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Clean Air for Your Engine: A New Engine Air Filter at Hines Service Center
All of us Conway car owners know we have to get the oil changed in our compact cars periodically. That’s just part of good car care. But when Little Rock technicians change your oil, they also usually inspect your air filter. That’s why they sometimes let you know that your air filter needs to be changed before releasing your compact car.
Don’t just chock this up to trying to sell you something else. Mayflower car owners really do need to change their air filter when it gets dirty. You can check your owner’s manual to see how often your air filter should need to be changed, but remember, if you live in an area in Arkansas with poor air quality, or if you drive a lot or drive under harsh conditions in the Little Rock area, you may need to change that filter more often than is recommended.
Changing an air filter isn’t guesswork. If a filter’s dirty, it needs to be replaced. Air filters aren’t very costly at Hines Service Center in Conway. But the problems they cause if Conway motorists don’t change them can get to be costly.
For every gallon of gas your compact car burns, it needs 12,000 gallons of air. Clean filters allow better airflow into your engine, which means that your engine will get more air more quickly. That means your compact car engine runs more efficiently.
Dirty air filters cut airflow to your engine. All the debris in the filter clogs up the spaces the air needs to pass through to get to the engine. This dirty air can damage costly electronic components.
If you are in tune with your compact car, you’ll notice a difference when you change a really dirty air filter for a clean one. Your compact car may actually purr for you again. Its performance improves when it has a new, clean filter. So remember, changing your air filter is one of the most critical elements of preventive maintenance. At Hines Service Center, it’s inexpensive, it’s effective, and it’s important.
How Your Check Engine Light Works
Have you ever had an experience like this in Conway Arkansas? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing!
You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off.
You wonder; “What was going on?” Well, it’s actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.
Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn’t be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something’s wrong. Whatever’s wrong could cause some serious engine damage.
Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action.
It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I’m still concerned, I’ll keep this light on for now.
Then the Check Engine Light goes off in a day or two.
The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it’s gone now. The danger is past, I’ll turn that light off.
Now a flashing check engine light is serious. You need to get it into our Conway Arkansas shop as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?
Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air to fuel mix, spark advance, and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.
The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the check engine warning.
The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can’t compensate for the problem, the check engine light stays on.
The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what’s wrong?
Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t really tell you why, because there could be any number of causes.
Let’s say you’re feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees.
You know your symptom – a fever – but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?
You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.
There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.
There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory, and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer’s computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.
A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy or that the auto parts store uses, doesn’t have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Conway Arkansas service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.
The second problem is that once you’ve got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.
So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor, which are not cheap, and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.
How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Hines Service Center. Give us a call at 501.327.1755 and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.
The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Hines Service Center
Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is a key part of preventive maintenance for bright Conway motorists. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your compact car’s wheels would have to come from you.
The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer compact cars have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.
Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.
Conway drivers should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.
Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner’s manual or ask your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center service professional to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.
When your fluid is replaced, your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center tech will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Your Hines Service Center service advisor can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner’s manual.
Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, Conway car owners who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.
To protect your steering system should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.
Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough Arkansas driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Conway motorists should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.
For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Hines Service Center. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.
Automotive Guide for Conway: Where Should New Tires Be Placed
When Conway car owners need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get, and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brake systems.
If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your honest caring and friendly Hines Service Center tire professional can help you identify when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire fixed as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.
Give us a call
Hines Service Center 501.327.1755 714 Harkrider St Conway, Arkansas 72032
Fall and Spring Checkup In Conway
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
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