When I was a kid in Conway, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it’s about time to get into Hines Service Center for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don’t need seasonal service.
My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.
Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family compact car, most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today’s modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.
Your owner’s manual or Conway service advisor at Hines Service Center can tell you the right oil to use.
Of course, you’re concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don’t want to overheat in the Arkansas summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant, or as it’s sometimes called; ‘antifreeze’, is up to doing both very well. It’s designed to last for more miles than most people drive in a year or two.
So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let’s start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more miles driven and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.
You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant, and that you don’t have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.
That’s pretty practical; a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.
And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.
So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you’ve got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees or you have ice and snow, you’ll want to consider changing to winter tires.
And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service – stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?
So Spring and Fall: change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors – and get a check-up for your cars.
See, dad was right again.
Come and see us at Hines Service Center for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup. Hines Service Center 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032 501.327.1755
Looking Down the Road – Headlamps
Posted on September 10,15 by truck2
If you’ve ever been driving around Conway and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.
To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Hines Service Center. We’re at 714 Harkrider St in Conway, Arkansas 72032. Or give us a call at 501.327.1755
Experts in Conway recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Conway winter nights.
There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.
You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Conway friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.
Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.
You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Conway service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.
You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.
Hines Service Center On Your Serpentine Belt
Posted on August 25,15 by truck2
Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Conway, Arkansas customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the essential device that makes electricity to power the compact car and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around Arkansas in the summer.
The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Conway drivers’ vehicles. Those pumps provide essential pressure that assists your steering and braking.
In many compact cars, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Conway, Arkansas, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.
The radiator cooling fans on some compact cars are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of important work for one belt.
But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most if not all of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of vital work, but they’re tough and can last Conway car owners for thousands of miles.
Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Conway, Arkansas area. Your car maker will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Hines Service Center can detect a belt that’s getting close to failing.
Your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center tech can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch, it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that’s more than half the depth of the belt – replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? Toss it.
What’s involved in replacing the belt at Hines Service Center? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.
This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its essential job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV and the automotive professionals at Hines Service Center recommend Conway car owners replace them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.
What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our Conway streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.
What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on a busy Little Rock freeway, it can be a little scary. The first thing Conway motorists usually notice is that they have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.
Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is vital because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling. Pull over as quickly as you safely can!
The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local Conway, Arkansas traffic.
Remember, Conway car owners can avoid this stressful scenario if they replace their compact car serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center tech to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.
Hines Service Center 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032 501.327.1755
Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Conway Arkansas
Posted on July 17,15 by truck2
Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Conway Arkansas area (zip code: 72032) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Hines Service Center we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.
If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Little Rock area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance: Hines Service Center 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032 501.327.1755
Many people in Conway are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern compact cars are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
Local car owners in Conway with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…
The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.
All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.
So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.
In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.
Talk with your Conway service advisor at Hines Service Center about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.
Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.
If anything, following recommended service intervals for your compact car is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.
So, have your Conway auto service advisor at Hines Service Center help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.
Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Conway Car Owners
Posted on April 17,15 by truck2
A generation ago, Conway auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your compact car in to your Conway shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.
For example, almost everyone in Conway used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the compact car was in for a tune-up at Hines Service Center, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.
Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our compact cars don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.
Modern Conway motorists need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Conway service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Hines Service Center in Conway, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and MPG. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”
Modern compact car engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of important parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the compact car isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.
As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your compact car engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the compact car engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this pricey damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.
Timely oil changes are more critical for Conway auto owners than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to vital engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.
One word of warning to anyone in Little Rock who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Conway folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.
Conway drivers can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.
Make Your Vehicle Last
Posted on December 03,14 by truck2
We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days Arkansas folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Conway car owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.
It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Conway motorists. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Arkansas penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Conway car owners making sure we follow the automobile manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some compact car parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It is probably even more important for older compact cars. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.
And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Conway at Hines Service Center, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center technician help you keep track of the rest.
Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Hines Service Center is cheaper than a an expensive new car payment for Conway car owners. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
Commitment to Make Your compact car Last At Hines Service Center
Posted on October 08,14 by truck2
For advice on how to make your compact car last longer, visit us at Hines Service Center 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032 501.327.1755
These days many people in the Little Rock area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your compact car and see what’s been done and when. Have your Conway service advisor at Hines Service Center do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Conway service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?
Posted on September 11,14 by truck2
In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.
Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Conway Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.
Here are some examples for our friends in Conway.
Some cars in Conway no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.
-Chalk one up for the myth.
On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.
So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.
-A point to maintenance.
Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.
-Myth gets a point.
Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.
-Point for maintenance.
I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.
So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Conway if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.
Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.
It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.
So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Conway service advisor at Hines Service Center to check on the recommendation right away.
Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.
For our friends in Conway, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Hines Service Center. You’ll find us at 714 Harkrider St in Conway, Arkansas 72032. Just give us a call at 501.327.1755.
Maintaining Your Older Car In Conway Arkansas
Posted on August 08,14 by truck2
The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Conway Arkansas: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Conway Arkansas motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.
Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Little Rock area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Little Rock have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.
Give Hines Service Center a call to schedule your next maintenance. 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032 501.327.1755
Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.
First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.
It’s also time to make sure you have a good Conway Arkansas technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.
And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.
High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.
Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!
Hey Conway Drivers; What Is The Most Distracting Food?
Posted on July 03,14 by truck2
So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Conway?
A Soft Drink, or
Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Conway and around the country.
Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!
You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.
Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Conway road without worrying about where that spill is headed.
So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don’t have to ask you which you prefer: It’s a no brainer.
Hines Service Center, along with AutoNetTV, wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.
We are a NAPA AutoCare Center in Conway Arkansas, providing the following services:
Free Shuttle Service
Oil Change and Lube
Tires Sales & Service
Air Filter Replacement
Air Conditioning Service
Battery Testing & Replacement
Vehicle Preventative Maintanance
Belt and Hose Replacement
Everything but glass & body