Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Parkway Automotive

December 20th, 2014

Anyone that drives a car in Little Rock knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your truck cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the truck’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t Bryant, Arkansas auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your truck engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Arkansas weather. That would spell disaster for your truck’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your truck. Conway, Arkansas motorists should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your truck’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your honest Parkway Automotive technician for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among manufacturers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the truck cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Parkway Automotive service specialist if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your truck cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your truck engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Parkway Automotive to keep you on the road and help your life in Little Rock run more pleasantly.

Parkway Automotive: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

December 11th, 2014

Most Little Rock and Bryant, Arkansas motorists want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Parkway Automotive, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Little Rock motorists actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Little Rock car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your truck engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in Little Rock, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Parkway Automotive: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Parkway Automotive article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your truck gas mileage driving around Arkansas. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel efficiency. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Parkway Automotive in Little Rock and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Parkway Automotive.

Here’s an easy one for astute Little Rock drivers. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel economy, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your truck vehicle manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel efficiency, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for Little Rock drivers that  want to save money: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Little Rock roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel efficiency.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Little Rock can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the highway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your Little Rock freeway,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our trucks tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Under Pressure in Little Rock: TPMS

December 2nd, 2014

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Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Little Rock or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause harmful and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Arkansas roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Little Rock auto owners who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Little Rock drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their trucks are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the critical TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Little Rock drivers when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Little Rock motorists. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Little Rock service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other critical equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Parkway Automotive technicians have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Little Rock motorists.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Parkway Automotive service advisor will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Little Rock car owners.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Little Rock tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Little Rock if auto owners don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Little Rock drivers can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Talk To Parkway Automotive About New Shoes For Your Vehicle

November 28th, 2014

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Custom wheels are one way that Little Rock folks express themselves and personalize their truck. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several essential factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the truck, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Little Rock drivers start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require pricey adjustments to your truck suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Conway, Arkansas or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your truck. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your truck. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your truck tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Little Rock at Parkway Automotive on 708 Kirk Road can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your truck. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Parkway Automotive tech by calling 501-821-6111.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is critical that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your truck engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more vital it becomes to have your honest Parkway Automotive service specialist tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your truck may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your truck that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Parkway Automotive, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is important that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some cash. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Bryant, Arkansas auto owners to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Conway, Arkansas? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on Arkansas freeways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Little Rock auto owners should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Parkway Automotive tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as expensive repairs down the road.

The honest auto professionals at Parkway Automotive want to remind Little Rock car owners of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Exhaust Service at Parkway Automotive: Passing the Smell Test

November 18th, 2014

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The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most Little Rock auto owners realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All Arkansas folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That’s why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so vital. We can help you with that at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock.

The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.

One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it, and you will die.

To keep this gas, and others, from entering your truck passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Parkway Automotive for cracks and to check if they have come loose.

The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other Conway, Arkansas roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next component in your truck exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You’ll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn’t require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.

The muffler’s job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter’s. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most Little Rock auto owners don’t realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in Little Rock with a sassy rumble.

Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn’t mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.

The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your truck engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your truck healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.

The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the truck, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn’t. If you don’t inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.

You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your truck owner’s manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Parkway Automotive in Little Rock.

Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it’s good health advice for all Little Rock car owners and their families.

Helping Little Rock Drivers Get the Right Tires

November 12th, 2014

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Every Little Rock vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy Arkansas roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at Conway, Arkansas temperatures below 45°F. At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Little Rock weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in Arkansas and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in Arkansas, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second important consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at Arkansas tire stores. Little Rock motorists will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Parkway Automotive tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Little Rock car owners who drive off-road around Arkansas may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Little Rock streets and highways. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Little Rock as a statement of style or to add personality to your truck. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your truck, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Parkway Automotive tech for more information about tires.

Emergency Items For Your truck

November 6th, 2014

Local Conway, Arkansas roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around Little Rock would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

Ferndale, Arkansas Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

October 31st, 2014

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Improved fuel economy has two benefits for Little Rock motorists: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Ferndale, Arkansas cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Little Rock drivers may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.

Arkansas auto owners that were around in the early 60′s may remember that the PCV Valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Ferndale, Arkansas Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

When fuel is burned in the truck engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to detrimental sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Little Rock.

Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the 
detrimental gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the detrimental air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Ferndale, Arkansas drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your truck, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock. Some can even be checked by your honest Parkway Automotive advisor.

Your truck manufacturers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some truck owner’s manuals, but at Parkway Automotive, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

All of us Ferndale, Arkansas car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our important automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

October 24th, 2014

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Little Rock, Arkansas, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Little Rock auto owners don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Little Rock customers. So it’s not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Parkway Automotive in Little Rock at 501-821-6111 for information about differential service, or stop by our Little Rock, Arkansas auto center at 708 Kirk Road 72223.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Little Rock high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function for us Little Rock motorists. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Little Rock, Arkansas area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those critical parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your honest Parkway Automotive service specialist will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Parkway Automotive service advisor can look up the automobile manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at 501-821-6111 for more information about your differential service.

Check Engine Light Diagnosis At Parkway Automotive

October 14th, 2014

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Hello Little Rock car owners. Have you ever had your check engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Little Rock motorists?

First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That’s why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious truck engine trouble. That’s why Conway, Arkansas drivers often don’t know how to respond to it.

The check engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to Parkway Automotive in Little Rock ASAP. No, you don’t need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can’t wait to get your car serviced. If your check engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at Arkansas highway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result costly repair bills for Little Rock drivers who ignore it.

A steady check engine light is less serious, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored by Ferndale, Arkansas motorists. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Little Rock automotive service center the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.

Before you take your truck in, however, check the gas cap. A loose gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If it is loose, twist it until it clicks three times. If that was the problem, your Little Rock engine light will reset after several days. However, if it stays on, then you need to schedule an inspection at your Little Rock auto repair center center or Parkway Automotive.

Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the truck engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the check engine light to come on.

This process stores a trouble code inside the truck engine’s computer. Your technician scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the service specialist exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.

It is NOT good auto advice to deal with a check engine light by disconnecting the battery. Yes, this makes the light go off, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s rather like trying to put out a fire by disconnecting the smoke detector. Also, disconnecting the battery will erase your truck’s computer memory. An engine’s computer, over time, learns to adjust for peculiarities of the specific truck engine, for driving conditions in your Bryant, Arkansas area, and for your driving habits. Losing its memory means it has to learn and adjust for these things all over again.

Also, don’t buy a cheap consumer scanner or get a trouble code read at your nearest Little Rock auto parts store, then try to fix a problem yourself — unless, of course, you are a trained Conway, Arkansas mechanic. Today’s auto repair equipment is fairly high-tech and knowing a code is only an indication of where a problem might be, not the answer to what is wrong. Trying to save a little money by doing it yourself may end up costing you big in the long run.

Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky check engine light from coming on in the first place. Good car care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your truck out of your Little Rock auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.