things are small, but they can cause big issues if they were to get into your engine. The filters stop that from happening, but if the filter gets too dirty itself, it can restrict airflow, which isn’t good, either. Having clean filters allows your vehicle to have the best fuel economy possible.

Overall Performance

When the air filter gets too dirty, the performance of the vehicle’s engine will go down. The engine might stop running completely. Your engine has to have air—clean air—to function ell. It won’t perform nearly as well without it.

Longer Engine Life

You change the oil on your engine to keep it operating well and running nicely for a longer time. But you also need to change air filters to prolong life. If too much debris gets into the engine, damage can occur to the internal parts.

Lower The Emissions

You want to do your part for the environment and that means keeping an efficient vehicle. Dirty filters can make the emission system work harder and not be able to do the job as well. Proper airflow can help you reduce the emissions on your vehicle.

If you want to get clean air filters installed, auto repair in Philadelphia, PA is necessary. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help you figure out what needs to be done on your vehicle at all times. Visit us for an oil change or whatever else you need, and we can keep an eye on your air filters at the same time. It’s important to take a look at the vehicle on a regular basis so you are able to keep up with needs and keep your vehicle running efficiently and effectively at all times.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Repair For A Hot AC

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Hot summer days are just around the corner and after you watch your child play soccer in the scorching sun, all you want to do is get into the car and crank up the AC. Being hot leads to exhaustion and it can be downright dangerous. While it might take a little time for your AC to kick up the cool air, if all you get is more hot air, auto repair in Philadelphia, PA s something you will want to get right away so you can make it through the summer months in one piece and not in a ton of sweaty droplets.

There are a few different things that can determine what’s going on with your car’s AC. The most common issues are a worn-out compressor, problems with the electrical system, and a refrigerant leak.

Sometimes, the sealant on the AC system won’t be working properly and the refrigerant, which is what makes the air cool, leaks out. That refrigerant turns into evaporating gas and won’t help you at all within the AC system. Get the refrigerant leak fixed so the system is intact, and your car should be able to cool you sufficiently for the rest of the summer.

You may or may not know that the AC system is a maze of wires and pressure switches. If one part of that maze fails, the whole system can shut down since it is no longer safe to operate. It can be hard to diagnose an electrical system issue, but the professionals, of course, can. They can also fix it for you, so you are able to cool everyone in the vehicle with ease.

The compressor in the AC is the power unit that helps the refrigerant change from gas to liquid and pulls heat from the car. That compressor, like any part, can wear down over time. If you want the compressor to last longer, run the AC for ten minutes every month, even in the winter. But if it fails, have auto repair done and you should be on your way to a cooler summer.

It’s rotten to have the AC drop out on you in the middle of a family trip, or on the hottest day of the year. You want to prevent that if at all possible. Watch for signs, like noise coming from the car when you run the AC or air that is never quite all that cool, even if it works a little. Get things checked out earlier so you can have them fixed and then, it’s a lot cheaper and a lot easier to ward off bigger issues.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAThe professionals in the industry work on AC auto repair in Philadelphia, PA on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. Contact the technicians at Schafer’s Auto Center and schedule a checkup for your vehicle. It’s important to get things looked over as the seasons change, anyway, so you can have peace of mind that your AC will be there for you when you need it.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Repair For Foggy Headlights

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There are a lot of safety elements included in a vehicle. If one of them is out of whack for any reason, you should get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. There aren’t many safety items that mean more to a vehicle in the dark than the headlights. If you’ve noticed you are having trouble seeing the road in front of your at night, or your headlights are foggy and you worry about other people seeing you, that’s a big deal. It’s important to figure out what’s wrong so you can get it fixed and move down the road at night safely.

