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April 2017

What Do You Need from Philadelphia Auto Repair Centers?

By | Auto Repair | No Comments

You want your car to operate well forever, but we all know that is not possible! Things are going to come up with your vehicle as the years go by. It will need maintenance in order to remain in top form and occasionally, it might need repairs as well. You are going to need auto repair help! When you need auto repair in the Philadelphia are, what do you want from the auto center you visit? Here are a few suggestions of things to watch for:

-Family Owned and Operated

It’s always nice to support locally owned businesses. It’s helpful in supporting your community. But beyond getting a fuzzy feeling, it’s good for you too! When you visit a local Philadelphia auto repair shop, you are working with people who live and work in your community. They aren’t answering to a corporate office that forces them to up-sell customers to meet quotas. They have your best interest at heart because they are your neighbors.

-Long Service Lists

You don’t want to have to go to one Philadelphia auto repair center for brake repair and another for an oil change. It’s not convenient! You don’t need to put any more time and effort into car repair than you already do. Choose a place that can do it all so you can make one stop and get everything covered at once.

-Convenient Location

If you choose a spot somewhere that is way out of the way, you’re a lot less likely to keep up with regular maintenance. Choose a shop with a convenient location so you don’t have to go very far out of your way in order to get things in order on your vehicle.


You’ve heard (or even had!) car repair horror stories. You want to avoid that at all times. Choose a shop that has honest, hard working people around every corner. The auto center should care about you and your vehicle, not the bottom line on the bill. You can get a feel for the way an auto center operates by calling or stopping in to ask questions.

When you need virtually anything done on your car or light truck, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270. We are ASE certified so you can trust we know what we’re doing. We’ve been trained by the best and we take pride in our knowledge. We also promise to treat you with respect on every level. We understand that not everyone knows as much about cars as we do and we can explain anything you want in terms you’ll understand. We also won’t try to pull anything over on you, whether you know about cars or not! Visit our shop today and ask any questions you have about our services. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148, on one of the business streets in the city. It’s convenient and you can even get free quotes to cover your vehicle’s needs.

Vehicle Inspection Check List

By | Auto Service | No Comments

During an inspection the technician is checking to make sure that a vehicle is safe on the road. However most drivers in Philadelphia don’t really know what the inspectors are looking for. In fact, it used to be that any auto technician could perform a vehicle inspection. Now though, because of complicated and advanced technology, it requires more training. The parts and systems of your vehicle are not so easy to read and there is even more to look for.

Vehicle inspections can be stressful on the car owner. What will the technician find? What is wrong? How much will the repairs cost? In some cases it can even feel like the shady car repair Philadelphia shop is out to get you! We don’t want this to happen. That is why we suggest you prepare for a vehicle inspection instead of just showing up for one. You don’t have to walk in blind. Instead, here is a checklist you can use to prepare for your vehicle inspection.

Vehicle Inspection Checklist

This is what the technician looks for to keep you and your car safe out on the road:

  • Compare registration documents to the VIN
  • Perform a visual anti-tampering check to see if emissions parts are missing, tampered with, or have been removed
  • Test wipers and washer fluid for proper operation
  • Test horn for adequate signal
  • Test warning lights, signal lights, direction indicators, and reverse lights
  • Test fog lights if applicable
  • Test suspension and steering components for proper operation
  • Test defroster
  • Check onboard computer and warning systems
  • Check brake pads and rotors for enough material to keep you safe while stopping
  • Check the parking and service break where applicable
  • Check windshield for cracks that obstruct the line of sight
  • Check fuel system for proper operation
  • Check exhaust for black or blue smoke
  • Check tire thickness and wheel alignment
  • Check for mirrors and correct operation
  • Check speedometer and odometer for correct readings
  • Check all seat belts, fasteners, and safety equipment
  • Inspect the body and chassis for rust
  • Inspect for fluid leaks
  • Inspect for noxious fumes in the car interior
  • Inspect windows and make sure they operate and are free of obstruction
  • Inspect window tint to make sure it meets state standards

As you can see, some check points require a simple yes or no. Others need a bit more. The technician must take measurements, check gauges, test exhaust, and make sure all systems are testing in an acceptable range. Anything that puts the driver or vehicle at risk will send up a red flag.

Looking for a fair assessment? At Schafer’s Auto Center we take out the guesswork by employing only ASE certified mechanics. You can expect honest and efficient service from a team you can trust. We care about our customers’ issues and have been serving the drivers of Philadelphia since 1964. Call us today at 215-755-1270 or visit 1924 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19148. We will do all we can to perform an efficient vehicle inspection and keep you safe out on the road.

Signs it is Time for a Tune-Up Service

By | Auto Service | No Comments

Routine car maintenance is the best way to prolong the life of your vehicle and protect your investment. Also routine checks will help keep you safe out on the road. Tune-ups are especially important if you want to improve the performance of your vehicle.

What is Involved in a Tune-Up Service?

Generally a tune-up includes small adjustments to your vehicle to keep it in top working order and efficiency. Before on-board computers, the mechanics needed to adjust fuel mixture, timing, and idling speeds. That is why older vehicles still need tune-ups, especially if they are not operating as well as they should. But what about newer vehicles, with on-board computers that manage all those things? Even these cars still need routine inspections and minor repairs.

When Should I Get a Tune-Up?

