Picture this scenario for a moment: You head off to a trip for some late season chances to look at the changing leaves in northern Arizona, heading off on backroads where you heard there’s a glorious stand of Aspens in full display of autumn hues. You see storm clouds, but don’t think much about them. After all, you do have all-wheel drive. You park the car and take your picnic lunch on a bit of a hike to see the trees, which are just as beautiful as promised. You notice it getting darker, and then it starts to rain. As you rush back to your vehicle, the rain turns to hail and the hail turns to snow. It is an early blizzard that’s not common, but not unheard of in northern Arizona. Pretty soon the snow is several inches thick, turning the primitive road and surrounding meadows into one serene white blanket, morphing ditches and obstacles into a winter wonderland. If your car would get stuck, would you be prepared to spend a night in the snow? One great way to make sure you don’t have any vehicle problems is to get an inspection at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships.

Gasoline the Eraser for Bad Decisions

Okay, so if you had it to do over again you probably would have checked the weather report before heading out into the back country. But at least you had the good sense to fill up your tank, right? Keeping your tank as full as possible in the winter, whether you’re driving on Interstates or testing your luck on some dirt roads can be key to being relatively comfortable or spending a long, lonely night in a freezing vehicle. You can easily make it through the night on a tankful of gas, letting your heater run and keeping all occupants cozy, if not happy.

Food and Drink Essential

You’d be surprised at how little food the human body can get by on over an extended period of time, but it is important to have sustenance, if only to improve your passengers’ mental outlook. A few protein bars, a jar of nuts and even a jar of peanut butter and some crackers are all great ideas to stash in your survival kit. A couple of gallons of drinking water are even more important to keep everyone hydrated.

Charge that Cell Phone

It’s true that there are many areas in the boonies that don’t get cell reception, but if you don’t have a charged cell phone it’s not going to matter. Always have a cell phone charger in your car. If you don’t get reception within the car, try standing on the roof and reaching as high as possible. Those few extra feet can mean the difference between getting a signal and spending the night in the cold and dark.

Blankets and Come in Handy

Keeping a couple of old, large blankets in your car is a great idea to help ward off the cold. If all goes south and you run out of gas on your night on the trail, huddle all the passengers as closely together as possible and surround yourself with blankets. Try and close any holes so your body heat will create a thermal layer of warmth.

Don’t Forget the Shovel

A small garden shovel can be the difference between a nice hot dinner and a night in a motel and hearing your occupants complain that all they have to eat are some protein bars and water. If you do get stuck, determine the drive wheel and dig a gradual slope out of the obstruction. It will take a while, but do it right and you should be able to drive right out of your obstacle. When you finally get home, make sure and take your car into one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and get the undercarriage checked out in case you knocked something loose.

If you remember the days when hanging a transistor radio from your rearview mirror or using your left arm to signal a turn were all common practices, you might be having a bit of an anxiety attack from all the new technology available in modern vehicles. From driver assistance features that not only warn you of a possible collision but also take control of your car to engines that vary the number of cylinders used depending on load, new technology can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a little overwhelming at times, which is why the pros at the Chapman Arizona dealerships are ready to take the time to explain all the features of your new vehicle.

Are Self-driving Cars the Wave of the Future?

Self-driving cars are definitely coming. Just drive around in Tempe and you’ll see a fleet of self-driving minivans with giant sensors mounted on top going endlessly through the neighborhoods. Whether or not the autonomous vehicle is a wave or merely a ripple remains to be seen. While industry experts say it will take autonomous vehicles talking to each other to solve urban gridlock, the fact remains that there are cost, technology and regulatory hurdles to clear. Expect baby steps in the next couple of decades with autonomous vehicles being available on a limited premium level in the mid 2020s.

Nikola Tesla would be Proud

Although self-driving cars may be a way away, the proliferation of electrified vehicles continues to be on the front burner of most major car companies. Hyundai just announced a new initiative to increase their available inventory of electrified vehicles and other automakers are doing the same. Hybrids that combine a small electric motor with a four-cylinder gas engine are still the most available and affordable, but prices are coming down on plug-in hybrids and all Electric Vehicles (EV). The improvement of batteries and ability to extend the range of an EV to more than 200 miles make the prospect of driving an electric car much more palatable to the general public.