Headlight Materials

Headlights used to be made of glass, but that’s a fragile material that can crack and shatter easily. Over the years, car makers decided to make headlights from polycarbonate, which is a hard plastic that resists shattering and breaking. This strong plastic can collect dirt and grime, even though it doesn’t break as easily. So, a UV film was added to protect the lens and extend visibility for longer. The coating works well, but it will wear down and degrade over time. The constant exposure to UV rays and the direct heat of the lightbulb from the interior of the headlights doesn’t’ help, of course. The headlights, when in use a lot, will wear down on an even level. They could become discolored, scratched, yellowed, or, yes, even foggy.

auto repair in PhiladelphiaFoggy Issues

There are a lot of reasons why foggy headlights are a problem. First, they can make the car look bad. Foggy lights bring the overall aesthetics of the car down. But appearance is just one small factor. The larger item is that the headlights when they are foggy, can really reduce the overall light that the car puts out onto the road. You may not be able to see nearly a well and that can be a danger to you as others. Foggy headlights can reduce light by as much as half. You could see even less in adverse weather.

When you have foggy headlights, it’s best to get them fixed. You want them to be like-new in order to remain as safe as possible in the dark. Even during the day, having headlights on can help, especially when it’s rainy or someone pulls out unexpectedly. You may need to have the headlights restored or replaced completely. The procedure doesn’t have to be hard or take long, but it definitely needs to be done.

The nest time you go in for an oil change or other auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, ask about your foggy headlights. If you’ve noticed you can’t see as well at night, or the car looks weird because of headlight discoloration, you’ll want to get that looked at as soon as you can. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here for your car advice and repair needs. Give us a call and ask questions or simply make an appointment so we can make time for whatever you need to have done.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Getting More Miles Out Of The Gas Tank

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While gas across the country is cheaper now than it has been in years, it’s still prudent to save money and get everything you can out of every gallon. If you are watching your budget or want to save for a special project, auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and other tips can help you make the most from your mileage. Here are a few tips to follow.

Watch The Foot

Is it tempting to slam down the accelerator and peel out when you’re in a hurry? Do you find yourself going over the speed limit when you aren’t paying close attention? When you watch your foot more carefully and treat your vehicle with more expect, you can save on gas mileage. You’re not in a race so take off from stoplights and stop signs slowly. Try to keep to the speed limit because it can also help you with your mileage.

Think Ahead Through The Lights

You know your route to work and back. If you know how the stoplights operate, you might know that when one turns green, the others in front of it will turn green shortly as well. Slow your pace and you should be able to catch more green without stopping. The less time you spend idling, the better for your gas mileage.

Use The Cruise

Even if you have a pretty steady foot, the cruise control can help you out. You won’t want to use it in heavy traffic or when it’s raining, but if you’re on the interstate for a good chunk of time, the cruise control can keep you steady and help save you money at the gas pump.

Unload The Trunk

Ever feel like you live out of your car? It’s important to keep the vehicle as light as possible if you want good fuel efficiency. Take things out of the trunk and other parts of the vehicle that you aren’t using on a regular basis. Just cleaning out extra junk can make a big difference. If you have sandbags in the car, for example, for the winter months. Take them out for the spring and summer.

Check The Tires

The tires are going to need to be properly inflated for you to get the best fuel economy. Keep an eye on the tire pressure and inflate as necessary to make sure you have the best balance there.

Get Auto Repair And Maintenance

One of the most important things you can do is make sure your vehicle is capable of running efficiently through proper auto repair and maintenance schedules. Check in regularly, get your oil changes on schedule, and make sure everything is running as it should.

If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. We’ll get that oil change, or any other maintenance item done, and we’ll check things out to make sure it’s all running smoothly so you can get the most mileage out of every tank of gas.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Protecting Tires Against Common Road Debris

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Tires aren’t cheap and they aren’t the only thing that costs on your vehicle. After you purchase the car, you have to go through regular maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. Those things add up, so you want everything on the vehicle to last as long as possible—especially the tires. The tires are the only part of the car that meets the road and they are the part that most often hits things that might be lying around. There are common things that you will see on the road that you may not be able to avoid. When you can avoid these things, great. But you can’t always swerve, or you might endanger yourself even further. Here are some tips to protect your tires against things you will often see on the road.

