For those of you making a little extra money on the side, or perhaps pulling in a full-time living, as a rideshare driver for companies such as Uber and Lyft, the right vehicle goes a long way toward making the most out of your hours on the road. Of course, gas mileage is important, but so are such things as rear leg room, the infotainment system, luggage space and the way you keep your vehicle maintained. Most companies have some kind of requirements for a rideshare vehicle, including that it has at least four doors and can’t be more than a few years old. You don’t have to buy something new to get in the rideshare business, but take your time and inspect the entire inventory of  new and used vehicles at the Chapman Arizona website before you make a decision.

Compact, Midsize or SUV?

One of the first decisions you need to make before getting in the rideshare game is if you want to be one of the “elite” drivers who gives rides to upscale clientele, or if you want to make your living on the economy side. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. You make more money per ride on the upscale side, but the rides might be farther apart. If you want to drive for the upscale market, make sure and check out your company’s rules. They can be very specific as to type of vehicle, using involving a premium SUV. The rules are more lenient for the more affordable market, but before you spend the money on that new compact or midsize sedan with the high mpg figures, take a moment to sit in the back seat. Is there plenty of leg room or do you feel like a sardine in an unopened can? Also check the trunk space. More than one rideshare driver has had to turn down a ride because they couldn’t fit all the client’s luggage in their car.

Minivan a Happy Medium

Although minivans don’t get great gas mileage, they aren’t all that horrible either. Most of them can get around 20 mpg in the city and they all provide you the opportunity to take both lower end rides and those in the “XL” category. When you find an affordable minivan on the Chapman Arizona website, you can be sure that it’s been thoroughly inspected and is ready for the road. Whatever vehicle you decide, stay safe, keep thorough records of your mileage for some pretty hefty tax deductions, drive smart and have fun making all that extra money.

Chances are you’re enjoying the last of the Holiday cookies and preparing for a New Year’s feast while thinking about getting on the treadmill and losing that last 25 pounds. While New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement are a grand idea, why not take some time and create a New Year’s resolution for your vehicle? You’re probably just about to take that wrapping off a 2018 calendar and put it in a prominent spot. When you write all the family birthdays and anniversaries on it, include some maintenance visits to your local Chapman Arizona dealerships. Spending a few dollars on routine maintenance through the year will help stave off any huge repair bills later on.

First Quarter (January-March)

Start the New Year off right with an oil change and complete inspection of your vehicle. The Chapman service pros will make sure all your fluids are topped off, your battery is in good shape and rotate your tires. Your service advisor will be able to make you aware of any larger problems or service recalls that you can either take care of at the time, or plan for future visits. Now’s the time to also review the long-term maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s user manual and budget for expenditures for the year.

Second Quarter (April-June)

If April showers bring May flowers, it’s a certainty that May and June will bring roasting temperatures to the Valley of the Sun. Don’t think about summer just yet, but put a reminder on your calendar to get your cooling system and air conditioning checked out. A/C is the only thing that separates us from the animals in the summer. It’s also time for another oil change and fluid inspection to extend the life of your car. With the monsoon season just around the corner, now’s the best time to replace your windshield wipers.

Third Quarter (July-September)

Take some time to walk around the vehicle and do your own inspection. Are your headlights fogged up? Do your turn signals and brake lights work? Is there a mysterious puddle forming under where you normally park?  This could be a good time to replace your cabin and engine air filters, especially if you balked at the option when it was pointed out to you at an earlier service visit.

Fourth Quarter (October-December)

If your monthly service bills added up to more than the cost of a car payment, this is a great time to consider putting old Betsy out to pasture and getting into a new vehicle. All the Chapman Arizona dealerships offer great year-end model sales so they can move the old stock out and make way for the new. It’s a perfect opportunity to not only save thousands off the price tag, but also get great lease and financing rates. With December right around the corner, there’s no better way to show your love than to surprise someone with a new vehicle and a bright red bow in your driveway.

