Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Where To Get Auto Repair Advice

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As an owner of a vehicle, you know you have a responsibility to maintain your vehicle as best you can. While you get regular oil changes, and that’s a good start, there might be other Philadelphia, PA auto repair issues that you don’t know much about. If you hear a noise in your car or you feel something strange, where do you go for auto repair advice? Here are a few places that might give you ideas of where to (or where not to) start.

The Internet

The internet is a great place to do research and can give you some of the answers you need, or at least ideas as to what might be wrong. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of false information out there as well so you can’t always trust what you read. Make sure you visit reputable sites so you are getting information from good sources. At the very least, you might be able to find out one or two options as to what is going on with your vehicle as well as price ranges on what it might be to fix it so you aren’t in shock when you take the vehicle in.

Your Resident Car Expert

Do you have a brother or cousin who is always tinkering under a hood? It doesn’t hurt to give them a call and ask them what they think of the noise you’re hearing. They may know exactly what it is by your description. If they don’t work with vehicles of your type and style, their advice may not be spot on, but they could give you an idea of just how fast you need to get in for repairs.

Repair Shop Technicians

In the end, you’re always better off taking your vehicle in for auto repairs and getting a diagnosis from professionals. There are a lot of computer parts in a vehicle today and technicians can hook your car up to diagnostic tools to help figure out exactly what’s wrong and what’s going on. Once they know what’s happening and what’s wrong, they will inform you of the details as well as repair options and quotes so you know what things will cost. If you have a choice, you can make the decision before you move forward with the repairs.

It’s hard to figure out what Philadelphia, PA auto repair you might need based on a noise or a rattle, but the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can most certainly figure it out. If you’d like to make an appointment or call with questions, you can reach us at (215) 755-1270. We’re happy to help you with any auto repair needs and we can also take care of maintenance and questions as well. If you want to check out our shop, we’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to speak to you in person. Cars are going to need repairs and it’s hard to figure that out if you don’t work with them every day.

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Is Your Vehicle Ready For Vacation?

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Once you finally get to summer, you can take some time off from work and school and enjoy a family vacation. That vacation won’t be stress-free if you break down in the middle of nowhere without a recourse for a vehicle. Instead of allowing that possibility, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA before you leave and make sure your car is ready for the trip. Here are a few things it should include:

An Oil Change

Oil changes are one of those regular things that your car just must have. It’s a good idea to do one right before you leave so you don’t get stuck somewhere, needing one and not having the time for it. Try to time it so you will need one just before you take off, so your oil is fresh and ready to go.

Coolant Check

Your vehicle will be working extra hard on the long trip and in the summer heat. You don’t want it to overheat because you don’t have enough coolant. If you can’t remember when the coolant was changed out or added to, it’s probably time. Have the technicians check the levels and go from there.

Battery Test

Summer can be even harder on a battery than winter and you will want to make sure your battery is strong and in good working order. You don’t want to have it die on you when you’re getting gas somewhere and there’s no place around to get a new one. If it doesn’t test well, it’s easy enough to get a new one before you leave on your trip.

Check Over The AC

Air conditioning has a way of stopping its job at the worst of times. You’ll want to make sure that isn’t when your family is sweating on the trip to the desert, right? Have a technician check over the AC and make sure it has enough Freon and other elements to get everything in perfect working order before you end up with bad results at an inconvenient time.

Tire Inspection

You want to make sure the tread on your tires is at a good level before a big vacation. They should also be rotated and inflated to the right level for the best gas mileage for the trip.

These are a few things you will want to do in terms of maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA before you take that family vacation and have an issue down the road. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help with any kind of inspection or tune-up you want. Call us at (215) 755-1270 and set up an appointment or ask questions you have about what you need to do before you leave. You can also stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. At SAR, we’re here to help your vehicle run effectively and efficiently every season of the year, no matter what kind of road trip you want to take with your family.

auto repair tips in Philadelphia, PA

Getting Better Summer Mileage With Auto Repairs

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Gas mileage in your vehicle is always important to your family’s budget, but when you are using the car even more, like during the summer months, that makes how far each tank goes even more essential. Use these auto repair tips in Philadelphia, PA to help your car get that much farther down the road between fill ups, on vacations, and during the everyday errands.

