Archive for April, 2016|Monthly archive page

10 WAYS THE NEW 2016 CHRYSLER 200 IS BUILT TO COMPETE AND IMPRESS

The new 2016 Chrysler 200 is built to outshine the competition and to stand out in any crowd. Here are 10 ways this next-generation midsize sedan is setting a new standard for performance and luxury in its segment.

1. We start this list the same way we start the 2016 Chrysler 200 — with standard Keyless Enter ‘n Go™. With the key fob in the vehicle’s proximity, Keyless Enter ‘n Go automatically unlocks the driver’s door when you pull the handle.

2. When it comes to competition, few metrics are as powerful as horsepower, and the 2016 Chrysler 200 has that in spades, with an available best-in-class 295-horsepower1 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine.

3. There’s also plenty of room on our top 10 list for a spacious interior. The 2016 Chrysler 200 has the most interior storage space in its class, and was named among Ward’s 10 Best Interiors. It’s a first-class cabin in a midsize sedan that features sculpted, comfortable seats, two available sunroofs and a unique center console.

4. With a standard 36 hwy mpg, more than Fusion or Camry, the 2016 Chrysler 200’s 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® II four-cylinder engine is engineered to go the distance.

5. The Rotary E-shift with available paddle shifters and sport mode helps redefine the ergonomics and modern style of the center console. The standard nine-speed automatic transmission Rotary E-shift is intuitive to operate and takes up much less interior space than a traditional shifter.

6. This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning all four wheels. The highly advanced available All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system is the most technologically advanced AWD system in its class1 and is a fully pre-emptive system that requires no driver input.

7. The seventh selection on this list is illuminating. The 2016 Chrysler 200 lights the way to luxurious, sleek style with standard bifunctional projector headlamps and contemporary LED taillamps. The available Premium Light Group adds High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps and LED fog lamps.

8. When you maximize your airflow, you quickly discover how aerodynamics can be about more than just aesthetics. The 2016 Chrysler 200’s active grille shutter system enhances aerodynamic performance by redirecting airflow around the front and down the sides of the vehicle.

9. As if the drive alone weren’t entertainment enough, the 2016 Chrysler 200 features an available Uconnect® 8.4 NAV system with premium 3-D navigation, a high-resolution 8.4-inch touchscreen display — the largest touchscreen in its class1 — and available SiriusXM® Satellite Radio. Turn up the volume, and enjoy the ride.

10. Safety is always our top priority, so we saved the best for last. The 2016 Chrysler 200 has up to 60 standard and available safety and security features, including eight standard airbags to help protect occupants in the event of a collision. Available safety features include Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, LaneSense® Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and the Blind Spot Monitoring System.

Read more at: https://blog.chrysler.com/uncategorized/10-ways-the-new-2016-chrysler-200-is-built-to-compete-and-impress/

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Keeping your vehicle longer may save more money than you think

Once upon a time, buying a new car may have sounded like a dream come true, but keeping your car through the “Cinderella Era” can mean more gold at the end of the rainbow, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“The smartest way to get a solid return on your vehicle investment is to keep your car through what we call the ‘Cinderella Era.’ That’s the period of time after the payoff when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With proper care, the typical vehicle should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable performance, and that’s no fairy tale.”

By simply allocating the equivalent of just one new car payment, motorists can cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance and live happily ever after with their current vehicle. The most common maintenance procedures and repairs to keep a car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its long-term value involve checking the oil, filters and fluids, the belts and hoses, brakes, tires and air conditioning. The council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.

“Whether it’s an oil change, replacing brakes or new belts and hoses, that periodic repair bill is a drop in the bucket compared to monthly payments on a new car,” said White. “The end of the story is that a properly maintained vehicle is safer, more dependable, more fuel efficient, less polluting and more valuable.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/04/cinderella-era-vehicle-fairy-tale/

Four Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System

Knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant, according to the Car Care Council.

“Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure, which would put a sudden end to your road trip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If the cooling system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, it’s not a question of whether it will fail, but rather when it will fail. Performing regular checkups of belts, hoses, the water pump and fluids will ensure your car remains properly cooled and healthy for many miles down the road.”