Cars Will Communicate with Each Other

One of the major technological breakthroughs coming in the next few years will be the ability of vehicles to talk to one another. Cadillac has implemented this technology in its CTS sports sedans this year, so expect other automakers to follow suit. Cars will be able to more easily flow from lane to lane if they know what other cars are doing. Real time traffic reports, road conditions and inclement weather are other bits of information that can help traffic flow. Keep up to date with the very latest technology by visiting any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and taking a test drive today.

Not Too Early to Think of Holiday Gifts

Oh, the weather outside is frightful (still 100 degrees), but inside the AC is delightful. If you’re buying gifts for a star, get a car, get a car, get a car. Ok, while a car may be out of reach as a gift for some people, there are still a number of ways you can score some big points with that significant someone by shopping at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships. If the star in your life is really into vehicles, there are many aftermarket accessories, service specials, tires, and yes, even vehicles that are not as expensive as you might think.

Go Big or Go Home

As dealerships continue to clear out the 2017 inventory to make room for 2018 models, now is the time to score big deals on many of the major brands. While you might balk at the thought of spending $20,000 or more on a Holiday gift, qualified lessees and buyers can frequently score a brand-new vehicle for payments in the $200 a month range. That’s just a little more than a large decaf mocha frappe latte pumpkin spice maple coffee a day. Isn’t that special someone worth a cup of coffee? Chapman Arizona also has a large selection of gently used vehicles, which you can search for on the company’s website. Wouldn’t a nice Mustang or Camaro convertible look nice in your driveway wrapped with a big red bow?

Tires, Chrome and Flares, Oh My

Ok, so maybe your budget can’t handle a new vehicle at the moment. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on a transportation-themed holiday. Branded floor mats, steering wheel covers, chrome accents and even new tires make a great gift for someone who really loves their vehicle. Does your special someone need a car alarm? Buy it ahead of time and schedule an installation appointment after the Holidays to show that person your love. There is virtually an unlimited assortment of accessories for vehicles that take a plain vehicle and turn it into a personalized rolling reminder of how much you cared.

Maintenance is Boring, but Necessary

Everyone needs four oil changes a year, not to mention transmission service, fluid flushes, brake jobs and a new battery. Those windshield wipers aren’t going to replace themselves and a nice detail job will bring that old ride back to near-new condition. Stop by any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and see all the possibilities that will make the upcoming Holiday more memorable.

Before you head off on your next trip across the desert, or perhaps even before tomorrow’s morning commute, there are a few essential items you should always have in your car. Along with the following essentials, always make sure your vehicle is in top working order. Regular trips to a service advisor at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships will ensure your car stays in tip top shape. Consider carrying the following in your vehicle at all times.

Gallon of Water and Duct Tape

If your stars are aligned and the heavens smile upon you, when you go to trade in your vehicle you will have a gallon of unused water and some dusty old duct tape to transfer to your new vehicle. However, if one of your hoses should spring a leak on some lonely old highway, you’ll be glad you came prepared. Just wait for the engine and hoses to cool down, then wrap the offending hose where the leak is and six inches on each side of the hole before adding the water to the radiator. That should get you to the closest service station for a repair.

Portable Jump Starter

Your father probably told you to always carry a pair of jumper cables, but what if there’s no one around to give you a jump? Portable jump starters are now well under $100 and will give you enough juice to get going when old Betty just won’t crank over anymore. Remember to charge the jump starter occasionally to make sure it has enough power to get you going. Also remember to get your battery checked regularly at your local Chapman Arizona dealership. It’s not uncommon for a new auto battery to only last a couple of years in the desert heat.

Cell Phone Charger

So, you run into a little trouble and pull out your trusty smartphone only to see that it is totally drained. What now? Perhaps a long walk. Always plug your phone in whenever you head out, especially if you’re heading out of town. A charged phone may be the difference between you reaching your destination and sleeping in your car.

Emergency Bag

Hopefully you’ll never need it, but an emergency bag packed with a blanket, some first aid supplies, pain killers, snacks and a couple of bottles of drinking water can mean the difference between a horrible experience and simple inconvenience. Also throw in some plastic shopping bags. They come in handy for everything from storing trash to wrapping around your feet in case you have to walk through wet slush or snow.

It may not seem like winter is coming, but nighttime temperatures in the 60s means that it won’t be long before we get the occasional freezing temperatures here in the Valley of the Sun. Now’s the time to bring your vehicle into a Chapman Arizona service center to take care of a few items that will help you have a problem-free winter.

