3 Reasons Why Your Vehicle Needs a 27 Point Inspection

1.  It is free
2.  It protects your factory warranty
3.  It helps keep you safe
Did you know that every time you come to Monken Dodge Chrysler Nissan for service we perform a free 27 point inspection on your vehicle?  There is no charge.  We do this inspection to keep your vehicle safe and up to date with factory recommendations to protect your factory warranty coverage.

A 27 point inspection is a vehicle condition report.  This inspection is used by our factory trained technicians and factory trained express team to monitor the customer’s vehicle.  This report is used every time a customer comes in for a service or mechanical need.  We will check wipers, lights, air filters, cabin filters, fluid levels, hoses, belts, shocks/struts, exhaust, fuel lines, and fluid leaks.  We also test the battery that is available, measure your tires, and check the condition of the brakes when the tires are taken off.

We check each point either green, yellow or red.  Green means your vehicle looks great,  yellow means it may need future attention and red requires immediate attention.  Here is an example:
27 Point Inspection .jpg

2017 Jeep Compass Coming to Monken Dodge Chrysler Jeep

The 2017 Jeep Compass will be delivered to Monken Dodge Chrysler Jeep in 2 weeks.  Here is an article we recently read in USA Today by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press.

2017 Jeep Compass

The new compact SUV’s upscale looks outclass similarly priced competitors, and its off-road ability would literally leave them in its tracks.

Priced from $22,090 including shipping and arriving in Jeep dealerships within a few weeks, the Compass seats five. On size, it fits between Jeep’s Renegade subcompact and midsize Cherokee SUVs.

The Compass has about the same size and power as compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson, but its off-road ability and upscale looks lift it above most of the competition.

The 2017 Compass is all-new, sharing almost nothing but its name with the previous Compass, a dreary model Jeep developed when DaimlerChrysler owned the brand. The old Compass and its sibling, the Patriot, went out of production late last year.

The new Compass looks a bit like a scaled-down version of the Grand Cherokee, Jeep’s most prestigious model. It’s rounder and more sophisticated than the squared off Renegade and Wrangler SUVs.

Two-tone paint adds an elegant black roof and pillars that combine with LED taillights, projector head lights, leather upholstery, soft interior materials, big touch screen and optional 19-inch wheels for a ritzy look and feel.

The seats are comfortable. Cargo and passenger space are good. The storage bin under the front seat’s center armrest is small.

The 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic transmission deliver plenty of power for everyday driving. The new Compass, in its front-drive, manual transmission version, is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. A 4-wheel-drive Compass with the 9-speed automatic scored 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

The Compass is quiet on the highway and over rough paved surfaces, even with the top $30,090 Limited model’s optional 19-inch wheels.

I drove a 4-wheel-drive Compass Limited through sweeping interstate highways and among free-roaming livestock on twisty ranch roads. The SUV was surprisingly fluid through curves and dips. The brakes were easy to modulate, and the 9-speed transmission shifted quickly and smoothly. The steering was direct and responsive.

I took an offroad-ready Trailhawk with the same engine and greater off-road capability over a challenging course of hills, rock, sand, mud and water on a ranch a couple of hours drive from San Antonio.

The Compass forded fast streams swelled by thunderstorms. The most off-road capable model, the Trailhawk, has 8.5 inches of ground clearance and can make it through 19 inches of water. Its low gears allowed the Compass to negotiate steep hills, boulder-strewn arroyos and ruts that left one wheel suspended in the air. The chassis was devoid of creaks as it clambered over the obstacles.

The Compass’s short front and rear overhangs will serve it well as it navigates between trees and other obstacles on tight off-road trails.

No other compact SUV on the market, with the possible exception of the $41,800-up Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, could handle the course.

Few owners will use it, but that level of capability validates the new Compass’s credentials as a legitimate Jeep. Add value and upscale looks, and it’s easy to see why Fiat Chrysler expects the Compass to carry Jeep sales to new heights around the world.

Are You a Female That is Uncomfortable Going to a Dealership?

Are you a female or a first time buyer that feels uncomfortable going into a car dealership to look at a vehicle?  If so, here are 5 tips to help guide you into feeling more comfortable the next time you need to purchase a vehicle.

1. Research the models and prices online and know what is a competitive offer.
2. Check Car Fax or Autocheck to research a vehicle’s history.
3. Ask the dealer for the customer contact information that traded in the vehicle if you are looking for pre-owned.
4. Ask for service history and service work that was performed on the vehicle at the dealership.
5. Check guidebooks such as Kelley Blue Book or NADA for a fair purchase price on your trade in.

