Springfield PA Oil Change Service

Automotive Maintenance Guide

Ridpath’s  Automotive Maintenance Guide is chock full of simple car care tips that will keep you on the road. In today’s world, ensuring that your car or truck operates reliably  is more important than ever. The majority of automotive technicians today would agree that scheduled/preventative automotive maintenance is the best way to ensure that your vehicle will always perform consistently and reliably. It’s a busy world, but it is increasingly important to take time to evaluate your vehicle components periodically. Not only will this ensure that you are familiar with potential problems your vehicle could endure in the future, it will also provide you peace of mind by being proactive about inspecting the vehicle components that most commonly cause those problems.

Big problems are usually a result of neglecting small component peripherals , such as fluids or belts. These components require attention more frequently than others, but are also less expensive to maintain and are the key to preventing costly repairs. Ridpath’s Automotive Maintenance Guide is here to provide you insight into how often you should monitor these components in order to prevent these costly repairs in the future.


Automotive Maintenance Guide
Ridpath’s Automotive Maintenance Guide will help you schedule your vehicle upkeep.


Automotive Maintenance Guide Schedule:

Check Frequently – 2 to 3 times monthly

  • Dashboard Indicator Lights
  • Tail / Brake Lights
  • Head Lights
  • Tire Inflation / Condition
  • Engine Oil

Check Every 3 Months / 3,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery & Cable Condition
  • Belts
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Check Every 6 Months / 6,000 Miles

  • Windshield Wiper Blades
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Coolant (Anti-Freeze)
  • Wheel Alignment
Car Care Tips Springfield PA
Replacing your old timing belt can prevent a major headache. Anywhere from 60k to 100k miles is a good time to do it, but always check your manufacturer recommendations.

By being proactive and monitoring the above vehicle components, you will ensure you car or truck will always be running in top condition and will require a minimum amount of automotive repairs. Routine vehicle maintenance is extremely important, especially with the evolution of technology in automobiles, as well as the consistently degrading road conditions that vehicles are being exposed to today.

Ridpath’s Auto Center provides scheduled routine maintenance for vehicles of all types, including cars, trucks, commercial vehicles as well as fleet services.

Car Care Tips

Car Care Tips

Car Care Tips

  • State inspections.
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Batteries
  • Oil changes.
  • Engine performance/diagnosis.
  • Electrical systems.
  • Check Engine Light.

Ridpath’s provides car care tips to help you handle vehicle repairs for all of the above. Ridpath’s Auto Center can also diagnose and repair even the largest automobile problems you will encounter. Our auto mechanics handle all varying degrees of car and truck maintenance and repair. Our staff is honest and courteous, and is always willing to assist a customer with any questions or concerns you may have about your automobile. Feel free to contact if in need of any car care tips.

We also provide valuable car care tips to help you properly maintain your vehicle in this blog. Ridpath’s Car Care Tips Blog is a valuable resource that is personally updated monthly by Michael Ridpath himself. The helpful car care tips Ridpath’s provides are carefully crafted to provide detailed insight into common, everyday automotive problems that people consistently endure. Our goal for our car care tips blog is help our customers become more informed about automobile components, as well as the maintenance of those components in order to reduce unnecessary car and truck repairs in the future. It’s our way of giving back for the decades of loyalty shown to our automotive repair shop.

  • How about door handles? Sure thing. Inside and outside.
  • Power window problems?
  • Bent rim/wheel? We can handle that.
  • Windshields? You betcha.
  • Power side view mirror with heat grid, puddle lamp, and painted to match vehicle? Nice try, we got you covered.

From top to bottom, side to side, front to back we really try and be your one stop auto care facility. Any question that arises please feel free to give us a call. Ridpath’s will gladly answer any questions about your car trouble, as well as provide an array of car care tips to help you improve you personal vehicle maintenance habits. Our automotive repair staff is as friendly as they come, and most times Michael Ridpath himself will be available to help you navigate your car problems.


Automotive Air Conditioning

Automobile Air Conditioning
Automotive Air Conditioning problems can take the fun out of your summer.

Summertime. Beach weekends. BBQ dinners. Pool parties. Air conditioning problems. Summer is great, but we can all do without the latter. While most of us love to enjoy the fun in the sun, problems occasionally arise with your vehicle air conditioning system that will surely put a dent in your summertime fun.

Vehicle Air Conditioning Operation:

Automotive Air Conditioning
This graphic provides excellent insight into an automotive A/C system.

Your vehicle air conditioning system creates cool air by compressing a gas refrigerant known as Freon. Your vehicle air conditioning system converts freon from gas to liquid with a component called a compressor. When activated, the automobile air conditioning compressor pumps vaporized refrigerant under high pressure to the vehicle condenser. The condenser converts the vaporized refrigerant into a liquid, which causes a high amount of heat to be generated during this process. This heat is removed from the condenser by air that flows through the unit. The liquid is then passed along to the next component called a Receiver.

The receiver-drier is a small air conditioning component that acts as a liquid refrigerant reservoir, while simultaneously removing unwanted moisture that may have been inside the refrigerant. Moisture trapped inside an automobile air conditioning system can cause significant problems, including mechanical damage and system blockages caused by ice.

