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January 2021

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Differences: Wheel Alignment Vs. Front End Alignment

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Auto repair in Philadelphia, PA can be confusing if you don’t know the terms or much about vehicles and what they need. The good news is, there are trustworthy professionals who can help you. You may have heard about wheel alignment, but you might have also heard about front-end alignment. Are they the same thing? Well, mostly. A wheel alignment usually refers to all four wheels, like on four-wheel drive vehicles. Front-alignment is lining up the front two tires. Either way, you want your car to be properly aligned.

When your car is first manufactured, the wheels are adjusted, tested, and aligned to verification at the factory. Brand new cars should be properly aligned so you don’t have to worry about this repair at first. But over time, you will see that your wheels fall out of that perfect line.

There are various reasons why alignment can fall out of place, most of which have to do with driving conditions. If you drive on a road with a lot of potholes or bumps, that can knock that alignment out. Driving poorly can make things even worse. If you have a tendency to run into curbs, for example, that can have an impact on alignment.

You may not notice slight alignment issues, but as they worsen, you will see uneven wear on your tires. You might also notice your vehicle pulling to one side or the other when you are trying to go straight. You will have to replace tires sooner than expected if alignment is off.

There aren’t any warning lights that will show you that alignment is not quite right so the best way to prevent it is a regular check up with your auto repair specialist. When you get an oil change, have it checked, and you will have a vehicle that handles well. You might notice a vibrating steering wheel and that’s a good reason to have things checked out.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Having proper alignment is important to your car because it makes it drive the best and extends the life of your tires. The tires last longer, and the vehicle gives you a smoother ride. The wheels will point in the right direction, so you aren’t always having to correct the vehicle when you are trying to drive straight. The car will also use less energy, so you won’t have to get gas as often.

Overall, your vehicle operates in the safest, most efficient manner when the wheels are aligned. You will have an alignment done when you get new tires, but it should also be something to check in on when you have an auto repair in Philadelphia, PA in other areas. Contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center if your steering wheel is vibrating or if you notice the vehicle pulling in one direction or the tires wearing unevenly. These are good reasons to get the alignment checked, even before your next scheduled oil change and maintenance check. We’re here to help with advice and repairs whenever you need them.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Car Washing And Auto Repair Tips

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When you buy a vehicle, it can be very exciting. But you also will have to think about all of the maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA that is going to go into that ownership as well. If you take pride in your vehicle, you might want to wash it frequently to keep the paint looking new and the shine on the tires. But you will not want to use common dish soap for washing purposes. Yes, it does a good job, but it can break down the car’s wax and give the vehicle more of a dull look over time.

If you can’t use dish soap, what should you use? Well, car soap! It’s really that simple. Car soap has more lubricant in it, so it feels slicker between your fingers. That’s what makes it better for the surfaces of the vehicle. In addition to the special car soap, you will want a sponge or a washing mitt as well as some brushes for the tires. Get out some buckets and a microfiber towel to clean. You may also want bug remover and possibly, on occasion, wax to spray or rub on.

It’s best to wash your car in the shade if you can so it doesn’t dry before you are ready and cause water spots to staining. Keep your car wet until you are ready to dry it to combat those water spots. Oh, and don’t forget to close the windows on a nice day! You will want to avoid squirting anything under the hood. Yes, it looks dirty under there, but you don’t need that area to be squeaky clean.

What’s the best way to wash a car? Start with the wheels. The car soap can clean the rubber and that part will be very dirty. You can then get fresh soap and water once that part is clean. Rinse the car with the hose and get the debris off. Pre-treat any areas that need it, like places that have bugs splattered on it or bird droppings. Then you can soap and rinse one side of the car, moving to the next. After everything is washed, rinse one more time and dry quickly so you don’t get water spots.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Air drying is fine, but if you don’t like water spots, try a squeegee to remove most of the water before you let the air do the rest of the work. If you use a towel, don’t work in circular motions, but rather in straight lines.

