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What You Get from a Tune-Up Service

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It’s easy enough to tell when something is really wrong with your vehicle. It starts making weird noises, the dashboard lights are on, and things aren’t running smoothly. But you want to keep your vehicle in working order before those major problems hit. That’s where a tune-up service comes in handy. If you have a tune-up service in Philadelphia on a regular basis, you can avoid those major issues altogether. Technicians notice anything small going on and get it fixed before it becomes a larger problem. You save time; you save money; you save hassles. It’s a no brainer. When you bring your vehicle in to Schafer’s Auto Center, here are a few things you can expect from a tune-up service.

Oil Changes
One of the first things SAC will do for your vehicle is simply an oil change. By draining the oil, replacing the filter, and putting in new oil, your engine will feel much better and run like a dream. We will also check and top off other fluids as well as check your tire pressure and include an 80-point inspection free with any service, including the oil change.

Brake Checks
The tune-up service also includes a brake inspection. Brakes are highly important to the safety and security of any vehicle and at SAC, we have 57 years of experience inspecting and repairing brakes. We will take a look at the brakes and diagnose any problems that are coming your way.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with a vehicle and the tune-up service may turn out a problem that needs to be looked into further. If SAC sees something fishy, we’ll go into detail and use one of our three different information systems to help the technicians figure out what’s going on quickly and easily so we can fix it in no time.

Schafer’s Auto Center can also include a yearly Pennsylvania state and emission inspection with a Philadelphia tune-up service so you can get it all done at once. It’s a simple, easy, one-stop process when you bring your vehicle to us.

Rotations and Alignments
Part of your tune-up service should also include tire elements including tire rotations so they will wear evenly. We can also align and adjust your tires to ensure everything is lined up properly within your vehicle.

Get a Tune-Up Service from SAC
Schafer’s Auto Center is here to help you with everything from tire rotations and oil changes to exhaust checks and brakes. We’ll take care of any tune-up service you need and warn you if anything is starting to look worn and will need a repair soon. You can avoid a lot with that type of information. Give us a call for your appointment today at 215-755-1270. Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148, and we’re here to answer your questions and keep your car running smoothly for as long as possible.

Transmission Problems to Notice

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There’s nothing quite like having transmission issues to send you into a state of panic. You know they can be very expensive and, at the very best, inconvenient. You never need transmission repair at a good time, right? But if you own your car long enough, sooner or later, you’ll probably have to get transmission repair in Philadelphia. It’s best to know what to watch for so you understand when you need a mechanic. Transmission issues, if they aren’t fixed, will just get worse. Watch for these signs of transmission problems to help yourself save time and money on repairs.

-The Check Engine Light

The first sign that something might be wrong (or is about to go wrong) is the check engine light. That light can mean any number of things, including possible transmission repair needs. The sensors on your vehicle tell the computer if something strange is happening and some of those sensors sit on the transmission. They pick up tiny things that you will never notice or feel. It’s never a good idea to ignore that Check Engine Light.

-Whining, Humming, or Clunking

You don’t want to go to the auto shop and make the sounds your vehicle is making in order to describe to a technician what’s wrong, but when you hear these noises, it could be the transmission. It can be hard to identify transmission repair needs based on sound, but if you hear something like this that you haven’t heard before, get it checked over.

-Shaking or Grinding

Your car shouldn’t shake or jerk and you shouldn’t hear any grinding noises. These are indications that you need transmission repair. The grinding will occur when you shift if you have a manual transmission. With an automatic, you might have trouble getting into gear when you start moving. Get things checked out before it gets worse.

-Neutral Noise

When your car is in neutral, if it makes bumping sounds, you might have low or dirty transmission fluid. That’s easy enough to fix. Top off the fluid and if that doesn’t work, change it out. There could also be some worn parts that need to be swapped out of the transmission.

Not every car owner is a car expert and we understand that you don’t necessarily know everything about every part of your vehicle. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to changes in how your car operates so you know when to bring it in for help. Keep up with your regular tune-ups and oil changes and with any luck, Philadelphia , PA transmission repair needs will be caught far enough in advance that you won’t have any trouble with them at all. In order to get the professional help you need, make an appointment at Schafer’s Auto Center by calling 215-755-1270. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help with tune-ups, oil changes, transmission repair, and any other car maintenance or repair need you have over the years.

How to Know You need an Oil Change

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You have a busy life, right? You can’t always think of everything that needs to get done around you. Maintenance is often overlooked when you get bogged down with work and family commitments. So how do you know when your car needs an oil change? There are several ways to tell that you need to find a place to take it in Philadelphia in order to get the oil change done fast!

  1. The Oil is Black and Gritty

If you feel like you are due (or overdue) for an oil change, just take a glance at the oil in your vehicle. The original color is a honey brown. It will darken after a few weeks of use. But if you start to see particles mixed with the oil, you need to get it changed. Too much grit will overload the filter and contaminate the engine with all sorts of junk.

  1. Your Engine is Running Louder

You know what your car usually sounds like. When your oil isn’t lubricating the engine anymore, it will start to rub, grind, and make odd noises. The louder the noise, the faster you need to visit Schafer’s Auto Center.

