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auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Why Is Your Vehicle Overheating?

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It can be very scary to drive down the road and have your engine overheat. If it’s bad enough, you may not be able to see through the steam coming out from under the hood. You might think you’re on fire and you panic. As you shut the vehicle off after pulling over to the side of the road, you might assume this means you’re going to have a large, expensive auto repair in Philadelphia, PA on your hands.

While larger repairs are possible, that’s the worst-case scenario. When the car overheats, it’s showing you that the engine isn’t cooling properly. You definitely don’t want to ignore this, wait for the car to cool down and keep driving. That places lots of stress on the engine and can do further damage. If you leave the overheating issue alone for too long, it could lead to a complete engine replacement, which is hugely expensive.

Your engine could overheat for a number of reasons. Some of them are easy to solve while others require more work. The engine creates a lot of heat when it’s working so there has to be something that cools it down as it runs. You will see a temperature gauge on your panel control that tells you whether your engine is running in the normal range or heating up above where it should. Some older cars don’t have those gauges, but rather have a light that turns yellow when the temperature gets too high.

Most cars have a liquid cooling system that reduces the heat in the engine as it runs. Coolant is circulated through the engine to take on the heat and then vented through the radiator. Radiator fan cycles to ensure the airflow and the water pump keeps the coolant moving back and forth. If any of those components break down or leaks, you could overheat.

The most common problem that leads to overheating is a leak in the coolant system. IT could be a head gasket, water pump, a hose, or other things. Air will enter the system and the coolant won’t be able to do its job properly. Diagnosing those leaks is easy enough and can usually be fixed by professionals with ease as well. If there are radiator issues instead, that will cause some larger expenses to get things cleared up.

Whatever the cause, if your car overheats, or you notice the engine gauge is running hot, you need to get things checked out right away. You need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, small or large, before things get worse and cost you more than you expected. As soon as you notice the engine getting too hot, bring the vehicle to Schafer’s Auto Center for an inspection. With any luck, it’s something small and simple that you caught early so the professionals can fix it fast and have you on the way. Either way, you want your vehicle to run well and safely whenever you take it on the road.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Budgeting For Auto Repairs

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Once you purchase a vehicle, you know that’s not the end of the costs, but rather just the beginning. It’s important to keep those costs in mind for the duration of your car ownership. You don’t want to be stuck with bills for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, and no money to pay for them. It’s smart to budget for the things you know about and save a little extra for those unexpected things that tend to pop up here and there. Keep the routines in mind and space them out based on your owner’s manual suggestions and the way you drive. Here are some things to plan for.

Oil Changes

You know you are going to need an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on your vehicle’s needs and the way you drive. This is the biggest regular maintenance item on the list. You can budget for it on a quarterly basis or however often you need those changes.

Tire Replacement

Your tires are going to wear down eventually, even if you rotate them and wear them evenly. You’ll probably need to replace them every 50,000 miles or so, or whenever the tread starts to wear low enough that things are getting dangerous. Since you know the basic tire costs and that you will need them at certain intervals, you can save for that process and see it coming as the wear goes down on the tread.

Brake Pads

Your brakes are something you use every time you get into the vehicle. You will likely need new brake pads somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles and you could need a brake fluid flush on average every two years or so. Those expenses can add up if you don’t see them coming, but since you know they are necessary, you can save for that as well.

Wiper Blade Replacement

You might not think about your wiper blades until you need them, but they are crucial to your safety on a rainy or snowy day. It’s best to replace them before the winter begins each year so you are ready, and they don’t cost very much. You can even replace them with ease. It’s a small cost you can plan on regularly.

The Unexpected

If you keep up with regular maintenance, you’re a lot less likely to have issues. But most vehicles have some expenses that are unexpected from time to time. You will want to save a little every month to put towards those repairs as they pop up, so you aren’t drowning in bills when they arrive.

