Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Don’t Forget To Ask Your Auto Repair Shop

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When you approach a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop, of course you want to know what services they provide, what vehicles they work on, and whether or not their technicians are properly trained. But there are other things you might normally forget to ask, but you definitely need to know. Use this list of questions when you approach a new shop about working on your vehicle.  

What Type Of Warranty Do You Have? 

Any auto repair shop worth its weight will back its workmanship up with a warranty. That warranty might be different depending on the repairs you need, but in essence, if something goes wrong because of the repairs the shop does, they should repair it again and cover the costs without question. Ask about the warranty because you never know if you might run into a shop without one at all. If you do, don’t work with them. They might not do quality work in the first place, which might be why they don’t stand behind it later.  

What Are Your Labor Rates? 

Your vehicle might need something small on occasion, like a lightbulb changed or an air filter switched out. These are little things, but the labor on various auto repairs can really kill you. It’s best to know what the labor rates are upfront. Keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for. Choosing a shop with the lowest labor rates might mean they carry the lowest quality technicians around. Search for something that’s fair to both you and the shop’s employees.  

Are Your Estimates Free? 

Before you get any repairs done at all, you might want an estimate on what’s going to be done so you know what it’ll cost you. The best auto repair shops offer you free estimates. Don’t let a shop do an estimate without asking if it’s free only to have them come out with an estimate—and a bill for that estimate. The shops shouldn’t do any work on your car without permission so get an estimate first so you can assess if it’s fair before you move forward.  

Do You Have Shuttles Or Loaners? 

Having car repairs can be a real bummer if the repairs are going to take quite a bit of time and you don’t have a ride to another location. Ask the auto repair shop if they offer shuttle services so you can get home or to work without sitting around, waiting in the waiting room. They might also offer loaner vehicles for longer repairs so you can do what you need to do without question.  

There are plenty of things to ask a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop when your car needs help, but these questions are often things you might forget when you are dealing with repairs that have to be done. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 for an appointment or to ask questions about auto repair. You can also visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.  

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Questions To Ask Auto Mechanics—Have No Fear

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If you don’t know a lot about cars, you might feel a bit mystified about what goes on under the hood. Your Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic might feel a little intimidating to you. But they shouldn’t. Your auto mechanic is someone who has specialized training in cars. They don’t know about your line of work just like you don’t know about theirs and that’s okay. It takes all sorts of people to make the world work the way it does. If you have questions for your auto mechanic, ask them. Don’t have any fear about asking something they think is obvious. They’ll understand that you’re not an expert, just as they aren’t an expert in your field. Here are a few questions to ask your auto mechanic before you take your vehicle in.  

What Types Of Vehicles Does Your Shop Work On? 

Some shops take any and every type of vehicle while others might specialize in high-end cars like BMWs and other certain makes. Certain cars take specialized tools and proper training while others are more run of the mill. If you find a shop that accepts your type of vehicle, you’re in luck and can take it to them for service. If they don’t work on your type of car, you can ask for recommendations for a shop nearby that does.  

What Kind Of Equipment Do You Have In The Shop? 

Every time a car manufacturer comes out with a new vehicle, there are new systems that go with it. These systems are getting more and more sophisticated and many take updated equipment and diagnostics for repair. Your auto mechanic should have the latest technology so it’s worth you asking what they do have. You want your car to have the best repairs and diagnostics and you’ll never know what it’s getting unless you ask.  

What Type Of Replacement Parts Do You Use? 

Not every replacement part is the same and there are generic brands and plenty of options, just as there are in every other facet of the car industry. You often get what you pay for in this region and if you get factory-quality parts, your car will operate better. You have the right to ask where the replacement part comes from and whether or not the brand is recommended by the car’s manufacturer. It’s your car—you get to say what goes on it.  

There are plenty of other questions you can ask a Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic, but be clear about one thing—you should have no fears about asking. If your auto mechanic makes you feel bad about anything you ask, it’s time to look for a new mechanic. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to answer your questions, no matter what they might be regarding. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 or stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re honest and we understand not everyone knows auto mechanics like we do. We’re here for you when you need us. 

brake repair in Philadelphia, PA

Stay Ahead of Brake Repair Needs

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There are plenty parts in your vehicle that are essential to how it runs, but there’s nothing more essential to your safety than the brakes. The brakes are what you use to slow down fast if something gets in your path. They are the difference between getting into an accident or stopping in time. That makes Philadelphia, PA brake repair an essential car maintenance item. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, stay on top of break repair so you are proactive about your chances on the road.  

