The Brotherhood of Muscle, Vin Diesel and Dodge

Fast cars. Fast lifestyles. And now one of the fastest movies to reach $1 billion worldwide. The Fate of the Furious made an uncompromising box office debut, but I don’t think that came as a big surprise. Also, not a big surprise, Vin Diesel has partnered with Dodge to take on the starring (human) role in the latest series of Dodge commercials, The Brotherhood of Muscle. Seemingly natural partners, Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA-Global, pointed out that the association is one that goes beyond that of car and driver. “Both Dodge and Vin have large, extremely loyal fan bases that are passionate about high-performance vehicles, family and pride. It’s a natural fit that builds on the strengths of both of us.” Vin Diesel agrees. “Ever since The Fast and the Furious began, my favorite has been the 1970 Dodge Charger,” Diesel said. “As Dodge is a partner in making the Fast & Furious films, I’ve gotten to know what they stand for … as well as their passion for creating high-performance cars like the Hellcats and the Demon. They’re bringing muscle back the right way and these are my kind of cars.” The first three ads, Rally Cry, Shepherds and Monsters debuted this week. Keep an eye out during your favorite cable entertainment and sports programming or check them … Read More

Enjoy your commute “Waymo” in a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica

What if you could get to work without the stress of rush hour? What if your kids could get to all of their activities, before and after school, without you having to clone yourself in order to be in two (sometimes more) places at once? What if there were a way …? Waymo, the self-driving technology division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is looking for metropolitan Phoenix volunteers who dream of doing all those things and more. You may recall last fall, when FCA US first partnered with Waymo, delivering 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, modified specifically for self-driving technology. FCA US recently announced the addition of 500 more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to the Waymo self-driving program. “The collaboration between FCA and Waymo has been advantageous for both companies as we continue to work together to fully understand the steps needed to bring self-driving vehicles to market,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “The addition of 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans is a further acknowledgement of the hard work put forth by both engineering teams.” The 500 new minivans will be outfitted with the self-driving technology and then quickly added to the fleet of Waymo’s early rider program vehicles in the Phoenix area. “The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is a versatile vehicle for our … Read More

A recipe for paying off your auto loan early

A good recipe always starts with two things – good ingredients and solid prep work. Don’t believe me? Ask a professional chef. The recipe for paying off your vehicle is not all that different. Let’s start with the ingredients. You will need: Your monthly payment amount Your monthly payment due date The funds to make your payment on or before the due date A payment method A clear understanding of how your payment is applied Additional funds to apply to the principal or to make a principal-only payment (optional) Confirmation that your payment was received (optional) Now for the prep work. Ideally, a plan for paying off your vehicle, particularly a plan for paying it off early, starts before you ever even sign the contract. Something my dad told me once that has always stuck with me was, “Linda, you can always pay a little bit more than your monthly payment and that’s okay. But you can’t pay less.” Ever since then, before I start car shopping I calculate my budget, create a target payment and then work to structure my payment at, or below, my target payment. If that means stretching my payments out to 72 months versus 60 months, that’s what I’ll do. Why? Because I can always add an extra $10, $20 or more to my payment … Read More

School drop-off and pickup – three rules to live by

I used to listen to my friends with kids talk about the school drop-off lane and laugh. Sometimes their frustration with other parents in the line was the basis for some pretty funny stories. Sometimes it was the source of their morning stress. Sometimes, my friends were the source of others’ morning frustration. Now, with nearly a full school year of drop-off and pickup lane experience under my belt, I promise you I have been the source of many an eye-roll while sitting in the pickup lane. I do, however, also have a whole new appreciation for “the rules.” With only a few weeks of school left, it seems there is no better time for a quick review of what I consider the top three. So, let’s get started. Rule #1. Do not get out of your vehicle. Do not. Get out. Of your vehicle. It’s a lane, not a parking lot. Lane, by definition, means keep it moving. If little Johnny or Sally needs you to walk them to the door or if you need to share a piece of news with the mom who lives down the street, that’s FINE. But find an available parking space and enjoy your commune with nature. Your consideration for those who need to keep things rolling will be duly noted and appreciated. … Read More

