Archive for December, 2010

Emergency Items For Your truck

Friday, December 31st, 2010

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.

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

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Conway, Arkansas, 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 you 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.

Always file a Little Rock police report. It’s tempting 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 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 the vehicle.

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 Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

People in Little Rock Arkansas often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Little Rock Arkansas also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by our Little Rock Arkansas service center:
Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Read your owner’s manual carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Little Rock Arkansas it is; the engine control computer can adapt. You’ll lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at the repair shop.

Your car will run best on the grade of gasoline recommended by the manufacturer.

Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give you any additional performance or better fuel economy.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your truck into Parkway Automotive. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of high gas prices, we’re all conscious of making our fuel dollar go further as we drive around Little Rock Arkansas. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel economy possible.

Following Recommended Intervals

Friday, December 24th, 2010

If you’re reading this article, then you are probably a Arkansas driver that cares about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your service technician tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you expected.

And you worry that if you say “no” you might be harming your car or compromising safety. At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. All of this stuff is in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Cars are complicated machines and it takes care to keep them running well. That is why manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent costly break downs. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn’t a test: You don’t need to have it memorized. Little Rock service centers such as Parkway Automotive have access to your manufacturer’s recommendations. So do not be surprised when your technician reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let your service center help you stay on top of important maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. They will also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

Service Center Standard and Procedures

Friday, December 24th, 2010

All pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget important steps. It is also how you can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Cabot, Arkansas and Bryant, Arkansas automotive service centers have procedural standards for each service they perform. Technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and you are happy with how your car performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how service technicians grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

The technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is required because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the technician may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The technician may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the service center must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition. Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The automotive service industry and Parkway Automotive want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.

Keys to Long Lasting Vehicle

Friday, December 17th, 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

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine In Little Rock Arkansas

Friday, December 17th, 2010

If the fuel system in your truck is dirty, you will be wasting gas and losing performance as you drive around Little Rock Arkansas.

Unless you drive a vintage car, you have fuel injectors. They need to be properly maintained. That is why your owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your service technician at Parkway Automotive has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Parkway Automotive uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning, you’ll notice more power, better gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your manufacturer’s fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

It’s expensive to replace a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your service technician at Parkway Automotive and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

Smooth Shifting in Little Rock Arkansas: Transmission Service

Friday, December 17th, 2010

So you have some exciting plans for the Arkansas weekend. You’re going to take some of your Little Rock, Arkansas friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. But you want to make sure that your truck maintenance is up to date.

Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of Little Rock. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and its going to be pretty hot in Little Rock this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.

Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the local Arkansas lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s important to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced at Parkway Automotive on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid has to pass to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems.

Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

This reminds us of how much of our driving around Little Rock, Arkansas is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Little Rock, Arkansas add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.

While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your Little Rock, Arkansas service technician at Parkway Automotive will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Arkansas Balance: Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Everyone in the Conway, Arkansas area wants our tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to maximize tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at Parkway Automotive puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Little Rock to Ferndale, Arkansas, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear to fast in the middle.

Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give us a call to get our recommendation on your truck.

See your owner’s manual or ask your service technician at Parkway Automotive for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tires cost a lot and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Recommended Service Intervals

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Everyone in Little Rock knows we’re supposed to go to the dentist twice a year. We get our teeth cleaned and have a thorough dental inspection. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When the dentist is done, he tells us what he’s found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary repairs.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If we buy into this way of handling our dental care, why do we resist so much when facing the same system for our car care?

Following the manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the one percent of the population that reads your owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one truck, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. We’ll, that’s how Parkway Automotive does it. We subscribe to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how we know what else to recommend when you bring your car in for an oil change at our Little Rock location – it’s all in the computer.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like the weather conditions, altitude, and driving conditions in the Little Rock area to be taken into account. Talk about these things with your Little Rock service advisor at Parkway Automotive and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not highway driving in moderate weather is considered severe, most of us in Little Rock do at least some of that and it should be taken into consideration.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your car is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like five months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last three months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harsh environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that start degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Little Rock don’t realize the harm that can be done by just skipping a single oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think Vaseline. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your Parkway Automotive service advisor. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your car on the road and avoiding major repairs.