auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Understanding Your Brakes For Auto Repair Needs

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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.

auto repair shops in Philadelphia

Tips From An Auto Repair Shop On Traveling With A Dog

By | Auto Repair, Auto Service | No Comments

As the temperatures start to rise and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s nice to take your dog for more walks. While you may not be able to take the pooch into the office, there’s no reason he can’t come with you for a car ride every now and then. The auto repair shops in Philadelphia want you to travel as safely as possible and that includes anyone, or any pet, in your vehicle. Here are a few tips from professional car repair shops for traveling with your dog.

Tip 1: Seal Up Pet Food

If you’re taking your dog away with you for the weekend, or on a day long trip, remember how messy dog food can be. It can easily spill, and it can even spoil. If it’s going to be sitting in the car for a long period of time, seal it up in Tupperware or a plastic bag so it won’t spill or spoil.

Tip 2: Always Pack Water

You need to make sure your pet is hydrated as the temperatures rise. Always have water along to make sure everyone has a drink. You can keep a few bottles handy for him that you can just pour into a bowl when you make a stop. IF you’re having a drink, make sure he gets one too.

Tip 3: Enjoy Treats In Moderation

It’s tempting to hit the drive thru to grab lunch for yourself and get an extra dollar burger for your dog as well. Keep in mind that treats are okay every now and then, but don’t make that his regular meal while on the road. Moderation is key when it comes to pets and treats. You might be better off packing a few extra dog biscuits or a new bone for your dog to enjoy instead.

Tip 4: Take Breaks

If you think your legs get cramped and tired after a long drive, imagine your dog, big or small. They’re used to having the whole house or the whole yard to stretch out in. When you’re taking a longer drive, take breaks and walks to enjoy the fresh air. Even if you just walk around the grass of a parking lot for a while, it can help that restless feeling.

One of the best tips you can get from auto repair shops in Philadelphia about traveling with your dog is to keep your car tuned up and in the best possible shape. You don’t want to get stuck anywhere with hot weather and a dog in tow. It can get dangerous for both of you. Before you head out, visit Schafer’s Auto Center. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and we can change your oil, check your tires, and inspect your vehicle from bumper to bumper. With SAR on your side, your car will be in the most efficient mode possible. Stop by and talk with us today at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair in Philadelphia

Listening To Your Engine For Auto Repair Needs

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You’ve probably had an auto repair in Philadelphia before. If you’ve owned a vehicle for any length of time, you’ve had to get tire rotations, oil changes, new filters, and other odds and ends. The last thing anyone wants is to have engine trouble, but it happens! When your vehicle is making specific noises, you need to take it in for an inspection right away or it could cause further damage. Don’t worry about sounding silly making the noise for the technician. We’ll drive the vehicle ourselves and listen for what you mean. Here are a few engine noises that need auto repair right away:

Hissing Sounds

If your engine is making a hissing sound, there could be an issue with the cooling system or within the vacuum line. Whatever it is, it’s definitely not doing your vehicle any good. You need to get to an auto repair shop sooner rather than later.

Clunking Sounds

If you hit a bump and hear a clunk, you might have an issue with the undercarriage that could be affecting the engine. The sound could occur at a variety of times, but if you for sure hear it when you go over a bump, get things checked out.

Howling Noises

Wolves are supposed to howl at the moon, your engine is not supposed to howl at all. You might have a problem with your differential and it’s definitely not something you want to mess around with.

Shrieking Or Squealing Noises

If your vehicle is making a high-pitched noise, there might be an issue with your serpentine belt. You know what your car usually sounds like so when that changes, it’s time to get things looked at.

Screeching Sounds When You Brake

Squealing brakes are never a good thing and when they make noise as you step on them, that’s their way of telling you they are failing and need to be replaced. If you ignore it, it can cause a lot of danger and damage to other parts of the vehicle, like the engine.

You may not know that much abbot your vehicle’s engine, but you are the one who drives the car and you do know what it normally sounds like. When those normal sounds change into one of the above noises, it’s time to take your vehicle to an auto repair in Philadelphia. If there’s nothing wrong, great. You get to move on with peace of mind. But the professionals have the chance to hear the sound and diagnose whatever is going on so you can fix it before it gets worse and causes major engine damage. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 to set up an inspection if you hear any odd noises in your vehicle. You can stop by and ask us about them as well at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. SAR is here to help you stay as safe as possible while running an efficient vehicle on the road. Whether you know the root cause or not, we’re here to help.

auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

Protect Your Investment With An Auto Repair Shop

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When you buy a home, you want to protect your investment. After all, it’s probably the largest purchase you will make in your life. You maintain your home and when something breaks down, you fix it. You might also upgrade certain things as time goes by. Your vehicle is a big part of your lifestyle as well. When you buy a car, that’s another investment you want to protect. How can you do that? A number of ways, one of which includes an auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA.

Get The Oil Changed

One of the simplest things you can do to protect your car as an investment is to get oil changes at regular intervals. Take a peak in your owner’s manual to see how many miles you can drive between oil changes. Dirty oil affects the engine of your vehicle and doesn’t allow it to operate efficiently or effectively. You want an efficient vehicle so oil changes are important.

Rotate The Tires

The tires on your vehicle are like an investment within an investment. They cost a lot to replace, but you’ll likely wear them down and have to at some point. To keep them operating in the best possible manner for as long as possible, you want them to wear evenly. Have them rotated every other oil change for the best wear and keep an eye on the thread so you don’t wear them down to unsafe levels.

