It’s that time of year when the government starts issuing tax refunds. A sudden influx of anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars can make fantasies of vacations and big purchases float in your head like sugar plum fairies, but before you blow it all on a trip to Hawaii or a new flat screen, remember that friend of yours sitting in the garage.

Your car is a faithful servant, starting up every morning taking you to work and the kids to school. On weekends it takes you to the mall or the soccer games, and what does it ask in return? Aside from an occasional wash and fill-up, you don’t have to do much to keep it running. Or do you? If it’s been a few months (or years) since you’ve had a check-up, it’s time to take old Betsy (or Bob) into a service advisor at one of the many Chapman Arizona dealerships. It doesn’t cost much for a basic checkup, oil change and tire rotation, but you might want to spend a few more dollars to make sure you have a trouble-free transportation experience for the next year.

Check out your owner’s manual (it’s that book in the glove box that came with the car) and it will spell out exactly what you’re supposed to do when you come up to certain mileage milestones. In case the book is missing, here are a few tips to spend your tax dollars on to help ensure you keep rolling down the road.

Every 3-5K Miles Means it’s Time to Change the Oil

If you want to keep your car running well into the 100K mile range, it’s a good idea to take it in for an oil change and fluid check every 3,000 miles. You can stretch that out to 5,000 miles if you use synthetic oil. About the 15,000 mile mark and then every 15,000 miles thereafter is a good opportunity to change the transmission fluid to ensure it keeps shifting smoothly.

40K Miles is Time to Check the Rubber

When you hit 40,000 miles, your car is probably now out of warranty so its really important to keep an eye on things. This is about the time belts and hoses can begin to go, as well as tires and brakes. This is a good time to put your trust in a Chapman Arizona service advisor, who can tell you what’s still in shape and what might be a cause for concern. Arizona summers are also death on batteries, so make sure and get the water level checked as well as having the advisor look for any dead cells. Windshield wipers and cabin air filters are also apt to be about shot around this time frame.

60K Miles Means its Timing Belt Time

It’s not a given that your timing belt will need replacement at 60,000 miles, but as long as you have the money this is a good time to get it checked out. The 60,000 mile checkup is also an opportune time to look at the spark plugs, wires, coolant and anything else you haven’t addressed previously. Invest a little of that tax money every year in keeping your car running and you won’t have to buy a new vehicle for a good, long time.

If you’re looking to have a fun time and soak in some history before the temperatures start to climb again, you could do a lot worse than taking in all the sights of a southern Arizona road trip. Phoenix residents can be watching a re-enacted gunfight in Tombstone or taking in the arts in the cool old mining town of Bisbee in less than three hours. The area is filled with monuments, ghost towns and great places to stay and eat, making for a fun weekend for you and the entire family. Before you head out on this, or any road trip, make sure and get your vehicle checked out at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships. Some fresh oil, lube and a quick check of all your fluids is a good idea before traipsing across the desert.

Tombstone Too Tough to Die

Head about 40 miles past Tucson on I-10 to the Benson turn-off and you’ll be closing in on Tombstone, the town “too tough to die.” Tombstone was a boom town in the old silver mining days and a place where tough guys went to shoot and get shot. You can enjoy a nice lunch at Big Nose Kate’s saloon, then head over to see a re-enactment of old-time gunfights. The Bird Cage saloon offers an interesting glimpse into the past, including authentic posters of the day and a ton of memorabilia. You can stay in an RV park or local motel, or take the 30-minute drive to Sierra Vista for more modern accommodations, shopping, restaurants and movie theaters.

Bisbee Home of Artists and More

Bisbee was originally founded as a mining town in 1880, but as the gold, copper and silver got played out, it has morphed into more of an artist enclave these days. If you’ve ever been to Jerome, Bisbee will remind you of that mountain town with the houses stacked on top of each other up into the hillside. You can get a real taste of old-town Bisbee by taking the Copper Queen Mine tour, traveling deep into the hillsides to see what life was like a hundred years ago. Stay at the Copper Queen Hotel and you might get to meet one of the reported ghosts who still roam the halls at night. There are plenty of shops to visit or you can just wander around and enjoy the Victorian style architecture.

