Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Now that winter is (FINALLY) behind us and spring has decided to make an appearance, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning – for your vehicle! Winters can be harsh on your car, which makes spring the perfect time to do some good maintenance and a deep clean.

Check out our Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist below, and stop by for our no appointment necessary oil change or see our service specials and let Monken help you with your spring chores!

Schedule an Oil Change. A good rule of thumb is to get an oil change approximately every 5000 miles.  It’s an easy and inexpensive part of your vehicle maintenance and it really helps extend the efficiency and reliability of your vehicle.

A GOOD Car Wash – Inside and Out. More than just the aesthetic of having a clean car, giving your vehicle a good wash at the start of spring is a step toward maintaining the overall health of your car. Road salt left on the exterior for too long can deplete the color and corrode the metal. (And spring rain showers are not enough to rinse off all that winter grime). Don’t forget the wash the undercarriage as well – this is where a lot of the road salt tends to sit and cause problems.

Don’t forget about the interior. Most car washes offer free vacuums after you’ve paid for a wash, so take advantage of them! Winter tends to encourage a trash buildup in the doors, nooks and crannies of vehicles. Take 20 minutes after your car wash and vacuum out the entire inside.

Replace Wiper Blades. Winter can be very harsh on wiper blades and small tears and cracks can appear without you being able to see them. With the onslaught of spring showers, you want to make sure that your wiper blades are up to snuff.

Check Tire Pressure and Alignment. Your tires are literally the cushion between you and the road, so it’s especially important to take care of them. We recommend checking your tire pressure monthly. Most newer vehicles will send you an alert when one or more tires has fallen below the recommended level.

Check the tread for wear and tear. Roads can be very slippery during spring rain storms, so you want to make sure you’re able to stop without sliding. You’ll want to rotate and align them in the spring as well.

Change Air Filters. You may not be using that AC just yet, but before it becomes an absolute necessity, make sure that your air filters are unclogged and replace them if necessary.

Review Your Insurance Policy. This is one of the vehicle maintenance items that people always forget about. Oftentimes, your agent will proactively reach out to you every so often, but if they don’t, spring is a good time to be proactive about it yourself. Are you in the most efficient policy for your family? Will you be adding a new teen driver to your policy soon? Call your agent and find out if there are any deals or discounts that you can get as well.

May Fete is a Monken Family Tradition

If you are a Centralia High School alumni or had a child attend Centralia High School, then you are familiar with the Centralia May Fete tradition that has existed for over 100 years.  The Monken Family has been proud to be a part of this tradition and all family members have participated in the dances and/or court during their high school years.

Jan Monken’s mother, Dorothy Rixmann Miller, was the 25th May Fete Queen.  At that time May Fete was held outdoors and Dorothy made her own dress and train.  Her daughters, Jan, Melissa, and Wendy, were all attendants their junior year.

Kim Monken McMillian’s daughter, Megan Marcum, was a flower girl for Stacey Smudrick, a freshman attendant and May Fete Queen.  Her sister, Andrea Walton, was freshman attendant that same year.  Both girls were involved with dances when they weren’t on the court.  Last year Megan’s kids, Hadley and Eli Marcum, served as scepter bearer and crown bearer.

Shawn Monken Hartmann, was a flower girl for Carol Jo Vaccaro and an attendant her senior year.  Her children, Bredesen Hartmann and Katie Hartmann, along with their cousin, Will Miller, served as the trainbearers and flower girl for Megan Marcum.  Bredesen Hartmann participated in the couples dance every year and became a May Fete escort during his junior year.  Katie choreographed and participated in many dances all four years.

Wes Monken, was the trainbearer for Jan Johnson when he was seven.  He wore the first white tuxedo ever used in May Fete and participated in the dance. This year Wes’s daughter, Jalyn Monken, will wind the May Pole for her last year at Centralia High School. She has participated in May Fete dances every year.  Wes’s daughter, Addison Monken, will be dancing in May Fete for the first time!

