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Keep Your Car Clean This Winter

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As the weather cools and you start to notice a change in the air around you, there are a lot of things guaranteed to come your way. One of those things is a car you just cannot keep clean. Not only do you shake your head at how dirty your car always looks, but the salt and sand from the roads can cause damage as well. The professionals in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA have ideas for how to protect and keep your car as clean as possible this upcoming winter season.

Store It Inside

If you have a garage, clear it out and store your car inside over the winter. You might normally park outside because your garage is full of other things, but it’s important for your vehicle’s cleanliness to get it into that garage or under a carport overnight. Plus, you don’t have to get up early to clean the windshield off. If you normally park on the street near the office, but you have the option of a covered parking garage or another such area, you might want to consider that for winter as well to keep the car in better shape.

Wax Before Winter

Wax will make your car look nice and shiny, which might make you lament winter even more, but it also protects your car for the upcoming months. The wax will act as another layer between the winter weather and the paint job on your car. It makes dirt easier to rinse off and prevents ice from sticking to the vehicle. It also helps the sand bounce off the vehicle instead of sticking and scratching.

Rinse When Possible

There’s no way to keep your vehicle spotless during the winter months—unless you leave it in the garage and never go anywhere. But when you do have a day that warms up a bit, try to rinse the dirt off the vehicle to keep it in the nicest possible condition. It’s not going to be possible every day, or even as often as you’d like, but you might get a few warm days here and there to rid your vehicle of the dirt and grim.

If you need other tips for protecting your vehicle from the dirt that inevitable comes along with the winter weather this area gets, contact professionals in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. At

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Schafer’s Auto Center, we don’t just do oil change, maintenance, and repairs…we also give advice. We’re here to help you figure out what you should do with your vehicle to keep it in the best possible condition, inside and out. When you come in for your regular oil change, we’ll check the vehicle over to make sure everything else is in working order. At that time, you can ask whatever you want about keeping your car nice over the winter months. You can also call us any time you’d like. We’re here for you no matter what you need to ask.

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Winter Weather Driving Tips

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Whether you’re from the south and new to the area or you’ve just forgotten what winter is like in the midst of the summer and fall weather, it never hurts to get winter weather driving tips. The professionals in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA want you to be as safe as possible in your vehicle. That means adhering to certain rules, taking tips to heart, and making sure your vehicle itself is safe. Here are some tips for winter weather driving to keep you, everyone in your car, and the vehicles around you safe and sound.

Tip 1: Go Slow And Steady

Any time there is even anything questionable about the weather or the roads, take them slow and steady. Sometimes, it seems like people with four-wheel drive forget that the power behind their vehicle does them no good if they hit a patch of ice. Sure, they get through snow well without their wheels spinning, but hit ice at any speed and they’re off the road, just like any other vehicle. Whenever you see anything about the road that suggests winter weather, take things slower than you normally would. Better to get to your destination safe and a few minutes later than to end up off the road or in an accident.

Tip 2: Consider Winter Tires

Depending on what the tires are like on your vehicle, you might want to switch them out for winter tires. These tires have a special tread on them that works well on the snow and ice and keeps your car safer than it would be otherwise. Since this area usually gets plenty of each, winter tires are never a bad idea to at least look into.

Tip 3: Get Your Vehicle Serviced

You need to keep a regular maintenance schedule on your vehicle for its general well-being, but that’s even more important when winter arises. If there’s anything small wrong with your car, it can be fixed before it turns into something large and leaves you stranded at the side of the road in a snow storm. Plus, you want to make sure your brakes are in proper working order because you never know when you are going to need to make use of them to avoid something dangerous in the winter. Get regular oil changes, but have your vehicle looked over from top to bottom before winter as well.

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Whenever you need any kind of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, maintenance, tire advice, or anything in between, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. We understand that driving in winter weather conditions can be very dangerous and we want to help you keep your car in the best possible shape to make it as safe as possible for everyone on the road. We’re here to help you with simple things, like oil changes. But we will also point out things that are close to needing work so you can plan ahead and stay safe on the roads all winter long.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Uneven Tire Tread Wear…What Causes It?