Is it Time for New Anti-freeze?

If you haven’t had a coolant flush in the past 30,000 miles or so, there’s no time like the present to do so. A pressurized coolant flush is different than just draining your system and replacing the anti-freeze. Pressure helps force out all the gunk and corrosion that can build up over time. The pressure also helps identify any pin holes in your hoses that can lead to big problems further down the road. A fresh batch of coolant will help you protect your system from freezing and keep you going on through the winter and next summer.

How are the Hoses and Belts?

Even though the sun doesn’t get to shine on your hoses and belts, the extreme heat has a way of speeding up the disintegration process. While your vehicle is in a Chapman Arizona service center getting the coolant flushed, your technician will inspect all the rubber products on your car, including the hoses, belts and windshield wipers. An ounce of prevention will keep you from being stuck alongside the road with a broken fan belt or leaking hose.

Summer Takes its Toll on Batteries

Another victim of the extreme heat of the desert is your car battery. It’s not uncommon for a car battery to only last two years in the desert, no matter how long the warranty might be. A battery and electrical system check-up will head off any problems that might leave you stranded when you’re out doing your holiday shopping, or worse yet on a weekend drive through the desert.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

If you spend a lot of time driving around the state, now is the perfect time to prepare an emergency preparedness kit for your car. Living in the desert lets people sometimes forget what it’s like to deal with ice and snow, so a few simple steps now will help in case you run into an unexpected blizzard. Your kit should include a blanket, some gloves, an ice scraper, flares, jumper cable and a first aid kit. It doesn’t hurt to always carry a gallon of water, either for you or your vehicle should it overheat. Remember to keep the gas tank at least half-full in case you get stranded in a snow storm and need to run your heater for several hours. The best news? Summer is almost over and we can finally remember why we live in the Valley of the Sun.

While the initial cost is still a challenge for some, more and more people are opting to move from traditional gas-powered vehicles to all-electric or hybrid power. Most hybrids are in the mid to upper 40 mpg range, with some even surpassing 50 mpg. While it might take a while to make up the initial price outlay in gas savings, that’s not the only consideration for moving to hybrid power. Check out the large selection of new and used hybrid vehicles on the Chapman Arizona website.

Hybrid Batteries Last a Very Long Time

One of the original fears against purchasing a hybrid car was the need to replace the expensive batteries. Now that hybrids have been around for well over a decade, that fear has proven to be completely unfounded. Taxi companies frequently put more than 300,000 miles on their hybrid vehicles without needing to replace the batteries. Most auto manufacturers also put lengthy warranties on the hybrid batteries, something they no doubt wouldn’t do if they were prone to early replacement.

It’s Like a Bumper Car Without the Bumps

You’ve all driven those bumper cars at a carnival. You press the pedal and they go. You take your foot of the pedal and they stop. Essentially, that’s the same way a hybrid works. When you press the accelerator, the electric motor silently kicks in and you start moving. Release the accelerator and they stop, often without need to work the brake. They are remarkably easy to drive with no shifting necessary.

There’s a Wide Selection of Vehicles

No longer is the Toyota Prius the only game in town. Most automakers, including Ford, Hyundai, VW, BMW and Porsche all offer hybrid options. You can go inexpensive or top of the line luxury; it’s a buyer’s market out there.

Hybrids Make Financial Sense

Since most cars are financed, the best way to see if a Hybrid makes financial sense is to compare payments between a hybrid and gas-powered car, and then figure out how much money you’re saving on gas. If you pay $3,000 more for the hybrid and finance for 60 months, that’s an average of $50 per month. If you spend more than that on gas with the cheaper car, then buying a hybrid makes sense.

Save the Planet

You don’t have to be a tree hugger to want to do the right thing for the planet. Whether you believe in climate change or not, it’s just common sense that fewer emissions in the air will result in healthier air for everyone. While all-electric vehicles offer zero emissions, hybrids come a lot closer to that number than gas-powered cars. Give some thought to a hybrid, do your research and then visit the Chapman Arizona website when you’re ready for a great deal.

