Working Hours
  • Mon 7:30AM - 5:30PM
    Tue 7:30AM - 5:30PM
  • Wed 7:30AM - 5:30PM
    Thu 7:30AM - 5:30PM
  • Fri 7:30AM - 5:30PM
    Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed
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HELPFUL INFO

Are You Ready For The Road?

An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.

Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.

Fuel Saving Tips

Condition Effect MPG Penalty up to
Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0mpg
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0mpg
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4mpg
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected
11.4mpg

The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:

  1. Vehicle gas caps -- About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  2. Under inflated tires -- When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  3. Worn spark plugs -- A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Dirty air filters -- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture -- too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.

Fuel-saving driving tips include:

  • Don't be an aggressive driver -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

WIPERS - In the 2001National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21percent of participants had wipers that smeared, streaked or chattered across their windshields. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

LIGHTING - Another important pre-trip check should be exterior and interior lighting. Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. The Car Care Council reminds motorists to check their lights monthly. Other suggestions from the Council include turning on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car's position on the road, and its distance from other drivers. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.

10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.




What Our Customers Are Saying

I've been to a lot of auto shops. None comes close to the kind of service you get from Kirk Brown.

I have trusted Kirk Brown with my auto service needs for over 20 years. They are thorough, informed about my Volvo, and do not make unnecessary repairs.

Always a good experience, fast and friendly service. Prices are very fair and you always get honest answers.

Excellent service, clear communication, very thorough.


-Michelle R.

Awesome. We took a car there we were considering buying and they checked it out for us. They did a very thorough job.


-Marsha G.

There service was excellent, they checked out my car found the problem. I will be recommending them to anyone I know, they were honest and upfront about the work I needed done.


-Michael W.

Personable, hard-working, and efficient. So glad I have them. Highly recommend.


-Caitlin S.

Overall a good job getting the Jeep to pass inspection, however 2 small issues did stop me giving top marks. 1) The vacuum line to the cabs air vent control had a filter put in (good) however it was put in backwards so none of the vents worked till I flipped it round the right way. 2) I assume to replace the Intake manifold the A/C compressor had to be moved/disconnected because someone for got to re-charge the system afterwards. Not a major problem I had a can of refrigerant in the garage however it did take a while to recharge the system and damn that can gets cold. Not to detract from the otherwise great job they did. I also appreciate the extra effort they went to when sourcing a used manifold online (to help keep the bill down). Needless to say I will be taking both the scion and the Jeep back for inspection next year


-James S.

My car suddenly evacuated all of its coolant, thankfully from behind the radiator and not from the radiator itself. Thinking I had a simple punctured lower hose, but not having ramps to look & work on it myself, I took my car to Kirk Brown & Sons this afternoon after dumping some water in the reservoir. They were able to put it up immediately and diagnose the problem - obnoxiously, the heater core had blown. I was surprised when they offered me both reasonable solutions to the problem - replace the heater core or simply bypass it. Most places wouldn't have offered the latter solution, since it's much cheaper. Still, I opted for the former, since I wanted the heat to work in my car. Bill White, the gentleman I dealt with there, was very honest and straightforward, and gave me a fair price to replace the core and the connector hoses, which he was able to obtain today, getting my car back to me in just over four hours. I highly recommend this auto shop; in a sea of shady mechanics, I was duly impressed by the square deal and speedy turnaround I received here.


-Ian F.

We have relied on them for years (nearly two decades). They always deliver excellent service with integrity. In addition, they are really great mechanics and diagnosticians. For example, we recently took our 2006 Toyota van to them when it began to shift roughly and display the "check engine" light. The local Toyota dealer read the OBD2 code and, in less than 30 minutes of "diagnostic" time, decided a $6500 transmission was needed. BIll and his colleagues were not convinced, and took the time to actually diagnose the problem, which turned out to be not the transmission, but rather a combination of a bad computer and weak signal from one of the sensors. They made the repairs, and they were spot on. The transmission was and is fine, and the problems went away.


-Rodney A.

The guys at Kirk Brown are awesome. It's a family business with a long, long history of serving Cotswold well. They're fair, honest, friendly and dependable. A real pleasure. I mean seriously, when was the last time you saw ANYTHING on Google with a 30/30 rating? The finest restaurants in town barely top 25. Kirk Brown deserves it. Don't go anywhere else.


-Kenneth S.

This could be the best auto shop in Charlotte. The guys at Kirk and Sons make you feel like a welcome customer from your first visit. They do NOT try to oversell you on getting more work done than is necessary. I brought my car in with an accelerator sensor issue- Autozone quoted me $200 for the part alone to fix this issue. When I brought it in to Joey he took a look and decided that by simply cleaning the attached throttle box the sensor could function properly. A few hours later (they were slammed that day) I get a call from Joey that the throttle box had been cleaned and the car tested for 20 miles without incident. These guys are quick, professional, and are native English speakers which can help when trying to navigate the confusing world of auto repairs.


-Robert S.

Great shop! They know how to truly repair cars.


-Jay K.

Fantastic, knowledgeable people who you can TRUST! !!


-Murphy C.

My family and I have taken many vehicles to this shop. They are always kind and understanding and patient. They don't mind explaining what the problem is and they always let you know upfront what the cost is going to be. I would and will recommend them to anyone in need of an honest fair mechanic!


-Beth H.

What a great shop!!! Fast, friendly, they know what they do, they fix nearly everything a dealer would do, but cheaper. They do not sneak around wrong and high prices. Had my car there for some repairs and I was always happy after that. Trustworthy!


-Chiffre N.

I can't believe how lucky I got to have found a great place to service my car in the Charlotte area. Joey and his family have consistently done quality repairs on my car, flexible with time, and have given me rides back to my house instead of hanging around the shop for hours. Unfortunately, I've moved out of NC, but if I'm in town they will definitely be checking my car. A hidden gem of Charlotte!


-Johanna S.
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