The primary job of the engine’s cooling system is to remove the heat that is generated during the combustion process. The coolant temperature can be well over 200 degrees and that heat has to go somewhere, otherwise engine components are going to start failing. The key parts of the cooling system remove the heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dispel it to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.

A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes. Motorists should consult their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system. A coolant flush and fill is basic to cooling system maintenance as new antifreeze helps the engine run cooler and a flush removes dirt or sediment that could damage other cooling system parts.

The coolant level should be checked regularly at the reservoir and motorists are reminded to NEVER open a hot radiator cap. If the coolant is low, a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water should be added.

Motorists can also do a visual inspection of hoses, belts and the radiator to help identify cooling system problems before they escalate. Radiator leaks, bulging hoses or frayed and cracked belts are clues that the cooling system is in need of maintenance.

Additional signs of cooling system problems include the vehicle temperature gauge rising near the danger zone, coolant leaks, steam or hissing sounds under the hood or the district smell of an engine that’s running hot.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/06/four-symptoms-of-a-sick-cooling-system/

New 4×4 Holiday, New Jeep® Brand Snapchat, More Reasons to get Muddy

For true adventurers and Jeep® brand enthusiasts, April showers bring something even better than flowers — mud, and plenty of reasons to get dirty. This past April 4th the Jeep® brand celebrated 4×4 Day with Save the Dirt fan photos and the launch of the new official Jeep® brand Snapchat channel.

4×4 Day on April 4th

Get it? 4×4 on 4-4. It’s the new holiday that celebrates the wave goodbye to winter — when off-road enthusiasts finally drop the top for spring and take to the trails to splash around in the mud made by the melting snow. What could be better than going from season to season while you Go Anywhere, Do Anything®?

As with any good holiday, what really makes 4×4 Day special is the tradition and the memories. So for this inaugural celebration the Jeep® brand pulled out all the stops, leaving no trail unexplored, no puddle unsplashed, no chat unsnapped and no dirt unsaved. Take a look at the new tradition.

Jeep® Brand Snapchat

This year we marked the special April 4th 4×4 holiday with the launch of the official Jeep® Snapchat channel (username “Jeep”). The Snapchat launch included fan voting on the top Jeep® vehicles, and a national Snapchat filter. In addition, at 2,000 FCA dealerships across the country, Snapchat users will find a geo-targeted Jeep® filter through the end of June.

Off-roading, of course, is more than just one day or one snap — it’s a way of life. By using the #4x4ever hashtag, Jeep® enthusiasts can continue to show off their trail pics and videos beyond the holiday. Select lucky fans who use the hashtag may even receive a Jeep® branded keychain capsule that features the 4×4 Day 2016 logo.

Off-roaders know that few things feel better than showing up at the office on Monday in a freshly mud-caked Jeep® Wrangler. With that in mind, to coincide with the Snapchat campaign, the Jeep brand launched a #SaveTheDirt call to action on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Instead of taking your Jeep® vehicle to the car wash after a weekend of trail riding, take a picture and post it as a badge of honor from your latest weekend adventure. Go ahead, give them something to talk about until the next 4×4 Day.

The spirit of the 4×4 Day lives on as a yearlong celebration of the Jeep® life. Keep posting your photos, and connect with Jeep® brand social channels at jeep.com.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/news/new-4×4-holiday-new-jeep-snapchat-reasons-get-muddy/

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is pretty much good to go

jeep-grand-cherokee-trackhawk-01-copy-1

We’ve been stalking the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for months, and now we’re getting our best look yet at the devilishly powerful sport utility vehicle.

From a distance, the JGC looks almost stately in black. Look closer and you see the SRT badges and the big brakes. Look past the wrappings and you see large air intakes in the lower fascia. All of this reinforces the Trackhawk’s performance pedigree, which will be anchored with the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi Hellcat V8. It’s rated at 707 horsepower in the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The Jeep will use four-wheel drive.

These up-close images show off the Trackhawk’s simple design. Like the Dodge Hellcats, Jeep appears to be letting the power and capability stand on their own. Previously, we’ve only seen the Trackhawk from a distance or in blurry video.

The Trackhawk’s arrival comes as Fiat Chrysler expands Jeep’s global presence. The company is increasingly looking to its venerable off-road brand for sales volume, image building, and profits as it re-aligns its car business and looks for potential partners.

