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auto repair in Philadelphia, PA

Is Your Check Engine Light On?

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You likely rely on your vehicle to get you places on a daily basis. You might take its health for granted…until something goes wrong. When you see that check engine light go on and you think you might need auto repair in Philadelphia, PA, you groan. Keep in mind that cars are more powerful, get better gas mileage, and have better technology now than every before. That also means that your car is more complicated than past cars were. Computer systems are faster and more accurate within your vehicle. Parts, just like on anything else, can wear out. Your car is trying to let you know that something is going wrong within it when the check engine light comes on, even if it feels like it is driving just fine. Continuing on with your week and ignoring that light isn’t a good idea.

It’s never recommended to drive with a check engine light on or flashing. You don’t know if it’s a malfunction within the light, a fluke, or if something’s really wrong. If you’re not a car expert, you won’t know until you have someone look at it. It’s in your best interest to make an appointment as soon as possible to have the issue, whatever it might be, diagnosed and repaired.

Take a look at your owner’s manual to see what possibilities there are for the check engine light to be on. Some vehicles can turn on that light if, for example, the gas cap is loose or hasn’t been fully clicked into place. You certainly don’t want to waste time (and possibly money on diagnostics) for something you could fix so easily yourself. Before you run to professionals, check the little things of that nature and once you’re sure that’s not helping, you definitely need to get help.

Before something goes really wrong, that check engine light will warn you. Ignoring it means you’re getting closer and closer to something going really wrong. Ignoring the light is like playing with time. You know something could go wrong at any minute and the more you drive your vehicle, the closer you are to that minute.

The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center take pride in auto repair in Philadelphia, PA of any kind. When you need an oil change (which is one reason the check engine light might go on, by the way) or if you need new tires, we’re here for you. If you have a check engine light or another warning on your dash, we can diagnose and fix that for you as well. Give us a call at (215) 755-1270, tell us what’s going on with your vehicle and when you’d like to bring it to us for repairs or maintenance. Then, stop by our shop at 1924 S Columbus Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’ll give you the fastest service possible so you can go about your day with a safe vehicle back in working order without any more warning lights on.

auto repair Philadelphia

Is Your Vehicle Ready For Vacation?

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Once you finally get to summer, you can take some time off from work and school and enjoy a family vacation. That vacation won’t be stress-free if you break down in the middle of nowhere without a recourse for a vehicle. Instead of allowing that possibility, get auto repair in Philadelphia, PA before you leave and make sure your car is ready for the trip. Here are a few things it should include:

An Oil Change

Oil changes are one of those regular things that your car just must have. It’s a good idea to do one right before you leave so you don’t get stuck somewhere, needing one and not having the time for it. Try to time it so you will need one just before you take off, so your oil is fresh and ready to go.

Coolant Check

Your vehicle will be working extra hard on the long trip and in the summer heat. You don’t want it to overheat because you don’t have enough coolant. If you can’t remember when the coolant was changed out or added to, it’s probably time. Have the technicians check the levels and go from there.

Battery Test

Summer can be even harder on a battery than winter and you will want to make sure your battery is strong and in good working order. You don’t want to have it die on you when you’re getting gas somewhere and there’s no place around to get a new one. If it doesn’t test well, it’s easy enough to get a new one before you leave on your trip.

Check Over The AC

Air conditioning has a way of stopping its job at the worst of times. You’ll want to make sure that isn’t when your family is sweating on the trip to the desert, right? Have a technician check over the AC and make sure it has enough Freon and other elements to get everything in perfect working order before you end up with bad results at an inconvenient time.

Tire Inspection

You want to make sure the tread on your tires is at a good level before a big vacation. They should also be rotated and inflated to the right level for the best gas mileage for the trip.

These are a few things you will want to do in terms of maintenance and auto repair in Philadelphia, PA before you take that family vacation and have an issue down the road. The professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help with any kind of inspection or tune-up you want. Call us at (215) 755-1270 and set up an appointment or ask questions you have about what you need to do before you leave. You can also stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. At SAR, we’re here to help your vehicle run effectively and efficiently every season of the year, no matter what kind of road trip you want to take with your family.

Philadelphia auto repair

Futuristic Car Details On The Horizon

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If you already feel like you are way behind on understanding Philadelphia auto repair and the intricacies it includes, you might be overwhelmed to hear about the even more futuristic car features that are on the horizon. Cars are operated largely by computers today and there are even more futuristic features coming to fruition. Here are a few to think about and watch for as they start to appear in vehicles on the dealership lots.

Dashboards-Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, or AR will function kind of like in the movies. You’ve probably seen films where a robot would look at a person and access information about them on a screen nearby automatically. Consider that as a driver. Critical information will pop up on the windshield before their eyes to enhance the driver’s senses and safety. If you are approaching another vehicle too fast, for example, the AR display will pop up with arrows that show you how to maneuver around the car and avoid an accident. It will also tell you the safest lane to take to keep you out of harms way and it can notify drivers when their eyes are off the road. These safety measures could help keep drivers alert and even safer.

