Maintaining Your Diesel in Conway, Arkansas

July 25th, 2014

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Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Conway, Arkansas because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Little Rock car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Little Rock because they get better gas mileage than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Arkansas as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Conway, Arkansas, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Little Rock drivers’ dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Ferndale, Arkansas people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Bryant, Arkansas, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Conway, Arkansas drivers drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Arkansas. The better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more costly to drive in Conway, Arkansas. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Arkansas, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Little Rock auto owners depends now on the current price of fuel in Arkansas and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Conway, Arkansas area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Arkansas becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Little Rock than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Little Rock are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more expensive and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Parkway Automotive auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Little Rock driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock

July 21st, 2014

Tires do a lot of key work for Little Rock motorists. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Little Rock. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such critical work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Little Rock motorists:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Parkway Automotive will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your honest Parkway Automotive service specialist puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Little Rock auto owners. They’re key for keeping you safely on the road in Little Rock. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

Straight And True In Little Rock: Wheel Alignment

July 11th, 2014

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Most Conway, Arkansas folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Little Rock auto owners is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more costly than an alignment check in Little Rock. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Conway, Arkansas.

Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your truck. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the truck may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your truck can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Little Rock street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Ferndale, Arkansas driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your truck, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Parkway Automotive service professional will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Parkway Automotive in Little Rock, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Parkway Automotive service professional can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider a diagnostic examination more often. Ask your honest service professional for a recommendation.

If your truck is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your truck pulls to one side when you drive around Conway, Arkansas. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Little Rock auto owners should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get a diagnostic examination, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for Bryant, Arkansas auto owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Little Rock residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

Parkway Automotive Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

July 2nd, 2014

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Little Rock service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Little Rock drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Parkway Automotive fuel system cleaning: Over time, the truck fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Parkway Automotive headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Parkway Automotive inspections: Little Rock drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for Arkansas summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used truck and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Parkway Automotive oil change: – there are several options: Some Little Rock centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Parkway Automotive PCV valve replacement in Little Rock:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Parkway Automotive power steering service: Often overlooked. Your honest Parkway Automotive technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the truck system running well for a long time.

Parkway Automotive serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the truck engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Parkway Automotive shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Little Rock people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Parkway Automotive transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Parkway Automotive tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Coolant Service at Parkway Automotive

June 27th, 2014

Little Rock motorists’ cars have to operate in a wide range of Arkansas temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why car makers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Little Rock, Arkansas vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Little Rock, Arkansas. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at  Parkway Automotive will know the right kind for your car.

It’s key to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Little Rock, Arkansas. Regular service at Parkway Automotive needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your honest Parkway Automotive service specialist will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Little Rock service specialist recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very expensive. Little Rock car owners can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so
, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Parkway Automotive can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Little Rock, Arkansas, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Parkway Automotive inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Parkway Automotive: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

June 20th, 2014

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Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your truck engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on Arkansas highways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your truck needs a lot of air to keep going in Cabot, Arkansas. A lot of clean air is best.

Parkway Automotive: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your truck also works better when its internals are clean. When your truck air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your truck engine does you no good.

So, we’re talking potential damage for Conway, Arkansas drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your truck engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.

In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Cabot, Arkansas fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your truck engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in Arkansas. A simple visual inspection at Parkway Automotive will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Parkway Automotive service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Little Rock

June 12th, 2014

There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Little Rock Arkansas, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Little Rock streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

Slow Down In Little Rock for Fuel Economy The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway to Conway, Arkansas. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
501-821-6111

What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Conway, Arkansas

June 4th, 2014

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Little Rock, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what Little Rock drivers should do in case of an accident:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Little Rock is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your Arkansas driver’s license or even jail time.

Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Bryant, Arkansas and Ferndale, Arkansas motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Conway, Arkansas emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Little Rock car owners should always file a police report. It’s tempting for Little Rock car owners to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Little Rock police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other Little Rock vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most Arkansas auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track a vehicle in Arkansas.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Parkway Automotive at 501-821-6111

Contact Parkway Automotive to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
Or call us at 501-821-6111

Parkway Automotive and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Little Rock travels.

Parkway Automotive Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

May 28th, 2014

Today’s Parkway Automotive auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power essential automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your truck air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Conway, Arkansas.

Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your truck’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Parkway Automotive Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll Conway, Arkansas motorists know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many trucks, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Conway, Arkansas auto owners. (On some trucks, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why auto makers and your service advisor at Parkway Automotive have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

Your
honest Parkway Automotive service professional can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its critical job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Parkway Automotive, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s a key art for the function of your truck. And it’s not that costly to replace at Parkway Automotive – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.

Getting the Right Tires And Wheels In Little Rock

May 21st, 2014

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A lot of people get custom wheels in Little Rock. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you’re not careful. Sometimes, once they’re mounted, they just don’t fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don’t want that.

Consulting your Parkway Automotive tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he’ll ask you a series of questions about your Little Rock driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

If you don’t want to make any modifications to your truck, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some Little Rock people like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most Little Rock drivers don’t realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – that’s, like the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your truck anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn’t know what changes you made so it can’t tell how fast you’re going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your truck engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in Arkansas. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your honest Parkway Automotive tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your truck. Your Parkway Automotive service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in Little Rock.