The Trackhawk looks nearly production ready, and we expect it to go on sale in 2017. Also, don’t confuse it with the Trailhawk, which is a trim level you can buy on the 2017 Grand Cherokee.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/04/22/jeep-grand-cherokee-trackhawk-spy-shots/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

What to do if your car is in a flood

Ten steps to assess and address the damage

Immersion in water can wreak havoc with a car, especially the engine, electrical system, and interior. If your car has been immersed in water more than halfway up its wheels, follow these ten steps to assess and address the damage.

1. Do not attempt to start the car! It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair. I’ve outlined a few basic checks below, but if in doubt, its best to have the car towed to a mechanic.

2. Determine how deep the car was submerged. Mud and debris usually leave a waterline on the car, inside as well as out. If the water didn’t rise above bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. Most insurance companies will consider the car totaled (damaged beyond economically-reasonable repair) if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard.

3. Call your insurance company. Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you don’t have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement.

Your insurance company will probably be flooded (sorry) with claims, so it’s a good idea to start the process early. (More about floods and car insurance)

4. Start drying the interior. If water got inside the car, mold will grow quickly. Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, but you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding and upholstery. Remember, these repairs are likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance.

5. Check the oil and the air cleaner. If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to have the water cleared and the fluids changed. (Hard-core do-it-yourselfers can try changing the oil then removing the spark plugs and cranking the engine to blow out the water, but we still recommend leaving this to a mechanic.)

6. Check all the other fluids. Fuel systems on late-model cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.

7. Check all of the electrical systems. If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly amiss — including the way the car runs or the transmission shifts — that could be a sign of electrical trouble. Take the car to a mechanic, and remember that the damage may be covered by insurance.

8. Check around the wheels and tires. Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes and underbody. (Set the parking brake before crawling around the wheels!)

9. If in doubt, push to have the car totalled. A flood-damaged car can experience problems months or even years after the event. If your car is a borderline case, consider pushing your insurance company to declare the car a total loss. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.

10. Beware of flood-damaged replacements. Many cars that are totaled due to flooding are simply cleaned up and re-sold. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like “salvage” and “flood damage” are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car — if the car has been moved from another state and re-titled (especially a state that has been subject to flooding just before the title change), the seller may be trying to hide flood damage.

Read more at: http://cars.about.com/od/adviceforowners/a/What-To-Do-If-Your-Car-Is-In-A-Flood.htm

Under Pressure? TPMS Dashboard Light Lets You Know

Newer model vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to warn drivers that at least one of their tires is underinflated. The dashboard light looks like an exclamation point inside of a horseshoe and, if illuminated, should be addressed immediately, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“When the TPMS light goes on, it should not be ignored. Driving on underinflated tires can lead to an accident or cause damage to your vehicle,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “As part of a proactive auto care plan, tire pressure should be checked monthly, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure due to a number of factors, including seasonal temperature changes.”

All vehicles manufactured after September 2007 feature a tire pressure monitoring system. When the TPMS warning light comes on, it means pressure in at least one of the tires has fallen 25 percent under the recommended pressure. Low tire pressure can be due to a number of factors, including climate, road hazards and driving conditions. Once the tires are inflated to the correct pressure as outlined in the owner’s manual, the warning light should go off. However, some vehicles may require a professional service technician to reset the light.

According to the council’s free 80-page Car Care Guide, tires that are not properly inflated also add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. This can lead to lower gas mileage and potential damage to the vehicle.

“In addition to safety concerns, underinflated tires can cost you more at the pump,” said White. “Simply inflating tires to the proper level can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent or 10 cents per gallon.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/03/pressure-tpms-dashboard-light-lets-know/

It’s Pothole Season: You May Be In For A Bumpy Ride

As the weather gets warmer, motorists will see more potholes on the roadways and avoiding them can be a real challenge. If you hit a pothole, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends watching for three warning signs to determine if your vehicle has been damaged.

Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling.

Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear, are symptoms of an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.

Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the wheel rim will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible, as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road.

If you feel your vehicle has suffered damage from hitting a pothole, it is wise to have it inspected by a professional service technician. Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement – usually through a crack – and softens the soil beneath it, creating a depression in the surface of the street. Many potholes appear during winter and spring months because of freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes can also be prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall and flooding.

