auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

Your Auto Repair Shop Helps You Avoid Road Salt Damage

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The winters can be brutal in Pennsylvania and where there is snow and ice, there’s also often road salt. While road salt helps drivers make it to where they’re going in a safe manner, it’s also damaging to your vehicle. While you don’t want to slip and slide on the road, you also don’t want your vehicle to pay for that luxury later. The auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA has some advice for you to protect your vehicle from road salt damage during the cold and snowy parts of the year.

There are plenty of small cracks and crevices on any vehicle and road salt is small and can work its way in and inflict damage that you might not even notice at first. Once the particles get in somewhere, they dissolve and their sodium and chloride are released with the warmer temperatures. Here are a few places road salt could get in and start to release damage.

The Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Most people don’t inspect the underside of their vehicle so while you assume it’s dirty, you can’t really see the full impact of road salt. Salt can become imbedded in the structural metal in this area and possible start causing rust. Rusted out undercarriages are very expensive to repair and too much rust in that area could cause you to fail the annual safety inspection.

The Paint

You will likely notice the road salt the most on your vehicle’s paint since that’s something you see every time you approach your car. This is the time of the year when everyone’s vehicle looks to be about the same color. It’s sort of a brownish, grayish, mucky color, right? And salt can weaken protective coatings and begin to corrode the metal beneath it as well. The longer the salt sits on your vehicle, the more inviting it is to damage. Chips and cracks in the pain are especially detrimental.

These are just a few of the areas that salt can harm, so what do you do about it? You can’t avoid the streets completely when salt is present since that’s basically the whole winter. The best move is to wash your vehicle, even the undercarriage, every other week in the winter or right after it snows. Try to do so when the temperatures are above freezing. Keep your car waxed as well to give the paint extra protection.

If you’d like more tips on protecting your car from road salt, talk to the experts at an auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center know vehicles, inside and out. We can help you with oil changes and repairs, but we can also make recommendations to aid you in protecting your vehicle from damage this winter. Call SAR at (215) 755-1270 or visit us in our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to take care of maintaining your vehicle so you can stay as safe as possible on the road, salt and all.

auto repair in Philadelphia

Finding An Honest Auto Repair Shop

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Do you have a friend with an auto repair story that is more of a nightmare than a story? Or have you ever been ‘taken’ when you got auto repair in Philadelphia? If you don’t know a lot about vehicles, it’s easy to believe people who present themselves as professionals. If they tell you that you need new air filters, you must really need them. If they say something’s broken, who are you to contradict their standards? If you need auto repairs of any kind, or if you just need regular maintenance, you want to work with an auto repair shop that is honest with you, more than anything else. Use these tips to find a shop that meets your expectations with their honesty.

Ask About Written Estimates

Auto repair shops should give you written estimates and not just shoot a quote that you don’t understand to you by mouth. You can take that written estimate to another shop and compare, if you’d like. When you get that estimate, you are able to see the costs broken down. You know what labor costs and what the parts cost and so on. You are more able to trust the shop if you can see where things stand.

Look Into Certification

The best auto repair shops are fully certified to do that they do. It’s better for their reliability and it’s better for your vehicle. Ask the business if they have their certifications so you can get the quality you need from them. As a consumer, you need to get what you pay for and without certification, you can’t guarantee that you will.

Ask Questions And Analyze Answers

Your auto repair shop should answer your questions in a thorough manner. If there’s something you don’t understand about a repair they are recommending, ask. They could show you pictures or a chart, or they might even take you to your vehicle in the repair bay and show you the problem in person. When you can see it for yourself, you are more likely to believe what they are saying. Any shop that avoids your questions isn’t one you want to trust.

Check Warranties

Auto shops worth trusting always have good warranties. They should stand behind their work so you can expect that if the same issue arises again sooner than it should, they will fix the problem without extra charges. This gives you extra peace of mind, but also allows you to trust that they will aim to fix things right the first time around.