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Tires are going to wear out. That’s just the way they operate. But you want them to last as long as possible by wearing evenly. One thing you can do is make sure you get in for regular auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, and maintenance, like oil changes. Your technician can also rotate the tires and keep an eye on the tread for you during those checkups. But here are some of the causes of uneven tread wear that you can try and avoid.

Over-Inflation Of The Tires

Tires need to be kept at a certain level as much as possible. If your tires have too much air in them, they are over inflated. When that happens and is consistent, you are going to wear the center of the tires faster than the edges. You will also have a harsher, bumpier ride that could cause you to lose control in the rain or bad road conditions. Make sure you know what inflation rates are best for your tires and keep things on an even keel.

Under-Inflated Tires

When your tires don’t have enough air in them, they can wear on the edges too quickly and not in the center. Check the air pressure at least once a month in order to get the best read on how much air needs to be in the tire. If you see a tire losing air quickly, it might have a slow leak that needs to be fixed.

Improper Alignment

When new tires go on a vehicle, it has to be lined up well. Improper alignment, which can happen over time, after an accident, after a hard hit to the curb, or for other reasons, will wear the tires faster than normal. It could also damage a vehicle’s suspension. Watch for tire wear in the inner or otter portion of the tire and if you see it, get your wheel alignment inspected.

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Lack Of Rotation

You should have your tires rotated every oil change, or every other oil change at the longest. It doesn’t cost much, and it doesn’t take much time. Tires can wear unevenly, causing you to need to replace one or two, but not all of them at once. They will last longer if they all wear the same, which you can accomplish with regular rotation.

When you are in need of tire advice or another auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Give us a call and we can help you with any of your auto repair or maintenance needs. We’re tire experts and we do oil changes and everything else that you might need to be done on a vehicle. You can stop by with questions or set up an appointment. We want your vehicle to be as safe as possible on the roads and we’re ready to help you in any way possible to make that happen. We’re here for you and your vehicle, whatever it may need next.

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Common Car Noises

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Have you ever gone in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, only to stand at the counter, making noises at the representative trying to describe what’s going on with your car? You’re roaring and creaking, trying to let them know what your car sounds like. Chances are, they will take it for a test drive and try and hear it for themselves. And, chances are, the car will be completely silent when they do. It’s a vehicle’s way of having a little fun with you. But there are a lot of common car noises that you need to watch out for as the years of use pass you by. Here are a few.

Any Tire Noises

Your tires should operate virtually silently. You know what they normally sound like so if they make some kind of strange noise, it might mean that there’s something wrong with them. Perhaps a squeal or creaking noise could mean they are getting too low on the tread. It’s best to have them checked out as soon as you can to make sure they are okay or take care of whatever might happen.

Squealing Noises

Most people have heard their car squeal a time or two. If you go around the corner too fast, it’ll definitely make noise. But when you turn regularly at a normal speed, the tires shouldn’t make any noise. The culprit of that noise is often an underinflated tire. If you have noticed that noise, check your tire inflation. If you leave it alone, the tires can cause problems for the suspension or other parts of the vehicle. You need to look into things before they cause damage.

Humming Noises

Your backseat riders might hum along to the radio, but if you hear the car actually humming, it might be the tires on the road. You know the roads you drive and the sounds that come from your car as they do. But the humming might increase and indicate tires wearing unevenly or just being down too far on their tread. You will wat to get the tires and wheel bearings inspected as well as the suspension.

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Squeaky Noises When Braking

You never want to hear your brakes making noises, but when you do, that means you need to have a brake inspection right away. The brakes are an important safety feature that you use each and every time you drive. They may just need new pads, which is an easy way to go. The sooner you find out, the faster you can get simple things fixed before they get worse.

Any time you hear a noise of any kind that doesn’t sound right to you, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to be safe. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you with inspections, tune-ups, oil changes, and more. Give us a call, make noises at us, and we’ll help you figure things out. We can set you up with an appointment for a test drive and diagnostics.