Learning the signs that your vehicle needs brake repair isn’t too hard. Much of it boils down to the sounds your vehicle makes. You know what your car sounds like normally so if you notice squealing or screeching when you are stepping on the brake, brake repair is probably in order. If you address the issue quickly, it is probably just a brake pad that needs to be replaced. That part is relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. If you ignore the sounds, there could be further damage in the future.  

Philadelphia, PA brake repairYou also know what your vehicle feels like as you operate it around the curves and down the road. If you feel vibrations in the vehicle when you are trying to brake, it might be that your brake rotors are wearing down from use. They can be warped over time and brake repairs are in order in those cases as well.  

You also likely know how long it usually takes you to stop. Consider your normal route to and from work and pay attention to when you press on the brakes and where you stop. If that changes and it takes you longer and longer to stop, it’s only a matter of time before you get into an unsafe situation. Get your brakes check to see if they need brake repair. Being able to stop in a short distance can make a huge difference in a dangerous situation. 

Ignoring brake repair is not in anyone’s best interest. You want to get where you need to go safely, and you want those traveling with you and anyone around you to be safe as well. The moment you notice that your brakes aren’t functioning up to par, you should get in for brake repair. It’s possible they just need a little adjustment or some new pads. But it’s certainly not worth the risk to drive on brakes that aren’t 100% working. You never know what’s going to happen out there and you need to have your vehicle in the best stopping order at all times.  

If you’re ready for Philadelphia, PA brake repair, or you just want to get your brakes checked out to see what they might need, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270. We’ll set you up with an appointment and make sure your brakes are in perfect working order. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA and we’re here to help with your brakes before it’s too late. 

Philadelphia, PA oil changes

Budget Friendly Ways To Improve Your Ride

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If your vehicle is giving you a bumpy ride or the steering doesn’t seem to respond just as it should, there are things you can do to improve the experience you have behind the wheel. Philadelphia, PA oil changes, for example, can make a world of difference in the way your vehicle rides on a daily basis. There are other little things you can do for a small amount of money that also add up to a much better ride. Here are a few to consider.  

Wiper Replacement 

It might sound silly, but even the little change of replacing your window wipers can make a huge difference. IF you haven’t replaced your wipers in the last year, it’s definitely time. Even the best wiper only last 12 months or so. Wipers that don’t do a good job leave you with a streaky windshield, which makes it harder to see. You might have to crane your neck around streaks and smears, even when it isn’t raining, because the wipers just aren’t doing their job. This inexpensive fic can make a better ride with ease.  

Tire Rotation 

Your tires need to be rotated and it’s a cheap and easy way to get more out of the tires and your vehicle. Regular rotations will help you get even wear on all of your tires. It also enhances how the vehicle rides and handles. You’ll extend the life of your tires by thousands of miles and feel better about how it rides as well. It’s a good idea to get a tire rotation with every, or at least every other, oil change.  

Oil Change 

oil changes in Philadelphia, PA

An oil change is something you have to do for the sake of your engine, but it also helps give you a better ride. You get the most miles out of your car and the moving parts stay lubricated, which reduces friction and buildup. Every vehicle rides better when the engine is working well, and the oil change is something that is necessary to a healthy engine.  

Wheel Alignment 

When you hit a bunch of potholes around the city, who knows what’s happening to your wheel alignment. Get it checked every so often and get things lined back up when necessary. Your vehicle won’t drag in another direction when you are trying to steer it straight and you won’t have to worry about the tires being messed up by a bad alignment, either.  

There are plenty of ways to get your vehicle in better shape for a more comfortable ride. These ideas are just a start to keep you on budget. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center can get you set up for a Philadelphia, PA oil change or any other service when you call them at (215) 755-1270. We want your car to be as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as possible. SAR is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA. Stop in and see us soon for adjustments on your vehicle.  

auto mechanic in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Mechanic Advice on Bigger Tires

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You may know quite a bit about cars, but unless you’ve studied them endlessly and work with them daily, you don’t know as much as a Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic. Before you upgrade your vehicle with bigger tires to show off your style, you might want to check into the details on what those tires will actually do to your vehicle. Use the advice from an auto mechanic to gauge whether or not it’s a good move.  

Bigger tires and wheels are often a desirable upgrade for those who love to go off-roading or those who just want to drive regular places every day. You can go to any parking lot and count the number of SUVs with tires that are obviously larger than those the vehicle came with. Everyone wants their vehicle to look “cool,” but tires can make or break the vehicle in both the style and performance realm.  

Driving on bad tires or tires that don’t fit the vehicle properly can take a toll on any car. When you upgrade to bigger tires, keep in mind that you also have to upgrade your rims. There are plenty of benefits to bigger tires, but there are disadvantages as well.  

If you are driving a truck, you might want a lift kit to allow room for bigger tires and wheels to give you the height you want. This often a good option for those who like to drive off-road. The lift kit not only makes room for the larger tires, but it gets the vehicle farther off the ground, so it handles better on rough terrain. However, these kits can be expensive. New wheels, tires and a lift kit add up and that’s not even putting anything into parts and labor yet. Lift kits can also change the center of gravity on a vehicle, so drivers need to be careful making sharp turns. And larger tires and wheels could decrease gas mileage.  Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic

If you have a car and want bigger tires, it doesn’t make quite a much sense. Your tire diameter can affect the accuracy of your speedometer, so you need to make sure the tires and wheels fit under the fenders. You can do that with “plus sizing.” This method uses wheels that are larger in diameter, but smaller in the side wall. They are faster and better with handling, but they can also slow acceleration capabilities.  

If you are thinking about getting different tires of any kind, whether larger or normal in size, contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center. Your Philadelphia, PA auto mechanics are experts in the field and we can tell you just what your car or truck can handle and what would be best for your preferences. Give SAR a call at (215) 755-1270 to ask questions about tires or to make an appointment. You can also stop by and visit us with your inquiries at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA. We want your vehicle to run as good as possible and that often starts with quality tires.  

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

What To Do With An Overheating Car

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The summer months bring a lot more than fun in the sun. They also bring plenty of heat and humidity. Whether you’re on vacation in an even hotter region of the country, or just trying to get by in Pennsylvania, you might need Philadelphia, PA auto repair at some point because of the heat. Because when the weather outside is hot, things are even hotter in your car. You can’t always prepare for overheating to happen so it’s good to know what to do when it occurs.  

Prevent Overheating 

If at all possible, it’s best to prevent overheating from happening in the first place. First, you need to get auto repair and maintenance on a regular basis, so you can avoid engine trouble. There are lots of systems in the vehicles today that regulate temperatures. Engine oil, for example, lubricates the moving parts in the engine. When the oil badly needs to be changed, the engine can overheat. There are a lot of cooling systems in a vehicle including belts, coolant fluids, fans, and more. If any of those things go bad, overheating can happen. Keeping up to date with maintenance is your best overheating prevention method.  

What To Do When Overheating 

Whether you are good at maintaining your vehicle or not, overheating can happen. If it happens to you, follow these steps to ensure you get through the situation safely.  

Step 1: Pull Over 

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

When you pull off to the side of the road, as far away from traffic as you can get, turn on your hazard lights so other drivers can see you. Also, turn the engine off.  

Step 2: Don’t Open the Hood 

It’s tempting to pop the hood of your vehicle if you see steam rising, but instead, you should let the vehicle cool down for half an hour or so, or until the temperature gauge has a normal reading on it.  

Step 3: Check Coolant Levels 

Take a peek at the transparent reservoir near your radiator. If the levels are low, get coolant and fill up. You might want to carry an extra bottle in your vehicle on hot days or for long trips.  

Step 4: Check for Leaks 

Look at the various hoses and see if they are leaking anywhere. If you don’t feel pressure in the hoses, there’s a leak and you have a problem that needs auto repair.  

Step 5: Get Auto Repair 

If you aren’t sure what’s wrong or how to fix it, find an auto mechanic to help. You can get roadside assistance or call a trusted auto repair shop.  

