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auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

The Dangers Of Worn Tires

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Anyone who drives a car can acknowledge how important the tires are. They’re what meets the road between the car and the ground. And while you might also know you want to keep your tires properly inflated, do you know the dangers that come along with having tires that are too worn? Either way, it’s always good to have a refresher. Prevent auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and dangerous situations by keeping your tires in good condition.

Tire Aging

Older tires are like rubber bands. Once rubber bands have been used and exposed to the elements for a long time, they crack and stretch out. Aging tires are similar. They wear and cracks start to form in the rubber. You may not see them at first because they are on the inside, but they can separate the rubber on the outside eventually. There are advanced tires that can withstand more miles than others because of special chemicals, but they will still age eventually.

Tire Limits

You should know the average lifespan of a tire, but when you ask, you could get different opinions from various auto repair shops. It often depends on how much you drive, what kind of vehicle you have, how well you maintain the tires, and so on. You should get them checked every time you get an oil change to keep track of their wear and aging process. Some manufacturers say you should get them replaced every 6 years while others recommend every 10 years.

Wearing Faster

You can have an impact on how fast your tires age in a number of ways. Where you store your vehicle, for example, will make a difference. If you store your vehicle in a garage, that’s easier on the tires than sitting outside in the elements all the time. The way you use the vehicle has an impact as well. If you drive at the speed limit, avoid hutting curbs, and have the tires rotated regularly, that will help the wear to stay down to normal limits instead of speeding up the aging process.

Age Of Your Tires

You may wonder how old your current tires are because not everyone keeps track that closely. Or perhaps you bought a used vehicle and you have no idea how old the tires are. There are a lot of numbers on the tires so it can be hard to tell what’s what. All you have to do is ask the next time you get an oil change and the technicians at the auto repair shop can tell you with ease.

If you need new tires, a rotation, or have other auto repair needs in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment and we’ll help you with any of your car care needs. You can also stop by to see a few tires and to ask questions. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Improving The Performance Of Your Vehicle With Auto Repair

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If you feel like your vehicle isn’t performing at its peak, there are many reasons that could be behind it. But you don’t just have to suck it up and deal with it. There are things you can do to improve the way your vehicle performs. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get the auto repair in Philadelphia, PA you need. There are simple, even inexpensive ways to get better performance from your car. Here are a few to look into and consider:

New Spark Plugs

Spark plugs last a long time. That being said, that length is about 100,000 miles. You will only have to replace them once in the lifetime of the vehicle, but if your car has edged over the 100,000-mile mark and the spark plugs have never been replaced, they could be hurting the vehicle’s performance. They can get corroded and dirty over time and that can have an impact on your vehicle. You will get more out of the car when you replace them as needed.

The Right Motor Oil

When you get your oil changed, there are options for which oil you use. The technicians may give you a choice and you gravitate toward the cheapest option. But what does the manufacturer recommend? You need to go with the motor oil that is actually designed for your vehicle so you can get the best performance from it. If you have a higher mileage car, certain oils are going to perform better. They are going to cost more, but you get more from them as well. If you aren’t sure which motor oil is best for your vehicle in its current state, ask your technicians for advice.

Lose The Weight

Do you have a trunk full of books you’ve been meaning to donate to the library? Do you feel like you live out of car because of all the stuff you cart around? Go through the vehicle and take everything out that isn’t absolutely necessary. The engine works harder when the car has more weight. If you have too much in your vehicle, you’re putting more stress on it than it needs and that can lessen its performance.

Trust The Right Mechanics

If you want the best performance for your car, find auto repair mechanics you can trust and then take their advice. IF you have any questions, they can answer, and you know they are doing what is best for your situation.

