Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Get More MPG with Your Car

Gas prices continue to rise as we head towards summer, and we are all looking for ways to get better fuel efficiency out of our cars. With gas mileage, small changes can make a big difference that adds up over time. Listed below are 11 ideas to help you stretch your dollar at the gas pump so you can still hit the open road without it hurting too much.

1. Drive a fuel efficient vehicle. A brand new Prius may not be the answer for everyone, but if you are in the market for a new car, fuel economy is getting better and better, and should be an important factor to consider in your next purchase.

2. Avoid rough roads. Driving on roads like dirt and gravel can decrease your miles per gallon by almost 30%. Stick to roads that are paved and smooth, which is not only easier on your shocks but on your wallet as well.

3. Maintain your car. A car that is running properly isn't going to waste gas and will be more efficient all around. Regular maintenance might seem like a pain and an added expense at the time, but over time will save you money.

4. Keep your tires properly inflated. All it takes is a quick stop at the air tank to make sure that your tires are inflated to the right amount, getting you better gas mileage and keeping you safer while driving.

5. Avoid rush hour. The constant stop and go traffic is killer on your gas mileage. If you can, try and travel during non-peak hours to maximize use of your fuel.

6. Consolidate your trips. Picking up the kids from school, running to the grocery store and dropping off the dry cleaning can all be done in one trip, if you plan accordingly. Managing to put several small trips together into one big trip can improve your gas mileage too.

7. Lighten your load. Is your trunk full of stuff that you never use? Make it a point to take out stuff that you don't use to decrease what your car has to haul around on a daily basis.

8. Reduce drag. Take off your ski racks, bike racks, and luggage racks when you aren't using them.

9. Use the cruise control. A consistent speed will do wonders for your gas mileage and it is easiest to achieve when the cruise control is on.

10. Don't idle. It turns out that you get zero miles per gallon when you are idling, so just shut off your car if you need to be sitting instead of driving.

11. Shop around for the cheapest gas. There are lots of places online that you can check for the cheapest gas in your neighborhood, so when you fill up you can get the best jump on saving money.

This guest post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers military financing for a variety of rims and tires including ICW Racing rims and BIGG rims throughout the USA. With our rims financing, we can help you find the perfect rims and tires for your ride!

More Guest Blogs on GRAutoBlog:
3 Easy Tips to Save You Money on Gas
6 Steps to Carefully Buying a Used Car

6 Things to Consider When Selecting Tires
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced 
Top 5 Gifts for Car Enthusiasts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome to the Service Department at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Welcome to the Service Department here at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Grand Rapids, Michigan! We've been in business since 1966 and are proud to serve you with only the best in the business: factory-certified technicians with up to 20,000 hours of training.

Courtesy, West Michigan's Mopar Elite dealership, also has a collision center and a rental department, to cover more of your vehicle needs. We don't just repair Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Rams; our experienced mechanics can work on any make or model.

The Service Department also features a new Express Lane, which provides you with a full-service oil change, tire rotations, and many more routine maintenance services. The Express Lane, also available to a variety of makes and models, is designed with efficiency and affordability in mind: no appointment, no waiting, and no worries! Read the full list of Express Lane services here:  http://www.courtesy.com/express-lane.htm.

Need a part for your vehicle? The specialists in our parts department live and breathe everything Mopar - Chrysler's in-house parts division. Courtesy's parts department features an extensive range of genuine Mopar parts that range from tire covers to Mopar conversion kits! We are also proud to say we are currently the highest volume Chrysler tire dealer in the Great Lakes Business Center - providing you with a vast selection of tires to choose from!

Top Vehicle Maintenance Needs:
Watch as our Express Lane and Oil Change guru, Al Brown, takes you through the top vehicle maintenance needs that every car owner should know: http://youtu.be/ScQ2sO-FPSA

It pays to check in!
When you're here for service, don't forget to take advantage of our current specials on Foursquare.

Courtesy Dealership Express Lane Special:
Get 4 oil changes for $67.95!* That works out to just $16.99 each! For details visit http://www.Courtesy.com or call us at (616) 452 -2143.