  1. You Can’t Remember Your Last Oil Change

If you got your oil changed a few months ago, chances are you will at least vaguely remember getting it done. If you can’t remember when it was last done, you probably need to make an appointment and get your vehicle in. Get it changed and then write it down so you can remember for sure next time.

  1. Oil Levels Drop

Your engine will eat the oil eventually. If you haven’t changed it in a while, your engine will start to eat the oil and you will see the levels drop. It will start to overwork the engine and things won’t run smoothly for long. Get it changed to get the levels back up to where they need to be.

  1. Simply Mileage

Most oil needs to be changed in every 3,000-6,000 miles, depending on your vehicle. Keep the sticker from the shop on your window and when you hit the right number, take it in. It’s a simple way for you to keep track of the timing of those important oil change in Philadelphia.

When it’s time for an oil change, contact Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 and make an appointment to bring your vehicle in. We’ve been in the business since 1964, and you can trust us to change your oil quickly and effectively. We’re conveniently located on one of the biggest and busiest streets in the city, so it’s easy to stop by and get that oil changed as needed. We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re looking forward to helping you with your vehicle. Besides oil changes, we can fix just about anything on a car or even a light truck. With honest, hard-working people on your side, you can’t go wrong.

Information on Timing Belt Replacement

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There are so m any working parts on your vehicle, it can be hard to keep up with them all. The good news is that when you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas, you have a great place to go for the big and little details. Schafer’s Auto Center has been around since 1964 and can repair anything on your car or light truck. Whether it’s timing belt replacement, oil changes or anything in between, we’re here for you. Today, let’s look at the timing belt so you have all the information you need in that area.

A timing belt runs the engine camshaft. IT is called a timing belt for a reason. Its job is to time the opening and closing of the valve with an up and down motion of the pistons. If the timing belt isn’t operating and you have to replace it, it is one of the higher priced maintenance items you have to deal with over the life of your vehicle.

Most timing belt replacement needs will occur anywhere from 60,000 to 106,000 miles. You will find a recommended mileage in your car’s maintenance schedule from the manufacturer. Timing belts can last past the recommended intervals depending on how you drive and maintain the vehicle.

If you are nearing what your maintenance schedule says and you are wondering if your timing belt will need to be replaced or not, you can have an inspection down when you are in for a tune-up, oil change, or other items. Sometimes the timing belt will fail before the right time frame. That is usually due to faulty hardware. But if you are nearing or past the time your manufacturer recommends replacement, we can remove the covers that go over the timing belt and take a look. If you are planning a road trip and your timing belt is nearing its possible end, have an inspection done to give you peace of mind.

The cost of timing Philadelphia timing belt replacement will depend on the type of engine you have on your vehicle. You can expect anything from a couple hundred dollars all the way up to nearly a thousand depending on the complexity of the engine and the job at hand. You will want to ensure the installation is done correctly in order to make sure your vehicle runs properly for the long haul. That’s why we recommend you bring it to us for an inspection and for the ultimate timing belt replacement whenever that is needed.

Give Schafer’s Auto Center a call for an appointment today at 215-755-1270. We can check your timing belt for you and let you know if replacement is necessary right away or if you can go further o the belt you already have. We are a locally owned and operated business and we won’t recommend a service we wouldn’t do on our own vehicles. Stop by and see us soon at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Reasons to Make Time for a Tune-Up Service

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You’re a busy individual, we get it! Some days, you may not even feel like you have time to eat, much less get any other appointments in. Life can get busy and hectic, but if it’s important, you make time for it, right? A tune-up service for your vehicle in Philadelphia is important! Here are a few reasons you’ll want to make time for it.

Reason#1: It Will Save You Time Later

Do you have time to be stranded by the side of the road for an hour or longer, waiting for a tow truck to show up? We didn’t think so. Do you have time to wait for several hours while major repairs are done on your vehicle? That’s not idea either. Instead of letting either of those scenarios happen, get a regular tune-up service done on your vehicle and you can chalk it up to time well spent…and time well saved later!

Reason#2: It Will Save You Money

Sure, tune-up service options cost a bit of money up front but think about all the money you are saving later. When you get your brakes tuned and your brake pads changed, you are saving your brakes from needing a major repair later. The little maintenance efforts you put in today will save you a lot of money on things that won’t have to be done tomorrow.

Reason#3: It Will Make Your Car Last Longer

If you don’t relish the idea of buying a new vehicle anytime soon, you should be vigilant about making time for a tune-up service. When your vehicle runs efficiently and effectively because you keep up with your tune-ups, it will last you longer. You won’t have to buy a new car anytime soon and you can save yourself time and money in that area as well.

Reason#4: Catch Problems Early

You may take your vehicle for granted, but in all actuality, it can be a dangerous device. If something on your vehicle goes wrong, it can cause an accident or you could break down at an inopportune time. In order to catch the little things early, a tune-up service is highly recommended. Get those little things fixed before they cause big issues down the road.

