Archive for June, 2013

Keep Your Cool In Little Rock

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

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Little Rock drivers rely on their car’s coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your truck engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your truck’s engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it’s freezing outside in Little Rock, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold.

So, if you remember your Little Rock high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Little Rock.

Keep Your Cool In Little Rock Whenever the truck is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal truck engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. Expensive parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole truck’s engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Little Rock drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their truck cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your truck manufacturer has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock.

The reason you need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other truck cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Little Rock auto owners ask Parkway Automotive why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

Auto manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Parkway Automotive or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your truck cooling system.

Fuel Saving Tip: Little Rock Tune Up

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Have you ever gone to Conway, Arkansas to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That’s why they tune up together.

Fuel Economy Now this is no surprise; I’m going to relate the orchestra to your car. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.

We call this, (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra’s out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle’s out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.

So check your owner’s manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Little Rock service advisor at Parkway Automotive what he thinks.

…Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.

Maintaining Your Older Car In Little Rock Arkansas

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Little Rock Arkansas: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Little Rock Arkansas motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Conway, Arkansas area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Conway, Arkansas have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.

Give Parkway Automotive a call to schedule your next maintenance.
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It’s also time to make sure you have a good Little Rock Arkansas technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!