Ghost Towns Abound in Southern Arizona

Head down south of Tucson and there is a wide selection of ghost towns to visit, as well as the historic Fort Bowie. Fort Bowie was first established in 1862 as a base from which to fight the Apaches. After Geronimo surrendered in 1886, it was closed and is now a National Historic Site with remnants of walls and buildings. Pearce, Courtland, Gleeson and Fairbank are some other historic sites that are interesting and make great pictures. Remember before you embark on a trip across the desert to get you car serviced at a Chapman Arizona dealership. They’ll get you on your way quickly giving you the peace of mind to enjoy your trip.

Start by Building Your Credit

If you have a credit score of 720 or above, you have nothing to worry about. Even if you have a score much lower than that, the finance professionals at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships can work to get you a good loan deal. For the very best deals, it usually pays to build your credit score up so you can take advantage of all the manufacturer incentives available. Leasing is often the best way to get a lot more car for less money per month, but it does require a pretty stable financial record. If you need to build your credit up a bit, focus on paying down credit cards, making all your monthly payments on time and stashing enough away for a good down payment.

Buy When You Can, Not When You Need To

If you are pushing your clunker onto the lot after its umpteenth and final breakdown, some sales people might consider you as someone who really needs to buy a car. On the other hand, if you drive your shiny, several-year-old vehicle onto the lot with no sense of urgency, you might have a bit of an upper hand in the negotiating process. Once your vehicle starts getting over 150,000 miles, it can start to let you down. That’s the time to get your finances in order, research the type of new car you want, and head to the dealership from a position of strength.

Sales Events are Great Ways to Save Money

Getting a free hot dog (if you can fight the salesman off from the bbq) is not the only good thing that happens at large sales events. Memorial Day, Labor Day, End of Model Year and End of Calendar Year are often the very best times to get the best deals? Why? For one reason, the dealership has spent a lot of money on advertising and a purple inflatable gorilla, so they need to recoup some of that cash. The real reason is that many of those big sales events revolve around manufacturer incentives where you can save thousands off the price of a new car. If you’re looking for a used car, head to one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships about a week to 10 days after a big sale. The used car lot should be flooded with trade-ins.

Give the Finance Guys a Chance

People used to think (and many still do) that the finance department at a dealership was for suckers. “Get your financing in order before you go,” your dad will tell you. That’s still a good idea for a fall-back position, but the finance pros at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships have developed long-standing relationships with local banks and credit unions. Give them a chance and you might be surprised at how they can get you a lower payment than going through your own finance institution.

Choose From Dependable Transportation to Luxury Cars

Whether you just need a dependable ride to get back and forth to work or have reached a point in your life where you can afford a premium luxury car, there is a Chapman Arizona dealership that has a car, truck, van or SUV for you. It doesn’t matter if you live in Phoenix, Tucson or even the Mogollon Rim country, you can choose from a wide variety of both domestic and foreign cars. Chapman Payson Auto Center, serving the central and northern part of the state, offers the entire Chrysler lineup of new vehicles as well as Chevrolets. As with all the other Chapman dealerships, Chapman Payson has a website where you can search the current expansive inventory of both new and used vehicles.

Phoenix Covered With Chapman Dealerships

Metro Phoenix is home to 14 Chapman auto dealerships selling both new and used vehicles. Luxury car owners enjoy the convenience of having a Chapman BMW dealership in both Phoenix and Chandler, along with the new premium Hyundai Genesis lots on Bell Road in Phoenix and in Scottsdale. Chapman has Chevy dealerships in both Tempe and Chandler, along with two Hyundai lots and a Mazda store. Scottsdale is also home to Chapman Ford, Chapman Volkswagen and Chapman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. There are two lots dedicated to pre-owned vehicles; Chapman Mesa Used Cars and Arizona Auto Express in Tempe.

Tucson Offers Large Variety of Dealerships

Folks in the Tucson area have the benefit of a number of Chapman dealerships, including the luxury Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche customer service centers. Chapman also has a Honda store, an Acura lot and VW dealership in tucson, as well as three stores dedicated to pre-owned vehicles.

Chapman Dealerships are Full Service

Chapman Arizona prides itself on offering excellent customer service, whether you are just coming by to window shop, get an oil change, or doing research on a new vehicle. Each new car dealership has a full service center where you can develop a relationship with a service advisor who will ensure your care receives the best care. By working with a Chapman service advisor, you’ll be notified when vehicles are due for maintenance or have a recall notice. Chapman Cares is not a marketing slogan, but the name given to the involvement of the employees in the community. Whether volunteering to staff charity events, collecting toys for children or walking to help fight a disease, Chapman employees give back to their neighborhoods by making the world a better place to live.

