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How to Get Your A/C Ready for Summer

June 22nd, 2017

Don't let the Wilmington, DE heat get the best of you and your vehicle!


Your air conditioning system can make hot, steamy summer days a lot more pleasant when you are behind the wheel.  Before the heat gets you down take a few simple steps to get your A/C ready for summer.


Air Conditioning Wilmington DE

1. Check your Freon Level - Your air conditioning system depends on Freon, a special gas that makes your system cold, to work at its coolest.  Over the counter cans of Freon are cheap and convenient but in the hands of an inexperienced car owner they can damage t ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

How To Maintain A New Car

May 25th, 2017

So you got a new set of wheels – congratulations! You’re going to want to hang onto it as long as possible, so you’ll want to keep it maintained as well as you Car Maintenancecan. Here are some suggestions:

First, read the owner’s manual carefully and stick to manufacturer’s recommendations for service intervals. There are certain things that are critical enough that failure to adhere to recommendations can void a new car warranty. Don’t let that happen!

For instance, just about every manufacturer recommends synthetic oil for their engines; it provides better protection in just about every respect, and it’s more stable at high and low temperatures. If your owner’s manual prescribes a 10,000-mile oil change, stick with that and be sure to use the bra ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Why Muffler Repair is So Important

May 18th, 2017

Your muffler is a key part of a sophisticated exhaust system that does everything from scrubbing the pollution from your exhaust gases to helping keep the neighborhood quiet when you drive by.  You may not think much about it, but when your muffler fails it can cause all kinds of issues.  Kirkwood Auto Center in Wilmington, DE urges you to think about the following important jobs that little metal miracle is doing the next time you consider letting a failed muffler hang out under your vehicle.Muffler Repair Wilmington DE

1. Reducing Noise - So you think your ride sounds cool with that loud noise coming from the back?  Well, your neighbors doesn't and the police in your community might not think so either. ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Spark Plugs – How Often Should They Be Replaced?

April 27th, 2017

In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.

But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?

Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

How Often Should Brakes be Replaced

April 26th, 2017

As long as your brakes stop your car, you may assume they are doing fine.  However, your brakes use friction to stop your car, and that friction comes from brake pads rubbing and clamping on metal discs called rotors.  In the case of drum brakes, the pads are called shoes, and they rub on the inside of your drums  much like pads work on rotors.Brake Repair Wilmington DE

Either way, every time you hit your brakes you are wearing the pads or shoes a little.  Eventually, no matter how well you take care of your car, it will be time to replace them.  Your front brakes, especially, need regular attention as they do about 70% of the work. 

So you understand that brakes need regular maintenance, but the question is, ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

"Tune-Up"...What Does That Mean These Days?

February 18th, 2017
Today's cars are a lot less maintenance intensive...but that doesn't mean they're maintenance-free.
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Things To Look For When Buying a Used Car

September 15th, 2016
Buying a used car is somewhat less of a crapshoot than it was at one time. You can get detailed information on a vehicle's history via the CARFAX report, and a Car for saletechnician can use onboard diagnostics to get a good picture of what's going on under the hood and what problems might be coming up. 
It's always a good idea to get a mechanic to look over any prospective purchase, but there are things you can get a look at yourself before you spend the money for a professional inspection. These are things which will give you a pretty good idea of the kind of use and maintenance a vehicle has seen before you got it. 
-- Put your head against a fender and sight down the side of the vehicle with one eye. Look out for ripples or ...[more]
  Tags: auto service, mechanic
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

What's Leaking From My Car?

July 14th, 2016
You go out to your car, start it up, pull out of your parking space and see a puddle of...something...where you were parked a moment ago. This is never a good feeling. What could it be? 
Fortunately, some automotive fluids are dyed different colors to make this a little easier to narrow down. 
Does it appear to be water? Were you recently running your A/C? Chances are that's just condensation from the A/C system, which drips out through a rubber tube and is perfectly normal. No worries there. 
For years, antifreeze was dyed a bright green to make it easy to identify. Today, other antifreeze formulations can be colored pink or orange, but it's still not hard to figure out -- antifreeze has a swe ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

A/C Problems Demystified

June 30th, 2016

Believe it or not, the A/C system in your vehicle is fairly simple in principle and design. Like your refrigerator, it operates on a cycle of compression and expansion of a gas, known as refrigerant. The compressor turns the gas into a liquid, and as the gas evaporates it provides cooling. Like your refrigerator, its main components are: 
  • Compressor
  • Condenser 
  • Receiver/dryer
  • Thermostatic expansion valve
  • Evaporator
  • Refrigerant
  • Blower 
The good news is most automotive A/C systems have become very robust and reliable compared to cars from a generation ago. Most of the time, poor performance is due to low refrigerant levels due to lea ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Regular, Synthetic or Blend...What Kind of Oil Do I Need?

May 26th, 2016

At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn't been for quite some time. Here's a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it's time for an oil change:

  • Viscosity: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner's manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work a ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101
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