One of the best things, if not the best thing, about living in the Valley of the Sun is the moderate daytime winter temperature. While you watch wind chills of single digits and blowing snow attack other parts of the country on the news, you can enjoy an ice tea and a good book in your chaise lounge on the patio. While you enjoy the daytime temps in the 70s, don’t forget that those nighttime temperatures can easily dip well below freezing, especially in the outlying areas of the Valley. Now’s the time for a coolant check and flush at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships. If your coolant has gone bad, or if perhaps you had a cooling system event during the summer and just replaced the lost fluid with water, your vehicle could be in danger of freezing. That can be a costly expense that can easily be avoided with some fresh anti-freeze.

Dangers Range from a Little to a Lot

Don’t panic if your coolant does freeze some cold winter night. Chances are that it will turn more to slush than hard ice. If that occurs, the water in the engine will melt when your car heats up, but the radiator will probably remain frozen. You’ll notice a problem if steam comes rolling out from under your hood. That will tell you that the coolant could not flow through the radiator. If you stop immediately, the damage should be kept to a minimum. Also keep an eye on your temperature gauge. If it rises quickly and stays pegged in the high range, pull over and get help. In a worst-case scenario, your car’s engine block will crack due to the frozen water. Your car may run, but the oil and water will mix causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Many Benefits to Coolant Flush

If you have had your car for a few years and have never had the coolant flushed, now is the time to head to any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and have that inexpensive service completed. Along with replenishing your system with fresh coolant, a coolant flush also removes any rust and deposits, can extend the life of your water pump, removes any other contaminants that come from degraded coolant and exposes any small leaks that might be developing. The Chapman Arizona technicians will put your system under pressure, which will reveal any small cracks or pin holes in your hoses. While you have your vehicle in for service, get an oil change and tire rotation so you can start the New Year off right and enjoy many miles of happy driving.

For those who remember the day when you turned your radio on with a knob and only had your choice of half a dozen or so AM stations, the technology in today’s new vehicles can be somewhat overwhelming. Whether it’s trying to connect via Bluetooth, access your vehicle’s Wi-Fi hotspot or stay calm when your car automatically applies the brakes, it’s a brave new world for consumers when it comes to car buying. That’s why the friendly folks at the Chapman Arizona dealerships take the extra time to explain every detail that comes with your vehicle purchase.

Run-Flat Tires Most Popular

According to a report by J.D. Power, the favorite piece of technology has nothing to do with entertainment or navigation, it’s a relatively simple thing that can save you hours of frustration. Run flat tires are engineered to allow you to drive up to 50 miles at 50 miles an hour, which is usually enough to get you to a gas station or dealership for repair. The invention of run-flat tires has also eliminated the spare in many modern vehicles, saving a little weight and increasing gas mileage.

Smart Air Bags Lessen Impact

If you’ve ever had an air bag go off in your face, you can relate to the feeling of being in a heavyweight fight. New dual-stage “smart” air bags expand in two stages, with the initial stage being much gentler than the final explosion. This lessens the impact and is much safer for children.

You Gots to Have Your Tunes

No surprise that a premium surround sound stereo system is the third most popular piece of technology according to the JD Power report. While most new cars come with some sort of infotainment system, premium sound can be an option that costs $8,000 or more. For that money you’ll feel like a baby in your mother’s arms, swaddled in symphonic sound as you battle the daily commute.

Safety Features Proving Popular

Coming in next on the list, in order, are active cornering headlights, rear view cameras and blind-spot monitoring. Active headlights actually turn with your wheels, leading the way around corners on dark, lonesome roads. Rear view cameras allow a clear view of any obstacles you might normally back over, and the blind-spot monitoring system alerts you when a vehicle is lurking beside you in a place you just can’t see in your mirrors. All these pieces of technology and much more are available in many of the new and used vehicles for sale at the Chapman Arizona dealerships. Take some extra time and make sure you get all the technology you need – and want – to improve your driving experience.

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.