The high pressure liquid refrigerant is then passed from the receiver-drier to the Expansion Valve. The duty of the expansion valve is to eliminate the pressure from the liquid refrigerant. To generate cool temperatures, the high pressure must be removed from the refrigerant. Removing the high pressure allows the refrigerant to expand to become vapor once it reaches the Evaporator, which allows cool temperatures to be generated.

The Evaporator is finned coil that resembles a radiator. Cold, low pressure refrigerant flows through the evaporator. A blower fan then pushes air against the outside of the cold evaporator in order to generate cold air flow into the vehicle. Moisture from the air blown against the cold evaporator causes condensation to build up. This condensation is collected by your vehicle and removed accordingly.

The Compressor then receives the vaporized refrigerant and begins the process again. Since vehicle air conditioning systems do not have a thermostat, the refrigeration cycle continuously runs.

Components of An Automobile’s Air Conditioning System

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Receiver / Drier
  • Expansion Valve
  • Evaporator
  • Blower / Fan
  • High Side Switch
  • Low Side Switch
  • Electronic Control Panel
  • Sun Load Temperature Sensor

Automotive Air Conditioning Failure

This is quite a complex system that relies on multiple sub-systems to operate properly. Sometimes a mechanical part goes bad, possibly an electrical control, or perhaps a leak in the system can be the reason for vehicle air conditioning failure. In some cases the vehicle air conditioning system can suffer more than one failure at the same time. Often the diagnosis can be the most technical aspect of the overall job.

Most A/C failures will involve detailed diagnosis, system repair, and or component replacement. We can handle repair or replacement of any vehicle air conditioner component. Ridpath’s is conveniently located on Route 420 in Springfield, Delaware County Pennsylvania. You can count on Ridpath’s Auto Center to walk you through the repair process and return your vehicle’s A/C system to proper working order. We like to think our customers are the “coolest” on the road.

Tire Pressure Monitor System

Tire Pressure Monitor System


Tire Pressure Monitor System: What is it?

T.P.M.S. This acronym has been raising a few eyebrows lately. It stands for Tire Pressure Monitor System. Just about all vehicles now have some form of a tire pressure monitor system. The purpose of this vehicle systems is to prevent you from driving your vehicle with a low or flat tire. Sounds like a great idea on paper, but this automotive system has suffered a bit in the real world application.

If you recognized the tire pressure monitor system acronym immediately, odds are you have had trouble with it. The tire pressure monitor system formulates readings from each tire or wheel, then sends that information to a control module which processes the data. If the data is outside the programmed limits, a warning light is turned on.

Many outside factors influence the system and components. Nail in tire? Nail gets fixed, air pressure in tire is adjusted, system gets reset, and everyone is happy. That is just about the easiest version.

The winter cold can wreak havoc on the system. Tire air pressure varies according to outside temperature. Sending units can fail to communicate with the control unit, or the sending unit can completely fail. The control unit may lose its programming. All of these are possibilities with the T.P.M.S. system.

Troubleshooting: Tire Pressure Monitor System

Troubleshooting your tire pressure monitor system is one of the latest areas that Ridpath’s Auto Center has invested time, effort and resources so we will be prepared for any issues that arise with your vehicle. We do not “guess” when it comes to properly and accurately diagnosing vehicle symptoms. Ridpath’s Auto Center utilizes the latest in diagnostic procedures including tools, hardware, and scanners. We often use multiple software applications to diagnose and confirm vehicle data and symptoms.

Implementation of tire pressure monitor systems in vehicles, as well as the repair procedures Ridpath’s Auto Center utilizes, changed drastically over the years. Regardless, our focus remains the same. A cost efficient repair resulting in a more than satisfied customer.

Void Vehicle Warranty

Void Vehicle Warranty


Void Vehicle Warranty Misconceptions

When it comes to your vehicle warranty, your automotive dealership has a ton of tricks up their sleeve. You receive the fancy postcards. Your inbox is full of inviting and engaging emails. They always look good, and they make all the right promises. Some automotive dealers will even try to pressure you into signing up for their auto repair services. Pressure? Some would even say threaten. Can your vehicle warranty be voided by your auto dealer if you simply do not comply with the dealership’s invite for automotive maintenance? Absolutely not!

When you purchase a new car from an auto dealer, it automatically includes a factory warranty. The automotive dealer would have you believe that you need to return to them to perform the auto maintenance or you will receive a void vehicle warranty. This is absolutely untrue.

Vehicle Warranty: The Facts

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent mechanic can perform routine maintenance and auto repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for automotive manufacturers or dealers to claim that your vehicle has a void vehicle warranty, as well as deny automotive repair coverage under your vehicle warranty simply because an auto mechanic outside of the dealership performed your auto repair.

