Archive for February, 2014

Keep Your Cool In Conway, Arkansas: Air Conditioning Service

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Most Little Rock motorists don’t even think about their car air conditioning system unless it fails. That’s because many Little Rock and Bryant, Arkansas motorists don’t really understand that auto A/Cs need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.

First, like every machine, the truck air conditioner parts need – you guessed it – lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). Remember that even if the air conditioner is still blowing out cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts may be used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all Arkansas cars.

Keep Your Cool In Conway, Arkansas: Air Conditioning Service

Now here’s a tip for Little Rock car owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during Arkansas winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your truck windshield during Arkansas winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Little Rock cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Conway, Arkansas auto owners should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

Little Rock drivers would be wise to learn the critical early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air’s not as cold as it used to be. 2) Unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Parkway Automotive in Little Rock before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your truck owner’s manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some pricey components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Cabot, Arkansas and Bryant, Arkansas car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Little Rock car owners and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us Little Rock auto owners.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause important engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Arkansas highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Little Rock service center.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your honest Parkway Automotive technician to get it checked out.

Some more Little Rock information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative for Little Rock car owners. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the truck’s Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your truck looked at. Your honest Parkway Automotive service advisor will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

Why People In Little Rock Hesitate to Get their Vehicle Serviced

Friday, February 14th, 2014

A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our Little Rock Arkansas roads have one or more service or repair that’s needed, but hasn’t been taken care of. Now that’s a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.

There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services; especially services that our Little Rock Arkansas automotive advisor recommends when we’re in for something else, like an oil change.

The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don’t always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your truck, but if you don’t have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you’re not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.

Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local Little Rock Arkansas service advisor. People who don’t know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don’t want to look ignorant.

It’s human nature. But, there’s so much to know in this world, we can’t all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It’s very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it’s your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Your auto technician at Parkway Automotive wants your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.

That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don’t always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.

At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your Little Rock service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.

In other words, “you don’t have to trust me, you can trust your owner’s manual”.

Your Little Rock service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer’s recommendations for almost all vehicles, so they don’t need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner’s manual to know what to do.

Basically, the engineers who designed the car say “here’s when you need to have it serviced”. That’s who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He’s just reminding you.

Now you do need to trust your Little Rock technician’s experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concern and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.

That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn’t usually on either of those lists.

Look, everyone who works at Parkway Automotive has a family budget, too. They can relate. Maybe a little look behind the scenes would be helpful.

Service centers like Parkway Automotive invest heavily in training, diagnostic equipment and tools so that they can make repairs and perform services as efficiently as possible. And like any other business, they have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, shop and office supplies, taxes and so on.

We work hard to make sure that we diagnose the problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That’s the only way we can maintain our reputation and remain in business. If we’re not satisfying our customers and providing a good value, you won’t come back and the service center won’t be around for long.

When there is a real budget concern, your Little Rock service center can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.

Let’s say you have a serious problem with your brakes. That’s a safety concern so a technician can’t ethically say, well, let’s put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is take care of the brakes now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service next month.

Automotive Detective Work In Little Rock

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

There’s a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in Little Rock. Figuring out what’s wrong with your truck has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your truck’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for Little Rock motorists because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the Little Rock doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that Little Rock drivers can do a lot to help out their honest Parkway Automotive service professional in figuring out what’s wrong with their truck. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your Little Rock service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good auto advice: learn how to talk to your Little Rock service specialist.

If fluid is leaking from your truck, you should note the color of the fluid, where under the car the puddles form, and when they form (e.g. only when it’s parked for a while, only if the engine’s hot, when the weather turns cold, etc.). For example, if your truck is making an unusual sound, you should indicate where the sound is coming from, what kind of sound it is, and when you hear it (again, be very specific). The more details you can give, the more helpful you will be. “I hear the sound when I turn left” is more helpful than “I hear the sound when I turn.” After a few conversations with your Parkway Automotive service advisor, you should get a feel for the kind of information he needs.

If you drop your car off, leave a detailed note describing information about your truck’s problem. A quickly scrawled “Making a funny noise” will only lead to frustration for both your technician and for you. Good communication leads to better car care for Little Rock car owners.

If your truck is occasionally stalling or sputtering, you may need a little more patience than with other types of car trouble because these types of problems are intermittent. In order to fix the trouble, your service advisor often finds it helpful to reproduce the symptoms. And if the problem is intermittent, it may take a while to do so.

In these cases, specific information can be invaluable, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes for your honest service advisor to get your truck to misbehave. For example, if you can tell your technician that the vehicle only acts up after it’s been driven for 20 minutes and over 50 mph, it will allow him to quickly reproduce your problem, greatly reducing the time it will take for a car diagnosis in Little Rock and then get it fixed.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of the Conway, Arkansas repair shop, but if you need to get it fixed, good communication will get you back on the road quickly.