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auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Engine Smells That Lead To Auto Repair

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Wouldn’t it be nice if your car could retain that new car smell forever? Perhaps it used to smell like leather, new carpet, or that overall new car scent. But as the miles go by and you check in for maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, that smell goes away and everyday life smells creep in. While you might be okay with the normal family smell, there are certain scents that can emanate from the engine that could mean you need auto repair. Here are some things to watch for…or sniff for, as the case may be.

Burning Rubber

If you smell that burned rubber scent coming from your vehicle, it probably means that somehow, rubber parts of your car are in contact with something hot and are melting. In most cases, that burning could be because of the friction between moving metal parts or a hose or belt could be slipped within the power steering system. Either way, the scent is not pleasant, and you probably need to have things checked over before you drive too much further.

Gasoline

You might smell gas a bit after you leave the gas station and that’s normal. But if you smell gas just driving down the road, it could be a leak in a pipe or something within the fuel injector or even gas tank. If the odor is strong, you need to get it checked out right away so there isn’t as much danger.

Hot Oil

You smell hot oil in the kitchen, but in your car? That’s not a good thing. Oil heats up when you are driving, but that system is enclosed so you shouldn’t smell it. That means that the leaks are likely in the oil circulation system. You should get an inspection as soon as you can because oil levels could drop and cause engine damage.

Burning Carpet

Just because you smell burning carpet doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the interior of your vehicle. Instead, it could mean there’s an issue with a brake pad or rotor overheating. You need that fixed right away or it could be a huge hazard to your safety.

Rotten Eggs

In a house, smelling rotten eggs means a gas leak. In a vehicle, it’s generally the catalytic converter. This area converts gas into a releasing form and the smell shows you that it’s not working well. The engine might also have an issue that is taking on the converter.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Any time you smell something unusual and unpleasant in your vehicle, assuming you haven’t driven by a skunk that was hit by another car, you should take your car in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as soon as you can. You know the normal scents of your vehicle and none of the above are normal in the least. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center want to restore that new car smell or, at the very least, keep the vehicle in good condition without any scent at all.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Getting In For Auto Repair Before A Big Trip

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Are you headed out to the Midwest for the holidays? Do you want to take your car for a business trip a few hours away? It’s always best to go in for maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA before you have to take a big trip. You don’t want your timeline thrown off because you end up by the side of the road. You also don’t want to get halfway there and realize you need an oil change—badly. Take care of all of that in advance and you’ll be good to go. Here are a few reasons to go in for that auto repair before the trip occurs.

Get Better Gas Mileage

Pretty much every driver would rather get better gas mileage than worse, right? That means they pay less at the gas station every time they fill up. Having good gas mileage is better for your car and for your budget. When you take the vehicle in for auto repair, everything can be looked over and tweaked so you get the best gas mileage your vehicle can give.

A Smoother Ride

Long car trips can be tiring…especially if your vehicle doesn’t ride very well. If the steering is hard to control or the tires make the bumps even bumpier, it’s harder than ever. When you get maintenance and auto repair before you leave, your tires, wheels, shocks, brakes, steering, and everything in between can be checked over to make sure your car handles well along any road you might need to take. The trip as a whole will feel better to everyone along.

Safer Driving Options

When your brakes have just been checked, you know your vehicle is safer to drive because they are doing just fine. When you have enough tread on your tires, the same is true. There are lots of intricacies on a vehicle and when one thing goes wrong, lots can go wrong. Your vehicle will be safer to drive if everything is lined up well. Having a maintenance and auto repair check before you go on your trip will help you recognize that your vehicle is safe and ready to roll.

auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

There are lots of reasons to have auto repair in Philadelphia, PA and you should place an upcoming trip on that list. Before you head out, take an hour or so to get your vehicle checked out from top to bottom. Perhaps throw in an oil change and tire rotation and you will feel much better about how the trip is going to go and how well your vehicle will hold up for the duration. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to check your vehicle out and make any recommendations we might have about what you may want to do before you go. We want you to be safe and we won’t advise that you do things unless it’s what we would do on our own vehicle if we were in your position and about to take a trip.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Good Reasons To Keep Up With Auto Repair

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When you make the investment in a vehicle, what you pay for the car is not the only thing you will invest. You will have maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA that you need to keep an eye on as well. And while there will be some things that come up out of the blue over time, many things you can predict. Here are a few reasons why it’s good to keep up with auto repair over the lifetime of your vehicle.

Keep The Warranty In Check

Your vehicle may have come with a warranty and that covers certain things. If something specific breaks and the warranty covers it, you could get parts and labor completely paid for. Your technicians are going to notice when something that is under warranty is going awry and they will point it out to you. It’s nice to use the warranty for all it’s worth while you can. If you aren’t regular about your auto maintenance, you might not know you need something until the warranty is already expired.

Save Money In The Long Run

Yes, things like oil changes and new brake pads cost money, but in the long run? Those costs are minor compared to what you would pay for a new engine or completely new brakes. Having regular auto repair on things that are bound to wear out will help you prevent larger things from wearing and costing you much more money. An oil change is nothing compared to an engine rebuild.

Prevent Larger Problems

When you pay less for something like brake pads and replace them when you need to, you prevent the brake rotors and other larger issues from ever occurring. There are generally smaller maintenance and repair things you can do, when you catch them early, that will help you to avoid larger things down the road. You save money, save hassles, and allow your vehicle to stay in better working order for the time you have with it.

Maintain Vehicle Value

While most vehicles depreciate as they age and raise in mileage, you can keep your car value as high as possible by taking good care of it. People are willing to pay more for a vehicle they know was treated right. If you stood by the manufacturer recommendations and did things are recommended, your car is a lot more likely to be in good condition when you sell in the future.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

There are plenty of other reasons to get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as well as maintenance on a regular basis. If you don’t know a lot about cars, that’s all the more reason to take it to a technician so you are able to get what you need, when it’s needed. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help with any repair or maintenance need. We want you to feel comfortable with us and know that we are being honest about what we recommend for your vehicle’s repairs.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Keep Your Car Clean This Winter

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

Store It Inside

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

Wax Before Winter

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

Rinse When Possible

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

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

auto repair Philadelphia, PA

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

auto repair in Philadelphia

Winter Weather Driving Tips

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

Tip 1: Go Slow And Steady

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

Tip 2: Consider Winter Tires

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

Tip 3: Get Your Vehicle Serviced

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

Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Uneven Tire Tread Wear…What Causes It?

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

Over-Inflation Of The Tires

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

Under-Inflated Tires

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

Improper Alignment

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Lack Of Rotation

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

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Common Car Noises

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

Any Tire Noises

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

Squealing Noises

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

Humming Noises

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Squeaky Noises When Braking

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

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Planning Ahead For Auto Repair Costs

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

Make A Budget In Your Home

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

Get Inspections Regularly

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Make A List

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

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Car Not Starting? Here’s Why

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

Battery Drainage

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

Key Won’t Turn

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

Weak Cranking

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Empty Tank

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

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

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Choosing Technicians For Auto Repair

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

Certification And Licensing

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

Meet The Technicians

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

Look Into Reviews

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

Check Prices

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

Peter Alessandroni from Schafer's Auto Center

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

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