The timing and terms of a tune-up service will vary from vehicle to vehicle. It can also change based on age, mileage, and driving style. Because of new technologies most vehicles can go anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles before needing attention. Your owner’s manual will give you a schedule for routine car care. However, there are also a few things to watch for that will indicate when you need to get your car back into the shop.

5 Signs You Need to Get Tune-Up Service

Here is what you need to watch for:

  1. Lights

This is obvious, and usually your first indicator that something is about to go wrong. The lights on your dash will illuminate for any number of reasons. Maybe your tire pressure is low, or you need new engine oil. Fortunately, with the help of the on-board computer, technicians can efficiently diagnose the problem and get you the right repair to get you back on the road. Pay attention to your warning lights. If it comes on consistently, you should get your car to an auto shop to have it checked out.

  1. Poor Gas Mileage

Is your car not performing as efficiently as it once was? If you find yourself at the gas pumps more often, then your car is not burning fuel as it should. This could mean a problem with fuel injectors or faulty, dirty spark plugs. Get your car in for a tune-up service and your gas mileage should get back on track.

  1. Difficult or Rough Starts

Another big indicator is a rough start when you try and turn your engine over. Your car should start easily. But if you have to hold on the ignition, or it takes several tries before the engine catches—you probably have an issue with the batter, starter, or fuel system.

  1. Rough Idling or Acceleration

Have you ever noticed a vibration when your car idles? Or what about a knocking sound when you climb a hill? This usually means one or more of the sparkplugs is failing to ignite.

  1. Frequent Stalling

Nothing is as inconvenient as a car that stalls in the middle of your morning commute. Not only is this frustrating, but also dangerous. Usually this type of issue means the spark plugs are faulty or worn out. Does the car stall while it is hot or cold? Or does it only cut out when you turn on the air conditioner? The technician might ask you these questions to better diagnose the issue.

When was the last time you took your car tune up Philadelphia, PAservice. If it has been a while you should give Schafer’s Auto Center a call at 215-755-1270. We have been servicing vehciles for the drivers of Philadephia since 1964. All of our technicians are ASE certified and are ready to diagnose, explain, and repair any car problem you might have. If you want to stop by, we are located at 1924 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Philadelphia State Inspection

By | Auto Service | No Comments

Pennsylvania requires state vehicle safety inspections and emissions tests. These ensure that cars on the road get the necessary maintenance for safe operation. These state inspections can help prevent vehicle failure and crashes that often result in serious injury, or death. You must get a safety inspection from an official PennDOT Inspection Station in Philadelphia, PA like Schafer’s Auto Center.

How Often Do I Need to Get State Inspections Done?

Emissions inspections for subject vehicles are required once a year, in conjunction with your annual safety inspection. You must get a state inspection and a smog test done:

  • By the last day of the month in which your inspection is due (usually a sticker on the lower, driver’s side on the windshield)
  • When you purchase a used car
  • When you move to the state from a different location and need to register your vehicle

Can I Get State Inspections Done Early?

Yes. In fact you can get your state inspection and smog test done up to 90 days before the final deadline. So if your inspection is due in May, you can get it done as early as March. You would probably want to get your inspection done early if you think your car might require extensive repairs. That way you have more time to get your car ready to pass inspection before the deadline. This also gives you some breathing room to cover more costly repairs. And getting your inspection done early does not mean it bumps up your due date for the following year. If your inspection is due in May, but your get it done in March, you will still get new stickers for May.

What is the Difference Between an Emissions Test and a State Inspection?

Usually the state inspection and the emissions test are performed at the same time, which is why most vehicle owners do not differentiate the two. Technically they are two separate tests with two separate criteria.

State Emissions Test

The emissions test checks to make sure all vehicle’s emissions are within the federal standards for the area. In newer vehicles technicians use the onboard computer to make sure the car is compliant. Technicians will also perform a gas cap check and an anti-tampering check. In older cars the technicians will use a tail pipe along with the gas cap check and anti-tampering check to manually test emissions.

State Safety Inspection

For the state safety inspection the technician will check the suspension, steering, and Philadelphia brake repair systems. He will also inspect the tires and wheels, the lighting and electrical, the windshield, glazing, and washer fluid. The mechanic will check the defroster, wipers, speedometer, and odometer. For safety, he will also inspect the body and chassis for rust or leaks, and test all horns and warning devices. All your seat belts, buckles, and windows will also be checked.

What Do I Need to Bring for my Vehicle Inspection?

For your annual emissions and safety inspection you should bring your car, your current registration, and your insurance card.

What Happens if I Fail the Emissions Test or Inspection?

You will receive a printed report with your inspection results. If your car fails the emissions or state inspection you will need to make the related repairs and have the car re-inspected within 30 days. If you take longer than 30 days the shop may charge you to perform the related tests again.

How Much Does an Inspection Cost?

The actual price for an emissions test and a state inspection are market driven. As such they will vary from shop to shop. Some will charge upwards of $100, but in the Greater Philadelphia Area the average price for inspections costs between $60 and $70. We care about our customers and will charge you a fair price for your annual smog test and state inspection.

Do you have more questions about the Philadelphia, PA State Inspection or Emissions Tests? Do not hesitate to call Schafer’s Auto Center. We will happily answer any questions you may have or set up an appointment for you. Call us today at 215-755-1270 or stop by 1924 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19148.

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