If you need an auto repair in Philadelphia, you can trust the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll answer any questions you have. We’re also happy for you to talk to past and current customers and we have references we can share with you. Stop by our shop and see how we operate! SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we can give you a written estimate for any work you need to have done.

auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

Finding An Auto Repair Shop That Makes You Comfortable

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There are some people who know a lot about cars and feel comfortable visiting just about any auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA. They know their vehicle well and all of the terminology that goes along with it. They can easily tell when someone is trying to pull something over on them. Good for them! However, not all of us were born with that knowledge, or even understand it if we try to learn. For the other type of people in this world, approaching an auto repair shop can be nerve-wracking. You need to be able to find an auto repair shop that makes you comfortable. Here are some tips to help you do just that.   

Tip 1: Make Some Calls With Questions 

Before you need an auto repair shop for maintenance or a repair, call around to some of the local shops and get a feel for how they treat customers. If they answer the phone in a gruff manner and don’t seem to have time for your questions, you won’t be comfortable with them in person, either. On the other hand, if they are polite, courteous, and answer your questions with ease, you might want to give them a shot.   

Tip 2: Check Out The Shop 

Chances are, when you’re getting an oil change or another repair, you’re going to have to utilize an auto repair shop waiting room. It’s nice to know what you’re getting into. Visit a few shops you’re considering just to see their operation. If they have a decent waiting room, you know you could sit in comfort with a book or bring your laptop to utilize the free Wi-Fi. The actual auto shop portion is likely to have dirt—they do work on cars, after all—but it should look organized and well maintained at the same time.   

Tip 3: Ask Friends Like You 

They say it takes one to know one, right? If you don’t know a lot about cars, you can recognize other people that are in the same boat. Surely you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who doesn’t have a clue or even particularly a desire to know a lot about cars. Ask them what auto repair shop they use. If their shop treats them right and works with them in an effective, efficient, and honest manner, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable trusting them yourself.   

At Schafer’s Auto Center, we understand that not everyone is an expert on cars and that’s okay. We have enough knowledge to cover your interests. When you need a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop, we invite you to check us out. You can call our friendly representatives at (215) 755-1270 to ask questions or set up an appointment. You can also visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re honest, hard-working folks here at SAR and we won’t tell you to do something on your vehicle unless it’s something we’d do to our own car.  

 

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Keep Tabs On The MPG To Predict Auto Repair

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There are some instances that make Philadelphia, PA auto repair  needs obvious. When a warning light comes onto your dashboard, for example, you know you need to get your vehicle in for a checkup. If something starts making noise, that’s another good sign. But did you know you can also predict upcoming auto repair needs by keeping an eye on your miles per gallon? When that mileage drops, there could be a number of causes.   

Keep A Small Notebook 

It’s not easy to keep track of numbers in your head between times of filling up at the gas pump. Instead, keep a small notebook in your glove box and right after you fill up, do a little math. It’s not hard to figure out how many miles you are getting per gallon based on how many miles you drove between fills and how much gas you put into the tank. Write that figure in the notebook and the date of the fill. Next time, you will be able to tell if your MPG goes up or down. If you see a large drop, that’s cause for concern.   

Watch The Dash Info 

A lot of vehicles today give you more information about your vehicle’s essentials that older cars. You might have an information button somewhere around your dashboard that changes the information you get. Play around with that button a little and you could see a MPG display that will tell you how many MPG you are getting, on average. Check up on that information from time to time to keep tabs on how efficient your vehicle is operating.   

MPG Change Causes 

If your miles per gallon does change, there could be a number of causes. Driving habits are often a cause. If you have been stuck in traffic a lot, idling your vehicle, it can cause the MPG to drop. If you tend to slam on the brakes or accelerate too quickly, those things drop that average as well. If you get a quick oil change at a location that doesn’t use the right oil, you could see a big impact on your vehicle’s fuel economy. Check to see what you got last before you panic over the MPG. You could also have bad spark plugs or bad fuel injectors. Sometimes it’s even as simple as a hot spell that has you using the AC more.   

If you keep track of your miles per gallon, you have another way to predict possible auto repair needs in Philadelphia, PA. That can help you avoid costly repairs. You know the sooner you catch things, the more likely you are to fix minor things instead of major problems that only get worse. Contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center for more tips on keeping track of your miles per gallon, or, if you’ve already seen a drop, call for an appointment at (215) 755-1270. We’re here to help you figure things out. Stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.   