Hit the Road for Labor Day Celebrations

Valley residents can be forgiven if they don’t bemoan the end of summer like people in the cold country. While there are still plenty of weeks of triple digit temperatures left, at least Labor Day signals the beginning of the end of scorching hot steering wheels and oven-like car temperatures. Labor Day also offers the last three-day holiday that desert dwellers can get out and enjoy the cooler temperatures in other parts of the state. Before you head to the mountains, make sure and get your oil changed and fluids topped off at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships.

Coconino County Fair in Flagstaff

One of the biggest Labor Day events around the state is the annual Coconino County Fair, held in the fairgrounds just outside Flagstaff. Along with rides and plenty of deep-fried food to sabotage your diet, the Fair is a chance for local youth and ranchers to showcase their year’s work. The main stage comes alive each night with live bands, headlined by Mogollon on Friday and Snake Oil on Saturday evening. Admission tickets are just $8 for adults and $5 for youths and seniors. A free shuttle from the Northern Arizona University campus offers a hassle-free way to enjoy the fair without fighting traffic.

Head to Pine/Strawberry for Arts and Crafts

The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild is once again putting on the Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Pine. Located just a short drive north of Payson, Pine offers cool temperatures to go along with a pancake breakfast, juried vendor booths and plenty of other food and beverages. Head north on State Route 87 through Strawberry to get to Forest Road 3, which will provide a scenic drive into Flagstaff if you want to hit both festivals. If you head up on Saturday, stop in at the Payson Farmer’s Market to stock up on all kinds of fresh produce, free range beef and baked goods.

Prescott Offers Faire on the Square

Head to the former state capitol for cool weather and a fun holiday weekend as Prescott offers Faire on the Square under the shade of the large elm trees through the Labor Day weekend. There will be more than 125 arts and crafts vendors displaying their wares, along with plenty of food and entertainment. Take a little extra time and explore the surrounding area before you head home. The Prescott area has miles of popular trails to explore, so pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the weekend.

Remember that the triple digit temperatures have taken their toll on your vehicle, so before you head out it’s important to stop at any Chapman Arizona dealership to check your fluid levels and tire pressure. A moment of prevention is worth an ounce of cure and can keep your holiday weekend dream trip from becoming a nightmare.

Do You Know the Dust Storm Drill?

August is a great time to live in Arizona, mainly because you know that summer is on the downward slope and the cooler days of fall are just weeks ahead. But August is also a time when the monsoons rear their ugly head, bringing rain and dust to various parts of the state. Rain is usually welcome, but the dust walls that look like something out of a horror movie can bring an end-of-the-world type experience to unsuspecting motorists. The folks at Chapman Arizona urge you to follow the slogan “pull aside-stay alive” if you should run into a dust storm.

Pull Aside – Stay Alive

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises anyone involved in a dust storm to follow these simple steps:

• As soon as you encounter a dust storm, check all around your vehicle and begin to slow down as safely as possible.

• Pull off the paved part of the roadway as far as you can.

• TURN OFF all lights. Get your foot off the brake and do not turn on your flashers. Other motorists may see a glint of light through the dust and follow you, causing a collision.

• Set your emergency brake.

• Stay in your vehicle with your seat belt fastened until the storm passes. Safely get back on the highway and continue to your destination.

Prepare Your Vehicle

The route between Phoenix and Tucson is particularly sensitive to dust storms this time of the year, especially in the late afternoon. If you need to travel I-10 south for any reason, take a few steps to prepare your car in case you need to pull off the road for an extended period of time. Take some water for your passengers and an extra gallon jug in case the car overheats. Some snacks such as protein bars and nuts are an excellent idea, especially if you have kids with you. Before you head out, take your car to any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships for a quick service check. Make sure your hoses and belts are all in tip top condition and the wiper blades are working properly. As part of an oil change service, the Chapman Arizona technicians will make sure all the fluids are topped off and you’re good to head out in the desert. Whatever you do, if you encounter a dust storm, be patient. The storms usually pass within 15 minutes to an hour and the road will be clear for you to continue on your way.

Convertibles Make Weekend Trips More Fun

While it’s true that driving around Phoenix with the top down on a summer day is akin to some kind of medieval torture, having a vehicle with a drop top can be a blast during the evening and on those weekend mountain runs. There’s just something about getting the wind in your hair and the sun on your noggin’ that adds a degree of festiveness to a drive. Chapman Arizona has the dealerships that offer a wide variety of both new and used convertibles that can up the fun quotient of your driving experience.