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Planning Ahead For Auto Repair Costs

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It doesn’t matter how old or how new your vehicle might be, you are going to have auto repair in Philadelphia, PA at some point or another. You may just have to go in for the regular things, like oil changes at first, but eventually, your brakes will wear down, your tires will need to be replaced, and so on and so forth. Many of these things you can plan for, but other things will pop up out of the blue and you still need to be ready. Here are a few ways to plan ahead for those costs as they arise.

Make A Budget In Your Home

You probably know your income sources already and you should sit down and map out everything you have as expenses on a monthly basis. You can then see how much money you have left over each month. You should earmark some for a specific place in the savings account for emergencies, incidentals, car repairs, and other such things. You don’t know when something might happen and you have to pay an insurance deductible, get new tires, or other such things. Have that savings account with the right funds in it can really be a lifesaver.

Get Inspections Regularly

It’s also good to stay on top of your regular inspections. Make sure you get oil changes at the right intervals and get other things done as the owner’s manual instructs. When you stick to those regular plans, the technicians can let you know when larger things are coming up. They will notice small things as they start to go bad and they can tell you what the costs will be and how long you likely have until things need to be done. That can help you address smaller things instead of large problems and it can keep the costs down as well. You will also be more ready when things are necessary since you had warning.

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Make A List

Look in your owner’s manual or talk to the technicians at an auto repair shop and make a list of the things that are generally needed and when as well as their general costs. That can help you a great deal in planning ahead. You know you will need oil changes and tire rotations, but you’ll also likely need new tires, brake pads, and other such things as time goes by. Figure out a general schedule along with costs and you can be prepared as things come around.

It’s hard to fit in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to a budget that might already be tight, but you have to keep in mind that your vehicle is an important part of your everyday life. You use it to get to and from work and everywhere else and without it, you would be up a creek without a, well, a car. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you with the ins and outs of the repairs you may need to help you budget for them.

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Car Not Starting? Here’s Why

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Ah yes, the telltale signs of a busy day. You rush around in the morning and know you’re just going to pull everything together in time to make it to your destination. And then—the car won’t start. Why does that happen? There’s never a good time, but you likely need some type of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. Maybe you have even ignored something for a while and now, that issue has taken ahold of your vehicle. Here are some of the reasons why your car might not be starting up as usual.

Battery Drainage

If your engine doesn’t crank when you turn the key, it could be that the battery isn’t supplying power to the starting system. It might be drained, or it may be completely dead. You could try jump starting the battery to give it a charge. If nothing is lighting up in the car and the automatic windows or windshield wipers don’t go, you probably need a new batter. If you get some power, but not enough to start the car, you might just need a jump start to recharge the battery.

Key Won’t Turn

Once you get the key in the ignition, if you can’t turn it, what good will it do? Sometimes the steering is locked up, so you just need to jiggle the wheel a little. It might sound simple, but if it’s never happened to you before, it may cause some panic. If that doesn’t work, there might be problems in the ignition system or with the key.

Weak Cranking

Sometimes, your car sounds like it wants to start, but just keeps cranking and never fully ignites. When that happens, there might be a problem with the starter motor, which could need to be replaced. You should first check the battery and connections around it and if those aren’t the culprit, it’s the starter motor.

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Empty Tank

It can be hard to pull yourself out of bed in the morning if you haven’t slept well. And your vehicle isn’t going to be able to operate, either, if it’s not fueled. If you don’t have enough fuel in the gas tank, you won’t be able to start the engine. You may have gotten home on empty, but starting up again could be a problem.

There are lots of other reasons why your car might not be starting up as it should. When you have issues, you may need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or, at the very least, you should get an inspection so you can ensure that you know what’s going on, fix it, and move forward safely. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help in any way we can. Give us a call when you aren’t able to start your vehicle and tell us the situation and we might be able to help you figure out what’s going on, or at least what to try to get it here to the shop so we can take a closer look at what’s wrong.