Rest easy knowing that Ridpath’s Auto Center can always assist you with maintaining your car or truck without your automotive dealer sending you a void vehicle warranty. A premature void vehicle warranty is a nightmare. Ridpath’s Auto Center is here to provide sound advice for the multitude of automotive related headaches you can endure. Conveniently located on Route 420 in Springfield, PA, Ridpath’s Auto Center is a hop, skip and a jump to your peace of mind. Feel free to call us at (610) 544-2828 regarding any vehicle warranty questions or concerns that you may have. Ridpath’s Auto Center: “For all your automotive needs, since 1981.”

Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Tips

Driving the family to the beach for summer vacation? Perhaps you are thinking about putting the skis on the car roof and heading to the mountains? Maybe a nice family road trip for spring break? Sounds great right? Let’s hit the road, but first, how about a few road trip tips!



Prepare Your Vehicle

If any of the above possibilities are in your future, be sure to bring your vehicle to your auto mechanic to have the family vehicle checked . When vacationing, there is always a huge list of things to accomplish or purchase before you hit the open road. Many of these will be last minute. Don’t make a trip to the auto mechanic one of them.

Ridpath’s recommendation is to call and make an appointment with your auto mechanic 1-2 weeks before leaving. This will give ample time for automotive service before your road trip. Nothing will get your trip off on the wrong foot(tire) like waiting until the last minute to service your vehicle. Your only days away from your long awaited vacation and BOOM! Your auto mechanic calls to notify you that your vehicle needs some form of service or repair, and unfortunately it cannot be accomplished before your anticipated departure. That would be a major bummer. Consider the possibilities…..

What if parts have to be ordered? What if the prescribed work takes more than 1 day? What if the vehicle requires some form of service or repair to make it safe to drive on your road trip? Nothing could be worse for your vacation budget than spending unplanned money only days before your departure. We recommend to have your vehicle checked even up to 4 weeks before your trip. This will cover all the normal “wear and tear” items that usually pop up on road trips.

Ridpath’s Has Your Vehicle Covered

The most valuable of our road trip tips is to contact Ridpath’s Auto Center for any concerns you have with your vehicle. If you enjoyed our road trip tips article, be sure to read through the rest of our automotive car care tips. Ridpath’s Auto Center provides valuable tips to prevent future problems with your vehicle.

If you are approaching your vacation, be sure to call Ridpath’s Auto Center at (610) 544-2828 to set up a comprehensive automotive consultation. We can evaluate your vehicle and provide the advice and options that best suit your personal situation. We are conveniently located in Springfield, PA immediately off the corner of East Woodland Avenue (Route 420) and Powell Road. Ridpath’s Auto Center can provide you and your family the peace of mind you need to enjoy your road trip.


Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

Check engine light


Check Engine Light: The Mysterious Warning

Ahh, the almighty check engine light. The modern day marvel, the fancy “idiot” light. Every vehicle has some form of a check engine light in it’s vehicle monitoring system. Some go with “Check Engine”, some “service engine soon”, and still others with an icon which has been likened to everything from a radiator to a sailboat! Most newer vehicles have adopted the icon theory as to avoid language barriers, it is supposed to resemble an engine block. But that is only the beginning of the mysteries. The system is linked to dozens of vehicle sensors, sending units, modules, control devices, and even the fuel cap. Sometimes it comes on while driving, sometimes it comes on but then goes out, perhaps it only comes on when driving on highways and other times it comes on and blinks!! Confusing to say the least.

Check Engine Light: What does it do?

The system is designed to monitor dozens of  different operating systems in the vehicle keeping the driver apprised of any potential problems that may affect the vehicle or performance. In theory if the computer recognizes a “fault” with a monitored system it will store a code in memory. This code is then able to be retrieved by our technician which should provide a starting point for our diagnosis and repair. A light that comes on and goes off is possibly a minor system or intermittent fault. A light that comes on and remains on steady is possibly a major or consistent fault and should be diagnosed as to not interrupt the performance of the vehicle. When the check engine light is actually blinking the vehicle should not be driven any more than absolutely necessary. The blinking light is a self-preservation system, the affected system which is not functioning properly may be causing further damage to the vehicle. As with anything, the design on paper is more accurate than in a real world application. Sometimes the light will come and go without leaving a code. Sometimes the fault is very intermittent and will not trigger the light or leave a code. Sometimes the computer that controls the monitoring is actually at fault and can  set erroneous codes or produces symptoms without the light or codes!

Ridpath’s Has Your Check Engine Light Covered

Overall, the “check engine” light system does aid in proper diagnosis of today’s vehicles but, as with any technology, it is not always an accurate picture of what is happening with the vehicle. Blending today’s software and diagnosing tools with years of experience and training is how we at Ridpath’s Auto properly and efficiently diagnose and repair our customer’s vehicles every day.

Check Engine Light giving your worries? Fret no longer. Ridpath’s Auto Center is conveniently located right off of the corner of East Woodland Avenue (Route 420) and Powell Road in Springfield, PA. We provide automotive service to customers all over Delaware County, Pennsylvania and beyond. If your check engine light is causing you a concern, call us today at (610) 544-2828 to set up a comprehensive automotive consultation for your vehicle. We will diagnose your problem, and provide you multiple repair options to suit your personal situation. Ridpath’s Auto Center: “For all your automotive needs since 1981.”