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Winter Auto Maintenance Tips

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With wintertime almost upon us, it can easily be forgotten that along with your home and yourself, your car also has specific needs. Every car owner knows the feeling of car trouble in the winter. No fun, right? Fortunately, there are many things that you can do that can prevent unnecessary hassles this season. A lot of our tips are so simple that you can get them done yourself and without the help of a mechanic, which means more money in your pocket! When looking for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA we are more than happy to get you on the right track!

Oil is Key

This is a really simple and easy preventative step to ensuring that your car runs as smoothly as possible this winter season. During the colder months, the oil in your car becomes thicker and it can affect how the oil flows throughout your car. Be sure to get an oil change before it begins to get cold out. Changing your oil to a thinner viscosity will also help your car run with fewer issues.

Check your Battery

It is important that you make certain that the contacts on your car battery are as clean as possible and free of any corrosion. Nobody wants to be left out in the cold in the middle of winter because of a faulty battery. If your car battery is more than four years old, then we highly recommend replacing it. Be sure to stop by an auto repair shop to have the health of your battery tested!

Inspect your Hoses and Belts

Colder weather means that the rubber on your hoses and belts is more prone to cracks, stretching, soft spots, bulges, and loose connections. Replace them if you find any issues and be sure to continue to inspect them throughout the season.

Replace Wiper Blades/Fluid

This is a very important step both for the well-being of your vehicle and also for your safety as a driver. Since rain and snow can easily impair your visibility when driving, it’s extremely essential that you make sure your wiper blades are not old or worn down. Ensure that you have an ample amount of wiper fluid and replace them yourself. This is a step that all car owners can easily tackle.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PACheck Tire Tread

Having old and worn tires in snowy and icy conditions poses a serious hazard for both you and other drivers on the road. Tires in need of replacement begin to lose their tread even more so in the winter elements, so you definitely want to ensure that your tires have enough traction to keep you safe. We recommend replacing your tires with all-weather tires or snow tires if you plan on spending a lot of time in a mountainous region.

Our main goal is to ensure the absolute safety of you and your loved ones this wintertime season. When you are looking for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA we are here to help guide you through any and all seasons. Reach out today!

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Safe Driving Tips

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When you get in your car, you want to get somewhere, but you want to do so safely. Auto repair in Philadelphia, PA is part of the process and the people who work at auto repair shops are there to help you with maintenance as well as safe driving tips. Today, so many motorists are distracted. Even if you aren’t one of them, you need to find ways to stay safe around those who might not be paying close attention. Here are a few tips to help to keep yourself safe on the road.

Drive As An Example

You might hate the fact that you see so many people on their phones, putting on makeup, eating, and doing other things as they are driving. But, you might admit (even just to yourself) that you do a few of those things on occasion, too. Instead of getting mad at others when you see those things, try to drive as a good example. Don’t do anything but concentrate on your driving and you are setting a good example for others (especially your children if they are in the car with you). Plus, if someone swerves your way, you are a lot more likely to notice and be able to avoid a crash when others are distracted.

Buckle Up Without Question

It doesn’t matter if you are driving across the city or if you just have to go a few blocks up the street, put your seatbelt on as a habit. You don’t want to hear the car dinging at you to put it on and you really don’t want to have an accident where you need it and not have it. Wearing a seatbelt is just something you should do each and every time you are in a vehicle, whether you are driving or not.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAKeep The Car In Tune

It’s a good idea to keep your car in good shape so if you have to brake suddenly or drive defensively in other ways, you need the car to be in good condition so it can do as you ask, when you ask it to do so. Have regular oil changes, allow the technicians to check things over, and fix little things before they become larger issues. While maintenance is important for the longevity of your car, it can also help you to stay safe as you drive to your destinations on a daily basis.