Join in on the convo at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/courtesycjd
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/courtesygr

Don't just take our word for it... Read what our customers have to say about us:

440 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
(616) 452-2143 ‎

*Offer requires initial purchase of $67.95 or an amount determined by the dealer. Service contract expires 24 months after the date of the original oil & filter purchase at a participating Chrysler group LLC dealership. (Up to 5 quarts only. Additional charges may be applied for HEMI and fluid disposal). Service Contract Essential Care oil change offer is made by  the dealer, who is solely responsible for it. Plan offered on 1995 to current year vehicles (excluding Crossfire, Viper, Prowler, Diesels, SR10 and all other vehicles that require synthetic or semi-synthetic oils). Offer valid for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles. May also be available for other vehicle makes and models (additional charges may apply). See Service Advisor for details. This offer is good through 9/30/2012 and valid at participating Chrysler Group LLC dealers only.

More on Courtesy CJD from GRAutoBlog.com:
How to: Chrysler UConnect System Video Tutorial
2013 Dodge Dart Series: Part Three - Dart Comes to West Michigan
Courtesy Celebrates 46 Years of Business in West Michigan
Top Vehicle Maintenance Needs Every Car Owner Needs to Know
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced
6 Steps to Carefully Buying a Used Car
Courtesy Announces New ‘Fuel for Fans’ Facebook Contest

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Art Gallery at Betten Imports

The Betten Imports Gallery has been an integral part of our dealership for several years. We strive to showcase and support local artists while providing a cultural experience for our customers. The Art Gallery would not have been possible without the dedication of Chuck Piccard, a Volvo Sales Consultant who has been with Betten Imports for more than 29 years. Here is the story behind the gallery in his own words:

The Gallery at Betten Imports has been entertaining clients and employees since shortly after we first came to our new facility.

Mr. Betten commented to me that the walls in the back of the Mercedes Showroom need something to liven them up. I suggested we should invest in artwork. He wasn't excited about spending huge dollars on original pieces, but thought that I might be on to something. It became my job to figure out how to achieve this goal without breaking the bank. A few days and a brainstorm later VIOLA! The Gallery at Betten Imports was born.

The first two artists were people that I knew from my personal life.

They just happened to be artists of some consequence. I really had no idea how I would follow up with other artists. No problem! They started hunting me down. Service customers had artist friends. Coworkers knew somebody who knew somebody. Within a couple of months, we were booked for the next year.

It has been my policy to use West Michigan artists. We do offer their work for sale, but do not charge them a commission. After all we are in the Car Business and not really the Art Business. This is more of a public service than anything else. Our reward is that we have continually evolving artwork for our and our client's enjoyment.

With each new artist, we have an Open House, serving coffee, cookies and whatnot. This gives the artist a chance for a head start on possible sales as friends and potential customers gather and are prompted by the excitement of the event. Who knows, maybe one day one of them might buy a car. (Actually a number of the artists have.)

It has been a lot of fun for me over the years. I sincerely hope it has been for our employees, customers and area art patrons as well. - Chuck Piccard

For more details, visit BettenImports.com.

If you're an artist in the Greater Grand Rapids area who is interested in having a show at our gallery, please give Chuck a call - (616) 475-9589.

To stay tuned for future gallery shows and dealership events, follow us on Facebook : www.facebook.com/bettenimports

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

6 Things to Consider When Selecting Tires

Once you’ve decided it’s time for tires, you will be faced with the decision of whether or not to buy tires locally or online. You should consider several things before purchasing these tires, however. This can include pricing and safety amongst many other things. Tires are a big expense, so they should be researched before being purchased. The list below gives you some suggestions and guidelines as to what you should be looking for when considering certain tires.

1) Understand Tire basics: Tires are built from the inside out. They have about 20 different components that make them unique. Tread patterns are found on the outside of the tires and ultimately determine gripping action. The dynamics of a tire will, for the most part, be described in the coding on the tire, but there are a few other characteristics to pay close attention to.

  • Vehicle Application- Tires are classified based on the type of vehicle they serve. This can include high performance (sporty), mud and snow (harsh winter conditions), all season, all terrain and off road to name a few. A cars owner manual will suggest which is best for your car.

  • Tire Width – This will be determined by the coding on the side of the car and also what the manufacturer recommends. This code will also tell you the speed rating and radial designation.

  • Tread wear and Traction Ratings- The tread of a tire is what comes in contact with the road.

2) Consider where you drive: If you drive in harsh winter conditions that may mean you need a winter/snow tire. Think about where most of your driving is done and then move to the next step. A good determinant of this is the owner’s manual: The manufacturer of the car you are driving will have a recommended size and type of tire that works best with the car you have.

3) Where will you buy your tires? You will have the choice of buying your tires at a store or online. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both.

4) All-Season Tire: This is the most common type of tire and usually what comes on a car you buy. It is made for all driving conditions and seasons.

