Archive for April, 2013


The axiom “you could, but should you” applies to wearing tube tops, bungee jumping off a short bridge and auto repairs. Just because you can change the wiring system in your Mazda3, should you? Previous generations of car owners took pride in changing out the timing belt. But today, is that something a typical Chapman Arizona new car owner can attempt? Or is that a costly repair best left to a professional?

Joshua Wojtyna, the Service Manager at Chapman Mazda, suggests leaving the timing belt replacement to a certified technician. “A timing belt is a crucial component in an engine, and if you don’t have the tension right, or the belt is placed incorrectly, you may damage the engine,” Wojtyna says. “There are timing marks to align the belt to, and the tension must be correct. It’s not an easy job for the average vehicle owner to perform.”

Even an oil change on a new car can be a costly exercise in frustration. There are supplies to buy, like the oil, a filter, and oil pan, as well as the disposal method for the oil. That’s right, gone are the days when you can just dump the oil down the street drain, or in the dirt next to the driveway. Per Arizona state statute, If you change your own oil, you must take the old, sludgy stuff to a hazardous waste facility for disposal. The hassle of getting the oil plug out of the bottom of the engine block is minor compared to finding a disposal site near your home. It is more convenient to visit your local Chapman Arizona Service Center for an oil change and ditch all of the hassle.

Wojtyna has worked for Chapman Mazda for nearly 3 years, and has been a mechanic for 19. Here are his suggestions for vehicle owners who have basic car knowledge and who want to perform maintenance items themselves:

  • Oil change – Correct oil weight and amount is VERY important
  • Air filter
  • Cabin filter in most cars – some require disassembly to replace
  • Fuses – be sure to use the correct amperage fuse when replacing
  • Tire rotation – front to back only on same side of vehicle. Some tires are directional. A torque wrench is required
  • Windshield wipers – use the correct length
  • Battery replacement – use only the correct size for the vehicle and make sure it is secured properly, and the cables are firmly attached

The following repairs are best left to a professional vehicle mechanic:

  • Brakes – correct pads and shims need to be used, and the rotors should be machined
  • Spark plugs – a mechanic can “read” the plugs and determine the condition of the engine
  • Transmission services – the fluid is strained for particulates and the color checked to determine transmission condition
  • Hoses
  • Fluids – at Chapman Mazda, we perform a flush and cleaning, not just a drain and refill
  • Any tune-up related items

For those repairs that only a mechanic can perform, turn to one of Chapman Arizona’s Service Centers. The certified professionals who work there can take care of your vehicle in a timely manner, and get you back on the road quickly. To find a center near you, visit

AZ Auto Express

In this age of instant price comparison via the internet, vehicle buyers have nearly unlimited access to vehicle costs, and that’s certainly true when it comes to buying a used vehicle. Services such as CarFAX give buyers a glimpse into a vehicle’s past, while lemon laws protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices. Yes, the digital information highway is paved with knowledge, but what about old-fashioned person-to-person service? That’s where Arizona AutoExpress excels.

Arizona AutoExpress, a division of Chapman Automotive Group, gives vehicle buyers that extra customer service touch that is often lost in the digital world. Customers who browse through the stock of used vehicles are presented with wholesale prices, explains Duane Phillips, Sales Manager at Arizona AutoExpress. Customers also have access to Chapman’s extensive used vehicle inventory from 22 dealerships. “We offer the buying power of Chapman in a small retail setting,” Phillips adds. “This gives us versatility and one-price shopping. Customers know what they are going to pay up-front.”

The “express” service includes bringing a vehicle to a customer’s home or work for a test drive. In this age of constant busyness we all experience, this personal touch adds another human dimension to buying a vehicle. From looking at a starter car such as a Chevy Cavalier to a luxury automobile like a Hummer 2, Arizona AutoExpress has something for every buyer and price range. And if customers don’t want to find a used car in Tempe or surrounding cities, Phillips says he can help find a new car to suit their needs.