If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or if you want help taking care of regular maintenance, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here for you. We can give you tips on what you need to maintain and when and we are here to help with repairs, expected and unexpected, whenever they arise. If you want to know about the services we offer and our history, visit us online at Schafersauto.com for those details and many others.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Watching For Power Steering Auto Repair Needs

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You know your power steering is out when your vehicle is all of a sudden impossible to steer. It’s not something you want to have happened when you are driving and need to turn. If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, it’s best to get it right away. There are a few common issues that go along with power steering failure. Here are those that are often linked:

Leaking Fluid

Your power steering system uses a fluid that takes the pressure and changes the direction your wheels are turning. If the fluid is leaking, it can’t direct the wheels and it might make taking turns next to impossible. You could notice this fluid dripping from the vehicle, and you might get a grinding noise when you take turns as well. Don’t delay and get repairs quickly so you don’t burn out the power steering pump, which costs more to fix.

Worn Out Hose

Every part within a vehicle will wear out, given enough time and use, and the hose that helps the power steering operate can crack and harden. If that happens, you could see the power steering fluid leaking, which will cause failure eventually if you don’t get it repaired.

Loose Couplings

Just as the hose can become damaged, the couplings that attach it to other parts can loosen and leak fluids as well. That can happen over bumps (like hitting potholes) or even just in normal vibrations as time goes by. The system might lose pressure quickly or fluids might leak gradually.

A Slipping Drive Belt

If the drive belt on the power steering pump slips off, you will not be able to turn at all since there will be no fluid pressure in that part of the vehicle. You will also hear a squealing sound when you try to turn the vehicle.

Pump Failure

Again, every part on a car will wear out eventually and if your vehicle is older, the power steering pump could wear out. When seals or internal parts on that pump wear down, they could allow fluid pressure to all. You will notice the steering becoming harder and possibly steering squealing sounds as well.

It’s important to recognize problems in your power steering as soon as possible so you can fix smaller issues fast before larger things go wrong. Any time your vehicle starts making noises or struggling against you when you try to turn, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. You can contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center with questions or call us at (215) 755-1270 to make an appointment. We’ll check your vehicle over and make sure you know exactly what’s wrong and how we plan to fix it before we do anything at all. We won’t touch a thing until you know the charges that will result from the repairs. You can visit with us in person and show us what’s happening with your vehicle at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148. We want you and your car to be safe.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Installing New Tires

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When you have an auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the technicians should always go over the details with you as to what’s wrong with your vehicle and how they want to fix it. You should also get a price and a timeframe for the repair. When you are getting new tires, you will know the costs, but you might not hear all of the details on putting new tires on upfront. If you want to know more about how tires are installed, keep reading.

If you know a little about cars, it can be tempting to buy tires yourself and then forego the technicians and just install them yourself. But for the safety and performance of your vehicle, it’s important to have professional installation. When the right people install the tires properly, you will have the highest level of function and safety possible. Tires only take about an hour to install and they’re well worth your wait.

Proper tire installation will include a number of things. First, the technician will inspect the lugs and wheel bolts. Next, they will install the rubber valve system, if your vehicle needs it. Then, they will mount the tires and balance them on your wheels. After that, they will tighten the wheel lugs to the right recommended torque as per the manufacturer. They will then service the systems and ensure that the tires are properly inflated.

When you have a professional install your tires, they will be on the lookout for any other issues as well. They will check over the rims you have on your vehicle to make sure they are smooth and don’t have rust or rough patches that could harm the new tires. They can use an abrasive pad to clear those patches off so the tires will be in good hands under the rims.

Having professionals install your tires is the last step, but working with the technicians every step of the way is also to your advantage. You will want to make sure you purchase the right tires for your vehicle and your usage as well. You might want any special deals that are out there, and you need information on how to take good care of the tires you get as well. Technicians can help you with every detail from start to finish.

If you need new tires on your vehicle, the next time you go in for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, ask questions about the process. IT’s better to get the tires as soon as you notice that yours are worn so you can keep your car running at the optimal levels of functionality and safety. Visit with the experts at Schafer’s Auto Center about what you need in your new tires. You can call us at (215) 755-1270 to ask about sales or special deals we have coming up. You can also come to our showroom at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and take a look at different tires we offer. We can tell you about treads, performance, and more.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

More About Your Tire Patterns

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Tires are, for lack of a better description, where the rubber meets the road. They are the connection between your vehicle and the road, which makes them a very important safety feature and what helps determine the performance of your vehicle in a big way. A lot of planning and design go into any tire and it’s important that you know more about them. When visiting a shop for auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, ask for more information on your tires so you know how to treat them to make them last. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the patterns on certain tires.