5) Think about your current tire: Research the tire you are currently using. Has it been reliable? Look at the tire code on your current car. Know what these numbers mean before you go to buy new cars. They are coded to help identify particular tires.

6) Consider an eco-friendly approach: A tire that is eco-friendly is beneficial to the environment. However, the drive and feel of these tires may be slightly different. 

You don’t want to spend too much on tires just like you don’t want to purchase tires that don’t suit your style or car. Also, if you get tires that are not the correct size, this will ultimately mean replacing them again. Studying up on the tires you will buy will save you time, stress and money. It can be overwhelming and confusing walking into a tire store or logging on to a tire website. Knowing beforehand what you want and need will be beneficial to your time, money and health of your car.

This guest blog was written by Jacky Jones Ford, a leading provider of used cars in North Georgia. With a wide inventory of new cars in Gainesville, GA and used SUVs in North Georgia, you are sure to find an automobile that fits your budget and style!

More Guest Blogs on GRAutoBlog:
How to Get More MPG with Your Car
6 Steps to Carefully Buying a Used Car

The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced 
Top 5 Gifts for Car Enthusiasts

Monday, March 12, 2012

Courtesy's GRNow Facebook Giveaway: Win a $200 Gas Card!

gas card contest

Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram is teaming up with GRNow.com and WZZM13 to give you a chance to win a $200 gas card! Be sure to check out the GRNow and WZZM13 Facebook pages March 14 through 16 to register to win.*

Want more chances to win the gas card? Share the contest with your friends, because the more times your friends enter, the more chances you get to register!

About our Facebook giveaway partners:

Looking for a new or pre-owned Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram? This month at Courtesy, we've got fantastic lease deals, including 'Your Choice Leases' for $199/month on 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4's and 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring Minivans!** Check out our extensive selection of vehicles at http://www.courtesy.com or give us a call at (616) 452-2143.

Chrysler and Jeep specials

You can also find and interact with Courtesy at:

Read what our customers have to say about us!

Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
(616) 452-2143 ‎
440 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

*Visit Facebook.com/grnowupdates for contest details, official rules and restrictions.


Chrysler Group Changes its Certified Pre-owned Program

Chrysler certified pre-owned

Chrysler is adjusting its certified pre-owned program (CPO) to include a wider variety of used vehicles from different automakers. This will benefit used-car buyers, by providing a larger selection of makes and models that will be sold and protected under the Chrysler Group warranty.

When a used vehicle is part of the Chrysler CPO program, it undergoes a detailed inspection process and if the required quality standards are met, the vehicle is protected under the Chrysler Group warranty.

Chrysler's new program, Diversified Certified, will allow vehicles from other automakers to be covered under this warranty, extending the peace of mind that comes with buying a certified used Chrysler to cars from different manufacturers.

The Diversified Certified program is expected to hit local dealerships this May. Vehicles eligible for certification include models that have less than 48,000 miles and are from 2008 or newer.

Call Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, West Michigan's Five-star Chrysler dealership, to learn more about the new CPO program: What it means for you and your next used car purchase.


More on Chrysler from GRAutoBlog:
Courtesy Announces New 'Fuel for Fans' Facebook Contest
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced
Chrysler 200 S at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
Getting to Know the Chrysler 200
Courtesy’s ‘Car of the Month’ January: 2012 Chrysler 2oo
Best of 2011 from GRAutoBlog: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Edition
Chrysler 300C Receives “Excellent” Consumer Reports Rating
Chrysler’s “No Payments for 90 Days” at Courtesy
Chrysler Announces SRT Brand Revival
Chrysler “Drive for the Kids” Program Helps Local Odyssey of the Mind Team
Chrysler’s “Road to Literacy” Program
Chrysler in the Kitchen: Syfy’s “Quantum Kitchen” in Detroit

Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Synch Your Phone - Volvo XC60 - Sensus System Bluetooth Tutorial

Brad, Volvo Sales Manager at Betten Imports, takes you step-by-step through a Bluetooth sync tutorial with the Sensus System in the 2012 Volvo XC60:

This demonstration helps you get the most out of the Sensus System infotainment technology by covering how to connect your smartphone's contacts and music library with the system.  Once you sync your phone, the Sensus System allows you to play your music and make calls directly from your dashboard!

Have more questions or want to request a how-to video? Tweet us at @bettenimports!