If you want to drive the safest, most reliable vehicle possible, auto repair in Philadelphia, PA should be a part of your regular routine. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are honest about their work. We won’t tell you something is wrong with your vehicle unless we would fix it on our own car. We will show you exactly what we mean, too, so you can see it with your own eyes. We want you to be as safe as possible on the road each and every day and we’ll help you maintain your vehicle so you have every safety element possible.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Loud Engine Sounds And Auto Repair

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It’s never a good thing when you are driving your vehicle and you hear a loud noise. When you hear it a second time and even a third, you might worry that something is really wrong and that you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. Driving in high levels of traffic is hard enough, but it’s downright stressful when you have places to do, and you have a noise in your vehicle, and you don’t know why. It’s best to get the problem checked out before it gets worse, so you aren’t worried about things getting worse. Here are some sounds you might hear and what you may want to do about them.

The Knocking Engine

If you hear your engine knocking, you want to answer the door, so to speak. Engines don’t knock for no reason and it’s important to figure out what’s going on. There are lots of things that could cause this noise. When the engine rotates, it drives a belt on pulleys to provide power. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong and cause vibration and knocking noise. IF the pulley is cracked damaged, it might vibrate, for example. The engine may make even more noise as the vehicle accelerates.

Fast Knocking

There is an accessory belt that could cause an even faster-knocking noise than a damaged pulley. If you hear something squeaky, harsh, loud, and high in pitch, it might be that accessory. If the engine is cold the noise might be even more pronounced and it could fade as you warm things up, which might cause you to ignore the issue. Don’t ever ignore engine sounds as they aren’t going to get better on their own.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAPopping Noises

The fuel in the cylinder can explode before other fueling items and when the engine is running well, the spark plug controls that explosion. But if there is damage to those plugs, you might have premature detonation and that can cause a popping sound in the engine. It can sound like a very scary sound, but it doesn’t mean your car is in danger of exploding on its own. What it does mean is that you need to have an auto repair done as soon as possible so damage isn’t more extensive, which is what can happen if you ignore things.

There are lots of reasons to go in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, like getting a simple oil change or tire rotation. But when you hear a noise in your engine, you definitely want to get in as soon as you can. The problem won’t go away on its own and the sooner you get it fixed, the less likely it is that the problem will become a bigger, more expensive issue. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you diagnose any engine noises you might hear. We can then fix things up and put you back on the road in a safe, efficient manner that will give you confidence in your ride.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Protecting Vehicles From Salt Water

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While Philadelphia isn’t right on the ocean, it’s close enough to the sea that some people like to take a drive over the weekends for a getaway. You’ve heard what rotten things saltwater can do to your vehicle and you don’t want to have to get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA because of it. How can you prevent that damage if your car is going to be exposed over the weekend, during a week-long vacation, or at other times?

The best way to avoid saltwater damage is to avoid exposing your car to saltwater in the first place. But when you go to a region that has an ocean nearby, the saltwater can be in the air, and it can get on your vehicle. Over the winter months, you might get salt on your car even around the Philly area because of the salt on the roads. You know it’s not a good thing. It can damage the finish on your vehicle, erode paint, and cause rust to form.

If your car is exposed to saltwater, when you get home, make sure you rinse the vehicle down, even if it doesn’t look dirty. That can take most of the salt off the vehicle and help you to avoid damage to the paint. The longer the salt stays on the vehicle, the more the clearcoat over the paint will break down. If it is allowed to eat through that level and then the paint, it can even damage the metal on your vehicle and brake holds and rust spots into the metal areas.

Wheels are another susceptible area because they are completely made from metal. Rinse off the paint on your vehicle, but wipe down the tires as well. Take note of that area on your car during the winter months in this area as the salt from the roads can splash p onto the tires and cause rust to start before you even notice it is there.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAWhen you are in a beath area, parking inside is always going to help. But even if you don’t park right on the beach and are just in an ocean town, large waves and high tides can deposit the sale onto the road and into the air. Your vehicle has been exposed to the sale and you will need to get that item off as soon as you can.