If you are ready to make time for a Philadelphia , PA tune-up service, Schafer’s Auto Center will make the process as quick and easy as possible. Give us a call for an appointment today at 215-755-1270. We’ll allow you to choose a convenient time and we’ll cover all of the checkpoints as fast as we can. We know life doesn’t stop because your car needs a tune-up and we will make quick work of the process for you. Stop by and see us anytime on one of the business streets in the city! We’re located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and we’re happy to help you with a tune-up service or anything else you need for your car or light truck.

Why is a Smog Check a Good Idea?

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There are a lot of things you automatically do for your vehicle when you live in Philadelphia. You put gas in it when you are running low, for example. You take it in for an oil change when you have driven a certain number of miles. Hopefully, you get regular check ups and tune ups as well. But why do you need a smog check? Is that really a worthwhile item? Yes, it is! And here’s why.

-You help the environment

You may not think that a simple smog check is really doing all that much for the environment, but when you think about all of the vehicles running throughout Philadelphia combines, it makes a huge difference. Since every car has to meet certain standards, it really adds up to an environmental aid. If you skip your smog check and so does the guy down the street and the one on the other side of the city, the environment will pay the price.

-It ensures your vehicle is running smoothly

When you get a smog check, the technicians go over many areas of your car. Sure, they want to see that it isn’t putting out too many toxins, but if it is, there is a reason. Your car may not be running efficiently if it is putting too much out into the air. Fixing the issues cannot only lower your pollutants, but it can also save you money on gas and other items in the long run.

-It’s the law

Pennsylvania has put a law into effect that says you need to have smog checks. If you don’t have the checks at the proper times, you are essentially breaking the law. If you want to keep your record and your driving privileges intact, you need to have the checks as necessary.

When you know it’s time for a smog check, where do you go? Philadelphia has a lot of shops to offer! First, you want to make sure the state has certified the shop you choose for the checks. IF the state hasn’t sanctioned the shop, it won’t recognize the results. The easiest thing you can do is simply call Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 to make your appointment. The state says that we’re qualified to do the Philadelphia , PA smog check and we can take care of oil changes or other maintenance and repairs at the same time. We’re conveniently located on one of the busiest streets in the city. You’ll see us at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We’ve been in business since 1964 so you know since we’re still around, we know what we’re doing. With thousands of customers in our past, we have plenty of references to share so you’ll understand we can fix anything and everything on any car or light truck. Since we’re local, you can also take comfort in the fact that our employees are members of the community, living and working among you just like any other neighbor!

What Happens if You Ignore Your Brakes? What happens if brake pads wear out?

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Do you really need to check your braking system?

Your braking systems aren’t something you think about on a daily basis, even though you use them every time you want to slow your vehicle. You take your brakes for granted. When you press down on the brake pedals, your vehicle should slow and then come to a stop. It’s as simple as that! But if you ignore your brakes and never have Philadelphia brake repair, a number of things can go wrong. Here are some of the things that could happen if your brakes don’t get the service they need.

Do breaks can fail?

If you let your brakes go and never tend to them, the pads and rotors could wear out and go bad, and a number of other things can break down. These things operate together as a team in order to slow your vehicle. When one or more item is no longer working, your disc brakes can fail. There aren’t many things that can go wrong in a vehicle that is scarier than failed brakes. What if you’re driving 60 down the highway? What if you see someone crossing the road in town and you can’t slow down? Having your braking system fail is one of the last things you want to happen when you’re driving.

What happens if you don’t fix brakes?

If you start to hear your brakes squeal and act up and you ignore the issue, they can still work for a while and you’ll just add brake fluid, at least somewhat, even if they don’t stop your car as fast. But the longer you wait, the more damage they can do. If you take your vehicle in right away, you might just need to replace brake pads. If you wait, the damage can continue into bigger, more expensive parts of your brakes. When you finally do go in, the problem is deep and much more costly.

In summary, what happens if your brakes fail you? Nothing good comes from ignoring your brakes. You could harm yourself, someone else, or other parts of your vehicle, which causes you higher expenses. Which option do you prefer? None of the above? In that case, make sure you get Philadelphia brake repair at the first sign of anything wrong within your braking system. In Philadelphia, you can guarantee our brake inspections are the best quality and standard for your car. Notably, in our repair facility, we rigorously check your brake rotors, brake pads and shoes, timing belts, and so forth just to assure your safety on the road.

If you’ve never dealt with brake issues on a vehicle before, you may wonder where you need to go to get them fixed. Sure, there are shops that specialize in just brakes, but it’s more convenient to visit an auto center that can also do your oil change, rotate your tires, and take care of other maintenance needs at the same time.

Call Schafer’s Auto Center at 215-755-1270 and make an appointment for Philadelphia brake repair. We run a free 80-point inspection every time you bring your vehicle in for anything at all to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible in every way. We can also do your oil change, tire rotation, filter changes, and anything else that needs to be done. There’s no need to go anywhere else for anything at all! Visit our convenient location at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Vehicle Inspection Check List

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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

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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

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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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