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Archive for February, 2015
Lay Down the Law
Before you ever leave your driveway on your awesome vacation road trip, make sure your children know what behavior you expect of them. If it’s your first long family road trip together, explain exactly how long you plan on driving in between breaks, who gets to choose the music, and what the penalties are for acting up. Encourage your kids to bring activities and books to keep them occupied and enforce the “no touching” rule. Make sure your car is ready for the trip with a checkup at one of the Chapman Arizona service bays. There’s nothing worse than being stranded alongside the road with a couple of overly agitated children.
Make a Memory Album on the Fly
One good way to keep your children occupied on a long road trip is to get them involved in making a memory album. One child can be in charge of picking up mementos from every stop along the way, while another can keep a photographic record of your trip. If your children are interested in art, have them keep a cartoon journal depicting the happenings on your trip.
Let the Kids Make Some Decisions
Are you going to eat at Denny’s again or should you try that steakhouse that has a billboard every 50 miles? If you want your children to behave, let them make some decisions along the way. Either alternate the decision-making responsibilities or reward the child with the best behavior. Is it Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm today? That kind of power is a wonderful incentive to keep a child in line and it gives them something to think about as the miles slowly tick away.
Don’t Be a Slave to a Schedule
Although it’s good to have a loose schedule for a vacation, have some flexibility to allow the kids to have some spontaneous stops along the way. The road is filled with surprises, from giant dinosaurs to cool outlet shops. Just because something isn’t in your schedule doesn’t mean an hour or two stop isn’t the best way to keep everyone refreshed and excited about the trip.
Break Out the Reward Sack
Before you go on your trip, make a visit to the local store and stock up on inexpensive, fun games and toys. Designate a time of day, such as every couple of hours, to reward the kids for good behavior. Set your own rules, but the general idea is if the kids keep busy and to themselves, you let them have something from the Reward Sack after a specific time period. When your trip is over, stop by one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and let us know how it went. While you’re there we’ll be happy to service and clean your vehicle while you show off your memory album of your awesome vacation.
Bring Enough Water for Worst Case Scenario
With temperatures ranging upwards of 120 degrees, the Southwest desert is a harsh environment that takes no prisoners. The unrelenting sun doesn’t play favorites based on income level, race or religious affiliation, so it’s best to plan for the worst while hoping for the best. Number one on your list of things to pack is water; lots and lots of water. Bring at least a gallon of good drinking water for each person along with an extra gallon or two for your vehicle. If you break down in a remote location it can be a long wait for help to arrive and you need to keep all your passengers hydrated. Make sure you drink water slowly to avoid cramping.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Check all your fluid levels and top them off before beginning a trek across the desert. Also inspect hoses and belts and replace those that seem worn. Belts should not be frayed or cracked. Hoses should be firm and have some elasticity. Also inspect your tires, including your spare. Make sure there is plenty of tread and that they are all inflated to the proper level. If your car is more than 5 years old, bring it to a mechanic at one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships to inspect the cooling system, including the radiator.
Charge Your Phone
This seems like a no-brainer, but make sure your phone is completely charged and you have a car charger in the vehicle. Depending on if you are traveling on a heavily used road or driving through a remote location, cell reception can be spotty. It doesn’t hurt to check in with a friend or family member during your trip to let them know your latest location.
Tell Someone Your Plans
It only takes a second to let someone know where you are going and then to call them when you arrive safely. Similar to filing a flight plan as a pilot, letting people know your route and expected time of arrival can pay off in a big way if a busted hose or flat tire leaves you stranded in the desert. If you do break down, stay with your car as it makes it much easier for rescue crews to find you.
Be Prepared With Emergency Items
Along with water, there are a few emergency items that will help you survive a desert breakdown. Good old reliable duct tape provides an easy way to patch a radiator hose long enough to get to a repair shop. Bring a small tool kit, including a knife, pliers and both kinds of screwdrivers. A blanket and a tarp come in handy to provide a place to sit in the shade, and some nutrition bars help stave off hunger until help arrives. If you do a lot of desert driving and your car is older, consider looking at a newer, more reliable model at a Chapman Arizona dealership.
Change the Oil on a Regular Basis
Bite the bullet, have a cup of service bay coffee and make sure you change your oil every 3,000 miles if you use conventional oil. If synthetic oil is your lubricant of choice, you can stretch the time between changes to every 5,000 miles. As oil breaks down it loses its effectiveness to lubricate the moving parts within your engine. Fresh oil reduces friction, which means those expensive parts inside your engine are less likely to wear out. It’s best to utilize a quick oil change service like the ones at all the Chapman Arizona dealerships. Dealerships not only monitor all your fluid levels and tire pressure, but also are up to date on any recalls that may affect your vehicle. Dealership oil changes are usually very competitive with independent mechanic prices.
Be a Lightfoot, not a Leadfoot
Jackrabbit starts and screeching stops are not only brutal on gas mileage, but add wear and tear to everything from the engine and brakes to the suspension. By continually slamming on the brakes and lurching away from a dead stop, you are effectively pushing and pulling on every part in the car until they prematurely loosen or wear out. This reduces the miles between schedule maintenance for items like brakes, shock absorbers and tires, while greatly lowering the amount of miles you can expect to get out of your car. Make gradual acceleration and deceleration your friend. Your car will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Get a Monthly Subscription Card at the Car Wash
While it may not seem that regular washes would have much to do with extending a vehicle’s life, keeping your vehicle clean inside and out is an indication of pride of ownership. When you keep your vehicle clean, you are much more likely to spend the time and money on regular maintenance that is necessary to keep your vehicle running. Regular washing and waxing also helps protect the paint from harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause fading and discoloration.
