Archive for October, 2013

Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Like everything on the Conway, Arkansas automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. Arkansas drivers can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Conway, Arkansas freeways, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is essential because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Little Rock’s population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new trucks sold in Conway, Arkansas come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on Little Rock expressways, they’re very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Little Rock drivers complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies – your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Experts recommend that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It’s easy to remember – when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time – then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long Arkansas winter nights.

If you have an older truck with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You’ll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, you can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that’s more like natural sunlight. This light’s easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Little Rock car owners to think you’re running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her Parkway Automotive tech knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Parkway Automotive in Little Rock, Arkansas can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Clean Fuel

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the truck engine.

Little Rock drivers don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your truck engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your truck ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

Clean Fuel – Clean Performance for Little Rock DriversThe harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner’s manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Little Rock car owners should change it before it becomes clogged. Your honest Parkway Automotive technician can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your truck engine will sputter when you drive at highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Little Rock, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

Little Rock drivers take note: A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to costly repair bills for Little Rock motorists. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your honest Parkway Automotive tech will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at Parkway Automotive. It may save Little Rock auto owners money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved fuel efficiency, safety and peace of mind.

Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil In Your Little Rock truck

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

If you’re a quart low in your truck, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Conway, Arkansas area.

Clean Oil for your truck The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn’t reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local Conway, Arkansas gas pump rolling higher and higher.

The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.

So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Recommended Little Rock Service Intervals

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Everyone in Little Rock, Arkansas knows we are advised to go to our Little Rock dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Little Rock residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Conway, Arkansas folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our car maintenance?

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the Arkansas auto owners that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one truck, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your Little Rock service center does it. For example, Parkway Automotive subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Conway, Arkansas weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in Arkansas. Talk about these things with your honest Parkway Automotive service advisor and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not expressway driving in moderate Conway, Arkansas weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Little Rock, Arkansas and it should be taken into account.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your car is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harsh environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Little Rock don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your service advisor at Parkway Automotive. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your car on the road and avoiding costly repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.