If you are considering  Monken Automotive as a potential car dealer, we would like to inform you on a few ways we believe you will be more comfortable, including 14 female employees that are available to help you.

Walking into a showroom can be intimidating, therefore, we have 4 female employees in our Chrysler Nissan sales area. They are our Receptionist Desk, Office Manager, Internet Sales and General Manager.  In our Chevrolet Buick GMC store, we have 5 female employees. They are our Reception Desk, Title Clerk, Office Manager, Accounting and our Owner.  They are all available and willing to lead you in the right direction.

Driving into a service department can be just as intimidating.  We have 5 female employees that work in our service departments and will help you with any questions about servicing your vehicle.  At our Chrysler Nissan store Amy Monken-Brandt started as a service advisor 19 years ago and is now our Service Manager.   Dorothy Cates has been in our service department for 5 years and Mel Jackson for 4 years. At our Chevrolet store, Amy Zalos is our Service Manager and has been with us for a year and we just hired Heather Hoffman.

Being able to talk to a female service advisor should encourage you to ask any questions without feeling lost or embarrassed. “We are not tech savvy, but we want to make sure your needs are met.   We can ask the technicians their concern and put it into terminology that you will understand,” adds Service Manager, Amy Monken-Brandt.

Our waiting areas were created to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We have television, an Apple computer with internet access, vending machines, free popcorn and updated seating… all to make you feel at home.

Here is a review from one of our female customers.

Sara Presley Burnett reviewed Monken Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Nissan — 5 star
October 14 ·
“As a woman, I was expecting them to think I didn’t know what was going on and to try to take advantage of me. What I got was the complete opposite. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way I was treated and respected. I have already recommended them to everyone I’ve talked to about my new car. Very happy and I will definitely be back for my next one.”

How Does Your New Vehicle Get to Our Lot

Blogger – Lance Marcum

Ordering a vehicle starts with our consensus cycle which takes into account our sales history and what we are predicting to sell. From there, the build cycle starts with our “allocations” on Thursday of every week. As far as knowing what works well for us, I look at our sales history and a program called “DART”, which lets me know what General Motors recommends that I build.   We always try to keep a nice combination of colors and models available.  Also, we can always build a vehicle specifically for a customer if they would like.
Once the order is submitted, it then goes into production. The process from the vehicle being built to on the lot is generally 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the vehicle. The ones being produced in Wentzville, MO are obviously here quicker than the ones that have to be shipped via railway.
The vehicles come to our lot via transport trucks.

When the vehicles arrive, sales consultants check to make sure there is no damage on the vehicle and then sign for approval. In the event that a vehicle has damage, it is noted and General Motors takes care of the repair. This is rare, but does happen from time to time. Once that is completed,  the keys are tagged with a stock number and the vehicle goes into our service for a delivery inspection. The inspection consists of a full inspection in which we top off fluids. In essence, the dealership is doing their due diligence to confirm that General Motors has built the vehicle up to expectations.
Once that is completed, the vehicle goes to our detail department to get cleaned up and then pictures are taken for our website. The goal is that the vehicle goes through this entire process within 2 to 3 days of arrival so it is ready to sell.

 

5 Things You Should Never Do in a Car With CVT

What is CVT?
CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. Quite simply it is a very efficient transmission design where it gets the most power to the wheels operating the engine at the most efficient RPM.

Nissan has lead the way with CVT transmission. Nissan started using them in 2002 and most of their product line has a CVT. Many manufacturers have followed Nissan’s lead and today have started using CVT transmissions in the pursuit of reaching the government mandatory mpg increases. The benefit of CVT is the fuel mileage increase, but an additional result is not feeling a “shift.” CVT’s do not have traditional gears like most automatic transmissions. A CVT has two cones that move in and out to create infinite gear ratios.

When I am giving a test drive, I often point out that on a traditional transmission you will see the RPM’s of the engine reach around 3,000 RPM (under light driving) prior to shifting down to about 1000 RPM’s prior to climbing again. On a CVT the RPM’s rise and lower slowly so there is not a traditional “shift” where a gear changes. Many automotive enthusiasts prefer the traditional transmission. I don’t understand the desire to feel a transmission shift as my belief is that the goal of any transmission should be to not feel it shift.
Why does Nissan use CVT in most of their vehicle?
Utilizing and becoming a leader in CVT has allowed Nissan to be a leader in fuel economy. Nissan came out with CVT on the 2002 Murano and within a few years all of their sedans. Today, most of their SUV’s and Crossovers utilize this technology. Believe it or not, the model T Ford transmission design had many similarities to a CVT.