Avoiding salt and saltwater damage is the best thing you can do, but when you’re on vacation, or even when you’re driving the cold winter streets this year, you might encounter the element. Try to clean it off your vehicle as soon as you can so you don’t encounter paint issues and other needs for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA because of it. Contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center any time you have questions about what you can do for your vehicle, whether it’s salt-related, pertains to oil changes, or anything in between. We’re here to help you maintain a safe vehicle.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Tire Cleaning Tips

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Even if you don’t need new tires, having regular checkups and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA on your tires and the rest of your vehicle is a good idea. The tires on your vehicle are an important part of the overall look of your car. You might want to clean them off at times in order to make your vehicle shine. Cleaning those tires can also. Help you to keep your vehicle safe and operational on the road. You need to use the right methods and here are a few pieces of advice to consider.

Wet Them Down

There are going to be some pieces of dust, grime, and dirt, that just takes a little water to break free from your tires. Wetting down the tires can take some of the easier chunks off and give you areas you need to focus on. If you wash your vehicle in your driveway, rinsing it off can help with the tire cleaning process.

Hammer Dirt Off

If you have some tough patches of dirt, you might want to take a rubber manner and gently pound around the dirt on the tires. Don’t hit it too hard or you can throw things off balance. But a little jarring to the dirt in that area can make the clods fall to the ground so you can rinse the rest away.

Brush On The Soap

As you wash the vehicle, get out a brush and put some soapy water on it that you can apply to the tires. Normal dish soap can work well, but there are also products that can help you clean tires directly if you have issues with a lot of dirt working up in that area. Brush the soap on and rinse it off to see if you can loosen the dirt.

Use Tire Shine

Once the dirt and debris are all gone and the tires are dry, you can use a tire shining product that you can spray on and rub in with a clean cloth. That can make the tires look even better than new, in some cases. Your vehicle will shine all the way down to the tires.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAGet Advice From Professionals

If you live on a dirt road or tend to go off the beaten path with your vehicle, you might want to get some details on how you can keep the tires clean, or clean them off on a regular basis. The professionals can help you figure out what you need to do to keep the tires, and the rest of your vehicle, running and looking good.

If you need new tires, or other forms of maintenance or auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Give us a call and we can set you up with an appointment for an oil change, a tire inspection, a tune-up, or anything else you need. We’re here to ensure that your vehicle is in good operating order whenever you need us to look into things.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Repair Professionals And Honesty

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People in the industry of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA seem to get a bad name because it seems as if everyone has encountered a bad experience with a car repair at some point or another. When you need repairs, you want to know that you are using honest, experienced professionals who will do the job well and tell you what you need to know without any exaggerations.

Yes, there are some bad auto shops out there. They might tell you something major is wrong when it’s really something minor, just to get more money out of you. They might try to get you to change air filters when you get an oil change, even if they don’t really need it. They might make repairs seem more complicated than they are to ratchet up the labor charges. None of that is okay.

But as someone who has to have a vehicle—and maybe doesn’t know that much about auto repair, how can you tell the difference? You might feel at the mercy of the auto shop because you don’t know what your vehicle needs or doesn’t need. Here are some tips to help you with the details, whether you know much about your car or not.

1-Never Feel Bad About Second Opinions

If you are getting a weird feeling about the repairs the auto shop is telling you that you need, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. If they are telling you that your brakes are about to completely fail when you haven’t even heard a single squeal, take the vehicle to another shop and see what they say. If that shop says the exact same thing as the other shop, then you know you have professionals you can trust in both shops. If they say the brakes need new pads, but not yet, then you know never to return to the first shop. You can’t trust them.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA2-Research Reputation

Before you go into the auto repair shop, to begin with, research their reputation online and see what other clients have said about their experiences. Read reviews outside their websites and check in with the rating on the Better Business Bureau website. If you see that they have lots of happy customers who really trust them, you know that you are going to be able to trust them as well. Reputation can say a lot about the company and what you can expect from them.