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Choosing Technicians For Auto Repair

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Choosing a mechanic for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA might feel like pulling teeth. Being safe on the road is important and having preventative maintenance is a huge part of that. If you’ve had bad experiences with mechanics in the past, it might be even harder for you to move forward with someone new. But when you find a reliable business to help you, you get what you need, and you build a new level of trust. Here are some things to look for in a technician for your auto repair needs.

Certification And Licensing

There are plenty of people out there who know a lot about vehicles. And even if that means most people know more than you, not everyone is a tried and true mechanic. You want something who is certified to work on your vehicle and someone with the right licensing and credentials. Experience is important as well so check into all of that before you move forward with any repair shop. You might even ask about insurance to make double sure you are comfortable working with them.

Meet The Technicians

It’s easy to book appointments online and over the phone, but you still don’t really know what you’re going to get. Before you book your appointments that way, make it a point to stop by the shop and talk to the staff and, yes, even the technicians, in person. Talk to them about your issues, the type of vehicle you have, and gauge their dedication and customer service in person. It can help you feel more comfortable with what comes next, whatever that needs to be.

Look Into Reviews

Looking at an auto repair website can help you understand what services they have and possible even what prices they have set up. But looking at other review websites can tell you what people think about the shop and the services they have received from it. It’s important to look at honest reviews so you know what you can expect. If you see a lot of complaints, that’s something to watch out for.

Check Prices

If you know you are going to have some basic things done, like regular oil changes, it’s good to check the prices of those maintenance items so you can get a good, fair price. Get quotes before you agree to anything any time you need something done.

Peter Alessandroni from Schafer's Auto Center

If you know you are going to need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, and everybody does at some point, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center and ask as many questions as you’d like. You can come in and talk to us in person as well and we can give you a tour of our facilities. We’re glad to talk to you about specifics on your vehicle and set up a time for an oil change, any kind of repair, or just a tune-up and inspection. We’re here to keep your vehicle running as effectively and efficiently as possible and we’re honest about what we do.

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The Power Of Auto Repair Tune-ups

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If you own a vehicle, you’ve heard the term ‘tune-up.’ But when should you get one? Why do you need one? You have to get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA when something goes wrong, but getting a tune-up can occur at any time, even if you don’t know that there’s something wrong for sure. Having a tune-up can make your car run more efficiently, which will help it to last longer and save you money in the long run. Here are a few things tune-ups can do that you might not realize.

Give You Better Mileage

You want to get as much mileage out of your vehicle as possible, so you don’t have to pay for any more gas than necessary. IF you notice that your car isn’t going as far on a tank as it used to, getting a tune-up can fix that. The technician might check your tires for proper inflation, check the brakes, check alignment, and other things that can mess with mileage. Once those things are adjusted, you can get a lot farther on each tank of gas.

Head Off Large Issues

No vehicle is going to last forever, no matter how well you treat it. But you can own a vehicle without any major issues if you get regular tune-ups. When a professional checks the vehicle over, they’re going to notice when the brake pads are running thin and recommend that you replace them before other things in the brakes go back and cost you way more. It’s easy to catch small things early with the tune-up. You can face those small things and then large things never occur at all.

Save You Money

When you buy your vehicle, it’s a big purchase. You don’t want to have to spend a ton on the vehicle again since you already did that, right? When you get tune-ups, they help you to avoid big vehicle expenditures. They keep gas prices down for you and, again, head off larger issues by fixing small things. That saves you quite a bit of money right away and into the future. Plus, your vehicle runs better for longer, so you don’t have to worry about getting a new one any time soon.

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When you have a vehicle, it’s important to take good care of it. You may need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA from time to time, but if you keep track of the oil changes, and get regular tune-ups, you’ll have a lot more power behind the vehicle itself. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center understand that not everyone knows vehicles as we do—and that’s okay. We’re here to fill in any of the blanks for you. Our experienced staff is here to make an appointment for you, go over questions, and help you at your convenience. We want you to have everything you need in a vehicle, including reliability and safety. The best for your family is what we want, and we’ll stop at nothing to give you that.