Browse our extensive selection of new and pre-owned VolvoVolkswagen and Mercedes-Benz at BettenImports.com or come visit us on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

(616) 301-2100 Betten Imports 5901 28th St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Courtesy's 'Car of the Month' March: 2012 Dodge Charger

2012 Dodge Charger

Speed, style and muscle. If any of these qualities appeal to you, chances are you're a fan of the Dodge Charger. We also probably don't have to tell you that the Dodge Charger isn't your average four-door sedan.

Although the Charger is a modern icon, its design harks back to the glory days of American muscle. With a starting MSRP of $25,495, eight-speed transmission, 292 horsepower, and an average highway mpg of 31, the Dodge Charger is the perfect car for drivers who want performance AND practicality.*

2012 Dodge Charger Eight-Speed Transmission:

  •  31 mpg

  • 11% emissions reduction

  • Smooth gear changes

  • Better transmission efficiency

  • Improved acceleration: 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds

Learn more about the Dodge Charger at West Michigan's premier, five-star Chrysler dealership: Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. Visit us at our convenient location on 28th street or search our inventory on Courtesy.com.

*Disclaimer:  Customer must qualify for all applicable rebates.  All rebates assigned to dealer. See dealer for details.

More from ‘Car of the Month’:
2012 Chrysler 300 – July

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan – June
2012 Jeep Wrangler – May
2012 Chrysler Town & Country – April
2012 Jeep Compass - February
2012 Chrysler 200 - January

2012 Ram 1500 – December
2012 Dodge Journey – November

2012 Jeep Liberty – October

More on Chrysler and Dodge from GRAutoBlog:
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced
Best of 2011 from GRAutoBlog: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Edition
2012 Special Editions: Dodge Charger Super Bee, Yellow Jacket Dodge Challenger
Courtesy’s “Car of the Month” November: 2012 Dodge Journey

2011 Dodge Durango Named “Top Safety Pick” by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Michigan Legend to Auction Original General Lee Charger

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Getting to Know You" with Brian Blackport - Mercedes-Benz Sales at Betten Imports

This is the second installment in our "Getting to Know You" video series. This time around, we learn more about Brian Blackport and his journey from being a Betten Imports service customer to becoming a Mercedes-Benz Sales Consultant.

Interested in the featured E-Class or other Mercedes-Benz models? Contact Brian:
(616) 475 - 9522

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced

Vehicle maintenance

Maintenance and servicing are crucial when you own a car. An automobile will run longer when you take care of it. In order for a vehicle to run properly, it must go through a series of routine maintenance procedures. Taking care of your automobile determines how well it runs and how safe it is. The parts of a vehicle that need monitoring and maintenance regularly include the oil, tire rotations, air filters and tire pressure. Knowing why your vehicle needs maintenance will help you realize the importance of having it serviced regularly.


Having your oil changed is like hydrating your automobile. It is crucial. The owner’s manual will suggest how often an oil change is needed but the typical length falls between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Doing so will prevent the buildup of grime and sludge. Oil in an automobile lubricates the engine and each of its parts. That way the cars likelihood of wear and tear decreases. When a car is properly maintained it can prevent the automobile from overheating. The decrease of friction between the car parts helps prevent the car from overheating. Oil also removes debris that may end up in the actual cab of the car.

Tire Rotation:

Rotations should be done about every 7,000 miles. When you rotate your tires you are actually moving the tires on the car from one position to another. You rotate them to make sure there is even wear on both sides of the tire. You will want this even wear on both sides of the tires so that the car performs consistently. The tread on the tires becomes weary when you neglect to do this.

Tire Pressure:

This is the most important for your safety. When tire pressure is too low or too high it can change how the car turns and how it breaks. This can also lead to a tire blowout. When the tire pressure is way too high in one tire, it doesn’t touch the ground like it should. This changes the way the car rides. When it is too low it is just the opposite, too much of the tire touches the ground. Checking this saves you time and money in maintaining a healthy and safe car. But more than that, it can save your life.

Air Filter:

Look at the air filter during every oil change. If there is visible grunge or dirt on the filter it may be time to replace it. The manual for your car will suggest how often it should be replaced and also whether or not the type of filter you have is prone to pick up dirt and debris. The air filters purpose is to filter the passing air through the engine into the vehicle, while keeping it clean. It keeps the inside of your car clean rather than allowing dust and dirt through.

Car maintenance should become a routine. It needs to be done on a regular basis. As a reminder, auto and maintenance shops will often place a sticker on your windshield to remind you when you should come back. To keep an automobile running properly, car maintenance is key. Car accidents and automobile issues can be a large and unplanned financial drain. Thinking and planning ahead will save you from this trouble and stress in the future. You can also expect your automobile to perform better.