The auto repair in Philadelphia, PA you can trust is always located at Schafer’s Auto Center. We treat your vehicle like our own and only tell you do to things to the car that we would do if it was ours. Call us with questions at (215) 755-1270 or set up an appointment for repairs or maintenance. You can visit with us in person at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. At SAR, we want nothing but the best performance for your vehicle.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Keeping Your Car Warranty Good

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When you buy a new car, you get a lot of perks. First, there’s the new car smell. Then, there’s the fact that everything is brand new and you have no worries about anything going bad or breaking down for a lot of miles. You will still have regular maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, but that’s the case with any vehicle. Another perk you get is a warranty on the vehicle. Most companies will give you warranties that are good for a certain number of years or a certain number of miles. But there are also things you can do to void that warranty and you will want to avoid doing so if at all possible. Here are a few things to do to keep that warranty in good standing so you can use it if you need it within the parameters that are set upon it.

Read Through The Manual

Every vehicle will come with an owner’s manual and if you’ve never had a vehicle of that type before, you need to know all about it. Even if you’ve had something similar before, this vehicle is brand new and might have changes within it. Read through the manual so you know what you need to know and take note of certain maintenance items that need to be done at regular intervals.

Maintain The Vehicle Regularly

New or not, every vehicle needs regular attention. You will need oil changes every few months and certain fluids will have to be replaced at a certain time. If you don’t run these maintenance items according to the manual, you could void the warranty somewhere before it expires. You will want to stay on top of maintenance, so the warranty is there for you if you need it.

Get Auto Repairs Sooner Rather Than Later

Never ignore something that seems to be going wrong with your car. That’s true for any time, but when it is under warranty, you want to get it in as soon as possible. If the warranty covers it, you can get it fixed for free and you don’t have to worry about anything larger going wrong because you waited. Waiting means your warranty is less likely to cover things as well.

Use Real Parts

If your car needs a repair or replacement, you will have to use parts that are manufacturer approved. If you use parts that are generic (and cheaper!) it could void your warrant altogether. The manufacturer parts are sometimes more, but they’re higher in quality as well, which makes them worth it.

When you are learning about your new vehicle and how you should go about auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to keep the warranty intact for as long as possible, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help. Call us at (215) 755-1270 if you have any questions about your new vehicle and we can help you keep the warranty and the vehicle in the best working order possible. Visit SAR at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Properly Inflating Tires To Prevent Auto Repair

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There are a lot of things you can do to keep your car healthy and to avoid auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. You likely get a regular oil change to keep your car in good working order and you change filters, get tune-ups, and do other things as well. But did you know that keeping your tires inflated to the proper level can do a lot for your vehicle—even in preventing repairs? Here are a few reasons to keep those tires in the proper inflation levels.

Reason 1: Optimize Fuel Efficiency

There aren’t many drivers who want to waste money on gas. Cars need gas to propel their engines, but at the same time, you don’t have to pay for more of it than you should. When your tires are even and properly inflated, you will get a better miles per gallon reading from your vehicle. You won’t have to fill up the tank as frequently and you can go farther on each gallon.

Reason 2: Reduce Wear On Tires

Tires are something you will have to replace on your vehicle eventually, no matter how good you are to them. But you can reduce their wear and prolong their life if you inflate them to the proper levels and ensure that they stay there. You won’t have to buy new tires as soon and the tires you have will perform better.

Reason 3: Remain Safe While Driving

There are a lot of things that can put you in danger when you are operating a vehicle, but your tires are one such item. If they aren’t inflated right, you won’t have as much grip on the road nor as much control. Checking the tire pressure and making sure it is right could help you avoid an accident or another dangerous situation.

Reason 4: Prevent Unnecessary Auto Repairs

There are some auto repairs, like oil changes, that are necessary and regular. But there are other things you can prevent to save yourself extra headaches. Tire pressure seems like a small thing, but it can actually go a long way in helping you prevent auto repairs that you wouldn’t have had to make otherwise.

If you need to figure out what tire pressure is right for your vehicle, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here for you. Many vehicles today take tire pressure readings as part of their computerized internal system and they will tell you when a tire is low. If you don’t have a vehicle like that, keep a tire pressure gauge in the vehicle and take a reading whenever you get gas to make sure you are at the right levels. If you need advice, or other auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, call SAR at (215) 755-1270 or visit with us in person at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We want your vehicle to be as safe, effective, and efficient as possible for as long as possible. Keeping tabs on tire pressure and other areas can help.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

How Long Does Auto Repair Take?