“When a customer tells me he doesn’t really want a used vehicle, but say, a new Malibu, I can make that happen,” Phillips says. “It’s all about providing the customer what they need. And if they need me to bring the vehicle to their work so they can take a look at it or have a test drive, I will do that. It certainly helps to build that relationship between us and the customer.”

Arizona AutoExpress is located in Tempe. To view current vehicle offerings, visit


Cruze TD

With the majority of diesel vehicles on U.S. roads today being full-size trucks or vans, it may seem like there aren’t many other diesel-powered choices on the market.  However, the latest generations of diesel vehicles are more economical and significantly cleaner than what was skeptical in the past.  The economy and performance of modern diesels often beats their gasoline equivalents, while strong torque and low noise make them more relaxing to drive. Here is a look at some of what Chapman Arizona has in store in the automotive diesel market:

Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC

The 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 engine in the brand-new ML350 SUV is versatile. It’s featured in the larger, three-row GL, the R-Class Minivan, the midsize E-Class and the flagship S-Class. It packs an enormous 455 lb-ft of torque. From within the BlueTec’s lavish cabin, your only clues that this all-wheel-drive Benz has a diesel are the tachometer maxing out fewer than 5,000 rpm and when you floor the gas.

2013 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

The Cruze aims to deliver a stylish design, roominess and upscale amenities while remaining fuel-efficient and inexpensive. Cruze is offered with either a 1.8-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder engine or a 138-horsepower 1.4-liter Ecotec Turbo. Both engines are paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission and the Eco trim level is expected to achieve 40 mpg highway. The OnStar advanced communication system comes standard on the Chevrolet Cruze. The compact Cruze sedan with a diesel will beat the 42-mpg highway figure of the gasoline Eco trim, and when paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, the Cruze achieves more than 50 mpg.

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel

The Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s premium midsize SUV with unibody construction and independent rear suspension. The flagship of the Jeep brand, the Grand Cherokee is aimed at the upscale sport-utility buyer while addding additional luxury and amenities without sacrificing off-road capability. For 2013, Jeep says it will offer a diesel engine on the popular Grand Cherokee. A 3.0-liter V6 with a thumping 406 lb-ft of torque is more than 50 percent greater than what the 3.6-liter V6 musters. The Grand Cherokee is expected to get much better mileage than the current 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

Visit Chapman Arizona to find these new cars in Phoenix

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A car is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. And for a woman, it could be the trickiest due to an intimidation factor that has long scared women from wanting to shop for a car alone. However, regardless of the type of salesperson you get, here are some things you could do to eliminate intimidation from salespeople while shopping for new or used cars in phoenix.

  • Stay calm, keep casual, and don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment. Think carefully, be well-informed and stay empowered. It is important to avoid ‘jumping the gun’. Whether or not you are serious about buying a car, don’t seem too eager. 
  • Know what you truly need to avoid getting reeled in by all of the extras and freebies. If the dealer tells you that he is “throwing in” anything, take a closer look to be clear just who is paying for that.
  • Have your financing approved before you shop. Walk into the dealership with your own financing approved and ready to go. This can be done at a bank, credit union or online lender that is able to pre-approve you for an auto loan. This can become a great negotiating tactic as many dealerships may be competitive.
  • Know exactly what you can afford and do not go above that. When the dealer starts negotiating with you, make clear exactly what you want.
  • Look in the local newspapers and on television ads for the best deal. If it happens to be for a dealership that you do not want to shop at, take the deal to the dealership you are interested in buying from and ask them to meet or beat it.
  • If you’re not getting the treatment that you expect, or you don’t think you’re getting the good information, ask for the manager or someone else to help. For many women, they feel they are held captive by having to take disappointing service. It’s up to you to speak up or get up.
  • If you have a trade-in, negotiate the price before you decide what new car you want to buy. If you work out the trade-in price last, you will be more likely to want to get rid of it and could wind up throwing money away. Also, don’t consider trading in your car until the dealer promises, in writing, that they will pay the balance.