This guest post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers military financing for a variety of performance rims and tires including Strada Rims throughout the USA. Our rims financing allows you to ride now and pay later!

More Guest Blogs on GRAutoBlog:
How to Get More MPG with Your Car
6 Steps to Carefully Buying a Used Car

6 Things to Consider When Selecting Tires
Top 5 Gifts for Car Enthusiasts

Chrysler 200 S at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Get a closer look at the Chrysler 200 and its 'S' trim level here at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, West Michigan's premier Five-Star Chrysler dealership:

Chrysler 200 S:

  • 2011 IIHS Safety Pick

  • Advanced Uconnect Media Center

  • Bluetooth Streaming Audio

  • Leather seating

  • LED-accented headlamps

  • Best-in-class Pentastar V6

  • Electronic Stability Control System

For the full story on the Chrysler 200, from its performance, to its safety features: "Getting to Know the Chrysler 200."

Chrysler 200 S

More on Chrysler from GRAutoBlog:
Getting to Know the Chrysler 200
Courtesy's 'Car of the Month' January: 2012 Chrysler 2oo
Best of 2011 from GRAutoBlog: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Edition
Chrysler 300C Receives “Excellent” Consumer Reports Rating
Chrysler’s “No Payments for 90 Days” at Courtesy
Chrysler Announces SRT Brand Revival
Chrysler “Drive for the Kids” Program Helps Local Odyssey of the Mind Team
Chrysler’s “Road to Literacy” Program
Chrysler in the Kitchen: Syfy’s “Quantum Kitchen” in Detroit

Getting to Know the Chrysler 200

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Founded in 1925 by Walter P. Chrysler, the Chrysler Corporation, now known as the Chrysler Group, has grown into one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world. Over the years, they have gone from strength to strength, manufacturing cars that are known for their reliability and superiority. One of their latest releases includes the all-new 2012 Chrysler 200.

Performance and Specifications

Two engine options grace the 2012 Chrysler 200. They include a 283-horsepower V6 and a somewhat more modest 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder option that offers 173-horsepower under its hood. While both offer a somewhat comfortable ride, many test drivers prefer the V6 option, stating that it offers far better performance than its 2.4-liter counterpart. According to many test drivers, the V6 does have the downside of inducing torque steer at higher speeds. Tests have also revealed that the Chrysler 200 offers far better handling than that of its predecessor, the Sebring.

Fuel Economy

With the ever rising cost of fuel these days, fuel economy is one of the most important deciding factors when purchasing a vehicle, be it new or used. The four-cylinder, four-speed automatic Chrysler 200 offers around 21 mpg for city driving and approximately 30 mpg on the highway. Opting for the six-speed automatic in this range will see that you get around 20 mpg for city driving and up to 31 mpg for highway cruising. The more powerful V6 model, available in both sedan and convertible styles, results in approximately 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the open road. Opting for the V6 model in the convertible range will yield slightly better results at 19 mpg on city roads and around 29 mpg on the highway.

Safety Features

The 2012 Chrysler 200 received a four-star safety rating for front crash tests, as well as rollover tests. Three stars were awarded for side crash tests. These results however, do not apply to the convertible models, as they have not yet been tested. Side, front and curtain airbags are standard on all models, along with active headrests and ABS braking systems. Rear-view cameras and blind-spot detection options have not yet been added to the Chrysler 200’s list of safety features. Due to the vehicle’s thick rear pillars, some drivers have reported blind spot issues at the rear of the vehicle. Traction control is a standard offering on all of the Chrysler 200 models.

Overall, the 2012 Chrysler 200 may not be the best value when compared to other popular vehicles in the midsize car class. Many test drivers have stated that its weaknesses seem to outweigh its strengths, and that it wouldn’t be their first choice when purchasing a new midsize vehicle. In particular, drivers who are looking for a vehicle with an excellent mpg rating may have better options, as the Chrysler 200 is not likely to win any awards for fuel economy. Still, the Chrysler 200’s sleek, sophisticated design may appeal to drivers seeking a winning combination of sex appeal and reliability.

Author: Shona Botes is a freelance writer who covers the auto industry as it relates to new releases, performance and even auto insurance topics.


More on the Chrysler 200 from GRAutoBlog:
Chrysler 200 S at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
Courtesy's 'Car of the Month' January: 2012 Chrysler 200