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It’s hard to get by even one day without your vehicle. Most people use their car to get to work, to drive their kids to school, to run errands and so on. When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, it never feels convenient. And you don’t want the repairs to take very long. But how long is it going to take? You can’t have just one answer to that question. It depends on a number of things and can be influenced by all of them. Here are some of the factors that go into how long the auto repair on your vehicle will take.

The Service Needed

One of the first things that will determine how long the service will take is what service is being done. If you are getting new windshield wipers, that’s not going to take very long. If you need to have your engine rebuild, that’s something that happens in a matter of weeks. Most auto repairs can be done in a few hours. Larger ones, usually a day or two, but there are some that are more extensive.

The Company Doing The Service

The auto repair shop you work with will impact the length of your service as well. If you get a shop with lots of experience, they will be able to fix the vehicle efficiently and effectively while wasting very little time. If you get someone inexperienced, it will take longer, and you may not be able to guarantee the quality of the work. The company doing the repair matters a great deal.

The Time Of Year

There are times of the year that are busier than others. In the summer, there are usually more cars on the road, taking vacations etc, so there might be more auto repairs needed. In the winter, the cold impacts how vehicles operate and that can bring more into the shop as well. If you have to go in during a busy time, that will make the repairs take longer.

The Number Of Repairs

If you are getting an oil change in addition to a change in spark plugs, a tire rotation, and new brake pads, that’s, of course, going to take longer than one of those things alone. If you’re getting a bunch done at once, the time frame will be lengthened.

When you need to know how much time your auto repair in Philadelphia, PA is going to take, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center have the answers you need. We understand that there’s never a good time for auto repairs and we will do the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call us for an appointment at (215) 755-1270 and we can give you an idea how long the repairs will take so you can make ride arrangements as needed. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re here to help you with any needs you have on your vehicle, large or small. We offer honest advice and quality work to every customer.

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Identifying The Source Of Car Smells

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Is there a scent in your car that you don’t enjoy and can’t seem to get rid of? If you have a brother, or a pesky co-worker, check for fish under the seats. Otherwise, you might need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and you don’t even realize it. Before you leave the windows down at all times just to get through the drive to work or home, look through these scents and see if repairs might be necessary.

The Smell Of Rotten Eggs

Rotten eggs are never a good smell, and, in a home, it can mean a gas leak, which is very dangerous. In your car, it might be due to a bad catalytic converter. The engine or emissions system could be having issues that make the converter overheat which causes the rotten smell of eggs. Assuming you don’t eat (and drop!) eggs in the car, this could very well be the real root of the smell.

Musty Or Moldy Air

When you turn on the air in your car, you want fresh air, not a moldy smell. You might have mold or mildew actually in the AC system if you get that scent in the air when you turn the system on. You’ll want to have it cleaned out so you can get good air quality in your car when the windows are closed.

Burning Paper

You’ve lit a fire. You know what it smells like when paper burns. You don’t expect to smell it when you are driving, but if it happens when you are changing gears, the clutch might be slipping, and the friction could cause the paper-based facings to smell burned.

Burning Rubber

If you peel out from a stoplight, you are burning rubber and you expect the smell. If you are driving like normal and smell it, that’s a different story. It might indicate a slipped belt or a loose hose that might rub against rotating items and cause that burning smell. Get it fixed before the burning ruins a part.

Burning Toast

We’ve all had toasters that toast a little overzealously, but you shouldn’t have that smell in your car. If you notice it, perhaps an electrical component has short-circuited or maybe insulation is overheating. Any electrical odor should be taken seriously because they can start fires.

The Smell Of Gas

You likely always smell gas when you are at a gas station. And perhaps even on your hands when you get back in the car. But if you smell it at a random time, you could have a gas leak or a fuel injector leak. That’s very dangerous and requires immediate attention.

If you smell things in your vehicle outside of the fast-food snacks you forgot to throw away last week, it’s important to pay attention to your nose and what auto repair in Philadelphia, PA your vehicle might need. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 and tell us about the scent you’ve picked up. Then, visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll take care of whatever issue you have.

