Archive for July, 2013

Automobile Fluids For Your truck

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

If you’ve walked through the automotive fluids of an auto parts store in Conway, Arkansas, you’ll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what’s right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Conway, Arkansas area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First let’s talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles around Conway, Arkansas come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what’s been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

Little Rock Arkansas Auto Fluids A good quality oil has more additives that are engineered to clean and protect the engine. They cost a bit more, but are worth the extra protection. If you buy budget oil, you might want to consider shortening your oil change interval.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We’ve seen special coolant in Conway, Arkansas for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that your Conway, Arkansas service center has databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that’ll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Of course, your full-service oil change will top off your fluids. But it’s a good idea to have some of everything at home in case you need to top something off yourself or to take on a trip. Ask your Conway, Arkansas service advisor at Parkway Automotive or check your owner’s manual for fluid specifications.

It’s important to know that there are national warranty laws that say that a manufacturer cannot require you to use their brand of fluid to maintain your warranty. That said, there are two things that may affect your warranty.

Using the wrong type of fluid may void the warranty. Going back to radiator coolant, the correct type protects against corrosion and the wrong type will not. So it’s important to be right.

Also some warranty protections are conditioned on taking care of scheduled preventive maintenance. Please review your warranty if you have questions.

Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Little Rock?

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Little Rock?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Little Rock – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Little Rock.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact Parkway Automotive for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 708 Kirk Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
You can reach us by phone at: 501-821-6111

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Parkway Automotive recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Parkway Automotive).
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

For more information, contact Mike at Parkway Automotive by calling 501-821-6111.

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring For Your Little Rock Auto

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Little Rock drivers may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in Little Rock come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around Conway, Arkansas have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.

If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the car maker’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When Conway, Arkansas drivers see the warning light, they know it’s time to put some air in the tires.

There are many benefits to driving with properly inflated tires around Little Rock. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves gas mileage. Driving on under-inflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel gas mileage. You’ll also see longer, more even tread wear so your tires’ll last longer.

Another important benefit of properly inflated tires is increased safety. Under-inflated tires become hotter and that heat can actually lead to tire failure – possibly resulting in an accident. Your car and the tires themselves will just perform better and more safely around Little Rock with properly inflated tires.

Local Little Rock consumer groups, law-makers and auto makers advocate TPMS systems hoping that they will save lives, property damage and inconvenience. While you can’t put a value on saving a life, Little Rock drivers should keep in mind that TPMS systems aren’t free.

The systems themselves are added into the price of the car. The batteries in the sensors will have to be replaced from time to time. Parts will break and need to be replaced. In colder climates around Arkansas, ice and salt are frequent causes of failure.

In addition, there are other behind-the-scenes costs to be aware of. Every time a tire is replaced, repaired, rotated or balanced, the tire technician has to deal with the TPMS system.

Little Rock service centers such as Parkway Automotive must purchase equipment used to scan and reactivate the TPMS system after every tire service. Because older tire change equipment can damage TPMS sensors, your Conway, Arkansas service center may need to buy expensive, new tire changers.

Since there is no uniformity among auto manufacturers, service professionals need to be trained on several TPMS systems. These behind-the-scenes costs are very real to Little Rock service center managers like Mike Mike at Parkway Automotive.

That’s why the team at Parkway Automotive is anxious for Conway, Arkansas drivers to understand the financial impact of TPMS systems. In the past, we’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide tire services, and then pass the low cost on to Conway, Arkansas customers as an expression of our good will. But now even these simple jobs take much longer and require expensive equipment.

Sensors will need to be removed and reinstalled. Even a 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.

So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up in Arkansas, please keep in mind that it’s because of this new safety equipment. The team at Parkway Automotive just wants to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to doing it at a fair price.

It’s important to remember that the TPMS warning only comes on when a tire is severely under-inflated. You’ll still want to check your tire pressure regularly. At every fill-up is best, but you should check pressure at least once a month. Here’s wishing you safe travels.

Contact Parkway Automotive for more information about Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.

Deciphering the Parkway Automotive Menu Board

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Let’s talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Little Rock, Arkansas service centers like Parkway Automotive have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don’t know what these services really are unless they ask. Let’s go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.

Feel free at any time to give Parkway Automotive a call at 501-821-6111 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Little Rock, Arkansas auto center at 708 Kirk Road 72223.

First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.

Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.

Alignment. Service centers like Parkway Automotive make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.

Battery service. Service centers like Parkway Automotive inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery’s ability to hold a charge. If the battery’s still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.

Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.

The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.

Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.

Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.

Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don’t require service very often, so people don’t think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.

Engine air filter. This filters the air that’s burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.

Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.

Contact Parkway Automotive, your Little Rock, Arkansas auto repair center, by calling us at 501-821-6111.

Steer Right In Conway, Arkansas

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

power steering service Conway, Arkansas

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering so many Little Rock drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your truck steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer.

Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of Conway, Arkansas vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve fuel efficiency.

The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older Arkansas vehicles, and a lot of newer ones, have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, Conway, Arkansas drivers need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it’s too low your steering is affected and you could damage your truck pump.

Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors; leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering service at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock includes removing the contaminated fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid.

A word about power steering pumps: Some are powered by an electric motor. Others are driven by the serpentine belt. A worn serpentine belt stresses all of the truck components it drives, including the power steering pump, so replace the belt at Parkway Automotive as advised to avoid undue repairs.

Losing your power steering while driving in Little Rock can be unsettling – just remember that you can still steer, it’ll just be harder. Check with your honest Parkway Automotive service professional to see if it’s time to service your truck power steering system.

In addition to power steering service, at Parkway Automotive we offer comprehensive automotive services including oil change, oil change and Vehicle Health Check-Ups.

Give us a call

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223