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Four Simple Steps Help Maximize Trade Value

With the advent of the Internet and a myriad of sites devoted to consumer education about the auto business, it’s rare indeed for a customer to walk onto a car lot and not have a general idea about how much they’re willing to spend. Some buyers spend weeks researching new cars, reading reviews and finding out how much a specific vehicle with all the options they want will cost. Sometimes though, customers forget about one important part of a new car purchase: the trade-in. Educating yourself on the value of your trade, along with taking a few simple steps to increases your vehicle’s worth, will go a long way towards securing a few hundred extra dollars when it comes to trade in time. When it does come time to trade your car in, rest assured that all the Chapman Arizona dealerships will give you top dollar whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle.

Make Your Vehicle Something You’d Want to Buy

There are numerous horror stories about people who treat their car like a garbage can, which is certainly their right, but then don’t take the time to clean it up when it comes time to trade it in. A very simple rule is to make your car look like something you might want to buy. You can either take it to a full-service car wash and for about 20 bucks have it cleaned inside and out, or you can do it yourself. It doesn’t have to look new, but looking like it was cared for can make a big difference in the dealer’s offer.

Understand Where the Dealer is Coming From

Most dealers have a website like the ones of the Chapman Arizona dealerships, where you can look at the used car inventory. If you have a 2008 Chevy Cavalier and you see 20 other Chevy Cavaliers in the dealer’s used car list, chances are they aren’t going to be that excited to get another one. That doesn’t mean you can’t still get a good deal, but you need to adjust your expectations to the reality of the situation.

Do a Little Research

Websites such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are two good places to go for a general idea of your cars worth. Just type in the year, make, model and optional features of your car to get an instant quote. What those sites don’t take into consideration are a dealer’s particular needs, or the experience of the Used Car manager. The used car manager attends auctions on a regular basis, so he knows what vehicles go for in a particular market. Manufacturer incentives on similar model vehicles also come into the picture.

Make a Trip to the Wizard

Numerous dents and dings can affect the value of a car tremendously. There are “dent wizards” who are very affordable and skilled at popping out small dents so they are virtually unnoticeable. Once you’re ready to trade your car in, visit any of the dealerships in the Chapman Arizona group. They’ll give you a fair price with a no-hassle sales experience.

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Everything in Life is About Timing

Remember when you met that special someone? You were walking around a corner, he or she was coming at you and all of a sudden your eyes met? The rest is history. What if you’d been a minute or two later or hadn’t gone to the mall at all that day? Whether you believe in fate or coincidence, everything in life is about timing, and the same is true for scoring a great car deal. Head to any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships in the month of December and you have a great chance of scoring the best deal of the year on new 2017 or remaining 2016 models, plus that special person will absolutely love the gift of a new car.

The End is the Best Time

You’ve probably heard that the end of the month can be a great time to secure the best deal on a new or used car as dealerships scurry to get their monthly sales quotas. Guess what? The same holds true for the end of the year. Like any business, car dealerships have financial goals for each year and you never know how close, or far away, they may be to reaching those goals. Sales people also have goals for the month and year, so it doubles your chances of a dealership being more amenable to a lower offer for a vehicle.

Still Some 2016s in Stock

Although special offers on the 2016 models have been going on for a few months now, chances are there are still some 2016 models still on the lot that need to find a loving home. Head to the Chapman Arizona website and you can shop for remaining 2016 vehicles in the comfort of your own home. Along with deep dealer discounts, manufacturers often offer rebates and special financing offers in order to move last year’s models off the lot. Because December is also a busy time for used car sales, chances are you’ll get the best offer for your trade-in at the end of the year.

It’s Cool Out and Everybody’s Happy

Have you ever shopped for a vehicle in summer in Arizona? It is a grueling task where neither the customer or salespeople can be comfortable sitting in boiling hot vehicles looking for the perfect match. The Holiday Season not only brings a smile to everyone’s face, but cooler weather means you can take your time and sit in a number of different vehicles until you find the one that’s just right. The Holidays are also a time when people are in a more benevolent mood, making the sales experience a happy one for all involved. Buying a car at a Chapman Arizona dealership is always a pleasant experience. Stop by today and give someone an extra Happy Holiday.