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Temperature And You Tires

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There are a wide variety of temperatures to deal with in this area of the country and the changes can have an impact on a lot of things. For one, your attire changes drastically from the summer to the winter months. The way you maintain your home changes as well. You switch off the AC for the heat, for example. Did you know that your tires are also affected by the change in temperatures? They are and specialists in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA can help you understand what’s happening and why.

The outside temperature can impact your tires in various ways. If there’s a quick, drastic change, for example, the pressure in your tires could change quite a bit as well. If it’s cool one day and hot the next, the pressure in the tire increases. If the temperature drops from the interior of your garage to outside of your home, the tire pressure could drop accordingly. When temperatures fluctuate, keep an eye on the tire pressure in your vehicle to keep it safe and efficient. Many vehicles today have automatic readers and the computer within the car will alert you when pressures are too low or too high. If not, keep a tire pressure gauge in your car and check the pressure when you get gas.

Tires are made of synthetic and rubber compounds and the oils in those help with elasticity. When the sun heats up, the oil can dry up more and that can cause the tires to split and crack or become more brittle. Watch for any wear of that type so you can replace the tires before you lead yourself into an unfortunate incident or even an accident.

Cold weather often causes tires to become dangerously under-inflated, which can lead to hazardous driving, especially in snowy conditions. You use more fuel and create more wear on the tire. They could even blow out if they aren’t attended to.

Keep an eye on your tires as temperatures change and check the tires for the manufacturer date code. That is the date by which the manufacturer recommends replacement. The year is generally at the 6-year mark. Even if tires look decent, they may not be of the right age if they are well above their age to be replaced.

IT’s best to get your vehicle in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as temperatures change for new seasons so you can have your tires inspected, your oil changes, and everything else checked out as well. You want to be able to drive safely in the heat of the summer, the cold of the winter, and every temperature in between. Contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center if you have questions about your tires, what you need to do under certain weather conditions, or how to maintain them well. You can call us at (215) 755-1270 or visit SAR for a tune-up in person when it’s convenient for you at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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Are Winter Tires A Good Fit?

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It’s never too early to start thinking about the winter months and how that’s going to impact your commute to and from work, among other places in town. There are certain things you’ll want to do to your vehicle to ensure you get the most efficiency and safety possible from it. It’s a good idea, for example, to visit an auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA for a tune up to give yourself peace of mind that things are operating well, and you won’t get stranded out in the cold. While you’re there, you might also want to think about winter tires. What are the differences they can provide?

The biggest difference between winter tires and regular tires is the treat depth. Winter tires have a treat depth that starts around 9mm while regular tires are usually more along the 7 mm line. The wider, deeper grooves on winter tires gives a larger channel for the snow to travel through, which allows you to have a better grip on the road as you drive. Winter tires are also generally made with more rubber and silica compounds in the materials. That type doesn’t harden as much as pure synthetic rubber, which can also help improve the grip on the road.

Winter tires give you more road safety when weather conditions turn from wet rains to icy snow. The tires give you reduced stopping distances as well, which you might need when someone in front of you has trouble getting started on the snow.

If you are considering winter tires, you have more reason for them if you have a job that requires your attendance no matter what. If you work at a hospital, for example, and there are always emergencies, you have to be able to get in when you are on call. Perhaps you are a member of a media news team, who actually repots on the winter weather. You have to be there as well. Winter tires can help you get where you need to go safety, even when the weather is bad.

Winter tires also help extend the life of your other tires since you use the winter tires in the colder seasons. You can then put the other tires back on when spring hits and they will last longer since they got a break.

You want your vehicle to work well in any season of the year and it can do its best for you in the winter with winter tires. If you are thinking about auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, including possibly getting winter tires, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. Call SAR at (215) 755-1270 and ask about winter tire benefits and options. Depending on where you live, where you need to go, and how often you need to drive, they could be a good fit for you. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 to ask questions about maintenance, tires, or anything else vehicle-related and we’ll help in any way we can.