Don’t Bury Your Head in the Sand
Unlike some other things in life, ignoring a problem generally doesn’t lead to a car fixing itself. It’s quite the opposite, actually. What might be an inexpensive fix if you take care of it promptly can lead to larger repair bills the longer you wait. Worse yet, your vehicle may leave you stranded alongside the road. If you hear the brakes grinding or the check engine light comes on, take it to your Chapman Arizona dealership to get the problem checked out.
Consider an Extended Warranty
Long gone are the days when a shadetree mechanic could fix your car with a couple of raps on the carburetor. New vehicles are complex and some problems are extremely expensive to fix. Repairing an air conditioning system or electrical failure can easily pay for the cost of an extended warranty. You can either discuss warranty options at the time you buy your car from a Chapman Arizona dealership, or purchase a policy later from a third party provider. The cost of the warranty adds very little to the monthly price of the car while providing peace of mind for many miles after the factory policy expires.
Whether you are starting a new family or you have an already established family, finding the best family vehicle can be a somewhat daunting task. Perhaps you are looking for a more spacious interior that comes along with a larger SUV. Or maybe a smaller, still spacious vehicle is more fitting for your family. Chapman Arizona is proud to announce that two of Chevrolet’s new cars for sale made it on 2014’s list, the Traverse and the Impala. So what is about these two vehicle’s that helped them to make the list?
With the ability to seat up to 8 passengers, it’s no surprise that the Chevy Traverse made it on the list. With ample storage space and nearly 117 cu. ft. of cargo room, the Traverse is ideal for larger families, or those who enjoy the extra leg room! The Traverse is packed with impressive entertainment features including rear-seat DVD players and the ability to connect with Chevrolet’s MyLink.
Drive comfortably knowing your family and friends are safe with the Traverse’s advanced safety system, including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems. The 2014 Traverse comes standard with the Chevrolet Complete Care package including a 27-point vehicle inspection, oil and oil filter changes and 4-wheel tire rotations. Children and passengers are guaranteed to remain safe, comfortable and entertained on long- or even brief- commutes.
Perhaps you aren’t looking for something quite as spacious as the Traverse? Families continue to be impressed with Chevy’s 2014 Impala. With it’s own version of a spacious and comfortable interior, the Impala is ideal for those seeking a sophisticated version of a family vehicle. With a pleasing and attractive appearance, the Impala is elegant and stylish as a premium sedan.
The Impala includes well crafted technology for those looking to stay connected, such as Chevrolet’s MyLink system. With a pleasing and attractive appearance, the Impala is elegant and stylish as a premium sedan. Chevy’s Impala is a combination of exceptional design and craftsmanship teamed with comprehensive safety features, making it an ideal family vehicle. Like the Traverse, the Impala is among Chevrolet’s lineup of new cars for sale that come standard with the Chevrolet Complete Care package.
So if you are in the market for a new family friendly vehicle, check out Chapman Arizona today and inquire about the new Chevrolet Traverse and Impala!
With ever changing gas prices, it can be somewhat difficult to anticipate the continued costs of vehicle maintenance and operating costs. Normally, people take their vehicle to a shop to have regular maintenance performed. But perhaps you are interested in cutting down costs and taking care of some vehicle maintenance on your own? Check out these two easy and time efficient ways to lower your vehicle maintenance costs from Chapman Arizona.
Oil and Oil Filter
Be advised: Do not attempt to change your oil when your vehicle is hot! You may get burned! Changing your oil takes nearly 45 minutes and costs around $20.
1. To begin, make sure your vehicle is on level ground so you can safely and efficiently jack up your car.
2. Then, locate the oil pan positioned under your vehicle. It is a good idea to drain the oil into a recycling container that way you can recycle the old oil at a nearby full service gas station. Once the oil pan is drained, replace the drain plug and locate the area where your oil filter is positioned.
3. Use a wrench to remove the filter then make sure the rubber gasket on the previous filter comes off with the filter itself. Lubricate the rubber gasket for the new filter then fill the newer filter with about ⅔ of new oil. Be sure to screw the new filter into place as tightly as you can.
4. Once that is complete, pop the hood on your vehicle and remove the oil cap. Fill the engine using new oil. Check the oil level with a dipstick and make sure you have added the proper amount of oil. Have questions? Feel free to contact our service centers in Arizona for more information about oil changes.
Replacing the windshield wipers on your vehicle is another simple task that you can do on your own. It can take barely 10 minutes and only costs about $15-$25.
1. To begin, pull the current wiper blades away from the windshield. Then, press the small tab on the backside of the wiper in order to slide the blade off the wiper arm.
2. Line up the new wiper against the wiper arm and position it onto the arm. Double check to make sure the open end of the hook is facing the plastic clip on the wiper. Pull it tight so the wiper clicks into place.
3. Finally, lower the wiper arm back onto your vehicle’s windshield. Perform the same steps with the other wiper, then viola! You are done replacing the windshield wipers.
Performing minor and simple maintenance tasks for your used vehicle can greatly cut down unnecessary costs. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to your vehicle’s maintenance and upkeep, feel free to contact our service centers of Arizona.