Forget The Cool Down

In the winter, you might start your car and let it run a bit, so the engine warms up (and so the interior does, too). In the summer, it’s tempting to do the same, so the interior is cooler when you slide in. However, running your vehicle without driving it just wastes gas. Your vehicle will cool down in a few minutes and you can handle driving it until them if you know that you can get better gas mileage, right?

Inflate Tires Just So

When tires are too low, the engine hast to work harder to get the rubber to roll over. It sounds like a small thing, but an engine working harder means more gas is getting used for each mile. Check where your tires should be and then ensure that they are at that level every few times you stop to get gas. You could save up to 2 miles per gallon or more with the right tire pressure.

Replace Air Filters

You know that air is important to any vehicle and if air can’t get into the engine to mix with gas, the vehicle will add more gasoline, which can cause lots of issues…one of which is lower gas mileage. When the filters need to be changed out, get them changed because they can make a difference in how your vehicle operates and how much it costs you on the road.

Clean Or Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are also something that can impact how well an engine performs. After they get dirty or corroded, they cause wasted fuel and lower gas mileage. They’re a small, easy fix and they can get you a lot farther down the road between tanks of gas.

Get That Tune Up

You don’t necessarily have to keep track of everything your vehicle needs to get good gas mileage. It can be confusing to those who don’t know a lot about cars and it’s hard to know when certain things need to be done. Just be diligent about getting your tune-ups and your technician can keep you informed on what is recommended and when.

When you are ready for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, whether you need advice, an oil change, or something larger, Schafer’s Auto Center is here for you. At SAR, we won’t tell you something needs to be done unless it’s something we would do on our own vehicle. Call for an appointment at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll take a look at your vehicle when you bring it in. You can also stop by with questions at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair Philadelphia, PA

Summer Auto Repair Tips

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While you might get some time off from work in the summer, and the kids definitely get plenty of time off from school, your vehicle gets less than no time off. In fact, it might be in overdrive because of vacations and other activities. The warmer months can be a challenge for any car, and you’ll need to pay special attention to auto repair in Philadelphia, PA so you can keep things running smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you keep your vehicle in shape throughout the summer months.

Tip 1: Check Out The Coolant System

Staying cool in the car is of utmost importance as the temperature rises. Check coolant fluids in the vehicle every now and then and watch for leaks in hoses and among joints. On your own, you can squeeze hoses once the engine cools down to see that they are firm and not squishy and soft. If you notice the car feeling humid and warm way too often, get the car in for auto repairs before you’re sweating up a storm.

Tip 2: Change Wipers

Your wipers may have gone through a lot during the winter and spring so it’s a good time to get new wipers to prevent streaks. You may not see much rain, but you will probably hit a lot of bugs on the highway and it’s good to have new wipers that won’t streak as much. Replacing wipers is cheap and easy to do.

Tip 3: Keep An Eye On Tire Pressure

Tires are something to keep an eye on all year, but in the summer, when you’re about to take a long road trip, you really need to know what’s going on. Check their pressure often to ensure they are at the optimum level. Keep in mind that tire pressure can change with temperatures, but if you notice one tire changing faster than the others, it may have a slow leak. Watch for nails and other items in the road that can have a negative impact on your tires during this building season. And ensure that the tread isn’t too low, too.

Tip 4: Get The Fluids Checked

When you take your vehicle in for an oil change and tire rotation, have the other fluids checked and topped off, if necessary. Technicians can check everything from power-steering to windshield wiper fluids. These are liquids that never stop being used and you need to make sure you don’t run out at a bad time.

These are just a few tips to help you get by with the right auto repair in Philadelphia, PA over the summer months. If you need more advice, or you want to make an appointment for a tune-up, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. We’re here to help with any auto questions you have. You can stop into our shop as well at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and the SAR representatives will get your vehicle back on the road in safe driving conditions.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Avoiding Summer Car Damage And Auto Repairs

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There’s no avoiding the heat of the summer, but there are things you can do to protect your vehicle from some of the ailments of the summer season. Keep up with auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and do some of these things to make the most of your vehicle investment.