Purchasing Tires At The Auto Repair Shop 

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You know your vehicle is going to need an oil change every so often. You know other things will wear down on it as well. Most people keep their vehicles long enough to put on new brake pads and almost everyone has to replace the tires at some point. When you’ve tested your tires and you know the tread is worn, head to the local auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA to look into new tires. Here are some tips to help you make the best decisions.   

Tip 1: Read Reviews First 

It’s impossible to know which tires will perform the best miles and miles down the road. The best way to tell is to read reviews from people who have those tires. Watch specifically for reviews from people that have a similar vehicle to yours to get the best read on the subject. Cars often drive well on new tires, but you need to know how your vehicle will do on specific tires after thousands of miles.   

Tip 2: Watch For Rebates 

If you’ve ever purchased tires before, you know they’re costly. If you know the life in your tires is coming to an end, start watching for rebates on tires from the manufacturer you’re eyeing. Top brands often offer discounts through rebates on their tires. You’ll want to swap out your tires when the time is right according to the rebates, if at all possible. If you have a good relationship with your auto repair shop, notify them that you are looking and they can keep an eye out for those deals as well.   

Tip 3: Check The Newness 

You assume when you get tires that they are actually new, however that’s not always the case. Just because the tires haven’t been used before doesn’t mean they’re new. They could have sat in a warehouse, exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures for months before they made their way to you. Check the four-digit number on the side of the tire to learn when it was manufactured before you drive away. If the tire isn’t brand new, ask where it was tored.   

Tip 4: Buy The Best In Your Budget 

It doesn’t pay off to buy tires of a lower quality just because you want to save money. If it’s all you can afford, then you might not have any options. But if you have a good budget, use it because it will lead you to a more responsible outcome. Good tires cut back on gas usage and bring a lot of other benefits to your vehicle.   

If you need help from a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop to choose new tires, Schafer’s Auto Center is here to help. The experts at SAR can take a look at your tires and let you know when they need to be replaced. We can also make recommendations as to what you should get as replacements based on our experiences and your budget. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 or stop and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.   

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

You Might Need Auto Repair 

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How much do you know about cars? There are people who know every make, model, and year under the sun and then there are people who know how to drive and that’s it. If you don’t know nearly as much as you should about your vehicle, you might wonder how you will know if you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. These examples will tell you that you should at least get to an auto repair shop to have things checked out.   

Your Owner’s Manual Says So 

The owner’s manual that comes with your vehicle isn’t exactly exciting reading, but it holds key, important details to caring for your car. Even if you don’t soak in every detail, check the owner’s manual to see when you are due for what. If your vehicle is about to hit 100,000 miles, for example, you might need several maintenance items done so you can prevent damage in the future. Keeping tabs on the owner’s manual helps you keep up with maintenance so you won’t need unexpected auto repair.   

Something Sounds Funny 

You spend more time with your vehicle than anyone else. You know what it sounds like when you step on the brakes, start the engine, or accelerate after a stoplight. When something sounds off or changes in some way, that’s a sign that you might need auto repairs. You won’t know for sure until you take it in for a checkup, but it’s better to do that than let it go and cause deeper issues to arise.   

It Just Stopped Working 

You certainly don’t want to be stranded by the roadside, but if your vehicle quits for whatever reason, whether you know the reason or not, it’s a pretty good sign that you need auto repair. Even if you keep up with oil changes, other things can go wrong and you just never know when. If you get the vehicle going again after you let it rest a bit, great. But you better head straight to an auto repair shop before risking it on the road anywhere else.   

It doesn’t matter how much you know about auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as long as you can safely operate your vehicle because there are experts you can turn to for help on any car-related issue. The experts at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you out with any vehicle repairs or maintenance you need. Give the professionals at SAR a call at (215) 755-1270 and ask your questions. We love to hear details about your vehicle and diagnosing issues is our specialty. All you have to do is make sure you bring your car to us on a regular basis and we’ll take care of the rest. You’re welcome to stop by and check out our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 or speak with one of our technicians in person. We’ll look over your vehicle, get that oil change done, and take care of anything else you need along the way.  