Here is a video by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained talking about vehicles with CVT.

5 Things You Should Never Do in a Car With CVT

 

Monken Balloon Fest Memories

Guest Blogger – Jan Monken

Monken Automotive and the Monken family  have been involved with the Centralia Balloon Fest since its inception over 25 years ago.

The Balloon Fest, held every year in August, has become a huge event since the first one that was held at Kaskaskia College.  Balloon Fest later moved to Foundation Park, east of Centralia, where it is still held today.  The Balloon Fest offers entertainment for all ages with the balloon glow and balloon races as the biggest events. Originally, the balloons only glowed Saturday evening, but now following the Friday night balloon race, the pilots will come back into the park and glow around the pond.

We have always sponsored a balloon, and as sponsors for the Balloon Fest, we get the opportunity to crew at each event.  Crewing a balloon can be hard work.  We recruit family, friends and employees to be our crew members/chase team.  Our crew members help set up the balloon for the race, chase the ballon, and help with the landing and packing it up.  Glowing is also hard work as the crew members hold on to ropes to help keep the balloon from going  up into the air.

Our first grandchildren to crew were Megan and Andrea, Kim( Monken) McMillan’s girls. I remember the first time they were old enough to fly with our pilot. The girls had so much fun the first time they rode in a hot air balloon, we could see their happy faces as they flew up over the fields and trees.

Then our grandchildren,  Katie Hartmann, Jalyn and Addison Monken became part of the Monken Chase Team.  They loved to get up at 5:00am to meet at the Bell Tower Inn for the pilot meeting. This is when the pilots are informed if the balloons will fly and where they will depart. The girls have all had the opportunity to fly up in a hot air balloon and loved every minute. This year, Megan and her family will be crewing. We are now starting the next generation to crew and fly!

In the past, Monken’s have also sponsored the pilot dinner.  One year Monken Automotive hosted the Friday evening dinner for all pilots, crew members, and sponsors.  Wearing his cowboy hat, Harold Monken, directed traffic on his horse. Some of the pilots remember that event well.

I also remember on one of the windiest evening while we were trying to hold onto the balloon during Balloon Glow, a large gust of wind came up.  We yelled for help and here came the “cowboy,” Harold, to help.  Well, Harold always thought ballooning was a piece of cake, but he found out real quick that it wasn’t as he was flipped on his back side real quick!
We have had the pleasure of having the balloonist, Bob Boswell, for many years. Bob was a paratrooper before he began ballooning. He has quit coming to our event, but he still has a balloon repair shop. Our next pilot Ken was a Fed Ex pilot, and flew balloons as a hobby.
For the past 4 years our pilot has been Jared Miller. Jared is a nurse anesthetist. We enjoy meeting and getting to know our pilots and their families.

Thanks to everyone that puts this event on every year. Happy ballooning to everyone!

The History of Monken Automotive

 

In the 1960’s

In the 60’s, W. Harold Monken was a partner with David Woolbright at the Standard Gas Station in Centralia. Harold was always the hot rodder spending much time improving his vehicles and racing them at night and weekends. His brother, Wayne Monken, and father, Walter Monken, helped build a small garage/dealership that opened as Car City on November 4th, 1967 on Shattuc Road west of Centralia.

In the 1970’s

In 1971, a Japanese gentleman from Datsun was canvassing the area to find a dealer partner to represent what is today known as Nissan. Harold was interested and the business later became Car City Nissan. The 70’s were a great time to own a dealership that offered inexpensive vehicles with great gas mileage. They sold the shiny Datsun vehicles as fast as they could get them.

In the 1980’s

In the 80’s, Harold recognized a dealership trend to become bigger in order to survive. He explored adding Chrysler when Booth Motors closed. In 1987, he flew to Chicago with his attorney, Bill Crain, to close the deal with Chrysler, but had a last minute change of heart. He ultimately sold Car City Nissan to his General Manager Mike Gansauer and Mike’s father in law, Bob Cleary. In 1988, Mike & Bob purchased Meier Chevrolet and moved from Shattuc road. The business was now Car City Chevrolet Nissan. Several prominent business partners, including the Geary Family and the Cooksey Family were investors.

In the 1990’s

In the early 90’s, Harold opened Car Country for a few years, and then worked for Jansen Chevrolet in Germantown. In 1996, Bruce Geary told Harold that they were ready to exit the auto business. Harold returned to Car City and asked Mike Jansen to be a business partner with him in order to purchase the dealership.

