Mopar Teen Driving Program Slate Announced

MoparThe Mopar teen driving program, Mopar Road Ready Powered by Dodge, has announced its program slate for the 2016-2017 school year. The Road Ready program is in its third year and plans to host seven teen driving events in the fall and spring.

The program schedule was announced on July 23rd at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals drag race at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, which will host one of the Road Ready events for the Denver area later this year.

Mopar Road Ready Powered by Dodge has already given safe driving lessons to 2,700 teens and their parents in its first two years. The program makes appearances throughout the country and gives safe and defensive driving lessons.

This year’s program will begin in the Detroit area on October 8th, and then will head to the Bandimere Speedway in late October. In addition, it will visit Austin, Texas, in December. Events will resume in February 2017 in Phoenix before going northeast to New Jersey in late April. The program will head down to Sarasota, Florida, at the end of May, and then finally hold another two-day event in Detroit in May.

Parents can sign their teens up on the Mopar Road Ready website. The program accepts teens that are age 15 to 19 who have a learner’s permit or driver’s license. Courses are free, though a refundable $99 registration deposit is required and will be returned after the session.

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Road Trip Driving Apps for Better Navigation, Gas Prices, and More

FamilyIf you haven’t taken a summer road trip yet, you only have one month left! Get out of the house for a couple of days and go camping or to the beach. And in the meantime, download these helpful road trip driving apps to make the drive smooth sailing.

Waze is a favorite driving app for navigation because it’s crowdsourced with real-time updates on traffic, road hazards, and even speed traps. Users report on incidents, which are factored into how Waze determines your route.

GasBuddy is another great app that lets you find gas stations with the lowest prices. Like Waze, it relies on users to update the prices at the stations they visit. As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work!

If you’re planning on eating out in an unfamiliar city on your trip, download the free app called Open Table, which lets you make reservations in restaurants all across the country and search by cuisine and price.

Roadside America is a paid app and is only available on iOS, but for $2.99 you get an easily accessible list of cool local attractions like the world’s biggest ball of yarn that catalogues the entire US.

Finally, you don’t want to be without music on a road trip. Making mixed CDs is kind of old school, not to mention seriously limited when it comes to space. Get Spotify Premium and make a few playlists available offline to save data when you’re listening.

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The Best Car Gadgets Around to Customize Your Ride

best car gadgets

Accessories and add-ons are a great way to make your vehicle one of a kind. They are especially popular for used-car buyers because they let you customize your vehicle and get options that normally only come on new cars. Some of the best car gadgets this year are high-tech, convenient, and innovative.

According to Thrillist, the best-selling gadget around is a hands-free Bluetooth car kit. Though newer models usually come standard with a Bluetooth system, not all used cars have the connectivity and convenience that some drivers are looking for. Mopar has high-quality UConnect Bluetooth available for drivers, though you can also look for aftermarket parts.

App suites are more popular than ever, including gadgets like the Automatic App and Adaptor. This system plugs into your car and gives you access to information about routes, engine problems, and other data to help optimize your drive. It’s simple to use and relatively affordable, great for new or teen drivers.

Getting a signal can be tricky when you’re on the road. That’s why 4G-S cell phone signal boosters are available. This accessory can be pricey, but well worth it if you spend a lot of time on the road. You can instantly get faster and more consistent data speed with this fairly simple gadget.

Finally, a travel cooler and warmer is a must for road trips. Black & Decker makes a quality cooler for under $100, a system that plugs into any outlet to keep your drinks and food cold or hot. Just flip the switch, choose a temperature, and enjoy the ride.

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Mopar Service Centers Reach 1,000-Store Milestone

Mopar Service Centers

Mopar Service Centers reached an important milestone recently, with the 1,000th US center opening in the Chicago area. This Mopar Express Lane is a stand-alone store that is the first of its kind, offering unparalleled service and parts.

Mopar is the official parts, service, and customer-care organization for Fiat-Chrysler. The brand has technically been around since 1937, though the name was associated with Chrysler parts as early as the 1920s. Now, Mopar parts and service is used on all Chrysler-built models. This also includes Fiat and Alfa Romeo models since 2011 as well.

“Reaching our 1,000th operational Mopar Express Lane location reinforces the commitment of our brand and our dealerships to providing a top-notch customer experience,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “Most Mopar Express Lane outlets are also open on Saturday, providing owners with plenty of options to fit vehicle maintenance into their busy schedules.”

Mopar service stands at the top in the auto industry, offering high-quality parts, accessories, and maintenance. The brand also develops its own special edition and racing models, including sprint cars and Formula D vehicles. The 1,000th US store represents the culmination of expertise and quality that has made Mopar what it is today. We’re glad to see this impressive Chrysler division flourish.

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How to Avoid Traffic on a Road Trip

avoid traffic on a road trip

Nothing can put a damper on a road trip like a traffic jam. You know what they say about idle hands! That’s why you need to know how to avoid traffic on a road trip.

Time your trip

On your trip, if you know where and when to expect traffic, then you can create a plan to avoid it. If you are traveling by interstate, the biggest potential threat for a traffic jam occurs in major cities during morning and evening rush hour. So make sure that you drive through big cities before, between, and after rush hour.

Avoid congested routes

Study your route beforehand. Most navigation apps now use indicators for highlighting regularly-congested routes. Often, bad is highlighted in orange and really bad is highlighted in red. Find alternative routes!

Use Waze

Waze is a navigation app featuring crowd-sourced real-time traffic information. It’s as if all the other drivers on the road are friends of yours. You can see other users as small avatars on the map. And everyone can upload messages about traffic situations. Find out about upcoming traffic jams in time to take an alternate route. Get help finding alternate routes, it’s a priceless resource.

At the end of the day, you should also accept that traffic may be inevitable. No matter what you do. That’s when road trip games, podcasts, and great playlists come in handy!

Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tips for Saving Money on a Road Trip

Tips for Saving Money on a Road Trip

Does a tight wallet have you nixing your plans to hit the road this summer? There’s no need to miss out on that great American rite of passage. All you have to do is follow these easy tips for saving money on a road trip.

# 1 – Don’t eat out!

On a road trip, you can save money on food the same way you do at home. Don’t eat out! Who says you can’t live on fruit and vegetables, as well as lunch meat and peanut butter sandwiches for a week? If it’s the difference between making memories and sitting at home bored, is there really a choice?

# 2 – Car camp!

Car camping is for people who both refuse to spend money on a hotel room and refuse to sleep in an insufferably hot and claustrophobic tent. No matter what you want to do on a road trip, instead of driving back to the hotel, find a campsite. You’ll only have to pay a nominal fee. Roll the windows down, kick your seat back and catch a few winks.

# 3 – Go to a state or national park!

Parks offer all sorts of fun like hiking, swimming, fishing, wildlife watching and/or kayaking, all depending on the type of park it is. Most of the time, the fun is free. Other times, you’ll have to pay, but fees are minimal compared to staying at a hotel and going to expensive attractions like an amusement park.

Figure out your budget before you leave and stick to it. Just don’t let a small budget get in the way of having a good time!

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Common Finance Terms

Common Finance TermsIf it’s challenging to understand all the technical jargon you’re told when test driving a new car, deciphering all the financial mumbo jumbo when purchasing the car can be even more perplexing. Before you sit down with the dealership’s sales rep or F&I manager, brush up on your financial lingo with this common terms glossary.

  • APR: The amount of interest you will pay annually on your loan.
  • Book Value: The calculated value of an asset, in this case your car. This can be either the initial price of the car, or calculated via valuation guides when the car is previously owned.
  • Dealer Incentives: Special financial deals offered by the manufacturer to sell particular models.
  • Depreciation: The difference between the initial cost of the car and its residual value after a given period of time.
  • Down Payment: The sum of money the car buyer or lessee must pay up front before getting the vehicle.
  • Gap Insurance: Financial coverage for the difference between the value of a car and what you still owe on it.
  • Interest: The amount you’re charged to finance your loan, usually expressed as a percentage.
  • Lease: When a dealership loans a car to a person for a negotiated period of time and amount of money.
  • Lien: The ownership of your car by the financing company until your loan has been paid off.
  • MSRP: The manufacturer’s suggested price for the car, also known as the sticker price or base price.
  • Pre-Approval: Acceptance by a financial firm for a certain loan amount before you purchase the car.

Want to know even more? Check out the Common Finance Terms page on the Swant Graber Motors website!

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Night Driving Safety Tips

15night driving safety

Reduced visibility and blinding headlights make night conditions a dangerous time to drive, but it’s not difficult when you follow these easy night driving safety tips.

One way to improve your visibility at night is to aim you headlights yourself. You can follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for this. You might be surprised to learn that headlights are often too low in brand new cars, covering less of the road than they should.

Find the dimmer switch for your dashboard and lower the lights, which will improve your visibility. If you notice that your window is streaky and hard to see through when other cars pass you at night, try cleaning it with window cleaning spray and newspaper to remove the residue. Avoid touching the glass with your hands.

Avoid watching the lights of oncoming cars—this can cause you to drift toward them or lose your concentration on the road. On the other hand, keep an eye out for the shiny, glowing eyes of animals in the dark—becoming adept at spotting them from a distance will reduce your chances of hitting them, which can obviously damage your car.

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Get Down & Dirty With the New Ram 4×4 Off-Road Package

Ram 4x4 Off-Road Package

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty pickup truck with more than the usual off-road chops, Ram has got you covered. At the Chicago Auto Show, the automaker revealed a new 4×4 Off-Road Package that will be offered on the Ram 2500 model, regardless of trim level, bed length, or even engine—talk about flexibility!

The Ram 4×4 Off-Road Package ensures you can take on even the toughest challenges on dirt, gravel, and even mud. It adds new Bilstein monotube shocks, standard limited-slip differential, Firestone LT tires, and plenty of extra underbody protection. It also offers hill descent control, which allows drivers to have an easier time going down steep, rugged slopes.

“Truck customers require a wide range of off-road capability options,” said Bob Hegbloom, head of the Ram Truck Brand. “Anyone who spends most days on the outskirts of a job site or the weekend on the shore of a favorite fishing hole will benefit from the standard features on our new Ram 2500 4×4 Off-Road package.”

We expect the new off-road package to go on sale at Swant Graber Motors at some point during this summer!

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2016 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Look Vibrant in Go Mango

The three most commonly-used car colors are silver, black, and white, but that’s not stopping Dodge from making even more vibrant, unconventional color options available for the 2016 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT models.

Some fan favorites at Swant Graber Motors include Sublime Green and Plum Crazy Purple. Now, they’ll be joined by the latest shade in the lineup: Go Mango, a bright, almost carrot-like orange that’s sure to draw attention everywhere it appears.

The orange shade goes exceptionally well with the available black stripes that run from the front splitter to the rear bumper and does a good job of highlighting the Charger and Challenger’s every line and contour (though white will always be the best pick for that purpose).

We think Go Mango is particularly fitting on the supercharged SRT models, given how noticeable they are already, least of all because of the furious sound of its V8 engines!

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