Five apps this road-tripper won’t travel without

Y’all know I love a road trip. Whether heading out to visit family in Iowa, moving across the country or just cruising to explore local fare, we love to load everyone in the truck and explore what the countryside has to offer. When I was younger, I remember hearing the phrase, “Let’s see where this road takes us,” from the front seat and an immediate feeling of dread would wash over me. These days, it’s my husband and me who like to explore random country roads and our daughter whose pain I feel. But with the road trip apps that are available today (not to mention FREE – I am, after all, also extremely frugal), getting a “little lost” as my dad used to put it, is much more difficult than it was back when I was a kid. Here are just a few that I have, like and use regularly. Waze I’ve already extolled the virtues of this amazing and free app. When we lived in the city, there were many times it got us around traffic jams, not to mention the help it gave us navigating messy downtown construction. Now that we live in a more country-like setting, I’m still constantly reaching to put my destination in Waze. Even when I know where I’m going, but want to … Read More

Just another award-winning vehicle by Chrysler

The 2017 all-new Chrysler Pacifica is quickly racking up a shelf full of awards. It seems like every time I turn around, another one pops up on my screen. I’m sure, however, when I tell you the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was awarded Crossover-SUV of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, you will have the same thought I did. Huh? I mean, the Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan, right? Yes, it is. But then I asked myself, in general, why do we purchase Crossovers and SUVs? Most of us are not off-roading, but rather carrying our families, pets, recreational gear and whatever else we can think to put inside. So, perhaps the question, instead of “why?” should be, “why not?” Time and again, the Chrysler Pacifica’s award-winning style and technology is proving that it provides an unparalleled level of versatility and functionality for today’s families. Industry experts love it. Shouldn’t you?

April is car-care month!

Are you planning on keeping your car a long time? Or are you thinking you might trade it soon – maybe within the next six to 12 months? Whether prolonging the life of your vehicle or protecting its value to ensure you get the best possible offer when it comes time to sell or trade, taking good care of your vehicle just makes sense. Dollars and cents. Of course, regular systems maintenance is a key component of car care. Your best bet in keeping all the moving parts in top condition is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, located in the owner’s manual. But did you know that protecting and cleaning your vehicle’s interior and exterior can impact the lifetime and value of your vehicle as well? I can attest to this first-hand. The second vehicle I ever owned (and my favorite, I might add), was going strong at 160,000+ miles. She was awesome – original clutch and everything. I loved her, but I didn’t treat her very well when it came to keeping her clean. One day, when I took her in for service, my mechanic pulled up the back floor mat to reveal rusted-out floor boards. The winter road treatment that I seldom bothered to wash away had eaten away at her to the point that, if I had … Read More

Semi-retired science teacher wins big

Every spring, I anxiously await the FCA US LLC National Sweepstakes winner announcement. This year, it felt like it was never going to get here and then, suddenly my email lit up like the Fourth of July. (Not really, but the excitement was real.) As I opened the press release, I couldn’t help but think back to last year, when Kevin Arias, an Oswego, Illinois, firefighter won and purchased his dream car – a Dodge Challenger. Like last year, this year’s winner also serves the community in which she lives. But instead of fighting fires and rescuing kittens from trees, Sandra Moussiaux of Clinton Township, Michigan, shapes the minds of our youth. She is a retired, turned part-time science teacher. “I was in complete disbelief when I was told I had been selected as the grand prize winner of the 2016 FCA US LLC Sweepstakes,” said Moussiaux. “A simple birthday trip turned into a wonderful surprise one year later! I never dreamed that I would win a new car!” Moussiaux was attending a performance of The Sound of Music at the Fisher Theater’s Broadway in Detroit last May, when she noticed a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica display. That was when she entered the sweepstakes. So, why didn’t she choose an all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica? “After test driving the 2017 Durango GT, … Read More