However, GM already had three dealerships in Centralia. They were Dobbs/Mahan Buick GMC, Car City Chevrolet and Seeburger Oldsmobile Cadillac. GM was strategically cutting dealers with a plan called Project 2000. GM only wanted two dealers in the Centralia market and wouldn’t approve the sale of Chevrolet. It took months to negotiate. Ultimately Chevrolet was sold to Seeburger, and Car City became Monken/Jansen Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Nissan on May 1,1997. Harold’s son, Wes Monken, joined a month later in June 1997 relocating from the Chicago area. Harold and Wes purchased out Mike Jansen in 1998 and dropped the name Jansen to become Monken Dodge Chrysler Plymouth Nissan. Later that year, Monken’s purchased the Jeep franchise from Dobbs/Mahan in Centralia.

2005 – Now

In 2005, discussions began about the Monken’s acquiring Dobbs/Mahan Buick GMC. The plan was to have Harold’s daughter, Kim Monken McMillan, run the dealership. In February of 2005, Harold was rushed to the emergency room. Our long term attorney, Marvin Miller, met us at the hospital to sign a Power of Attorney over to the family. This is how Kim learned that she was coming to work for the family! The purchase of Dobbs/Mahan Buick GMC was finalized in June of 2005. Harold had a significant leak on his mitral valve caused by an infection. He battled through three valve transplants, a stroke and ultimately passed away on July 22, 2006. With great patience and hard work, Wes and Kim found a way to make both stores thrive. In May 2014 Monken Buick GMC purchased Schmidt Chevrolet and relocated to their building across from Walmart to become Monken Chevrolet Buick GMC.

Why Our Salesman, Ryan, Loves a Minivan

Blog by Ryan Williams

My wife and I have purchased three consecutive Chrysler minivans. Recently we traded in our 2010 for a new 2015.  The three main reasons we continue to purchase a Chrysler minivan are:

  1. Affordable – We have a pretty good size family and this van is a very affordable 7 passenger vehicle.
  2. Beyond the affordability, it is a great cruising vehicle for trips and day-to-day commutes. My wife drive many miles out of town with her job and we have never experienced any major mechanical issues.
  3. My favorite things about the Chrysler van are the Stow & Go seats, heated seats and steering wheel, and the DVD entertainment for the kids. The Chrysler minivan has so many options. They have as many options as most luxury cars, but the functionality and utility of a full size SUV.

If you have ever debated about buying a minivan, I can tell you, it makes our life easier.

5 Websites to Research Before Purchasing a Vehicle

 

1. Kelley Blue Book – KBB is the standard when asking “What is my vehicle worth?”  I find their values to be pretty close when the vehicles are graded fairly with the description KBB provides. For example an ” Excellent Condition” vehicle can’t even have a paint touch up,  less than 3% of vehicles qualify.

2. Manufacturer websites such as General Motors , ChryslerNissan Chevrolet  (you can stop at those as they make the greatest vehicles in the world, wink wink)

3. Edmunds.com – Edmunds.com is the place to go when you’re shopping for a car and you want to buy smarter. You can discover and research fair market pricing for vehicles.

 
4.  Dealership website. I typically upgrade our  Monkenauto/Monken1.com  frequently and make a significant investment every two years. My goal is to have as much information as possible to keep you on our website.  I am always looking to improve the Monken website, so please share your wish list with me. We spend a lot of time on descriptions and photos to help you with the details of our Monken vehicles.  Our goal is transparency. The market has been headed in this direction for years.

 
5.  Fueleconomy.gov  One of the most common questions we get is, “What can I expect for fuel economy?” You can compare any year, make and model at fueleconomy.gov.

Why We Help the Relay for Life

Blog by Kim McMillan

I was asked to be involved with the very first Marion County Relay for Life event and continued to served as a team recruitment chair for several years.  My mother, Jan Monken, and I served as co-chairs for the event for 3 years.
Our family (like everyone) has been hit hard by cancer. The hardest was the loss of my cousin, Troy Crocker, who died in 1999 at the age of 29, leaving behind two small children. That is when the Monken family vowed to fight hard to help eradicate cancer.

The Marion County Relay for Life will be on Friday, June 17, 2016 at Fairview Park in Centralia.   We will have our annual  Monken Mega Nacho booth at the event from 4:00-10:00pm.  At this time, we have 16 members on Team Monken.

The Monken Family and Monken Dealerships support the Marion County Relay for Life 100%.

We hope to see you there!

relay for life 2