Branches

Trees are going to drop those branches and they will blow in the road. After a storm, you’ll see them all over. Running over a small branch isn’t likely a problem, but something larger and harder might push a hold into your tire. Try to look far ahead on the road before you so when you see a branch, you can avoid it. Or, you should, at the very least, take it slow and steady instead of hitting it hard.

Potholes

When the winter months are brutal on the road, you’re going to see potholes pop up all over the city. When you see the potholes, slow down. You can drive around it if at all possible, but if you have to hit it, take it slow. Hitting a pothole hard can lead to a tire puncture or a bend or even crack in the wheel.

Metal Debris

There are lots of workers on the road and things can fall out of their trucks. You might see screws, nails, and other debris on the road that can blow out your tire. Keep a close eye on the road and try to differentiate the colors of the metal with the roadway. That’s not always easy so when you are driving around a new house or another construction area, drive slowly and keep an eye out.

Brown Glass

There can also be broken glass on the road from accident sites, broken headlights, and other things. When you run over the glass, it can get embedded into your tire, which can cause it to fail right away or have a slow leak that makes it in need of repairs.

Having the best tires on your vehicle possible is a good first route. But you want to protect those tires as well. Watch the road and avoid what you can. If you do find yourself in need of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or a complete new set of tires, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help you with that. We can get your oil changed, your tires inspected, and do anything else you need at the same time to save you time and help you gain efficiency on your car.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Checking Out Pre-Owned Cars

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Not everyone buys brand new vehicles. In fact, most people buy vehicles that are pre-owned at some point in their lifetime. And no one wants to get a vehicle that’s going to need a lot of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. Those vehicles are called ‘lemons’ and they’re not something anyone wants. Here are a few tips for you to look into before you buy a vehicle that someone else owned.

Tip 1: Research

The first thing you want to do is research pre-owned vehicles, so you know more about them in general. You might already have in mind what type, make, and model you want. If not, look at different options and make some general decisions. There might be an issue with a particular model, and you will want to avoid that model in the pre-owned world. Other options, however, might have good ratings the second time around. The more you know in advance, the more likely you are to get something that works well for you.

Tip 2: Look At The Outside

Before you sink behind the wheel, check out the outside of the vehicle in full. Take a look at the body. Are there any dents, scratches, or dings? Do you see any rust? That can be a red flag as to the overall condition of the vehicle. You will also look at the tires. How do the treads look? Are there any cracks or bulges in them? Look at the lights as well and make sure they aren’t working correctly.

Tip 3: Look Around Inside

You will also want to check the inside and see how things operate. Can you get the chair to adjust easily? Turn the car on and look at the gauges. Are they working? You will want to drive the vehicle, of course, but you will want to take a look at how the interior is set up as well.

Tip 4: Have Professionals Take A Look

If things check out this far, it’s best to admit that you may not be able to see everything you need to know with your own eyes. Take the vehicle to a professional to see if there’s anything else you need to know. A full inspection will tell you the background you need to know about the vehicle. You can take your soon-to-be-new car to the auto repair shop for the inspection, and then take it in later for oil changes along the way. If there’s anything big wrong with it, or even anything mall, they’ll let you know.

If you need advice from auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. We’d love to look at any vehicle you are considering purchasing. Anyone who is trying to sell should be more than willing to let experts look the vehicle over, or you should walk away from the deal for sure. Stop by and ask about our inspections and we’ll ensure your vehicle is safe for the road and a good deal for you.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Pre-Summer Auto Repair Tips

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With spring around the corner, summer is only a few beats away. That means traveling, vacations, and fun with the family. But you might need to have your vehicle to do any of that. Before you head out on the road and break down on the side of it, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA that can help your vacation run as smoothly as you want it to. Here are a few tips to help your time away be great and not something you regret as you sit in a town you don’t know waiting for repairs.

