5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Car

Buying a car is a significant decision. Not one that should ever be taken lightly or rushed into.  Especially considering the cost of new and used vehicles hitting record levels, it’s worth taking the time to ask yourself a few questions to make sure that you’re prepared to make such a large investment.
We know that buying a car is not something you do every day, and we want to help ensure that our customers feel comfortable and confident in their new investment.
So we read through countless articles written by impartial third parties on this very topic and compiled a list of the Top Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a Car.

1. Should I buy new or used? (via The Motley Fool)

This may be one of the most important questions to ask before you buy a vehicle, because deciding to buy used could help keep thousands of dollars in your bank account.
Considering that there’s a $15,000 difference between the average price of a new and used car, there’s little room for debate over what’s the better bargain. Not only are you spending more money on a new car, but the vehicle also loses 10% of its value the second it leaves the dealership, and an additional 10% after the first year, according to Carfax. Also consider that buying used means you might be able to get some features in the vehicle (like leather seating, a touchscreen display, etc.) that would stretch your budget if you were buying a new car.
Sure, there are some benefits to buying your vehicle new. It’ll likely have fewer miles and you get the full warranty (not to mention that new-car smell). For people who have very long commutes or drive a lot for their work, it might make sense to get a new vehicle. But remember that you can still get the manufacturer’s warranty on some cars, even if you aren’t the original owner.
Additionally, vehicles last longer than ever (the average age of a car currently on the road is about 11 years), so grabbing one for several thousand dollars less with just a few thousand miles is more than worth it. Sure, you’ll lose out on the new-car smell, but that fades after a few months anyway.
2. How are you going to use it? (via Auto Trader)

If you have a family of five, you’ll want the vehicles you’re looking at to have at least six seats (you’ll appreciate the extra room), or ideally seating for seven or eight. If you need to tow a travel trailer on the weekend, make sure you’re looking at something with a tow rating and payload that can handle your people, your gear, and your trailer.

Ask what changes your life or family are likely to see during your ownership. We won’t tell you to avoid the two-seat sports car because you might meet someone next year and have a new child in three years, but there are definitely some changes to keep in mind. Like if your pre-teen just barely fits in the third-row seat of that SUV today, that growth spurt in a year or two isn’t going to help them fit better.

3. Consider The Operating Costs (via The Simple Dollar)
Many people fall in love with big SUVs and sportscars that seem to be within their budget, but when they discover that they need to fill it up with gasoline every other day, their budget implodes. If you already budget a certain amount for gasoline each month, buying a car that gets worse gas mileage will increase that allotment. On the other hand, buying an economical car will likely increase that allotment.

4. What Do You LIKE About Your Current Car? (via Auto Cheat Sheet)

This is a great question to ask yourself. You’ve been driving your current car for a while now. What are the things you really like about it? What made you buy the car in the first place? The way it handles, the safety features, the gas mileage, the way you look in it, etc…? Write them down and keep them for when shopping for your new car.

5. What Do You DISLIKE About Your Current Vehicle? (via Auto Cheat Sheet)

Buying a new car gives you a chance to get away from the things you dislike about your current car. Think about the things you dislike about it. Too big, too small, lack of power, no sunroof, maintenance repair costs, blind spots, hard to park, the way you look in it, etc? Write these down also so you can remember what you don’t want when buying a new car.


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

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

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.

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.


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 late 2013, Lance Marcum son-in-law to Kim, joins the team. Monken Buick GMC purchases Schmidt Chevrolet in May of 2014 and relocates Buick GMC to the their building across from Walmart to become Monken Chevrolet Buick GMC.

In June of 2018, Monken’s purchased Tyler Toyota Buick GMC in Mt. Vernon. It is now Monken Toyota Buick GMC.  The dealership has been adding employees and expecting a high level of customer service.  The sales associates are non-commissioned and further solidify our move to transparent market based pricing.  Our inventory is growing daily in the Toyota and GM showrooms. Monken Automotive now has 9 brands in 3 locations with Buick GMC in both the Centralia and Mt. Vernon stores.

What is Monken Blog?

The Monken blog has been reconstructed and we are ready to go.

Our bloggers  for Monken Automotive will be Wes Monken, Kim McMillan, Lance Marcum and Ryan Williams.

We will be posting once a week, on topics related the automotive industry,  vehicle ownership tips, vehicle reviews, Monken employees and our local community.

Feel free to comment on any of our blogs, or e-mail any of us with your thoughts.

Hall Brother’s Racing Team presents Raminator-May 30th

Hall Brother’s racing teams is proud to present The Raminator. The team will be coming to Monken Chrysler Nissan, 1739 W. McCord St. Centralia, Illinois on May 30th, 2015. Come bring your family and friends out for an exciting day. Pictures will be taken from 10:00am-12:00pm and the CAR CRUSHING starts at 1:00pm. There will also be a bounce house for the children curiosity of Kim’s Party Jumps. For more information please call 545-5100 or visit monken1.com.