It can be hard to feel anything but leery with professionals in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA if you have ever had a bad experience or even know someone who has. At Schafer’s Auto Center, we understand your concern and we make it our goal to gain your trust by giving you the best service you can find. We never tell customers something is wrong with their vehicle unless it really is. We only recommend repairs we would do on our own vehicles. We’ll even show you exactly what is wrong so you can see it with your own eyes.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Regular Maintenance Prevents Auto Repair

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Don’t feel bad if you don’t know all that much about vehicles. As long as you can safely operate one, you aren’t a hazard on the road. But if there’s one thing you should know, it’s that regular maintenance on that vehicle can help you to prevent the auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and it can also keep the vehicle safe to operate on your daily routes and even road trips. Here are a few things that regular maintenance will do for you:

Keep The Car Efficient

You want your vehicle to work, but even if it keeps running, it may not be doing so efficiently. You might have to fill up with gas a lot more often, for example. When you get regular service and maintenance checks, the professionals can ensure that your vehicle is not only running but running well. Efficiency is important so you are spending less on gas, not more. Plus, when things are running well, the car will last longer and have fewer problems.

Catch Small Things

Having regular service means you have professionals looking at the details of your vehicle with practiced eyes. They are going to catch small things that might be starting to wear. They can then fix those little things and prevent major events from occurring. For example, brake pads are the first things to wear down on the brakes. The technicians will notice when they are wearing and suggest you replace them. By replacing them, you prevent major braking issues or even a complete failure. Catching something small prevents dangerous situations later and saves you money, too.

Maintain Manufacturer Warranties

Your vehicle came with certain warranties on it for certain things. Sometimes, those warranties expire if you don’t maintain things on the vehicle well. If you don’t get oil changes regularly, for example, and the engine breaks down, the manufacturer may not cover anything because you didn’t do what they recommended. If you want to keep those warranties for as long as possible, have regular maintenance done on the vehicle so you can use the warranties in the future if a need arises.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAGive You Peace Of Mind

It’s always good to know you are driving a safe vehicle that isn’t going to break down and will get you where you need to go. Having regular service will help you to feel safe in your vehicle and give you the reliability you need.

There are going to be times when you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, but if you get regular maintenance done on your vehicle, the need for anything major will be much smaller. You can have everything done when you get oil changes and have peace of mind that the vehicle is safe, reliable, and in good shape. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you with the process from start to finish, whether you need an oil change, new tires, or a complete engine overhaul. We want to help you with your car needs with honesty and professionalism.

auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

Safety Tips For Roadside Tire Changing

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Even if you keep a close eye on your tire tread and air pressure, you can hit something on the road and blow a tire. Hopefully, you have a spare so you can get it changed. You can then buy a new one and get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA when you are able to get to the shop. But if you find yourself needing to change the tire on the road, here are some safety tips to help you do so safely.

1-Move To The Side

When you notice that your tire pressure is going down fast or, worse, you hear a pop and know the tire is gone, move to the side of the road as far off onto the shoulder as you can get. You are going to want as much space between your vehicle and the road as you can get so you can work on the tire. It can be hard to place your car just right when you are trying to get over as fast as you can but do the best you can with the idea in mind that you have a tire change coming.

2-Put On The Hazards

You want any vehicle coming toward you from either direction to know you are having issues and to be warned. They should move over a lane, if at all possible, to give you more space, but not every vehicle will, and some may not be able to, either. The hazards are going to help warn others and keep you safe, though.

3-Call Authorities

Depending on where your vehicle is situated and whether you can safely change the tire or not, you might want to call the authorities. They may be able to send a car out to sit in the road behind your vehicle with their lights on to warn people that there is an issue. If you have to overlap with the road in order to change the tire, their presence can keep vehicles away so you can safely do so.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA4-Call For Professional Help

If you don’t feel confident about changing the tire, or you have issues doing so when you tried, call for professionals to come to help you. They can set their truck up in the road to block traffic and make things safer. They can also get the old tire off and the new one on quickly so you aren’t on the road any longer than you have to be.