There are lots of things to learn about car maintenance, even something as simple as washing the car. If you have a need for oil changes or another auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or if you just need advice on your vehicle, you are welcome to contact the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center any time. We’re here to help you decide when you need an oil change, what soap to use when to get new tires and everything in between.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Auto Repair On Low Engine Oil

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When you buy a vehicle, you know the sticker price is not the last money you will spend on that car. Vehicles need gas at regular intervals, oil changes, and other auto repair in Philadelphia, PA over time. But most vehicles have all kinds of sensors and lights that help you to identify what is going wrong and when to take the vehicle in for repairs or maintenance. That can be very helpful if you’re not good at keeping track of things yourself, or don’t know that much about cars in the first place. But you do need to know what the lights on your car mean and what to do about them. One light you might see is the low oil pressure light.

Philadelphia, PA auto repair

Your car’s engine has a lot of moving parts and they rub against each other very quickly. To prevent too much friction and damage, the oil helps to lubricate these parts. The pressure put on the oil is run by a pump and the system cools the engine to protect the metal parts. If there is not enough oil running in the system, the low oil pressure light may come on.

There are lots of things that could cause the light to pop on. First, there could be a faulty sensor. You’ll want the professionals to look at the sensor before anything else. The oil levels might be fine, but if the sensor is faulty, the light could be on for no reason at all. Getting a new sensor is much easier than other issues.

Second, there could be an oil pump malfunction. The pump may not be moving oil through the system as needed. That could be because of old age or another reason. When there are bubbles forming in the oil, that will reduce the pressure and make the system think there is not enough oil, even if there is.

Third, there could be improper grade oil in the engine. If you do not get the right oil for the make and model of your vehicle, it could break down faster and degrade, causing the oil not to be in there at the right levels.

And last, there could also be leaks in the system. You might notice that beneath your vehicle if there are oily spots on the ground where you parked. If there’s a leak, the oil you have put in is coming out and not remaining in the engine where it is needed.

Any time a light comes on in your vehicle and you aren’t sure what might be wrong, it’s best to get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA to look into the issue. Even if it’s nothing or something really small, you will have peace of mind about your vehicle’s safety and that’s important. Call the professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center whenever your car needs maintenance, repairs, or a light checked out. We’re here to help you keep things effective and efficient at all times, so you are safe on the road every time you go out.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Protecting Your Car During A Pandemic

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As the world is up against a major pandemic, and you have a lot of hurdles to overcome in your life because of it, your car may not be a high priority. However, since you use your vehicle to get around for important things, you need to stay up on auto repair in Philadelphia, PA as well. To avoid allowing your vehicle to waste away due to under use in your driveway, here are a few things you should do, even if you don’t get out much.

Run The Engine Regularly

If your kids are doing school at home and you are able to work from home as well, there are fewer and fewer reasons to leave the house. But when you do need to leave, the last thing you want is for your car not to start because you haven’t used it in a while. Run the engine on your vehicle a few times a week, even if you don’t go anywhere. Leave it running for a few minutes and press on the gas pedal a few times. That will help you to keep your vehicle in good condition. Once a week, drive the car around the block as well. IT’s good for you to get out and even better for the vehicle, especially an older car.

Keep Tabs On Tire Pressure

You want your tires to stay in good shape for when you do use the vehicle again more often and that means keeping the tire pressure at the right levels. You can find out what pressure you need in the owner’s manual. If you have a newer vehicle, it might have a computerized system that tells you what the pressure is in each tire. Otherwise, you can easily check with a hand gauge yourself. If things are too low, drive to a gas station nearby, pump up the tires, then hand sanitize to stay safe.

auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Clean The Interior

You might not be someone who is able to shelter at home and if that is the case, who knows what you could be bringing into your car, no matter how careful you are. Clean and sanitize the interior of your car, especially the frequently touched areas like the steering wheel and gear shift. You can also air your car out with fresh air by opening the windows a crack to let the air flow through and clean things out.

There are plenty of other things you can do to keep your car safe during the pandemic. If you need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, or some form of maintenance, call Schafer’s Auto Center and ask about our safety rules. We want vehicles, and our customers, to be as safe as possible during this unprecedented time in history. We will protect you and your vehicle in as many ways as possible. You can stay in our waiting room or, if you feel safer, get a ride home to wait for your vehicle to be completed.

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