Philadelphia auto repair

Saving For Auto Repair

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You can’t always foresee mishaps, though it certainly would be nice if you could. While you might be a regular at your Philadelphia auto repair shop, getting oil changes and other regular maintenance, when something larger pops up, like the need for new tires, you may not always be prepared. Instead of being caught off guard, use these tips to save up for auto repairs when they occur.  

Tip 1: Keep Car In Good Condition 

One of the best ways to save money when it comes to your vehicle is to get the highest gas mileage possible. You won’t be at the gas pump as often and you can use that extra money to save up for new tires or other auto repair items that might come up. Watch how you drive and don’t slam on the brakes. Try not to accelerate too quickly, either, and get regular maintenance checks to keep everything tuned up.  

Tip 2: Create A Savings Plan 

If your vehicle is getting on in years, you know it’s only a matter of time before it starts to need auto repairs. Instead of letting those times come as a surprise, create a savings plan that you can stick to so you are prepared. Perhaps earmark a certain amount of money in savings or put a few dollars every month in a certain location so you can use it for those causes when they come about in the future.  

Tip 3: Look Into Costs 

When you have regular maintenance done, you are less likely to be surprised by auto repair needs. Your technician might tell you that your vehicle is okay now but will need new brakes in a few more months. That gives you time to get an estimate and plan for that need. You can then cut out your daily coffee runs, extra dinners out, and movies with friends to save for the auto repairs you know are coming. It’s just another reason why maintenance checks are a good idea.  

Tip 4: Utilize Rewards Programs 

There are certain gas stations that offer rewards programs for your loyalty. You can also save cents off per gallon of gas by shopping in certain grocery stores or using certain credit cards. Look into these rewards programs and take advantage of their savings. You can put the money you would have spent towards the auto repairs that will come around eventually.  

When you need Philadelphia auto repair, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. We’re happy to help you with any repair needs, but we’re here for regular maintenance checks as well. We’ve seen all sorts of vehicles in all sorts of conditions and we can give you advice on how you might look ahead to possible repairs. At SAR, we want you to be as safe as possible within your vehicle and we’ll only recommend that you do something if it’s what we would do to our own vehicle. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 for whatever your vehicle needs. 

Philadelphia auto repair

Performing Safety Checks On Your Tires

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If you were to be asked what part of your car keeps you the most safe, you might say the brakes. There really isn’t just one part as a lot of things have to work well together to keep your safety intact. But your Philadelphia auto repair shop would like for you to put your tires on your to-do list when you are running safety checks on your vehicle. Of course, any time you bring the vehicle in, the professionals can check things out for you. But between those maintenance checkups, it’s a good idea for you to keep an eye on several things yourself. Here are a few things to put into a tire safety checklist:  

  • Check The Tread Depth 

This is something you probably already know how to do. Worn out tire treads can prevent you from maintaining traction on the road, which is especially bad in snowy, wet, or rainy conditions. You might not be able to brake fast enough if you need to, either. To check your tread’s depth yourself, get a penny and put it between the treads with Lincoln’s head down. You won’t want to be able to see the top of his head. If you can, your tread is too worn and you need new tires. If you’re getting close, you can plan ahead for the expense.  

  • Check For Cracks 

Cracks happen in tires when the rubber starts to break down from wear and tear and exposure. You might see cracks on the tread blocks or sidewalls and that’s normal. But you should never see cords and you shouldn’t see tread separating from the rubber. Those signs will tell you that you are in need of new tires.  

  • Check Tire Pressure 

You should keep a handheld tire pressure gauge in your vehicle so you can check it when you get gas. Your ideal tire pressure can be found in your owner’s manual. Some newer vehicles will even warn you when the tire pressure gets too low, which can often happen when the temperatures drop in Philadelphia. Instead of driving on underinflated tires, throwing off your gas mileage and causing uneven wear, check them out and add air as necessary.  

If you are in need of new tires, or you want to have yours checked over for safety reasons, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. Our Philadelphia auto repair shop can help you with anything vehicle-related. We can do oil changes and maintenance checkups, get you new tires, service older tires, and check the vehicle from front to back for any issues. We want you to maintain your safety on the road at all times and regular vehicle maintenance is a big part of that. Whether you’re in the market for new tires or just need an oil change, stop by SAR at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 for help. Our friendly professionals will get you taken care of and back on the road as quickly as possible. 

Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop

Auto Repair Shop Pothole Warnings

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The winter months can be hard, not only on our backs from shoveling, but also on the roads. When the weather starts to warm up and the snow and ice melt away, we start to notice more and more potholes. The sneaky holes are annoying, but they can do major damage to your tires. If you hit a pothole and want to have things checked out, contact a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop. In the meantime, take this advice to heart and do your best on those roads.  

Keep An Eye Out 

Potholes can be tricky because they hide on the road where you least expect them. Even though they are large or small holes, they are often covered with water, which could blend right into the road. Try to watch for them, especially on the roads you travel often. On those roads, you might learn where they are and what to avoid. You may not be able to avoid every instance, but don’t hit them if you don’t have to.  

Hit Potholes Slowly 

If you see a pothole coming and you can’t avoid it because it’s too large or you can’t swerve into another lane, slow down and take it as slowly as you can. Dipping into the hole and back out will be easier on your tires of you don’t hit it at a higher speed.  

Keep A Spare Handy 

Potholes are a major road hazard at any time of the year, but especially during and after the winter months. They are also a leading cause of blown tires. If you can’t avoid the potholes, you could end up on the side of the road with a tire issue. Keep a working spare tire in your vehicle at all times and brush up on your tire-changing skills so you are ready if the worst occurs.  

Stay Calm 

When you hit a pothole, especially if you blow a tire, you might try to overcorrect or jerk the wheel, which can land you in ever more trouble. Remain calm and don’t slam on the brakes. Just take your foot off the gas and turn into the skid if you’ve started one. Slowly pull over to assess the damage. Slamming on the brakes will just make the skidding worse.  

Check Tires Out After Major Hits 

If you’re lucky enough to hit a pothole, but not blow the tire, you’ll still want to visit a local auto repair shop to have things checked out. You don’t want to drive a misaligned vehicle or a car with tires that aren’t safe.  

Potholes are the pits but the professionals at Philadelphia, PA auto repair shops can help you avoid as many mishaps as possible with these tips. If you need new tires, a repair after a pothole incident, or a tire or vehicle checkup, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 to set up an appointment. You can also stop by our shop after an incident at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to help. 

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Auto Repair Shops Explain The Check Engine Light

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What happened the last time your check engine light came on when you were driving? Did you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? If you aren’t a car expert, the feeling can be even worse. But the experts at auto repair shops in Philadelphia can help de-mystify the light for you so you aren’t as wary when it comes on.  

The check engine light on your vehicle can mean a variety of things. It could very well mean there’s a costly problem, like a bad catalytic converter. But it could also mean something as simple as your gas cap is loose. Most people feel better when they take the vehicle into the auto repair shop to get things checked out, but no one wants to go in only to be told their gas cap was loose, right?  

Before you go to the auto repair shop, tighten your gas cap and restart the vehicle. If the light still comes on, it’s time to take the vehicle in. The check engine light is also known as the malfunction indicator lamp. It’s a signal from the engine that something has gone wrong. Since newer vehicles have computers that can communicated problems, this light comes in handy. And your auto repair shop can hook your vehicle up to yet another computer and run diagnostics on this issue.  

There are other lights you might see on occasion, including the service required light. Some people confuse ‘service required’ with ‘check engine,’ but they mean two completely different things. Service required might mean that you simply need an oil change or new filters. There’s no need to panic when you see that light. And really, don’t panic over a Check Engine light either. Just make sure you get the vehicle checked out.  

In most vehicles, the check engine light is orange or yellow, but if the light is flashing and not steady, it can indicate a more serious issue. Your engine could be misfiring and overheat, for example. It is best to get the vehicle in as soon as you can, especially when you see the light blinking.  

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the check engine light and assume it just turned on for its own good. It has a purpose and it’s there to protect you. Visit a local auto repair shop in Philadelphia when the light turns on and keep your fingers crossed that it’s something minor. Even if it’s a larger issue, wouldn’t you rather know than drive in a vehicle that could be a danger to you or others? Schafer’s Auto Center is here to help you with all of your vehicle’s needs. Whether you need regular maintenance, or you want to have a check engine light diagnosed, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment or to ask questions. When you’re in dire need, stop your vehicle at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll take care of you right away.