Driving Tips Help Keep Teens Safe

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Young Driver Safety Brings Peace of Mind

If you’re a parent of a young driver, no doubt you worry every time your teen takes to the road. Even if they are an excellent driver, there are enough careless people, intoxicated drivers and news horror stories that keep you breathing a sigh of relief every time you hear your kid pull into the driveway. Although you’ll never be able to protect them completely, Chapman Arizona wants you to know that there are steps you can take to help protect your children in their first years on the road. Here are some of the best tips from Teen Driving to help your children navigate all the dangers of the road.

Take the Safe Driver Quiz

The Safe Driver Quiz consists of just eight questions that remind your teen of all the little things that go into being a cautious driver. It covers everything from before they start the car to all the steps necessary to avoid a collision. Things like buckling a seat belt, adjusting mirrors and simply knowing where all the vehicle controls are located can mean the difference between a safe trip and one with consequences. The test emphasizes the importance of defensive driving, what to do when stopping or turning and the importance of checking mirrors when backing up or changing lanes.

Good Driving Practices

People who have been driving for years, or decades, usually don’t stop to think about all the actions that go into becoming a good driver. For instance, you probably know how to get gas, change a tire or add fluids, but does your teen? The simple act of knowing how to put on a spare tire can be the difference between them coming home for supper or stuck out somewhere on a country road. Let your teen gain experience by taking numerous short trips. Have them stop and get gas, and show them how to change a tire or use duct tape to temporarily fix a busted radiator hose. The more they know, the safer they will be.

Do You Really Want Them in the Jalopy?

Over the years it has been a time-honored rite of passage that the youngest driver gets the worst car in the family fleet. While that seems to make sense, you’re also putting your teen in potential danger. Does the old boat need brakes or tires? Does it only start when the moon is full and you wish upon a star? You’d be surprised at how affordable a late model vehicle with air bags, anti-lock brakes and numerous other safety features can be. Set a budget and stop by any Chapman Arizona dealership to find a vehicle your child, and you, can always depend on. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, stop by Freeway Chevrolet or Chapman Chevrolet and take advantage of Teen Driver technology in the new Malibu.

 

Avoid Scam Artists When Selling Your Car

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Rip-off Artists Can Make Good Deal Turn Bad

The proliferation of free websites where you can sell a car is a both a good and a bad thing for private individuals who want to get the most money possible for a used ride. On the good side, you can reach a wide audience of buyers who just happen to be looking for a 1994 Geo, or whatever you car happens to be. On the bad side, there are people who do nothing all day except think of ways to scam people out of their money. One way to sell your car is to take it to a Chapman Arizona dealership and get a bonafide offer from the used car department. You’ll be dealing with professionals who will offer a fair price and there is no risk of injury either to yourself or your pocketbook. If you are determined to sell it to a private party, here are some things to consider.

Be Wary of ‘Sight Unseen’ Offers

No one, and we mean no one, will make an offer to buy your vehicle sight unseen unless there is some sort of tomfoolery afoot. These types of offers are usually accompanied by sending a phony money order or certified check. Many times the “buyer” will send an intermediary to deliver the fake check and pick up the car, leaving you nowhere to turn when you discover the money isn’t real. Always insist on meeting the buyer in a public place to ensure your safety and only accept cash.

Overpayment is Not an Option

If a buyer falls in love with your car and offers to overpay, there should be some red flags and cannon shots going off in your brain. Many times the person will say a third party owes the buyer more than the cost of the car, but that you can keep it all. Or perhaps they will send a money order for more than the cost of the car, asking that you keep a percentage of the extra for handling before sending back the excess. Again, the money order or certified check will almost certainly be fake, leaving you holding the bag and out thousands of dollars.

Document the Transaction

One good way to stay out of trouble when dealing with private parties is to make sure and document the transaction. Get their name and address and send that information in to the Arizona DMV to make them aware that title is being transferred. Having a record of the buyer’s personal information is a great way to keep yourself out of trouble in case the car is involved in an accident or criminal activity.

Sell to a Dealership

Although you may not get the same money for your vehicle by selling to a Chapman Arizona dealership as you would to a private party, you will avoid any headaches and  scams. Just drive in and ask to see the used car manager. He or she will evaluate your car and give you the facts on how they arrive at the price they quote. You can then either take the deal or not, but at least you’ll have a good idea of the true value of your vehicle.