This year’s May Fete will be on Thursday and Friday, May 3rd and 4th in Trout Arena. The theme is “My Favorite Things.”  Visit our MonkenNissan community page to see what other community events we have enjoyed.

10 Most Important Items to Keep In Your Car

A car emergency kit is always something we recommend people have in their vehicle at all times. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize their need for one until it’s too late.  There are a number of kits that you can purchase, like this one from AAA, or this one if you’re prepping for a zombie apocalypse , but they are simple to put together yourself at home.  You’ll be glad you made one should you ever find yourself in the position to need it.
Even if you have AAA, they may not come immediately, inclement weather may keep them from getting to you at all, and passengers inside the car could be injured. We put together our list of the 10 most important items to keep in your car emergency kit at all times.
1. A First-Aid Kit. Yes, a kit within your kit. These can be purchased very inexpensively at any drug store, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. and should include the typical items like Band-Aids, gauze, antibacterial cream, and anything else specific to your family’s needs.
2. Water. Depending on who your typical passengers are, you may want to keep more or less water handy, but a gallon jug is a good amount. We find this to be handy not even during a vehicle emergency, but also after a hike when you realize your dog doesn’t have quite enough water!
3. An extra cell-phone charger. Buy a spare charger that you NEVER take out of this kit. Most people have one handy inside the vehicle, but if your family is anything like ours, they mysteriously go missing from time to time. Keep one in the emergency kit that your battery-hogging teenagers don’t know about.
4. Non-perishable snacks. We recommend protein or granola bars and trail mix. We’ve also heard of people keeping those energy gel packets used by avid hikers and marathoners.
5. Rain poncho with a hood. This one sounds kind of silly, until you have to try and change your tire in the rain and you can’t see through the rain dripping down your face. It’s also helpful if you run out of gas and have to walk in the rain to the nearest gas station.
6. Multi-purpose utility tool. You can do a ton of cool things with a Swiss Army Knife, and the best part is, they are compact and lightweight. Handy for any number of emergencies, including, but not limited to, packing a romantic afternoon picnic and realizing you left your corkscrew or bottle opener at home.
7. Duct tape: One of the world’s most underrated inventions. A favorite of Michael Scott when he had to survive alone in the woods.
8. Flashlight and extra batteries. Bonus points if your flashlight is waterproof.
9. Jumper Cables. The longer the better, in case they have to be used after someone’s vehicle has gone off the road.
10. Foam tire sealant. Definitely not a permanent solution for a flat tire, but if you’re dealing with a small puncture, this foam sealant is a good quick fix to help you get from the side of the road to a nearby service center.
Also, here is a list of our  Roadside Assistance Numbers you may want to keep in your vehicle.

Nissan’s New Intelligent Rear View Mirror

Intelligent Rear View Mirror
Nissan’s new Intelligent Rear View Mirror (I-RVM)1 adds a built-in LCD monitor within the traditional rearview mirror to help provide clear rearward visibility unimpeded by traditional obstacles such as cargo or tall passengers. The 2018 Nissan Armada is the first Nissan vehicle to offer the new I-RVM technology. I-RVM is standard on the Armada Platinum grade.

The I-RVM system utilizes a high-performance, narrow-angle camera and a specially shaped LCD monitor, with a unique aspect ratio of approximately 4:1, versus conventional monitors’ 4:3 or 16:9. The camera projects a clear image onto the monitor for a better view, as well as a more comfortable driving experience.

The high-quality camera and image processing system implemented in the LCD monitor consistently results in a clear image with minimal glare, even during sunrise or sunset conditions or when the vehicle is being followed by a vehicle with strong headlights.

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum with Intelligent Rear View Mirror

What Exactly Is That New Car Smell?

By Rachel Swaby for Giz Explains

17hr0wgslpuk5jpg

The smell of a new car is intoxicating. It reminds us of money and shiny objects. It evokes that golden period before repeat coffee stains, moldy Tupperware, and our trunk’s transformation into a Good Will depository change the way we feel about our car.