Park In The Shade

You likely don’t leave your laptop or phone in the car when it gets super-hot because you don’t want them to be damaged by the heat. Cars have a lot of computer systems in them as well and while they will likely still operate, heat isn’t the best thing for them. Parking in the shade will prolong the life of those systems within your vehicle and keep it cooler than possible otherwise.

Avoid Hot Drives

You know you can keep cool in your car if you have a good air conditioning system, but the hottest times of the day and of the year can have an impact on the engine and other parts of the vehicle. When the mercury is rising, avoid the hottest times of the day, like between noon and three in the afternoon, to keep your vehicle in the best working order.

Get A Sun Shade

There isn’t always shade to park in and you can’t always protect all of your vehicle from the summer elements, but if you hate getting into a scorching hot car with a steering wheel you can’t touch, and you worry about the sun fading the interior colors, get a sun shade and be diligent about putting it up in your vehicle when it’s parked somewhere sunny for a long period of time.

Crack The Windows

Air inside a sealed-up car can be stifling. While it will still feel hot, cracking the windows and the sunroof, if you have one, is a great way to keep at least a little air flowing through the vehicle so it won’t be quite as bad when you get back.

Keep It Clean

You might not see as much dirt as in the winter when there’s salt and sand on the road, but dirt and grim can get baked onto your car in the heat. Keep it clean with frequent rinses and washings to make sure dried dirt doesn’t damage the paint.

When you need advice about protecting your vehicle, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Call us at (215) 755-1270 and get tips on auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and how you can take preventative measures in the summer as well. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll help with everything from oil changes to brake repairs and then some. SAR wants your vehicle to be as safe as possible and that means regular oil changes and tune-ups to keep everything operating in the most effective and efficient manner. We love to keep track of everything your car needs so you don’t have to think about those things yourself.

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Auto Repair Ideas For Summer Traveling Gadgets

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With summer arriving, it’s easy to think about where you’re going to go and what adventures you’ll have in mind. That might mean a trip to the auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA is in store so you can ensure your vehicle is road ready and as safe as possible for the trips you want to take. But you might also want to take a close look at the automotive market because there are hundreds of gadgets that can make your summer traveling experience more comfortable, more entertaining, and even safer. Here are a few to consider:

The Travel Cooler

There are many different travel coolers on the market and if you don’t want to pull over at every rest stop because you or someone riding with you is hungry or thirsty, they make traveling a lot easier. You can get a regular cooler, or you can get a car travel cooler that plugs into the vehicle so you have a mini refrigerator you can pack with sandwiches, drinks, and snacks.

The Pet Protective Cover

Some of your trips might mean taking the family dog along, which can be very fun, but also a big pain. You know summer is shedding season and you’d rather not spend the rest of the year trying to get the hair off your back seats. Pet proof seat covers are easy on the upholstery, but even easier on the clean-up duty.

A Work Station

Taking a vacation away from work is easier said than done. When your significant other is driving and the kids are happy, there’s no reason why you can’t get some work done. Get a vehicle desk that can act as a portable office. You can put your laptop on it and there are even some stations that have hanging systems for files or office supplies that fold up when you aren’t using them.

A Key Finder

There’s nothing worse than trying to climb back into your car on vacation to go to the next event only to find your keys are missing. There are great key finders on the market now that allow you to place a tile on your keyring and then download an app so you can see right where you keys are at all times through a GPS map locator. This might even come in handy around the house once you get home!

When you are ready for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, do some online research in the waiting room and see which of these other products might come in useful to you as you hit the road with your family this summer. And, before you go, make sure everything looks good on your vehicle. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll fit in an oil change, tire rotation, and full inspection as well as anything else you need. You can visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 for your auto repair needs.

