Archive for September, 2010

Keys to Long Lasting Vehicle

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

New cars cost so much these days. Add financing and insurance and, well a new vehicle may not seem so attractive. A lot of Little Rock, Arkansas people are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

The good news is that with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacture, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more.

There is an old saying that says, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And your oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors. Preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

Now this is a lot to remember. Parkway Automotive can keep on top of this stuff. We can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Parkway Automotive today for an appointment; you can reach us at 501-821-6111.

Take good care of your car, and it’ll take good care of you.

Parkway Automotive
Give us a call today at 501-821-6111.
Or stop by at 708 Kirk Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Hey Little Rock, Arkansas, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our Arkansas streets? How can you tell on your truck?

While there may be legal requirements for the Central  Arkansas area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.

2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question recently.

We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies.

The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Little Rock, Arkansas. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water covered stretch of road near Little Rock  Arkansas. Your tires must be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means that the tire has to move the water away from the tire so that the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water.

Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:

  • New tire tread depth
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 2/32 of an inch

So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.

Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.

Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That’s a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.

How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.

How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?

For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

8 Things To Check On Your Car

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

In the state of Arkansas it is a misdemeanor offense to operate an unsafe vehicle. This notice is on the back of all vehicle registrations.

1. Radiator Flush

The coolant in your radiator doesn’t last forever. Over time it can break down and  start to corrode the inside of your radiator. Ask your technician to flush the radiator to avoid cooling problems.

2 Engine Oil

If you can’t remember the last time you checked, changed, or topped off your engine oil, make sure you ask for brand-new oil with a high quality NAPA Oil  filter.

3. Air Filter

Your air filter should be checked every six months, so the end of summer is the perfect time to have it checked and replaced if needed.

4. Tire Inspection

Summer traveling could mean driving in the rain. The tread on your tires must be adequate for rainy weather, or you could end up in a ditch, or worse. Ask your technician to check the tread depth on your tires as well as your tire pressure.

5. Windshield Wipers

Your windshield wipers can get worn out. Replace them at the beginning and end of summer. Try an Aquapel treatment for super clear vision during those Arkansas downpours.

6. Brake System

It’s a good idea to inspect your brakes twice a year for safety, but because the frequent starts and stops of summer driving can put added strain on your car’s braking system, have the technicians at Parkway Automotive inspect your entire brake system. Damaged brake hardware can cause brake pads and shoes to drag, resulting in lower fuel mileage.

7. Battery

 Corrosion is very likely to build up during extreme driving conditions. Your technician should check your battery posts and cables to ensure you’ll have no starting problems this winter.

8. Lights

Sometimes you don’t notice that you have a bulb out. Before a road trip is a good time to take a look to see if you need to replace a bulb.  Not only is it unsafe you could get a ticket.