Pony Cars Still the Rage

The Pony Car wars have been raging since the late 1960s, with the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro still battling for supremacy. Whether you’re a Ford or a Chevy person, you can find the latest version of these popular convertibles at Chapman Ford in Scottsdale, Chapman Chevrolet in Tempe, Freeway Chevrolet in Chandler or the Chapman Payson Auto Center. The Mustang Convertible comes in three different models. Choose the base V6, the EcoBoost Premium or the powerful GT Premium Convertible. The Camaro convertible comes with four different engine options, including a 6.2L supercharged V8 that delivers 650 horsepower and 650 spine tingling pound-feet of torque.

Z4 and Miata are Peppy Roadsters

If you want a ton of fun in a small package, consider the BMW Z4 or the Mazda Miata MX-5. The Z4 is available at Chapman BMW on Camelback or in Chandler. It was designed to put a smile on the face of both the driver and passenger, with an impressive 335 top horsepower and top speed of 165 mph. With near-perfect weight distribution and the seat placement just ahead of the rear axle, you’ll be challenging yourself to stop smiling so much. The Miata is often called the best sports car on the planet for the money. With a starting price of just $24,915, the Miata continually makes every “Best of” list from car journalists and publications. It’s open-air engaging style has made it the best selling roadster of all time.

BMW 4-Series, 6-Series Offer Sophisticated Fun

If you’re looking for something with enough room for a couple of kids or a dog in the back seat but still want the top-down experience, consider the BMW 4-Series or 6-Series. Both use innovative BMW top-down technology to drop the top in as few as 19 seconds. The 6-Series has the ability to go from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, while the 4-Series is the first convertible to offer BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. Both offer the luxury and sophistication you come to expect in an Ultimate Driving Machine.

Don’t Forget the Beetle

Head to Chapman VW in either Scottsdale or Tucson to check out the New Beetle convertible. Still offering the cute style that made it a popular car back in the 60s, the New Beetle has the technology, performance and creature comforts drivers have come to expect in the 21st Century. If you’re more in the market for a used vehicle, head to the Chapman Arizona website and check out the inventory of all the used convertibles in the Arizona market.

Get Ready for Rollout of 2018 Model Year

From the new Hyundai Kona compact utility vehicle to the redesigned Honda Odyssey, big things are coming for the 2018 model year at all the Chapman Arizona dealerships. The much-anticipated Odyssey features a cabin communication system that allows the driver to not only talk to the people in the third row, but keep an eye on all occupants. The Kona is a sporty little vehicle that promises a “fun-to-drive” experience not available in other tiny vehicles.

New Expedition Built with Aluminum

Following the popularity of the F-150, the new Ford Expedition will feature the liberal use of high strength aluminum in the body to cut weight and increase both efficiency and performance. The new Expedition, available at Chapman Ford this fall, will also have some cutting-edge technology such as the SYNC 3 system that offers superior voice recognition to control your audio and communications.

Chevy Traverse, Equinox Redesigned for 2018

Visit Chapman Chevrolet or Freeway Chevrolet when the new models arrive to get a good look at the popular Chevy Traverse and Equinox. Chevy has redesigned both vehicles for the new model year, adding a more sporty design, new technology and some more sophisticated technology including numerous USB ports to keep your electronics charged.

Look for New Jeep Wrangler

Jeep has promised a redesign of the iconic Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited for 2018, which includes a liberal use of aluminum to improve fuel economy. While it will continue to utilize an industry best four-wheel drive system on a sturdy body-on-frame design, rumors are that a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine and a diesel option are under consideration. Stay in touch with Chapman Jeep in Scottsdale and Payson Auto Center for more information on the new Wrangler.

Hyundai Offers Refreshed Lineup

Along with the new Kona, Hyundai is delivering a totally redesigned Accent and the all-new Elantra GT hatchback for the 2018 model year. The Elantra GT offers an affordable option for drivers who want something sporty, but don’t want to break the bank. Also look for the introduction of the IONIQ plug-in hybrid this upcoming year, joining the IONIQ hybrid and all-electric vehicle as the only model with three different power trains.

New Designs Mean Big Savings

While it’s always nice to have the latest and greatest version of anything, the release of new model designs means great savings for consumers who are interested the old models. Now’s the time of year when the Chapman Arizona dealerships start to clear out the lot to make room for new inventory. Expect the best deals on the models that have a new design coming out for 2018.