Archive for the ‘Tires and Wheels’ Category

The Parkway Automotive Guide To Custom Wheels

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Your browser does not support video

If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your truck, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Little Rock auto owners have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the truck when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Parkway Automotive tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your truck. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Conway, Arkansas professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Little Rock custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your truck are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason auto owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Little Rock. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your truck, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in expensive damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Parkway Automotive to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Shake It Up in Little Rock!: Why Wheel Balancing

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Your browser does not support video

Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Little Rock car owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Little Rock auto owners want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your honest Parkway Automotive service advisor spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Little Rock auto owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Little Rock motorists can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your truck — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the freeway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the harmful vibration. When Little Rock drivers’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and vital suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock can prevent expensive repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your truck as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel economy. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Parkway Automotive, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Little Rock vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your truck. Balancing your tires is part of essential preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Parkway Automotive. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Little Rock motorists’ nerves.

Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Parkway Automotive

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Your browser does not support video

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock is a lot like buying shoes, except that Little Rock auto owners’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of Arkansas road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Conway, Arkansas area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Little Rock need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Arkansas mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Conway, Arkansas area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Little Rock often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Conway, Arkansas are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Parkway Automotive tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the Arkansas tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Little Rock folks get what they pay for.

At Parkway Automotive, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Little Rock auto owners to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Conway, Arkansas drivers.

So, some good auto advice for Little Rock auto owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Parkway Automotive in Little Rock

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Tires do a lot of key work for Little Rock motorists. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Little Rock. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such critical work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Little Rock motorists:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Parkway Automotive will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your honest Parkway Automotive service specialist puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Little Rock auto owners. They’re key for keeping you safely on the road in Little Rock. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

Getting the Right Tires And Wheels In Little Rock

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Your browser does not support video

A lot of people get custom wheels in Little Rock. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you’re not careful. Sometimes, once they’re mounted, they just don’t fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don’t want that.

Consulting your Parkway Automotive tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he’ll ask you a series of questions about your Little Rock driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

If you don’t want to make any modifications to your truck, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some Little Rock people like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most Little Rock drivers don’t realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – that’s, like the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your truck anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn’t know what changes you made so it can’t tell how fast you’re going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your truck engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in Arkansas. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your honest Parkway Automotive tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your truck. Your Parkway Automotive service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in Little Rock.

Getting New Tires In Little Rock?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

best tire shops in Little Rock

There are so many tire choices in the Little Rock, Bryant, Arkansas, and Ferndale, Arkansas area, selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for Conway, Arkansas car owners. And even though it’s kind of fun to have new tires on your truck, they’re a significant investment for most Conway, Arkansas folks so you want do it right.

Tip: talk with your honest Parkway Automotive tire professional. He’ll help you sort through the choices.

Here are some of the critical issues you’ll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is key. All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Little Rock tire professional can help stay within auto manufacturers’ specifications or program a different tire size into your truck’s computer.

And you’ll want to discuss how and where you drive in Conway, Arkansas to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Little Rock auto owner’s needs.

Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Parkway Automotive will last a long time and give Little Rock drivers good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Little Rock bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your honest Parkway Automotive tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle, it’s essential to always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for truck brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

Schedule a tire inspection at Parkway Automotive to see how much life is left in your truck tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

Give us a call

Parkway Automotive
501-821-6111
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

Tire Replacement: What Bryant, Arkansas Drivers Need to Know

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Looking at getting some new tires? The choices at Bryant, Arkansas tire stores can be a little overwhelming. Suppose you have an SUV and are trying to decide between all season tires or some that are also rated for off-highway. Do you get off the payment on the outskirts of Bryant, Arkansas more than most? If so, some additional off-road traction would be nice.

Tire Replacement: What Bryant, Arkansas Drivers Need to KnowMaybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there’s nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you’ve got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let’s suppose you zip around Bryant, Arkansas in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather’s good. When Arkansas weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Bryant, Arkansas drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it’s time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Parkway Automotive tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He’ll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Bryant, Arkansas drivers. With so many choices, you’ll be able to get what’s best for you. Take their time. And don’t worry about what’s in stock. If you want something that isn’t here at Parkway Automotive, manager Mike Mike can order it. Chances are you’ll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

The Parkway Automotive Guide To Tire Specs

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

You know you need new tires, but you’re not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Little Rock service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Little Rock auto owners. There’s so much on the side of the tire, and it’s hard to keep straight.

Even though there’s a lot on a tire – if you know what it all means, it’s actually more helpful than confusing. Let’s start with the size number.

For example, let’s say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters – the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio – the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it’s a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index – it’s the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty truck can be safe with a lower number, but you’ll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating – with the exception of H – it comes between U and V (don’t ask why).

There’s a lot of fine print that most Conway, Arkansas auto owners probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there’re the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line – a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within a car maker’s product line – you can’t compare with other manufacturers. And it’s important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want – a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won’t wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on windy Arkansas roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A – the best, B – intermediate, C – acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire’s resistance to heat build up in government tests. A, B and C – from best to acceptable.

It’s safe to go with the original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you’ll now be better equipped to communicate with your honest Parkway Automotive tire professional.

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Parkway Automotive

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

At AutoNetTV we love doughnuts. So let’s pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today’s discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don’t eat them now – your going to need them later.

Many Little Rock car owners want to accessorize their car – you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Conway, Arkansas area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Cabot, Arkansas car owners, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.

So let’s talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It’s not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your truck suspension, you’ll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let’s think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They’re all about the same size. So if we pretend they’re tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we’ve made the hole bigger on some. That’s like having a bigger wheel – but the rolling diameter is the same.

It’s important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the truck wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won’t work properly.

Some drivers have cars with electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let’s think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.

Low profile tires from top automakers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you’ll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there’s more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Little Rock folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.

Arkansas auto owners need to watch out that the contact patch isn’t so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we’re talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at Parkway Automotive can help you get this right. He’ll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels, and get you rolling.

Also, if you drive off-road in Arkansas a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at Parkway Automotive knows how to help.

And don’t forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you’ll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at Parkway Automotive after you get your new shoes. AutoNetTV wants you to safely have the look you want.

Stop by Parkway Automotive to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.
You’ll find us at 708 Kirk Road in Little Rock, Arkansas 72223.

Little Rock Arkansas Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

Friday, November 1st, 2013

When winter approaches in Little Rock Arkansas, we break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in the winter.

There are some specific things that we need to do in Little Rock Arkansas to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Little Rock we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your service consultant to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is a really good idea to have your battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is a good precaution if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

Parkway Automotive
708 Kirk Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
501-821-6111

Winter in Little Rock Arkansas always makes us think of our windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing to consider is your tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it wastes gas too. You may need special winter tires as well. Your tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

This is a very important safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.