Communicating Vehicles

Vehicle to vehicle communication, or V2V doesn’t mean your car is going to talk up another car in the parking lot and delay your getaway. Rather, it allows drivers to overcome some of the human mistakes they make as they traverse the roads. You may not see a vehicle that’s about to run a red light approaching you, but soon, your vehicle might be able to. Vehicles transmit wireless signals about their locations, directions, and speeds. That signal is received by surrounding vehicles with the same technology and helps calculate safe driving distances. This technology could lead to smoother journeys for a number of drivers.

Self-Driving Cars

This technology has gotten the most attention and press, but wouldn’t it be nice to have? Many drivers spend hours commuting to and from work every week and allowing a car to do that drive for you would give you some time to relax, read, work, or do any number of other things. Self-driving cars have to rely on lasers, cameras, radar, and other items to process information about the surroundings. The technology has yet to be perfected, but it’s on the to-do list for many companies.

These are just a few of the things that Philadelphia auto repair shops may have to implement into their repair options, along with oil changes, brake repairs, new tires and so on. For now, if you need any type of repair or maintenance on your vehicle, contact Schafer’s Auto Center and in the future, we’ll work together to advance to new levels. Give us a call for an appointment at (215) 755-1270. Or stop into the SAR shop at1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and see how we operate. We’re here to keep the technology that your vehicle features today in good standing.


auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA

Finding An Auto Repair Shop That Makes You Comfortable

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There are some people who know a lot about cars and feel comfortable visiting just about any auto repair shop in Philadelphia, PA. They know their vehicle well and all of the terminology that goes along with it. They can easily tell when someone is trying to pull something over on them. Good for them! However, not all of us were born with that knowledge, or even understand it if we try to learn. For the other type of people in this world, approaching an auto repair shop can be nerve-wracking. You need to be able to find an auto repair shop that makes you comfortable. Here are some tips to help you do just that.   

Tip 1: Make Some Calls With Questions 

Before you need an auto repair shop for maintenance or a repair, call around to some of the local shops and get a feel for how they treat customers. If they answer the phone in a gruff manner and don’t seem to have time for your questions, you won’t be comfortable with them in person, either. On the other hand, if they are polite, courteous, and answer your questions with ease, you might want to give them a shot.   

Tip 2: Check Out The Shop 

Chances are, when you’re getting an oil change or another repair, you’re going to have to utilize an auto repair shop waiting room. It’s nice to know what you’re getting into. Visit a few shops you’re considering just to see their operation. If they have a decent waiting room, you know you could sit in comfort with a book or bring your laptop to utilize the free Wi-Fi. The actual auto shop portion is likely to have dirt—they do work on cars, after all—but it should look organized and well maintained at the same time.   

Tip 3: Ask Friends Like You 

They say it takes one to know one, right? If you don’t know a lot about cars, you can recognize other people that are in the same boat. Surely you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who doesn’t have a clue or even particularly a desire to know a lot about cars. Ask them what auto repair shop they use. If their shop treats them right and works with them in an effective, efficient, and honest manner, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable trusting them yourself.   

At Schafer’s Auto Center, we understand that not everyone is an expert on cars and that’s okay. We have enough knowledge to cover your interests. When you need a Philadelphia, PA auto repair shop, we invite you to check us out. You can call our friendly representatives at (215) 755-1270 to ask questions or set up an appointment. You can also visit us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’re honest, hard-working folks here at SAR and we won’t tell you to do something on your vehicle unless it’s something we’d do to our own car.  


oil change in Philadelphia, PA

What Kind Of Oil Do You Need In An Oil Change?

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Did you know there are choices for the oil you put in your car? Just like anything else, there’s a variety of options out there and when you get your next Philadelphia, PA oil changeyou can request a certain type of oil. If you don’t say anything, the technician will probably use the oil that the manufacturer recommends and that’s usually best for your vehicle. But you do have a say in the situation so it’s important to know the difference in the different types of oil you can have in your vehicle.  

Consider Viscosity 

Viscosity is how thick the oil is and how well it retains its properties at various temperatures. Synthetic oil is superior in this case because conventional oils will thicken when the weather gets cold and get thinner when it’s hot. Viscosity in synthetic oils is more uniform. Some new models might run better on lower-viscosity oil and the rating is expressed numerically. The lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many vehicles are designed to work at various levels.  

Premium Conventional Oil 

Most vehicles run just fine on premium conventional oil, which does a good job at protecting the engine from overheating and from everyday wear. There are additive packages available for different vehicles, but as long as you stick to a regular oil change schedule, conventional oil is usually a good option for most vehicles.  

High Mileage Oil 

Vehicles are lasting longer today, especially with good maintenance habits, and high mileage oil is formed to stop leaks and swell gaskets around valve corners that might have cracked over their years of use. There are better viscosity properties in high mileage oil, which can help things stay quieter and provide better protection for parts that might be loosening up a bit due to age and wear.  