But it’s kind of a weird smell, right? It’s so different from chocolate chip cookies or eucalyptus or whatever else we identify as pleasant. So we decided to get to the bottom of the new car smell. What  is it?

The answer, according to Toyota’s color and trim manager Janis Ambrose Shard, certainly leans toward a more Pavlov’s dog-type reaction. We like the smell because we like the car. Unfortunately, says Shard, “The smell is mostly organic compounds in the vehicle off-gassing. Anything that is vinyl or plastic—the foam lamination on the seat surface, the plastic on the dash or on the door panel—it’s the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) coming out of them that causes that smell.” In other words, without the relationship to a brand new car, the smell would just, you know, smell.

VOCs probably ring a bell because they’re air pollutants. And they can do a number on your health. And they’re everywhere. Thousands of household products-from paints to cleaning products to waxes-all emit the gasses, and they’re normally found in low concentrations in indoor air. In your car, petroleum-based solvents in plastic and vinyl are to blame. VOCs escape from the dash and the seats because they don’t require super high temperatures to evaporate. A normal ol’ Tuesday will stir them up.

Another VOC fun fact: You know that weird foggy film that builds up on the inside of your windshield? Blame the new car smell. The same VOCs that we’re sniffing can be responsible for mucking up our windows, too.

“That new car smell is not something we strive to achieve,” says Shard. If anything, automakers are trying to cut it. Toyota has moved from solvent-based glues to water-based alternatives to slash VOCs, and other automakers, like Ford, have experimented with swapping petroleum-based seating for soy based foam. Natural materials, though, have their own set of challenges. For instance, Ford had to go through a lot of veggie-based foam trials to find one that didn’t offend the consumer’s nose. And because the natural material holds a lot of moisture, living somewhere like Louisiana where it’s both hot and humid, can cause some natural materials to deteriorate rapidly, says Shard.

Basically, they’re working on taking that new car smell away. In the meantime, we should start working on ending our affinity for inhaling VOCs. Let’s instead focus our olfactory efforts on new car leather. See, during manufacturing, the warm leather smell disappears from the pieces that go into cars. Leather manufacturers, knowing that the smell is important to us, make sure to add that smell back in before anything is shipped to consumers. Thank goodness we still have one unnatural smell to happily cling to.

Nissan Introduces New Safety Feature Rear Door Alert

 

By blogsadmin | Posted in Nissan Pathfinder, Safety on Monday, August 21st, 2017 at 4:29 pm

What is the Nissan Rear Door Alert System

What is the Nissan Rear Door Alert?

In the summer, temperatures in a parked car can climb quickly, reaching dangerous temperatures. That’s why Nissan recently added a new safety feature that is designed to help remind drivers to check their back seat before exiting or leaving their vehicle. The Nissan Rear Door Alert was designed to ensure that nothing is forgotten in the back seat of a vehicle.

Whether you’re packing your new Nissan vehicle up with groceries or driving home from the park with your furry friend, the last thing you want to do is forget to unload the back seat of your vehicle. As temperatures inside your vehicle in the summer and even the fall quickly rise, it can mean a minor inconvenience like melted ice cream, or a potentially dangerous situation for pets. That’s why it’s important for busy drivers to know that Nissan has your back, giving you reminders to check the back seat to ensure that everything – and everyone – is out of the vehicle.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder rear

[Read more: Nissan Models with AWD]

How does the Nissan Rear Door Alert Work?

When the new Nissan Rear Door Alert feature is enabled, a door sensor is able to tell if a rear door was opened when you first entered and started the vehicle. If the driver then walks away with their smart key without reopening a rear door, the Nissan’s horn will honk to remind them to check their back seat.

Nissan’s Rear Door Alert system is the first of its kind to offer an external, audible alert. The feature will be available on the upcoming 2018 Nissan Pathfinder.

Roadside Assistance and Local Numbers You Need To Add Into Your Cell Phone

We want to make sure our customers know who to contact in case they ever have vehicle problems while on the road.  You may want to print this and put it in your vehicle or make sure you have these numbers in your cell phone.