Fall Brings Special Car Care Needs

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Even Desert Winter Brings Special Challenges

Although there are some nights that temperatures in the Valley of the Sun dip below freezing, as a general rule you don’t have to worry much about your engine coolant freezing when winter finally comes. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other maintenance items on your car that need attention. Although the highs are still flirting with triple digits, it won’t be too long before cooler temps bring snow to the mountains and some rain to Phoenix. After dealing with a particularly brutal summer, now’s the time to bring your car into any of the Chapman Arizona service bays to get an oil change and a full inspection.

Summer Sun Plays Havoc With Rubber

Don’t get caught in the middle of a storm with windshield wipers that are more of a suggestion than an actual water squeegee. If you’ve had your wipers for a couple of years, chances are the sun has caused them to crack and break. You not only need wipers for rain or snow, but also for that early morning condensation that can make the first few minutes of your morning commute treacherous. Similarly, the rubber hoses of your heating and cooling system should be inspected at this time. Replace cracked and aging hoses so you don’t get stranded. Hoses not only are important to prevent leaks, but also to ensure your defroster and heater continue to keep you warm and the windshield clear.

Do a Quick Light Inspection

The last person to know when their taillights or stoplights go out is usually the driver. Grab a family member or friend to help you do a quick inspection of all the lights, including the turn signals. Replace burned out bulbs and clean the lenses. If your headlights are fogged up due to age, ask your Chapman Arizona service advisor about products that can restore the transparency to like-new condition. Winter is the worst time of the year for early morning fog, so ensuring your headlights are clear and adjusted is extremely important.

Time for Tire Check

When you go into a Chapman Arizona dealership for an oil change, say yes when they ask if you want a tire rotation. Rotating the tires on a regular basis keeps the tread patterns wearing evenly. If you’re tires are getting to the point of replacement, ask if there are any specials or check the website for coupons. Fall is also the perfect time for a brake inspection, radiator flush and to make sure your in-vehicle emergency kit is stocked with supplies.

Fall Car Shows Plentiful in Arizona

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Fans and Collectors Flock to Gatherings

Whether you live in the Valley, Tucson area or any outlying mountain or desert town, there is probably a great car show within an hour’s drive. From the monthly and weekly shows at different shopping centers and public places in the Valley to the special annual get-togethers, car shows are family-friendly events that celebrate an interesting mix of nostalgia and technology. From the stock cars of the 60s to the rambunctious Hellcat Dodges of the modern era, car shows provide an opportunity to remember the old days and celebrate the new. Dodge, Ford and Chevy are all about bringing back the muscle car era with the Charger, Challenger, Mustang and Camaro as popular as ever. If attending a car show gives you the taste to put a muscle car in your garage, visit one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships for the best deal on these beasts of the road.

Check the Web for Listings

A simple search engine check is the best way to find out what car shows are happening around the state. Just type in “Arizona car shows” and you’ll get choices such as Arizona Auto Scene, which lists every show out there along with a link to provide more information. Regular shows like the KMart Cruise Night in Mesa, AJ’s Cruise-In at Arrowhead Village, Cruz’n@Phils in Fountain Hills and Friday Night Drags at Wild Horse Pass are all listed. One of the most popular car shows happens every Saturday night at the Scottsdale Promenade, near the intersection of Indian Bend Road and the 101 Freeway. Depending on the weather, hundreds of exhibitors bring cars of all ages, shapes and conditions. Owners are extremely friendly and ready to discuss their vehicles.

Combat Dolls Charity Shows Help Vets

The Combat Dolls are a group of women who dedicate their time to “fighting a different war to help support those who serve our country.” They have a monthly charity car show that benefits different veteran’s organizations. On October 16 the Dolls are hosting a car show at Phoenix Indoor Karting in Phoenix with proceeds going to the Let’s Roll Foundation. Let’s Roll helps veterans with their transportation needs. A haunted house will be part of the attraction.

Today’s New Car is Tomorrow’s Classic

If you’re interested in becoming involved in the car show scene, talk to the exhibitors and find out what kind of car is the best investment. You can spend a few hundred dollars on something that’s not running and then invest thousands of dollars and hours in a restoration, or buy something new or gently used that has potential to be a collector’s item someday. Sports cars like the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger and Corvette have held their popularity over time. If you’re interested in a new or used sports car, check out the available inventory by perusing the Chapman Arizona website.