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Preserve Your Engine With Auto Repair

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Even if you don’t know a lot about vehicles, you know the engine in the car is very important. If it doesn’t work right, you’re not going anywhere. It can overheat on the road and strand you at a moment’s notice if you don’t take care of it. It’s important to preserve your engine with the proper auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. In order to keep the engine running efficiently and effectively, take these tips to heart and save money in the meantime.

Keep It Clean

There are a lot of things in your life that you clean to maintain them. You might not think of the engine as being one of them, but it should be. The engine is a dirty part of the vehicle and it can get worse with debris, dust, and grime. Those things can block filters and make it hard for the engine to cool down the right way. One of the best ways to keep your engine clean is to get regular oil changes. When you take old, dirty oil out and place in new oil, it’s clean and gives the engine a new lease on life.

Service The Spark Plugs

There’s a chamber inside the engine called the combustion changer and is has a spark plug that needs to be cleaned periodically. Eventually, it may even have to be replaced. When you get checkups on your vehicle, have the spark plug inspected, too. Technicians can take it out, clean it with a special cleaner and brush to remove buildup and dust, and then put it back in and your engine will perform better and for longer.

Ensure Lubrication

The engine has a lot of moving parts and it has to be lubricated well. Part of that is ensuring that the oil is clean and new enough, so things don’t rub together dry and cause damage. There are other things that go into it as well, such a seal that needs to be fitted together just right.

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Oil Change

The oil change is a simple procedure that many people put off. It’s the biggest token to keeping your engine in good shape. When the oil is changed, technicians might notice anything else that could be going wrong and head it off before it gets worse. Any time you hear engine noises or feel your car operating in a strange manner, call the mechanic and make an appointment to see what’s going on. It’s easier to fix small things (and less expensive, too) than to make large repairs you might have to if you ignore issues.

When you are ready for an oil change, a checkup, or any other kind of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Give us a call to ask questions or to make an appointment for any car needs you have. If we find anything awry, we’ll show you what’s wrong and explain it all. We never try to pull one over on you.

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Preventative Auto Repair On Brakes

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While the engine on your vehicle makes things go, the brakes make things stop. And sometimes, stopping is even more important to your safety than anything else. There isn’t a time when you get in your vehicle and ignore the brakes. You use them each and every time you drive. It’s important to stay on top of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA where the brakes are concerned.

Using your brakes over and over again, just like anything, is going to cause wear and tear. Eventually, that might render them completely useless. Brake systems have discs, also known as rotors, calipers, and brake pads. If you don’t know much about vehicles, it’s okay. You know that when you step on the brake pedal, the vehicle slows and stops. Inside the vehicle, the pedal sends fluid to the brake lines that initiates a process that has a brake shoe pushing on a rotor, causing friction that makes you stop. If that sounds too complicated, that’s okay. There are mechanics who understand each and every detail.

The first thing that will go bad on a brake system are the brake pads. The good news is that these are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive compared to other items within the brakes. When you first notice your brakes sticking, squeaking, or making it take longer to stop, it could be the brake pads. Have them inspected and replace as needed. If you ignore the issue, the pads will wear out and other, more expensive, things will start to wear down as well.

Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility and the costs don’t end at the dealership when you drive off with the vehicle. You’ll regularly need oil changes, for example, and there’s a cost to that. You’ll have to put gas in the car to make it go. And you’ll need car insurance to drive legally. Add to that things like brake repair and you understand that it’s an investment to own a car. The car gives to you, but you have to give to it as well to keep the relationship working.

Brakes are a very important part of any vehicle’s safety mechanism. Keep an eye on the sounds your vehicle makes and if you hear squeaking when you depress the brakes, get to the repair shop to get things checked over. Your safety and the safety of others is too important.

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If you want advice on auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, you need an oil change, or you’re worried about your brakes, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. It doesn’t matter what your experiences have been like in the past, you can trust what we say. We treat your vehicle as if it’s our own and we only recommend you do things to it that we would do to our own car in your position. We will even take you into the shop and show you exactly what we see and explain everything so you can understand what’s going on as well as possible.

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