Philadelphia, PA auto repairs

Go With Tire Rotations Along With Auto Repair

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When you take your vehicle in for Philadelphia, PA auto repair, whether you need an oil change, new brake pads, or something else, the technician might ask you if you would like a tire rotation as well. This is a good idea for a number of reasons. Here are some such reasons:

Even Wear

Think about the way your tires operate. It makes sense that tires on the left side will wear on certain spots more than tires on the right side and vice versa. If you flip those tires around and rotate them into different positions, they will be able to wear on the opposite side, which will expand their lifetime. If you leave the tires in one location at all times and never rotate them, they will wear down too far in one spot and you will have to replace them sooner.

An Easy Ride

Your vehicle won’t feel as smooth or operate as well if the tires aren’t balanced. When you don’t rotate the tires, that’s exactly what can happen. The tread will wear down in certain spots and you may be able to feel that in the ride your vehicle gives you. It’s best to have a vehicle that feels smooth because that means things are likely going right in a number of ways.

Tire rotations help you to have a safe vehicle. If you never rotate the tires and allow them to get worn, they can be downright dangerous. Your vehicle could start to pull to the side, or you might not have enough traction if you need to brake quickly. You could even have poor handling when you hit curves. Worn tires can also be noisy and they simply can’t be fixed. Once they’re worn in an uneven manner, you will have to replace them and that gets expensive. It’s much cheaper to have your tires rotated when you get oil changes or at other times.

Usually, tire rotation every 5-6,000 miles is a good idea. You will want to ask your technician what’s right for your vehicle and the tires you have on it. Tires are expensive and you want to keep them in good shape for as long as possible. You’ll also want your vehicle to maintain its safety levels for you and your family.

When you are ready for any kind of Philadelphia, PA auto repair, contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center by calling (215) 755-1270. You may not remember when your last tire rotation was and that’s okay. Ask us to take a look at your tires and we’ll let you know if that needs to be done or not. You can stop by and ask questions or have us take a look at your tires at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. At SAR, we want your vehicle to run as well and as safely as possible for as long as possible. We give honest advice and won’t do things unless they really need to be done.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Understanding Your Brakes For Auto Repair Needs

By | Brake Repair Shop | No Comments

There are a lot of moving parts in any vehicle and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA sometimes becomes necessary. If you maintain your vehicle properly, with all the right tune-ups, you will likely be able to see repairs coming. Technicians will notice small things that are going wrong, so you are able to catch them early before they become a big deal. But of all the parts and things that could go wrong on your vehicle, the last thing you want to lose without warning are your brakes. In order to prevent that from happening and put yourself in serious danger, it’s nice to know how they operate. You know you put your foot on the brake pedal and your car slows, but what happens between?

The brakes are pretty amazing, when you think about it. They utilize a pedal to bring a large machine to a stop, even if you are driving very fast down the interstate. You don’t have to do much yourself in order to slow the car. Just push a pedal.

Moving vehicles have a lot of kinetic energy built up in them, especially when they are going very quickly. That type of energy is basically energy in motion. When you want to stop your car, your brakes have to take away that energy. Pushing your foot on the pedal connects you to a lever that pushes against a cylinder filled with hydraulic fluid. That fluid will travel through your car’s system into lines with larger cylinders that are connected by a wheel. When fluid enters, they push the brake pads against the brake rotor. When the pads and rotor meet, the friction slows the outer wheels and tires, which makes your vehicle stop.

Does that sound like a foreign language to you? That’s okay. You don’t have to know a lot about brakes or your vehicle to understand when something going awry. All you really have to do is pay attention to what’s going on with your car. Is your car taking longer to slow down to a full stop? Are you hearing squealing noises when you depress the brake pedal? Those are signs that your brakes are on their way out. Usually, you just need new brake pads. If you catch the issue early enough, that’s a simple fix that can keep your car running safely for many more years. If you let the issue go, however, and the brake pads wear out completely, larger issues will loom in the near future.

If you think you need help with your brakes, or you need any kind of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center. Whether you’ve noticed a longer stopping distance or you hear a sound coming when you use your brakes, we’re here to help. Call SAR at (215) 755-1270 for an appointment or stop by and ask questions in person. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re here to help in any way we can.

