Archive for June, 2012

Conway, Arkansas Safety Systems: Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012


Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of Conway, Arkansas folks driving around on under-inflated tires. Now, it’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your truck tire’s considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

New laws required manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all cars and light trucks by the 2008 model year. The system has a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below manufacturer’s pressure recommendations.

Conway, Arkansas Safety Systems: Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemThis technology has been used by Conway, Arkansas race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from under inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your car’s manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they’ll use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free for Conway, Arkansas drivers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases.

The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tire wear. There’s also a saving in property damage and travel delay. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100. The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that it will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved.

Your safety has always been a concern at Parkway Automotive. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and pass the low cost on to you as an expression of our good will.

That’s why we’re concerned about how you’ll perceive the changes that this new law will force. Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, a snow tire mounted; the Parkway Automotive service technician is now going to have to deal with the TPMS system.

Even a simple tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries will need to be changed and failed parts replaced.

Like all other Conway, Arkansas service centers, here at Parkway Automotive we’ve had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and to update expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems. Our Parkway Automotive service technicians have been thoroughly trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to perform what was once a very inexpensive service for you.

So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up at Parkway Automotive, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. We want to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to doing it at a fair price. This new safety equipment will help you avoid the most common types of vehicle failure in Conway, Arkansas, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Consumer Report Condemns Extended Warranty Purchases

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Extended car warranties – don’t be a pushover

Most people don’t buy a new car without hearing the dealership finance manager warn about “how foolish it would be” not to protect your investment from unexpected repairs as you put on the miles. What comes next is a persistent sales pitch for a solution to your new fears: an extended warranty. “You could save the amount of the plan cost with just one covered repair!” says a brochure for Ford’s Extended Service Plan.

But extended warranties sell costly “peace of mind” for repair nightmares that probably won’t occur, according to a survey of more than 8,000 readers in December 2007 by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. We have long advised that extended warranties are a poor deal for almost every product. Now we have the first data showing that this advice applies to most new cars, as well.

To raise public awareness on the issue, Consumer Reports is launching a national advertising campaign this week targeting the car-buying public.

Sixty-five percent of the survey respondents said they spent significantly more for a new-car
warranty than they got back in repair cost savings. On average, dealers collected around $800 on each extended warranty they sold.

Respondents cited warranty costs of $1,000 on average that provided benefits of $700; an average $300 loss. Some 42 percent of extended warranties were not used, and only about a third of all respondents used their plan to cover a serious problem. About one in five respondents (22%) said they had a net savings. Seventy-five percent did not buy extended warranties at all.

Extended warranties were, however, a better deal for those who bought more troublesome cars
scoring lower in Consumer Reports’ reliability Ratings, such as those from Mercedes-Benz. Still, only 38 percent of Mercedes-Benz owners said they saved money. The average loss was $100. Lexus and Toyota owners lost the most money: $600 on average for Lexus and $550 for Toyota. Owners of Pontiacs and Jeeps broke even because on average they had covered repairs that equaled the warranty cost.

Our advice
•Don’t feel pressured to buy an extended warranty at the same time as buying a new car. Instead, shop about six months before the vehicle’s factory warranty runs out.
•Ask for and have a trusted mechanic review sample contracts before buying.
•Bargain hard, sales commissions can be large.

Read the complete report “Extended warranties: A high-priced gamble” to learn more about:
•How extended warranties work
•What the average by brand is for money lost
•Frequency of warranty use by brand
•Who should buy a warranty
•How to get a fair deal

Parkway Automotive Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Friday, June 22nd, 2012


Welcome to the Parkway Automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most of us Ferndale, Arkansas drivers tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Ferndale, Arkansas drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.

Parkway Automotive Tire Safety Washington vs. LincolnLet’s focus on stopping in wet Ferndale, Arkansas conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Ferndale, Arkansas drivers can actually spin out of control. At best, you won’t stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your truck tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Parkway Automotive tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your truck on wet Ferndale, Arkansas roads.

So that’s why it’s so important to replace our truck tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely worn out truck tire.

At Parkway Automotive, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Ferndale, Arkansas roads. A safe stop from Arkansas freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. 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 truck tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Ferndale, Arkansas car owners have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, truck tires are a big ticket item. Most of us in Ferndale, Arkansas want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.

Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes go out while you’re driving around the Conway, Arkansas area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices.

Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator.

When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Parkway Automotive soon.

Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.

Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes drivers insist on lower cost pads. That’s OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the trade offs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you’ll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won’t last as long either. In our opinion, that’s a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you’ve been driving with completely worn brake pads, you’ve scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren’t too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.

Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that’s thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.

Something that’s often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

So here’s the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected. Your advisor can help you make the repair decision that’s right for you.


Friday, June 8th, 2012

If you are ready for a change and would love:
Every weekend off,,,

Work in an air conditioned shop…

Be able to make more money…

Work with a team that will support you as a technician…

Then this may be the job of your dreams

You are the most important person in this company because without you our business stops! That is why we have built our entire system to enable you to repair more cars in less time. (That leads to more money in your pocket).

I could go on and on … but instead just pick up your phone and call our 24/7 recorded message. You will not talk to a person but you will hear from me and I will explain to you everything you need to know to decide for yourself if this is the place you want to work.
This may be the most important call you will ever make.

Call now 1-877-422-6889

I look forward to working with you
Mike Davidson
Owner Parkway Automotive
Little Rock Arkansas

The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Little Rock Drivers

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

People in Little Rock have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers in Little Rock are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Little Rock were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Visit Parkway Automotive in Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Severe driving around Little Rock includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Little Rock just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.

Some types of truck will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Little Rock service advisor at Parkway Automotive and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.


Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

We have a unique opportunity for an Automotive Mechanic. We are an independent shop located in West Little Rock. Just a few items to mention- we only hire people with high ethics. We own factory scan tools for the big three, Shop is air conditioned with computers at the bay. In addition to being able to diagnose and repair today’s modern vehicles you also need to be able to type- If you can’t type please do not apply for this Job. We are progressive in our operation. We do not need a Master Tech but ok to apply. A full job description is available. Contact Mike Davidson 501-821-6111

Questions To Ask Your Little Rock Service Advisor

Friday, June 1st, 2012

We find that a lot of Little Rock service and repair at Parkway Automotive are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Little Rock automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in Little Rock. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your Little Rock automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Little Rock service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Call Parkway Automotive to make an appointment.
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223