These tips should help you get the best deal while shopping for a car. To start your search today, visit Chapman Arizona.



2012 marked a big year for fuel efficient cars in a number of ways. According to JD Power, consumers have recently noted that fuel efficiency had become the number one consideration while shopping for a car.  Luckily, fuel efficient cars are becoming more common, including many new electrics and hybrids. If you are looking for cars for sale in Arizona, you may also be wondering what sorts of tax breaks are available for buyers of fuel efficient cars.

The good news is that they exist. Although many tax credits for fuel-efficient vehicles have been phased out, some credits are still in place for certain cars. Since more fuel-efficient cars can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you may be able to get a tax credit for your fuel-efficient vehicle if it is a qualified hybrid, diesel-fueled, or alternative-fueled vehicle. The availability of federal income tax credits depends on the make of your vehicle.  Courtesy of  GreenFleet Magazine in January 2013, here are some examples:

  • Hybrid vehicles and some diesel-fueled vehicles purchased or placed into service after December 31, 2005 may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $3,400.
  • Qualifying alternative-fuel vehicles that were purchased or placed into service between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2010, may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $4,000.
  • Qualifying four-wheeled, plug-in electric vehicles purchased after December 31, 2009, can qualify for a tax credit up to $7,500. The credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 depending on how long your battery lasts on one charge.
  • Low-speed electric cars purchased between February 17, 2009, and January 1, 2012  may qualify for a federal tax credit. A low-speed vehicle is a four-wheeled vehicle that travels no faster than 25 miles per hour. The credit amounts to 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle, but is limited to $2,500.
  • Qualifying two- or three-wheeled electric vehicles have a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price available. The credit applies only to vehicles purchased between February 17, 2009, and January 1, 2012.
  • Cars that have been converted into plug- in electric between February 17, 2009, and December 31, 2011 may qualify for a tax credit amounting to 10 percent of the cost of the conversion, with a maximum credit of $4,000.

Arizona also offers many state level tax incentives for fuel efficient vehicles. For more information on cars that qualify, visit Chapman Arizona.


The car-driving axiom “If you can’t find ‘em, grind ‘em” isn’t heard very much these days for good reason: Less than seven percent of new cars sold in the US have a standard transmission, or stick shift. Since automatic transmissions made their car debut in the late 1940s/early 50s, they have fast become the transmission of choice for drivers, especially those looking for new cars in Phoenix.


If you have ever driven in stop-and-go traffic, you’ll understand why a stick shift is annoying to drive. Ditto that for hilly streets – think San Francisco – where the thin line between you and the car behind you shrinks considerably as you let your foot off the clutch and press the accelerator. Roll backwards and Wham! You nail the person behind you. Give it too much gas and Wham! Nail the person in front of you. Now you see why the automatic transmission is the preferred method of acceleration. The human goof factor is reduced when the vehicle shifts gears on its own.

Some of the myths surrounding the manual transmission were true in the 70s and 80s, but technology today has eliminated many of them. Like cost. Cars equipped with manual transmissions used to cost significantly less than automatic counterparts. Now, that’s not true. The Chevrolet Camero, Cruze and Cadillac CTS offer both modes of shifting with no difference in cost. Manual transmissions also used to save on fuel costs, but recent engine advancements negate such savings. The 2012 Honda Fit, for example, gets 27mpg in the city with a stick shift, while the automatic version gets 28mph in the city.

And the “coolness” factor has been ousted as well. Sports car makers such as Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini offer a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, but if it’s a Ferrari 458 Italia you’re after – you can only buy it with a seven-speed automated manual transmission. No clutch and shift necessary as you hit 60mph in 3.4 seconds.

It really all comes down to preference – and how comfortable you are with your driving ability. With the distraction of cell phones and navigation systems, adding in a manual transmission is another layer of attention many drivers can’t handle. Once you’ve discovered the right transmission for you, Chapman Arizona’s inventory provides an array of new and used vehicles to fit every need. Even for the “can’t find ‘em, grind ‘em” customer.