Archive for December, 2012

Synthetic Oil For Little Rock Autos

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Little Rock vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Little Rock, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Little Rock have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 501-821-6111 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Parkway Automotive website.

Battery Replacement At Parkway Automotive

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Hello, welcome to Parkway Automotive. Today’s topic is batteries. It seems like everything in Bryant, Arkansas runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Parkway Automotive are those in our vehicles. Car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Bryant, Arkansas drivers should know when looking for a new battery.

There are two measurements that come into play: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. Battery Replacement At Parkway Automotive This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder your truck’s engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold. We even have a table. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit out. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.

As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.

Percent of Power Available Celsius Fahrenheit Power Required  
100 27 80 100  
65 0 32 155  
40 -22 0 210  
25 -32 20 350  

So if you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with the vehicle was based on averages. At Parkway Automotive, we like to remind Bryant, Arkansas auto owners that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the manufacturer recommends, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel trucks require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.

Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important to Bryant, Arkansas drivers these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your truck. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Bryant, Arkansas. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Parkway Automotive and upgrade if you need more.

Talk with us at Parkway Automotive about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Parkway Automotive, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your truck: the terminals can’t be touching other parts and stuff.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most Bryant, Arkansas motorists, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Parkway Automotive about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.

Service Center Standard and Procedures

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

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.


Thursday, December 6th, 2012

While Supplies last Starting Tuesday December 11th 2012  get this deluxe stadium seat free with every purchase of a Lifetime Preventative Maintenance Plan.


Who Was Your Favorite Teacher?

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

My favorite teacher from Van Buren High School (home of the Pointers) was Mrs. Blalock.  She was my world history teacher.  Whatever we were studying, she would dress up like that…. When we studied Asia, she’d dress like that.  Germany, France, Italy… it didn’t matter.  Mrs. Blalock brought drama to History and made it come alive.


Teacher of the Month, Charlotte Pounders with Chris from The Tavern Sports Grill and me.  The flowers she’s holding are from Floral Express.

I’ve always appreciated teachers like Mrs. Blalock.  They invest in our children and don’t get near the appreciation or help they deserve.  I guess that’s why I’ve been helping the PTA in two local schools for the past couple of years by giving back to them 2% of the labor sales of the parents and grandparents of the students from these schools.  And this year, we helped to create a Teacher of the Month program at Chenal Elementary.



I’ve brought some other local businesses that I trust to provide some gifts to each month’s Teacher.  It’s our way of showing appreciation and affirming the job they do.

Teachers are constantly giving to our children and I’m happy to have found a way to give back to them.


Mike Davidson  |  Parkway Automotive

The Auto Guy

P.S.  The next time you have the opportunity, say “Thank You!” to a teacher.  It’ll bring a smile to their face and will make a BIG difference in their day.



Power Steering: Keep Headed in the Right Direction, Little Rock

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Little Rock, Arkansas these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the heart of the system is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact us at Parkway Automotive for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates boost that assists you as you steer your truck around Little Rock, Arkansas. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so you need to use the correct type –just ask your service consultant at Parkway Automotive.

In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. The lubricants and detergents are depleted over time so you need to replace your old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many manufacturers specify power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. When in doubt, every two years is a good fallback.

Your auto service center in Little Rock, Arkansas will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is that you have to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly to keep you headed in the right direction.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223