Synthetic Blend 

This synthetic blend splits the difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil. Synthetic blends are better for SUVs and trucks and while they aren’t as costly as full synthetic, they do cost more than conventional oil. If your vehicle hauls heavy loads, this is something to consider.  

Full Synthetic 

This oil outperforms conventional oil in every way and is purer and more stable as well as more uniform. The viscosity properties are better, and this oil is factory-recommended for most new vehicles to protect and seal items within the engine. They are, however, also more costly, but they also last longer and don’t have to be changed out as often.  

If you want to know more about what you need for your next Philadelphia, PA oil changecheck your owner’s manual or ask your technician for details on what’s best for your vehicle. Contact Schafer’s Auto Center the next time you need an oil change at (215) 755-1270. SAR is here to recommend the right oil for your vehicle to make it run the best for as long as possible. We’re located 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. 

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 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. 

Leave Certain Car Maintenance to Pros

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Some people just love to tinker around the garage. And since the car is generally in the garage, they might tinker with that as well. Whether they like to change the oil to feel handy or try out a few repairs, there are some items that are best left to the professionals at SAR. Because of the complexity within cars today, some things are just too complicated to handle on your own. Keep these items in mind as you consider a DIY approach on your vehicle in Philadelphia.

-Brake Repair
If you’ve noticed your brakes are taking longer to stop the vehicle, or you hear a squealing noise, you might recognize that it’s time for brake repair. Sure, it might just be the brake pads and that would be great. It’s the most inexpensive part to replace. However, when it comes to your brakes, you never want to mess around. Brakes are an important (if not the most important) safety element. You don’t want to miss anything or mess anything up and put your life and the lives of others with you and around you, at risk.

-Engine Diagnostics
The engine is one of the most fun parts on a vehicle to tinker with. It’s what makes everything run! You can look all you want, but when it comes to taking parts out and putting things back in, you should really leave it up to SAC. If your check engine light comes on or you start hearing unusual noises, you might want to get things checked out. Sure, you can take a look at your owner’s manual and see what you can figure out, but the pros at Schafer’s Auto Center have sophisticated equipment that helps you get to the bottom of the story. They can hook up computer programs that get an in depth look at the engine and their education will enable them to decipher the codes they get to allow the root cause of the problem to come out to be cured.

-Tire Balancing
Tire rotations sound easy enough, and you can easily jack up the car and swap the wheels around, but balancing those tires and checking for uneven wear is very important to the health and well-being of your vehicle and the overall safety you get when driving. Rotate your tires on your own and try to balance them, but you are taking a risk that things might not be so safe. IT’s really best to leave the job to the pros at SA.

If you need professional help with any of these things, or just a simple oil change in Philadelphia and tune-up, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 for an appointment. We’re here to help with anything from simple to complicated! Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’d love to have you come visit and ask questions. We want your vehicle to be as safe as possible and that starts with knowing what to do and when!

Beginner Tire Maintenance

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When you took driver’s education courses, you may have learned how to change a tire or where to keep the spare, but other than that, you spent more time on rules, simulators, and driving experience. Even if you did go over more than that, you probably don’t remember much. The rules of the road take over and how to maintain your vehicle properly stays in the background. As a driver, there are a lot of things to remember and keep in order so you can remain safe. But whether you just started driving or you have been driving for years, it’s always good to go back to the basics and start with the one part of the car that touches the road…the tires.

Tires are the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground, which makes them crucial. They are a safety feature, they help determine fuel economy, and they are something that should be maintained with vigilance. Make your tires last with this advice from SAR.

#1: Know Tire Pressure
You need to know not only how to check tire pressure, but also what pressure your tires should be at. You also need to know how to add and take air out in case you need to make an adjustment. IT’s really a simple process and if you don’t know how to do it, the technicians as SAC would be happy to show you during your next visit.

#2: Know When Routine Maintenance is Necessary
You need to have your tires rotated on a regular basis. You will be able to get a mileage in your owner’s manual or a local mechanic can give you a good idea. You can then base that maintenance around other items, like oil changes. If you get your oil changes at a certain mileage point too, you can then get your tires rotated every other oil change, or whatever is best for their mileage.

#3: Keep an Eye on the Tread
When you visit SAR for regular maintenance, we’ll keep an eye on the treads of your tires as well. But it’s always good for you to know what to look for yourself so you know when tire replacement is coming your way. A new set of tires is an investment and you might need to budget and save for it.

With this tire advice, and the help of true professionals, you can make the most of your tires and keep them as safe as possible in the meantime. Tire maintenance plays a big role in your vehicle’s safety and efficiency. Your tires won’t last forever, no matter what you do, but maintenance will help them last longer in a safer manner. If you need tire advice, contact Schafer’s Auto Center for an appointment at 215-755-1270. We’re here to help with advice, maintenance, new tires, or anything else you need for auto service in Philadelphia. Stop by and see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and let’s work together to keep your tires and vehicle safe.

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