“Pothole season may last longer these days as many municipalities do not have the resources to fill potholes as fast as they should, leaving drivers to dodge them well into late spring and summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Because hitting a pothole can put a big dent in your wallet, making necessary repairs right away could save you from more costly ones down what could be a very bumpy road.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/03/pothole-season-may-bumpy-ride/

April is National Car Care Month: Time to Make Auto Care a Top Priority

Analytics are big these days in business, sports and politics. When it comes to auto care, the numbers tell a very revealing story as 80 percent of vehicles need service, a new part and/or repair, according to the non-profit Car Care Council.

“With so many vehicles in need of service, National Car Care Month in April serves as an important reminder to take action today so you can depend on your vehicle down the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s easy to postpone vehicle maintenance when things get busy, but don’t put it off. Addressing minor service needs before they become major will help you avoid unexpected car trouble and unplanned costly repairs.”

The Car Care Council reports that vehicles inspected at community car care events held throughout the country in 2015 failed one or more aspects of the inspection process. Some areas posting the highest failure rates include: low fluid levels (washer fluid 26 percent, engine oil 23 percent and coolant 19 percent); clogged or dirty air filters 19 percent; illuminated check engine light 13 percent; worn belts 13 percent; and needed battery service and wiper blade replacement 13 and 12 percent, respectively.

“Many maintenance needs are quick and inexpensive to resolve, so it’s easy to make auto care a priority during National Car Care Month,” continued White. “To help you ‘be car care aware,’ the Car Care Council has many free tools available at http://www.carcare.org, including the popular Car Care Guide and a customized service schedule with email remainders that makes it simple to follow a routine maintenance program.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/03/april-national-car-care-month-time-make-auto-care-top-priority/

The 2016 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards

Best Truck: Ram
2016-Ram-1500-Rebel-pickup-01

– Base price: $26,605
– Towing capacity: 9,000-plus lb.
– EPA mileage: 17 mpg city/25 highway

Give it up for the Ram! Top to bottom, this is the model to beat. Chrysler is a perennial third-place finisher in the domestic-truck sales battles, which means that these new Rams are the product of a striver mentality. Chrysler knows that, unlike with a Ford or a Chevy, you probably won’t buy its truck out of habit or hallowed family tradition. So it wants to give you other reasons, compelling technological reasons, for joining the Mopar crowd.

And there are certainly plenty of those. The Ram is the only pickup with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, a device so manifestly excellent that Rolls-Royce and Range Rover put the same one in their cars, too. That transmission can be bolted to a satisfying 305-hp V-6, a beastly Hemi V-8, or a 3.0-liter diesel, the only small diesel you can get in a full-size truck. The Ram EcoDiesel nets 29 mpg highway and can tow more than 9,000 pounds, which makes you wonder why it has, as yet, no direct competition.

The Rams also have the most ambitious suspension. The 1500- and 2500-series trucks come standard with a coil-spring rear end, so when you’ve got nothing in the bed (which is probably most of the time) they still manage a smooth ride with superior control, none of the rear-end hopscotch that leaf springs can give you on a bumpy road.

A coil-spring rear end would be revolutionary enough, but Chrysler also offers the industry’s only available air suspension. Going off-roading? Hit a button and it’s like you installed an instant lift kit. If you’re loading cargo, drop the suspension and you can heave those bags of mulch into the bed without approximating the caber toss at the Scottish Highland Games. The truck even knows to drop the body closer to the pavement at highway speeds to improve fuel economy.

On the heavy-duty side, Ram’s got the most torque (a downright silly 900 lb-ft from the high-output Cummins diesel) and the most powerful gas engine with the 410-hp 6.4-liter Hemi. The trucks with an HD badge also get optional rear air suspension, which means the bed stays level even when you’ve loaded it with two yards of gravel or your pet hippopotamus or a bunch of caber poles.

No, the Ram isn’t perfect—the fancy Laramie Longhorn interiors exhibit the aesthetic sensibility of a Reno whorehouse circa 1895—but in terms of fearless ambition and overall goodness, the striver makes a compelling case. You ought to hear it out.

Read more at: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g2573/2016-popular-mechanics-automotive-excellence-awards/