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Advice From Auto Repair Experts On Tire Repair

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It would be nice if your vehicle worked the way it should at all times without any attention. Isn’t that what we all really want? But there are bumps in the road (quite literally in the form of potholes), nails on the street, and plenty of other things that can go wrong. Cars need maintenance and, when you think about it, tires take the brunt of the force on your vehicle each and every day. Philadelphia, PA auto repair specialists understand that the tires are connecting your vehicle to the road. They are what hits the nails, the potholes, and anything else in your way. When you get a flat tire for any reason, whether the tire is on the new side or very old, you have to ask yourself if you should repair the tire or just give in and replace it. Auto repair professionals have some tips for you to help you figure out what the best angle is for your vehicle at this time.

Tip 1: Examine The Issue

If you’ve run over a nail or can visibly see why your tire is flat, look at how long the puncture is in your tire. Repairing the tire is usually most cost-effective, but you want your vehicle to be safe as well. If the puncture is small, it’s less likely to cause issues later if you repair it now. It’s also more likely to be capable of repair. Not only do you want to see how large the puncture is, but you also want to see where it’s located. If the puncture is located in the tire’s wall, it cannot be repaired, no matter how small it might be.

Tip 2: Consider Age

How long has it been since you replaced your tires? How many miles do you have on them? If you aren’t sure, you can always measure the treads. Stick a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, your treads are low. You are probably on your way to new tires as it is so it really doesn’t make sense to waste money on tire repair when you will have to get new tires soon anyway. Don’t repair a tire that isn’t worth it and instead get a new tire or a whole set, so they are all the same.

Tip 3: Get An Inspection

You likely aren’t a tire expert, but there are plenty of them out there. Get your tire inspected so you have sound advice as to whether or not you should repair or replace the tire before you move forward in one way or the other.

When you have a tire issue of any kind, contact Schafer’s Auto Center, a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop for help. You can call us at (215) 755-1270 to ask questions or to make an appointment. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help you diagnose your tire issue, replace them for you, or repair them, if that’s possible.

Philadelphia auto repair

Safe Rain Driving To Avoid Auto Repairs

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Every vehicle is going to need Philadelphia auto repair at some point or another. Every engine needs an oil change and every tire needs to be rotated, right? But if you can avoid the major events that can arise after accidents occur, you certainly would. While driving is always going to be a possible danger, it turns into more of a possibility when you are driving in the rain. Use these tips to keep yourself safe on the roads so you don’t need auto repairs sooner than you expected.

Tip 1: Slow Down

Sure, you feel like you know how to handle your vehicle in the rain, but that doesn’t mean everyone around you does. Slow down to a reduced speed and keep a longer distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. When it’s raining, your stopping distance will increase so if someone in front of you slams on the brakes, you need more time to stop yourself.

Tip 2: Turn Lights On

Whether it’s day or night, you should have your lights on when you are driving in the rain. It’s harder to see and other vehicles will be able to take notice of your position easier if they can see your lights.

Tip 3: Avoid Puddles, When Possible

You certainly don’t want to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a puddle, but if you see a puddle and can safely avoid it, it’s best to do so. You never know if it’s just a small puddle or a large pothole that can seriously damage your vehicle.

Tip 4: Ensure Your Windshield Wipers Work Well

What’s more dangerous than driving in the rain is driving in the rain when you can’t see very well. Your windshield wipers need to be in prime condition so you can see as much as possible. If you notice they’ve been streaking when you clean the windows, get new ones. They’re a small price to pay for visibility.

Tip 5: Clear The Fog

Windows have a tendency to fog over when it rains. Set your defrost on or open the windows a crack to get things cleared off as quickly as possible. Again, visibility is key when it’s raining outside and you’re on the road driving.

If you’d like more tips about driving in the rain, contact a Philadelphia auto repair shop for advice. While repair shops want your business, they don’t want you to get into accidents to cause you to come to them for help. You can get the efficiency and effectiveness you need from your vehicle with regular service, for those needs, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. We’re here to change oil, rotate tires, and take care of inspections and other needs. When SAR can keep your vehicle in tune, you’ll have more efficiency and better luck with the roads in any condition. Stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll get you set up with the right services at the right time.