If you have a factory or extended warranty you may contact the following: 

Chrysler Roadside Assistance – 800-521-2779

Nissan Roadside Assistance – 800-225-2476

Chevrolet Roadside Assistance – 1 800 Chev-usa   243-8872

First Extended Roadside Assistance – 800-270-8447

CNA Roadside Assistance – 877-373-9780

AUL Roadside Assistance – 888-810-5150

 

Local numbers to contact:

Don’s Body Shop – 618-532-4574

Wes Monken – Monken Chrysler Nissan Owner – 618-918-8065

3 Features About the New 2017 Jeep Compass

 I asked our salesman, Ryan William, to write 3 features about the New 2017 Jeep Compass.
  The 2017 Jeep “NEW” Compass is a great redesign by FCA.  Besides the new exterior design, the interior is luxurious and high tech!  As always with the Jeep brand, customers get the best off road capability.  Check out the newest CUV in the Jeep lineup, but first lets examine the details a little closer.
     1. The exterior design of the NEW Compass mirrors its big brother, Grand Cherokee.  The front fascia and headlight design are very similar and aggressive.  Several wheel choices throughout the trim levels give the customer options on their favorite look.  Optional panoramic sunroof also gives the NEW Compass a richer feel and appearance.
    2. Interior features have been redesigned to become current with high end SUV’s on the market.  High end trim and technology to meet the needs of current buyers.  Bluetooth and connectivity are right at your fingertips in the NEW Compass.  Touch screen radio and steering wheel mounted controls make it easy to operate.
    3. As always with Jeep you get outstanding off road capability.  The Optional Active Drive 4X4 system makes the NEW Compass capable on or off the road in all weather conditions, and the Select Terrain Management system allows the driver to select the drive condition to maximize the Compass drivability.
2017 Jeep Compass

Should You Buy or Lease a Vehicle?

Do you know all the pros and cons of each option?

There are several factors to consider when deciding to buy or lease a car, as both options have several benefits and downsides. For example, in addition to the monthly lease or loan payment, you need to consider how much you plan to drive, how often you’d like a new car, and if you plan to customize.

Benefits of buying a car

There are several advantages to owning a car, as opposed to leasing. Here are just a few of the most important ones:

  • You own the asset — Assuming that you finance the car, it can take a few years to build up any serious equity (where you owe less than the car’s value), but eventually you’ll have an asset that can be sold or traded in if needed.
  • No payments once your loan is repaid — When you buy a car, you’ll eventually pay off the loan and own the car free and clear, at which point you’ll no longer have a monthly car payment. When you lease, you’ll always have a car payment.
  • No mileage restrictions — If you own your car, you can drive it as much as you’d like without having to worry about paying a penalty. On the other hand, if you lease, you’re generally limited to 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles per year before you’ll start accumulating penalties.
  • No charges for excessive wear — When you lease, you’ll generally be held responsible for anything that could be considered beyond “normal wear and tear.” If you get a dent in a car you own, for example, you can choose to fix it or simply live with the dent and save the money.
  • Customization — A vehicle you own can be modified or customized as you see fit. Leased vehicles need to be returned in their original state, so any modifications will need to be removed, which is often impossible or very expensive.

Benefits of leasing a car

On the other hand, leasing has its advantages as well:

  • A new car every two-to-four years — Simply put, if you enjoy having a new car, leasing could be the way to go.
  • Little or no maintenance worries — For the most part, leased cars are under factory warranties throughout the term of the lease agreement. In my case, this is the primary motivating factor for leasing — I don’t like uncertainty, especially when it comes to potentially costly repairs. Leasing allows me to avoid this worry.
  • Cheaper monthly payments — While it depends on the particular make and model, as well as factors such as your down payment, you can generally lease a car for less money per month than it would cost you to buy it. In full disclosure, I lease my car, and the difference between my lease payments and what the payment would have been on a 60-month car loan was about $150 per month. When you lease, you’re only paying for the vehicle’s expected depreciation and associated charges, not for the residual value of the vehicle.