Get Inspections

When you go in for that regular oil change, it’s best to have the technicians check your vehicle over for other things. They might be able to catch something small that would take no time at all to repair. When left alone, however, that small thing could build up and cause damage that is much more costly. Plus, when you get these inspections, you are able to save money and ensure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible.

Drive Properly

Slamming on the brakes and accelerating as fast as possible is no way to treat your investment. Drive in the proper, safe manner to make the most out of your vehicle. When you treat it right, it will be your ride for a long time.

If you need help maintaining your investment, the technicians at the auto repair shops in Philadelphia, PA are here to help. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center to set up an appointment, or to ask for advice as to how often you need to have an oil change based on your vehicle’s style. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll take care of your vehicle investment as if it were our own. You can also stop by with questions or to see our shop. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to show you around and take a look at your vehicle to see what might need to be done. Let’s work together to protect the investment you made in your vehicle. We’re here to help.

Philadelphia auto repair

Futuristic Car Details On The Horizon

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If you already feel like you are way behind on understanding Philadelphia auto repair and the intricacies it includes, you might be overwhelmed to hear about the even more futuristic car features that are on the horizon. Cars are operated largely by computers today and there are even more futuristic features coming to fruition. Here are a few to think about and watch for as they start to appear in vehicles on the dealership lots.

Dashboards-Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, or AR will function kind of like in the movies. You’ve probably seen films where a robot would look at a person and access information about them on a screen nearby automatically. Consider that as a driver. Critical information will pop up on the windshield before their eyes to enhance the driver’s senses and safety. If you are approaching another vehicle too fast, for example, the AR display will pop up with arrows that show you how to maneuver around the car and avoid an accident. It will also tell you the safest lane to take to keep you out of harms way and it can notify drivers when their eyes are off the road. These safety measures could help keep drivers alert and even safer.

Communicating Vehicles

Vehicle to vehicle communication, or V2V doesn’t mean your car is going to talk up another car in the parking lot and delay your getaway. Rather, it allows drivers to overcome some of the human mistakes they make as they traverse the roads. You may not see a vehicle that’s about to run a red light approaching you, but soon, your vehicle might be able to. Vehicles transmit wireless signals about their locations, directions, and speeds. That signal is received by surrounding vehicles with the same technology and helps calculate safe driving distances. This technology could lead to smoother journeys for a number of drivers.

Self-Driving Cars

This technology has gotten the most attention and press, but wouldn’t it be nice to have? Many drivers spend hours commuting to and from work every week and allowing a car to do that drive for you would give you some time to relax, read, work, or do any number of other things. Self-driving cars have to rely on lasers, cameras, radar, and other items to process information about the surroundings. The technology has yet to be perfected, but it’s on the to-do list for many companies.

These are just a few of the things that Philadelphia auto repair shops may have to implement into their repair options, along with oil changes, brake repairs, new tires and so on. For now, if you need any type of repair or maintenance on your vehicle, contact Schafer’s Auto Center and in the future, we’ll work together to advance to new levels. Give us a call for an appointment at (215) 755-1270. Or stop into the SAR shop at1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and see how we operate. We’re here to keep the technology that your vehicle features today in good standing.


Philadelphia auto repair shops

Safe Driving Tips For Older Drivers From Your Auto Repair Shop

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Do you have an aging loved one in your life and you’re worried about their driving? Are you getting on in your years and you’d like some tips for driving yourself? The Philadelphia auto repair shops exist to keep your vehicles as safe as possible, but you need to know how to drive well to keep yourself safe as well. If you are older, or have an older loved one in your life, take these tips to heart and stay safe on the road.

Tip 1: Get Hearing And Vision Tests

There are a variety of things that often start to fail as we age. Hearing and vision loss are two such things. In order to stay safe on the road as a senior, get regular hearing and vision tests. You need to be able to hear sirens coming from behind you and you need to be able to see traffic lights and road signs with ease. If you start to find deficiencies in those areas, you might start to limit your driving to daytime hours or you might need a prescription change or hearing aids to help keep you safe.

Tip 2: Stay Fit Physically

Staying active can help seniors with their strength and flexibility, both of which can come in handy when they are driving. Drivers need to be able to turn the steering wheel with ease, look over their shoulder, and carry other motions out while they drive and park. Things like walking, water aerobics, chair yoga and other low-impact exercises can be very beneficial and could help seniors avoid accidents.

Tip 3: Recognize Your Limitations

As a senior, you need to listen to your body and know your driving limitations. If your hands hurt when you are gripping the wheel, get a steering wheel cover to help that issue. If you can’t see the dashboard very well, get something that’s easier to read. Newer vehicles also come with safety elements like blind spot sensors and backup cameras, which can help alert you when dangers are present.

Tip 4: Consider Road Conditions

As is true with any driver, senior drivers need to keep a close eye on road conditions. If there’s snow or ice, it’s best to stay off the road. If the senior doesn’t see well at night, they should avoid dark driving conditions. It’s also a good idea for seniors to keep tabs on their personal conditions. If they are overtired or upset, they should avoid driving. If they’re on a new medication, stay off the road until they know how it impacts their reaction times, and so on.

If you are a senior, or you have a loved one in your life, take these tips to heart and stay safe on the road. When your vehicle needs a Philadelphia auto repair shop for oil changes, brake repairs, or anything else, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 or stop by 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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.