Most tire brands have different tread designs for each of their tire lines. The designs are carefully put together to serve various functions for different vehicles. The tires can be classified based on their specialties. There are four major tread patterns that are used on tires:

Directional Tread Patterns

These tires have obvious patterns with grooves that are cut from the edge of the tire all the way to the center in angled v patterns. These tires usually help cars to perform better. Because of their design, they prevent hydroplaning on water and give cars better handling. They perform well in snow and mud and they can give you better fuel efficiency over time. However, because of their design, they can’t be rotated and have to be fitted properly. They are more expensive than other options as well.

Symmetrical Tread Patterns

These tires are the most common and are easy to spot because of the blocks or groves that are continuous all over the tire tread. If you flip the tire, it has the same tread so it can be rotated to wear evenly. These tires are affordable because they are in high demand and are produced in large numbers. They don’t perform as well in the rain or snow since they are meant more for daily use.

Asymmetrical Tread Patterns

The pattern on the tire is rather strange with different designs on the shoulders of the tires. They handle great on wet and dry roads and they don’t give off as much noise compared to other tires. They also don’t last as long as have to be replaced more often and they cost a bit more. They usually only come in sizes 17” or above.

Flow Optimized Asymmetrical Tread Patterns

These tires are a combination of directional and asymmetrical tires and have half of a v design. They give you a high level of protection against water and give a great performance on curves. They are harder to find, though, and aren’t as available so they cost more as well. They also cannot be rotated.

Talk to the professionals at the auto repair shops in Philadelphia, PA when you need new tires to see what’s best for you. Call Schafer’s Auto Center at (215) 755-1270 and ask about new tires. You can also visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148, see examples, and get details.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Common Auto Repair Needs

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Everyone who has ever owned a vehicle knows that at some point, things break down and stop working and other things need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA. Regular service and maintenance every time you get an oil change can help you avoid the big things by keeping your car in good working order. When you have the vehicle in, it’s nice to have things checked over. These are a few of the most common things you will hear you need when your vehicle is getting a tune up.

A New Battery

Anything that has a battery is going to need a new battery at some point. If you have kids with lots of battery-operated toys, you know that all too well. When your battery isn’t charging all the way any longer, you will need a new one. Repair shops will often install the battery for you without labor costs, which is a nice way to save on the project.

New Tires

When you maintain your tires well, they will operate safely for a long time, but they will still wear out. You need good tires to grip the road and keep your vehicle efficient. It’s hard to state the exact average lifespan of the tire because it depends on the weather, the storage, how much you maintain the tires, how you drive, and other such things. But eventually, your vehicle will need new tires and your technician will check the wear and recommend to you when that time has come.

Wipers

Wipers are something you have to have on a rainy day, or to clear the dirt away when the slush and snow take over the road. You’ll notice the streaks from old wipers, and they cut down on your visibility. This might be something you tell your technician rather than the other way around. IT’s not an expensive job to get and install new wiper blades and it makes driving much more pleasant and safer as well.

Brakes

You use the brakes in your vehicle each and every time you drive so of course they are going to wear out as well. The first thing to go are the brake pads. When your technician tells you they are wearing, get them replaced rather than waiting. That way, the brakes won’t receive further damage that will cost more to repair.

When you need an oil change, maintenance, or other auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center will check over the other parts of your vehicle as well. While we prefer to always have good news for you, that’s just not the way vehicle maintenance works. And our primary goal is to keep your vehicle in good working order and you safe on the road. We are honest professionals and we won’t tell you to do something on your vehicle unless it’s what we would do on our own. Call for an appointment at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll get you in at a time convenient to you. Then visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

The Secrets Behind Flat Tire Repair

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Flat tires never happen at a good time. That’s true of a lot of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, but when you notice your tire deflating quickly, it might not be too late for it. New tires are expensive and if your tires are on the new side, you don’t want to have to get rid of one and buy a new one just yet. Tire repair might be an option.