Time Your Oil Change

You know when you’re planning to take off with the family on that cross-country trek, so plan your oil change to happen just before you hit the road. You can get the oil changed and ready to go, the tires filled properly, and everything else checked over so you have confidence in the vehicle you are planning to take such a long distance.

Air Conditioning Top Off

Things can get hot in most of the country over the summer months. The last thing you want is to be on some dry, dusty road with no AC and no water to cool you down. Get your AC checked out and make sure you have plenty of coolants to keep things operating smoothly no matter how hot things get outside.

Check The Brakes

The brakes are one of the most important safety items on any car and you want them to be in prime condition before you hit the road with your family. Brake pads wear out first so if they are starting to look worn, get them replaced so you don’t have to worry about anything else getting damaged along the trip.

Test The Battery

Your battery can wear down any season of the year, but when you are on the road, charging phones and running the air constantly, you’re using it quite a bit. Make sure it looks like it’s in good shape and holds a full charge with ease before you take it with you for a long trip.

Tire Checks

You won’t likely be driving in snow, but you may hit some rain and plenty of hot pavement along the way. You want your tires to be in good condition with the proper treat levels to make sure they can help you in whatever you drive through to get to your destination.

It’s exciting to plan a summer trip, but the whole thing can go awry if you end up needing unexpected auto repair in Philadelphia, PA along the way. Instead of leaving it to chance, get things topped off and checked out before you leave so you can have peace of mind that your vehicle is in good working condition for the duration of your trip. Contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center to make an appointment for a tune-up and to get things looked over so you can head out knowing you’re in a safe vehicle that’s ready to roll.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Why Isn’t The Car Starting?

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Most people who have driven a vehicle for any length of time have had this issue. You’re late for work, you need to get going fast—and the car won’t start. What makes things lack operation at such a key moment? There’s never a good time to need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, and if your car won’t start, you just want to know why so you can fix it and move on. If you’re in this situation, it’s nice to know some of the things that cause cars to fail to start so you can troubleshoot or, at the very least, understand when the mechanic explains things to you. Here are a few things that cause a dead vehicle, always at an inopportune moment.

Battery Problems

Have you left a door slightly open, so a dome light was on all night? In newer vehicles, that’s not a problem. Nor is leaving the lights on. But there are still plenty of cars that can drain batteries in that manner. If you have one of them, your battery may be drained and need a charge. You could give it a jump start and that could allow things to start up again. IF the battery is just dead because it’s old and needs to be replaced, you’ll have to get a new battery before you can drive again.

Key Won’t Turn

It’s frustrating to put your key in the ignition, just like you always do, only to have it refuse to turn. Before you panic, it’s usually easy to fix. The steering wheel might be in a locked position because the wheels are turned to the side. Just jiggle the wheel a bit and the key should turn. If that doesn’t work, the key or the whole ignition system could be the issue. Try the spare key and then get the vehicle serviced if that doesn’t work.

Starter Motor Issues

The starter motor has several components that can go out which can cause the engine not to engage. If the electrical current in there doesn’t signal the motor, things won’t crank off. There could be a bad connection or the starter motor itself could need replacement.

Ignition System Failure

The ignition system could fail in a number of locations. If you can turn the key with ease and the engine doesn’t start and if the battery is okay, it’s probably an issue in the ignition system. The switch could be faulty or worn out or it may not be aligned properly.

If your vehicle won’t start and you can’t figure out why, contact professionals in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to get the help you need. You might be able to troubleshoot by phone with

Schafer’s Auto Center. If that doesn’t work, you might need a repair and diagnostic appointment to see what’s going on within your vehicle before they can make recommendations as to what you need to do. Visit our website at Schafersauto.com if you want to read more about our experience.

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.