Schafer’s Auto Center is here to help you avoid overheating on the side of the road. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 for all of your Philadelphia, PA auto repair needs, and we’ll keep your vehicle in good shape, so you never end up stranded when you’re trying to get somewhere. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA and we can repair or maintain anything on your vehicle whenever you need a tune-up. 

oil change in Philadelphia, PA

Don’t Get Oil Changes Too Often In Philadelphia, PA

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If there’s one thing you know about your vehicle, it’s likely that it needs a Philadelphia, PA oil change at a certain interval. It used to be that people would try to come in every 3,000 miles to get the oil on their vehicles changed, but as technology changes, so do vehicle needs. While you may know the benefits of getting your oil changed when it is necessary, have you heard reasons not to change the oil too often? Here are a few to consider:  

Philadelphia, PA oil changeYou’re Wasting Money 

If there’s anything you can do to put more money into your budget without wasting anything, you’d like to do it, right? When you get your oil changed before it needs to be done, you’re wasting money. You have “oil to burn,” so to speak and getting the oil change done before you need it start burning new oil when you had old oil left to burn. No one wants to waste money on car maintenance unless it’s necessary.  

You’re Not Guaranteeing Anything 

Some drivers use oil changes as somewhat of a cheap insurance on their vehicles. If they change the oil often, nothing else will go wrong on the car, right? No, that’s not right at all. You can ensure that your oil is in good condition and that helps a number of things, including the engine, but it doesn’t ensure that everything is lined up perfectly all the time. All it really does is spend your money. Things might still break down later.  

Other Things Could Be “Found” 

Have you ever gone to a quick service oil change place only to learn that the mechanic thinks you also need new filters, new brakes, or any number of other things? Getting your oil changed too often won’t hurt your vehicle, but if you visit the wrong place, it could hurt your pocketbook even more with unnecessary fixes.  

If you really want to know how often you need an oil change, it is best to consult your owner’s manual. If you don’t want to look into anything car-related, ask a trusted mechanic for an estimate. Most vehicles are good today until about 5,000 miles. While you don’t want to get an oil change too soon, you also don’t want to go in too late. Finding the perfect balance spends your money in the appropriate way and gets the most out of the oil you have placed in your vehicle.   

Are you ready for an oil change? Do you need help finding a good balance on mileage between the oil changes? Contact the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center by calling (215) 755-1270 for an appointment. We’re here to help you get the oil changes you need—when you need them. We never tell you something needs to be done on your vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 for your next Philadelphia, PA oil change. 


Philadelphia, PA brake repair

Do You Need Brake Repair For A Stuck Parking Brake?

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Drivers use their regular brakes on a daily basis, but the parking brake is a different story. It’s something that only gets used when you park on a big hill and are worried about your car rolling when it is parked. Since it’s not something you use every day, you might not be completely sure how hard you need to yank on it to get things into place. Putting too much force on the parking brake can cause a jam and Philadelphia, PA brake repair may even become necessary. Understanding how and when to use the parking brake can help you avoid brake repair you’d rather not have.  

brake repair in Philadelphia, PAWhen To Use The Parking Brake 

If you drive a manual transmission, you might use the parking brake every time you park your car. That helps you understand how to use it a little better so you are less likely to get it stuck. On the other hand, since you use it so often, there are more opportunities for you to get into a jam. The parking brake engages a parking pawl, which is a metal pin that goes into a ring attached to the transmission. The transmission shaft can no longer turn so your vehicle won’t roll when parked. This brake is often a safeguard people use to keep their vehicle from moving on a hill.  

How Do Parking Brakes Get Stuck? 

Parking brakes are like any part on a vehicle—they can wear out. One issue with these brakes is corrosion. Water and dirt causes things to erode and that can then cause the brake to fail. Cables can snap and brake pads can stick. When that happens, you’ll need brake repair. To avoid corrosion, use the parking brake more often. At the very least, you will know when it needs to be fixed before it becomes an emergency.   

Another reason parking brakes get stuck is because you might have pulled on it too hard. The brakes can get stuck against the wall of the wheel drums if you pull on the lever too hard. To release a brake when it is stuck, try rocking the vehicle back and forth or climb under the car and manually pull the cables. You can also try setting and releasing the brake to knock them free. If you can’t get anything to work, you might need brake repair and a tow truck.  

The best way to avoid getting stuck with a parking brake that doesn’t work is to get Philadelphia, PA brake repair and maintenance checks. When you have your vehicle in to Schafer’s Auto Center for tune-ups, the professionals will check everything over and make sure things are operating in the highest order, including the parking brake and the ordinary brakes. Call us at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment and we’ll get started on any maintenance items your vehicle needs. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help your car in any way we can. 


Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic

Auto Mechanic Tips For Lower Gas Mileage

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There are a lot of things you think about when you purchase a vehicle. You need something big enough to accommodate your family, but you also need something within your budget. Budget goes a lot farther than just the initial sticker price. Your Philadelphia, PA auto mechanic will tell you that gas mileage is another very important element of price on a vehicle long-term. There are plenty of things to do to keep the gas mileage as low as possible.  

auto mechanic in Philadelphia, PACheck The Tires 

Every tire has a certain level of air pressure that is good for that tire. If you don’t know what that is for your tire, ask your auto mechanic or check on the tire. Learn how to check the tire pressure or ask someone to show you so you can pull into a gas station and make sure the tire pressure is good every now and then. If it’s off, fill or let out some air. The tire pressure helps you get good gas mileage when it is at the right level. Plus, it will help the tires last longer.  

Driving Right 

You use a lot of gas by starting and stopping your vehicle. If you want to save as much as you can on gas mileage, it is a good idea to accelerate and stop gradually. Instead of slamming on the breaks, make it a habit to slow down earlier. Don’t slam down the accelerator, either, even if you are late. This will add up over time and the wear and tear on your car will be lessened as well.  

Visit Your Auto Mechanic 

You want your gas mileage to be as good as possible so visit your auto mechanic for oil changes, regular maintenance, and repairs. Visiting the auto mechanic costs money, but you’ll save quite a bit in gas as you take care of your vehicle. Your auto mechanic will also have tips and tricks for you to follow to get the best gas mileage possible.  

Follow The Book 

Every vehicle comes with an owner’s manual and if you follow what the vehicle needs in that manual, you will get better gas mileage. That means spacing your oil changes out just right and getting other maintenance done at the right time. This manual is in place for a reason—use it.  

If you want more tips on getting good gas mileage, ask the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center by calling (215) 755-1270 with your questions or to make an appointment. We’re here to help your car stay in the best possible shape for as many years as possible. Visit us at our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 as well. We will help you with your gas mileage, minor or major repairs, or any question you have. The experts at SAR want to help you with any car-related issue and gas mileage is one that will affect your life greatly. 

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Auto Repair Center Tips For Emergency Kits

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Vehicles are unpredictable and so is the weather in Pennsylvania. Whether you are going on a summer vacation or your vehicle has been showing signs that it needs Philadelphia, PA auto repair, it’s always smart to be as prepared as possible. You can’t prepare for every scenario, but a responsible vehicle owner should have an emergency kit with them at all times to help cover as many things as possible. Your auto repair center recommends including the following items in that kit:  

auto repair in Philadelphia, PAJumper Cables 

This is something that you should always have in your vehicle. Whether you need it yourself or you want to help out another stranded driver, jumping a dead battery is something that occurs. Many vehicles have safety elements on them that don’t allow you to leave your lights on all day. But you never know when something will drain the battery and you need to be prepared to get things running again as fast as you can.  


When you need to change a tire in the dark of night, you’ll be thankful for your forethought. Include a flashing in an emergency kit and make sure there are extra batteries in the kit as well.   

Tire Changing Items 

Flat tires are one of the most common things that happen to a vehicle and can strand drivers. Keep things like a jack, a lug wrench, and, of course, a spare tire on hand to save yourself frustration. You want to be able to change the tire when you need to do it without calling for simple tools that you should have in the vehicle anyway. With the right tools on hand, you’ll be up and running in no time.  

Reflective Hazard Triangles 

When you pull off to the side of the road, it might be a busy road with a lot of traffic or there might be only a small shoulder, if any shoulder at all. These reflective hazard triangles can help other drivers keep you safe when you are working on your vehicle or waiting for help. You can put your hazard lights on your vehicle as well if they are in working order, but these triangles help drivers stay clear of the vehicle.  

Auto Repair Updates 

One of the best things you can do for your safety when you are driving besides keeping an up-to-date emergency kit is to make sure you get the Philadelphia, PA auto repair when you need it. If your vehicle needs an oil change, get it. If the car is making funny noises, get it checked out. Tune-ups before long vacations are smart as well. Auto repair is something every vehicle will need from time to time. Emergency kits are always smart to have in the car, but isn’t it better if you never need it? Contact Schafer’s Auto Center for your auto repair needs at (215) 755-1270 or stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. At SAR, we want to help your vehicle run efficiently and effectively at all times.