There are three main approaches to tire repair, depending on the damage your tire has:

Plugs

Plugs are used to repair holes that occur in the tread of the tire. They are the size and shape of the puncture and they can seal leaks from the outside. However, if there’s also a leak inside the lining of the tire, they can’t help. Plugs are a quick and easy fix and they don’t cost a lot, either.

Seals

Seals are utilized inside a tire. The tire will have to be taken off, which takes more time, but they are effective—more so than plugs. They do not repair the tread, which only a plug can do, but they can help the interior portion of the tire in a long-lasting way.

The Combo

You can also get a plug and a seal at once to repair something happening on the outside and inside of the tire. The seal will help to keep the plug in place and the combination is the most durable solution.

Unrepairable Issues

Many times, the tire can be fixed if you catch it fast enough and don’t have further damage on it. But if there is a hole in the side of the tire or along the outer rims of the tread, it can’t be fixed. You might be able to patch things up, but it wouldn’t be effective. Take the advice from a tire professional as to whether or not you can get away with a simple repair.

Once a tire has been damaged, even if you repair it, it might not have the same capabilities that the manufacturer promised. It’s not unsafe, but it shouldn’t be driven at high speeds any longer. You want to make sure a professional does the repair because improper jobs could cause the tire to leak air again or there could be water damage to the tire which could rust the wheel eventually. You don’t want the tire to be unsafe, either.

Whenever you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, including tire patch jobs or advice on whether or not you can fix a tire, the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here for you. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270 and we’ll set up a time for you to come in and we’ll take a look at the tire. If we can fix it, we will. But we’ll also be honest with you if a new tire is in your best interest. And at SAR, we’ll do our best to match you with something similar to the rest of your vehicle. Visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

5 Tips for Increasing Fuel Efficiency

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The price of gas isn’t likely going to go down to where you remember it being when you were a kid. And while you keep on top of auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, there are other things you can do to keep things running smoothly and increase your fuel efficiency so times between fill ups are longer. Here are five tips to help you achieve that goal:

Tip 1: Clean Out The Car

Do you ever feel like you are living out of your car? You might keep things in there that you never use, but you just haven’t gotten around to taking them out. Take a few minutes the next chance you get to clean your car out. There could be things in the trunk you will never need, and that extra weight can drag your fuel efficiency down.

Tip 2: Keep The Vehicle In Good Condition

Performing regular maintenance on your vehicle can take your fuel efficiency to the max. You’ll want to do a bunch of little things like check the tire pressure, get regular oil changes and use the oil recommended for your vehicle, and ensure that the fluids are topped off. Your auto repair technician can give you more tips on how to maintain your vehicle.

Tip 3: Drive Smart

One of the biggest things you can do is drive in a smart, safe manner. Rapidly accelerating or slamming on the breaks isn’t good for many parts of your vehicle, especially the fuel efficiency. Driving at 50 mph gets you the best efficiency and you can do good things for your vehicle when you obey speed limits. It’s safer, too!

Tip 4: Combine Trips

Making lots of trips with your vehicle, of course, is going to kill the fuel efficiency faster than one longer trip. Try to line your errands up all in one day so you are only stopping and starting that one time instead of lots of times over the week.

Tip 5: Change Your Route

Check your normal routes to take the kids to school, to go to work, and so on and see if you can find a more direct path or cut back on the number of times you have to stop. Avoiding traffic and congestion, for example, can help and driving on the interstate at 50 mph instead of through town with lower speeds and stopping and starting also helps.

If you want more tips on getting your fuel efficiency levels up, contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center. If it turns out you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to get your vehicle back on track, we can help with that. Having a tune up is something that can aid your goal quite a bit. Call SAR at (215) 755-1270 and we can set you up with an appointment to look things over. We can also talk to you in person and give you some tips based on what vehicle you have when you stop by 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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.