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Driving Safely Around Schools

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If there’s one place in your regular commute that you want to drive safely, it’s around the local school. It’s never great to get in an accident, but if that accident involves a child, things feel exponentially worse. The first thing you need to do is ensure that your vehicle is in good shape – and this might require Philadelphia, PA auto repair. Use the following tips to drive as safely as possible around schools, whether you’re dropping of a child of your own or you just have to drive by on the way to work.

Obey Speed Limits

It’s hard to slow down when you’re in a rush to get your kids to school or to get to the office yourself. But the speed limits around schools are posted for a reason. You never know when a kid’s going to dart out, late themselves, and if you are driving slowly enough, you can react and prevent disaster. Speed limits in that area may be different when school is in session versus other times of the day so watch the signs with care.

Keep Headlights On

Most modern cars have headlights that stay on at all times, but if yours doesn’t, put them on when you are around the school. There’s a better chance that you will be seen and that you will see others when headlights are involved.

Never Drive Distracted

It’s tempting to look at that text message, sing along to the radio, and think about everything you have going on that day, but around the school, let everything else slide away and simply concentrate on what you are doing. You need to keep distractions at bay so you are ready to react to whatever might happen around you.

Communicate With Others Well

You might not always use your turn signal, but around a school, make sure other drivers know what you are trying to do. If you are slowing to let a child hop out, put on your hazards so people know what’s going on. Don’t assume others know you are turning. Put that blinker on with plenty of notice.

Get Auto Repair When Needed

You certainly don’t want your car to overheat in the school drop-off line and you don’t want the brakes to fail when a kid runs out in front of you. Keep your car in good working order with checkups, maintenance, and repairs as needed. Be regular with your oil changes and get everything else checked out at the same time.

When you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, of if you want more safe driving tips for the school areas in your neighborhood, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. We’re here to help you keep your vehicle as safe as possible. Contact us at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll answer questions by phone or set up a time for you to come in and get a maintenance checkup as soon as possible. You can find us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re here to help keep things working efficiently and effectively for anywhere you need to drive each and every day, even around the schools.

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The Little Auto Repairs That Matter

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You’ve probably heard people say that it’s the little things that matter. And when it comes to auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, that can really be true. Your vehicle will operate better if you take care of the little things. Those little things can help prevent bigger issues that can occur when you ignore the littler items. Here are a few little auto repairs that really matter in the long haul.

Wiper Blade Replacement

While old wiper blades aren’t going to have an impact on the engine or really any other important part of the vehicle, they are highly valuable to the driver. When you drive in Pennsylvania weather, you never know if you are going to see sun and then rain or snow and then sleet. The wiper blades are the only thing between you, the windshield, and your line of sight. The rubber on those blades can wear down and even dry out in the summer heat. Replace them at a regular interval, like before the bad weather seasons, so you can ensure you aren’t stuck driving in the rain with low visibility.

Oil Changes

Everyone knows that oil changes are essential to the inner workings of a vehicle, but not everyone knows why. The oil change takes old oil out of the engine and replaces it with new oil. If you leave old oil in too long, it can dry up or clog up the engine and those parts won’t operate correctly any longer. It can lead to an overheating engine, or worse. Something as small as an oil change every 5,000 miles or so can keep your car operating well.

Worn Belt Replacement

Belts aren’t things cars have to keep pants up, they are operating portions of the vehicle. Before they break completely, listen to your mechanic when they are getting worn. Replacing a belt with a new one can prevent you from being pulled over on the side of the road with a failed vehicle that now has a much larger issue. There are a number of belts in any vehicle and all of them can become worn, cracked, or loose over time.

Battery Replacement

Have you ever had to put new batteries into your remote control at home? How about your smoke detectors? Anything with a battery is going to wear out eventually and the same can be said about the battery in your vehicle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. But replacing the battery is a small issue compared to other accessories that cost much more.

These are a few of the smaller things that pay off when you pay attention to them and take care of them when you need to. If you aren’t sure when these auto repairs in Philadelphia, PA are necessary, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can help. Call us at (215) 755-1270 and we can help you figure out what needs to be done and when. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.