Archive for May, 2015

Cool Running In Little Rock

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your truck engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in Little Rock waiting for your truck engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Parkway Automotive, your service professional will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your truck owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your honest tech will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the truck radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need a diagnostic examination regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your truck cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your truck cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Parkway Automotive is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Little Rock for 13 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Conway, Arkansas repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Arkansas.

At Parkway Automotive, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Easy Miles ‐ Do Little Rock Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015


Have you ever noticed that your car maker has a schedule in your owner’s manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let’s define what severe driving conditions aren’t: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for twenty miles or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour in 75°F weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly, and you are driving under severe conditions.

Let’s look at the critical parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Little Rock are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn’t stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate so it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around Conway, Arkansas are less than four miles, you should reflect on using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock will help prevent the formation of sludge.

Each truck engine has a “power band,” or the range of RPM’s in which it runs most efficiently. Generally this power band falls in the range of Arkansas highway speed driving. So if you’re driving around town in Little Rock all the time, your engine has to work harder. That’s why fuel efficiency ratings are so much better on the freeway than in the city. Again, this type of driving is considered severe and requires more frequent maintenance for your transmission, cooling system and brake fluid.

Most of us Little Rock motorists think of severe Arkansas weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we’re right. Cold Conway, Arkansas area weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.

Hot Little Rock weather is also detrimental for trucks. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot Arkansas weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

Another vital element of severe driving is the conditions we drive through. Dusty, polluted Little Rock areas are detrimental to your filters. Dirt, dust and contaminants will also get into your fluids, and they’ll get dirty faster, so they’ll need to be changed more often as well. Finally, when you’re pulling a trailer around Little Rock, carrying heavy loads or using a car-top carrier, you are putting more stress on your engine. The engine, transmission and brakes are all working harder to handle the extra load.

So, in the end, most of us Little Rock auto owners drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Little Rock car owners will ask themselves the question: “Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?” An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow.