To warm or not to warm – you decide

You’re dressed and ready for work. To get your engine going, you probably showered, had some breakfast, checked on the news (possibly the weather) of the day and now it’s time to hit the road. Coffee and computer bag in hand, you head for the door. But first, you stop to put on your coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Why? Because it’s FREEZING outside. The weather guy said so. Your weather app says so. The thermometer outside says so. So, altogether, you probably took somewhere between 30-60 minutes to get warmed up and start your day. Give or take … Then you donned winter gear to keep you warm in the cold temperatures. Why, then, would you not also allow your vehicle, that prized possession that you work (or worked, as the case may be) hard for, the same luxury of having some morning warm-up time? Granted, experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) have concluded that vehicles actually warm up faster when driven and encourage owners to idle for no more than 30 seconds before driving. There is truth to this. In normal temperatures and normal driving conditions, where a driver can take a low-key, gentle drive for the first several minutes, yes, the engine will warm up faster than if it sits in … Read More

Introducing our latest addition – my long-awaited Jeep® Cherokee

Anytime you can start the New Year off with a new addition to the family, it’s a good thing, right? I think so too. That’s why we are so excited to welcome our new addition to our family – a 2016 Jeep® Cherokee Limited. I’ve been waiting a long time to buy my Jeep Cherokee. For those of you who have been reading/following The Road Best Traveled, you may remember back when I was eagerly awaiting the reintroduction of the Cherokee to the Jeep brand lineup. I said then that a Jeep Cherokee would be my next vehicle. I was a little off with that prediction. Stuff happens. So, when we (mostly me) decided it was time to start looking for another vehicle, I had very specific parameters that had to be met. It had to get decent gas mileage. It had to comfortably fit everyone, plus our gear. It had to be either all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. And, most importantly, it had to be within a very specific budget, which meant it was going to be a used vehicle, but I didn’t want anything with high miles. Basically, I was looking for a unicorn. The one thing I did not specify was that it had to be a particular make and/or model. (Admittedly, there were a few I told my … Read More

Hot or cold – double-check your vehicle

Mild temperatures last fall made it seem like winter was far off, but then ol’ Jack Frost came to town, sending chilly temperatures across the United States. Just recently, I was actually happy to see the thermometer reach 18 degrees. We frequently discuss how quickly temperatures can reach dangerously high levels inside a parked vehicle during the summer months and the need to take extra care with children, pets and anything else that can easily become overheated. But what about items that should not be left in vehicles when temperatures plummet? Just like excessively warm temperatures, being stuck inside an unheated vehicle when temperatures are dangerously low can also have serious, unwanted consequences. Regular stops at the pump should be first on your list when cold weather hits. I’ve previously cautioned about the need to keep fuel levels above half during winter months. Not only does it help to prevent fuel lines from freezing, it can also ensure you can keep your vehicle running long enough for help to arrive, should you find yourself in need. Being stuck is bad enough. Being stuck AND out of gas is dangerous. While your tank should be full, checking to make sure the inside of your vehicle is empty once you reach your destination is also a good idea. Of course you want … Read More

Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

As we prepare to close the door on 2017, we would like to take a moment to thank you for choosing Chrysler Capital. It is our pleasure to serve you and we look forward to continuing to do so in the future. Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve everyone!

Looking back … The Road Best Traveled 2017

At year-end, it’s tradition to take a look back at where you started and how far you’ve come throughout the year, right? Okay, maybe not for some, but in general that’s why we do all the “year in review” stuff, right? And so, without further ado, welcome to the The Road Best Traveled year in review – a look back at 2017, Chrysler Capital style! January found many dashing through the snow and hopefully not too many of us had to rock our way out of a jam. We took charge, had bright ideas and saw things clearly. Heating things up in February was challenging with the cold temperatures, but a breathtaking beauty was introduced during the Super Bowl that helped us forget our woes. Looking forward to the promise of spring, we considered a new direction in March, avoiding the potholes and enjoying the wind in our hair. Is it ironic that April not only houses National 4X4 Day and also National Car Care Month? Speaking of commemorative days, May had its share. Together we celebrated the odometer and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. In May we celebrated mothers, the kick-off to summer and perhaps the most decorated of them all, Memorial Day. In June we drove for a cure, drove to find our favorite coffee (well, mine anyway) and … Read More

Does ‘home for the holidays’ mean you’re traveling this year?

Most schools officially got out for the holiday break yesterday. College students are home. Many who put in for holiday vacation time have logged out and won’t step back in their office until next year. Now what? Are you headed somewhere for the holidays or are family and friends coming your way? What does “home for the holidays” look like to you? According to AAA’s holiday travel forecast, you are likely traveling, as they suggest 107.3 million people will be journeying to their holiday destination this year. Whether it be by plane, train, automobile (or whatever other means of transportation is available), that’s a lot of people out and about during the last two weeks of this calendar year. As usual, the overwhelming majority will be driving, with an estimated 97.4 million people taking to the roads. “More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period. We’ve seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long.” So, what can you do to make your holiday travel plans roll a … Read More

Test driving Jeep® brand SUVs – my favorite may surprise you

We’re in the market to replace our small SUV. It’s a great car, it handles well in the snow and it gets good gas mileage. But, while it checks off many of the boxes, it’s just a little too small for some of the trips we take. Since I’ve been a fan of the Jeep® Cherokee pretty much since it was reintroduced, that was my first suggestion. My husband leans more toward a Grand Cherokee (an SRT® if he truly had his say in the matter). So, our Sunday afternoon was spent test driving Jeep brand vehicles. I admit, while I knew it wasn’t going to be large enough to suit our needs, I really wanted to drive a Jeep Compass. Why? Because it’s NEW! Mid-2017, the Jeep Compass was completely updated. It now looks like a mini-Grand Cherokee. Our sales associate was gracious enough to indulge us (me) and handed over the keys to a 2018 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4. She was a beauty. After checking out the cargo space (mostly to verify it was about the same size as our current vehicle and, indeed, too small for our needs), I jumped in the driver’s seat. My first impression – the interior is quite spacious for a small SUV. It handled well, taking turns like a champ, and I … Read More

A day in the life of an auto writer

The other day I was explaining what I do to someone I had recently met. I could tell by the look on their face that they thought I had the most boring job on earth. They didn’t actually say the words, but they were wondering what there could possibly be going on in auto finance to write about on a daily basis. Later, I was driving home, thinking about the conversation and I laughed a little. If only they knew … You see, I’ve played a lot of different roles during my 17+ years in the auto industry. It’s been a long road and every path I’ve taken has lead me to new and different experiences. I’ve been the one to hand someone the keys to their very first car, watch as they slid behind the wheel and started it for the first time and they slowly, nervously and excitedly pulled away from the dealership. I’ve signed the paperwork with someone who had saved, shopped, researched and was finally buying their dream car. It hadn’t been an easy road, but they did it and that special day had, at long last, arrived. I’ve been on the other end of a phone conversation as a couple, badly in need of reliable transportation, yet sure they would not be able to get … Read More