Archive for January, 2013

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Getting enough fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

You can buy fuel system cleaners that you just pour into your gas tank that can help maintain an already clean fuel system, but can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Parkway Automotive. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Parkway Automotive can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find Parkway Automotive at 708 Kirk Road in Little Rock, Arkansas 72223. Or just give us a call at 501-821-6111 to schedule an appointment.

You’ll enjoy more power, better gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent costly repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your service technician at Parkway Automotive and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

Technician Training at Parkway Automotive

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Your car is important to you and keeping it running is vital to your Little Rock lifestyle. That’s why you should have it serviced regularly at Parkway Automotive. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right.

It’s also very important to your Little Rock service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Little Rock service center spends every year to make sure our technicians are properly trained.

Parkway Automotive offers a variety of car care services to many kinds of vehicles. We need to be up to date on the latest techniques and parts so that they can care for your car properly. Our Little Rock centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Parkway Automotive technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services require the use of specialized equipment. Parkway Automotive technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that service technicians be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to spot potential problems before they become serious.

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to customers. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better service decisions.

You may be interested to know that service technicians are trained in compliance with federal and local Little Rock laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of our Little Rock service center to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your technician or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

Well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best service experience possible.

Buying the Right Tires and Wheels In Little Rock Arkansas

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Everyone in Little Rock Arkansas eventually replaces their tires, whether it’s because they’re worn out or they’re just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in Little Rock Arkansas, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let’s group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.

One category is often referred to as “summer tires”. Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees. Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads in Little Rock Arkansas and they’re also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.

Little Rock Selecting Tires and Wheels Now the rubber compound gets a little hard and stiff as temperatures drop below 45 degrees as it occasionally does here in Little Rock Arkansas. And the tread which handles dry roads so well, can get packed with snow or mud – which provides very little traction in those conditions.

So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you’ll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.

Summer tires can be purchased with an emphasis on handling performance, smooth ride or long life. Your Little Rock Arkansas tire professional at Parkway Automotive can help you find the right tire for the way you drive.

As you can imagine, winter tires are designed to work very well in snow and ice. Their tread is designed with many channels and grooves that throw the snow out of the tread as the wheel turns. This means the tire is always be able to bite into the snow.

The rubber compound used in winter tires is specially formulated to be flexible at temperatures below 45 degrees. This maximizes cold weather traction. When it gets warmer, the softer rubber will wear faster on warm dry pavement than summer tires, so change them out once the weather has turned.

There’s a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, look for the mountain and snowflake icon that signifies a severe snow rating. If you have milder winters and still want a performance component, they make a winter tire for you as well.

For many people, an all-season tire is the answer. You will give up some of the performance at the extreme ends of the summer tire/ winter tire spectrum, but you will find a long wearing tire that gives both good highway performance and winter traction on our Little Rock Arkansas roads.

Within the all-season category, there are many choices that you tire advisor can help you evaluate.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Outside of these three main categories, some people in Little Rock with trucks and SUVs like a tire that is designed for both on-highway and off-highway use. They can handle the rocks and bumps off-road, but still work well on the street. Again, many options depending on the relative emphasis on on-road verses off-road.

You may want new wheels to go with your new tires – well, there are hundreds and hundreds of styles to choose from. That’s a matter of personal taste. If you want to change the size of your wheels and tires, do get some professional help.

The computers on your vehicle are programmed to the size of wheel and tire combination that comes from the factory. Tire size affects various computer controlled functions like anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls, speedometer and odometer. Of course, you want these systems to work properly. The computers can be re-programmed for different tire sizes.

And if you want to increase the size of your wheels and tires, you’ll want so help to make sure they’ll fit in the wheel wells of your vehicle without rubbing during turns or over bumps.

On Board Diagnostics For Little Rock Motorists

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Some Little Rock motorists are confused by Parkway Automotive charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair. Many services at Parkway Automotive and other Little Rock automotive repair shops include diagnostic fees.

When you take your laptop into a Conway, Arkansas computer repair shop for a problem you’ll likely have to leave a deposit for diagnostics. When we visit our Cabot, Arkansas doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying him to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Little Rock Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Parkway Automotive for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Conway, Arkansas area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your truck brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Arkansas expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your truck engine, Parkway Automotive diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Conway, Arkansas public’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Cabot, Arkansas, Bryant, Arkansas, and Ferndale, Arkansas drivers that the trouble code tells the Parkway Automotive technician exactly what’s wrong. Why then is there a diagnostic charge, the scanner just gave the diagnosis?

Reality is more involved than that. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The truck computer’s trouble code just tells the Parkway Automotive technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Parkway Automotive Little Rock customers. The Parkway Automotive technician makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem.

Conway, Arkansas service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for a given trouble code. They outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented fix. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course Parkway Automotive wants to figure out what’s wrong with your truck and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Little Rock Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules. The regular schedule and the severe service schedule. It’d be wrong for us to tell you that everyone in Conway, Arkansas always needs to follow the severe service schedule – but its wishful thinking to say that the regular schedule is always good enough for your truck.

Contact Parkway Automotive to learn more about Severe Service Requirements for your truck
You can find us at:
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
Or call us at 501-821-6111

At Parkway Automotive we’ll give you the definitions and explain the issues, and you can be the judge. Most manufactures list the following as severe conditions:

  • Most of your trips are less than four miles.
  • Most of your trips are less than 10 miles and outside temperatures are below freezing.
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway.
  • You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
  • You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
  • Driving in very hot or very cold weather.

So think about your typical week. Do you live a block from a Arkansas freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to work in Bryant, Arkansas or Ferndale, Arkansas? Or are you like the rest of us where 90% of our trips are on the severe service list?

The answer may be different at different times of the year and for the different drivers in your family. Think of the two service schedules as bookends. Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Look at your driving patterns and Little Rock road conditions and honestly evaluate which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

If you have a job in a neighboring town such as Cabot, Arkansas or Bryant, Arkansas and most of your commute is freeway miles, you may choose the regular service schedule for your car. On the other hand, if you live within a few miles of work and only get on the highway a handful of times every month, something closer to the severe service schedule is more appropriate.

Now why is this so important? Moisture builds up in the engine oil from normal condensation. Short trips around Conway, Arkansas or driving when it’s really cold means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil leads to oil sludge that gums up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it as well. That’s why you need to change your oil more frequently – to get the sludge out before it causes problems.

Towing, heavy loads and very hot Arkansas summer weather means that your engine and transmission will operate at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Dusty conditions, which may extend also to areas with high air pollution, mean that fluids will get dirty faster and that filters will plug up and won’t work right.

All of these things can lead to premature wear and repairs down the road. They’ll also hurt your fuel economy. If you want some personalized advice, talk with your honest Parkway Automotive service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow. If you’re not sure, err on the side of protection.

Watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.