Once you make it into town and off the road, you will want to get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA on the tire that went flat on you. Sometimes, tires can be fixed and are just as safe as they were when they were new. Other times, you might need to get a brand new tire or a new spare to keep your car on the road safely. If you have questions about tires or any other auto repair need, contact Schafer’s Auto Center for answers or for an appointment.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

What To Do With A Roadside Breakdown

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It’s something you’d rather avoid, but when it happens, it happens. Your car broke down at the side of the road. You need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA what should you do? Here are some tips to help you safely through the process.

Tip 1: Move To The Side

If at all possible, the moment you notice something amiss with your vehicle, move it to the side of the road so you are out of the traffic before it completely shuts down. If it does stop in the road and you can’t move it automatically, you might want to place it in neutral and push it off the road onto the shoulder so you are safer and out of traffic then. You may need help in doing that and if you are alone, it can be hard to push it in the right direction without someone steering.

Tip 2: Put On The Hazards

You are going to want to put the hazard lights on so they are blinking. Those approaching the vehicle from any direction will be more easily able to see it. Even if it is sitting on the road, they will understand that it has a problem and that they need to go around it. It’s a safety feature on your vehicle and when it breaks down, that is the time to use it.

Tip 3: Call For Help

You are going to need a professional to come out and help you with the vehicle if you don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. If you know you are out of gas, for example, you can call a friend and have them bring you a can or ask them to give you a ride to the station so you can take gas back to your car. But if you don’t know what’s up, have a professional come take a look. Perhaps they can fix something small and get it running so you can take it to the shop or perhaps they will need to tow it.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PATip 4: Get A Ride To Town

If your vehicle is in a safe location and you feel okay about waiting by yourself or with your passenger, it’s okay to stay there and wait for the professional to come help. But if you’re in a dangerous spot on the road, it’s sweltering hot, or in the middle of the winter, you might want to call a friend and have them come get you. The professional can take a look at your vehicle when they arrive and report back to you, but in the meantime, you are safe and that’s what really matters.

It’s always best to prevent the major auto repair in Philadelphia, PA by having preventative maintenance done, but life just doesn’t always cooperate. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you with breakdowns, oil changes, mystery noises, and everything in between. Give us a call to set up an appointment or stop by and ask questions.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Choosing Good Auto Repair Shops For Maintenance

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There are lots of good shops out there that can help you with auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, but you are going to want the best. And while many shops offer quality services and have a good reputation for honesty, there are some bad apples out there, too. Here are a few ways you can avoid those bad ones and get the good auto repair for the maintenance you need on your vehicle.

Check Licensing and Certification

One thing you can do to protect your vehicle and your interests is to ask the auto repair shop if they have licensing and certification. It’s also wise to look at their insurance. While any shop can tell you that yes, they have that, you will want to see the proof in order to be certain. There’s no reason for any shop to be guarded about showing you proof of those things. If they act weird about it or don’t want to produce the documents, move on.

Check What Other People Are Saying

You want to know that the shop you are going to use is one that lots of people have had success with. Their reputation should be proven by their track record and experience. You can check with people you know and see if they have used the shop they are considering or if they have recommendations. You can also go online and read reviews outside of the auto shop website so you can get a full idea as to what people think of that shop and what their experiences were like. If you see too many bad reviews, you might want a different shop.

Look Into Pricing

You need fair prices from your auto repair shop. They should lowball the prices because that may very well mean that the quality might not be to the level that you need and want it. Prices that are too high mean they are trying to make more money off you than they should with the repairs you need. Middle of the road, fair prices are what you want and with the internet on hand, you can easily find out what prices are median and fair for your area.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAMeet The Mechanic In Person

You should be able to meet the mechanic you are going to work with in person. They can take a short break from what they are working on or you can schedule a time to meet with them to talk about their experience with vehicles like yours and in the industry as a whole. This could be a long-term relationship and getting to know the person who will be working on your car can make you feel more comfortable in moving forward.

When you are looking for a new shop to help you with auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, try to look around when you aren’t in desperate need. Try some shops for maintenance items and see what you appreciate about each. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center would be happy to be in consideration for your repair needs.

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