Thursday, July 26, 2012

Betten Imports Introduces New Volkswagen Service Xpress

 Betten Imports VW Xpress Service

Here at Betten Imports we’re happy to introduce the new Volkswagen Service Xpress: routine maintenance and oil changes that are fast, convenient and work within your schedule, not the other way around. We understand that in your fast-paced world it can be frustrating to carve out time for appointments, so we eliminated the need for them. That’s right, Service Xpress boasts those three great words everyone loves to hear: ‘no appointment necessary.’

Your Volkswagen’s fast, so why shouldn’t your VW’s service be the same? With the Service Xpress, we’ll get you in and out in under 30 minutes, like your neighborhood quick lube, but with one crucial thing they can’t offer: VW-Certified Technicians using only genuine Volkswagen OEM Parts. The Service Xpress was designed to cover your 10,000 and 30,000 routine maintenance vehicle check-ups covered under your 1-3 year VW Carefree Maintenance. This special service also covers oil changes and tire rotations and is currently open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We want only the best for you and your Volkswagen, so we’ve added Service Xpress with a dedicated, customer service savvy technician you can see for yourself in the video below:

Volkswagen Service Xpress:

  • No appointment necessary

  • Under 30 minutes

  • VW-Certified technicians

  • Genuine VW OEM parts

  • Competitive pricing

  • Carefree Maintenance check ups

  • Oil changes

  • Tire Rotations

Don’t forget to check in!
We’ve got monthly specials on Foursquare, so sign in and start saving!

As if you needed more reasons to love driving a VW, learn more about Carefree Maintenance: 5 Reasons to Love Carefree Maintenance

More from
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced
VW Beetle Fender Edition, TDI Versions Coming This Fall
How to Get More MPG with Your Car
The Art Gallery at Betten Imports
Volkswagen in America: The Story Behind the Chattanooga Plant

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Choosing the Right Navigation System for You

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, you probably are hoping to get the most modern features and customizations available, provided that the price is still right. There are a number of technological advances that have become indispensable once we got a taste of them.

GPS mapping technology is one such advancement, and many Americans can scarcely remember a time when obtaining driving directions involved bulky road atlases and frequent stops to ask for help.

But what is the best option for consumers who are searching for a new vehicle and also want to get the most out of GPS technology? There are many options out there, and a wide range of pricing points, and each comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

The first option for a new-car-buyer to consider is the factory-installed navigation systems. Factory systems have been given some bad publicity in recent years for being too costly, but manufacturers have been slashing prices recently on these optional upgrades, and there are some significant advantages that the factory models have that you cannot get in a handheld device, and for many consumers these benefits will make the modest extra costs well worth it.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of the factory navigation systems:

  • Aesthetics – If a sharp-looking, uncluttered interior is important to you, a factory system will probably be the way to go. The factory systems are fully integrated into the design of the vehicle, and generally include larger screens and a sleeker look than portable options. They also have the capability of working with other vehicle features such as voice-activation and steering wheel controls.

  • Warranty – Factory-installed navigation systems are almost always covered by bumper-to-bumper warranties. So if something goes wrong with the system, you simply take it to the dealer and have them service it for you.

  • Security – Portable navigation systems have become a popular target for thieves who see them as enticing grab-and-dash option. On the contrary, criminals are going to be less inclined to mess around with a system that has been integrated into the dash.

The downsides to factory systems are mostly related to the costs, both of the feature itself and for the mapping updates that customers may choose to add over time. However, especially when considering that factory systems have been shown to help with a vehicle’s resale value, the factory-systems may still come out on top when a comprehensive cost-benefit calculation has been made.

If the factory system is not for you, you have three other options:

  • Portable devices – These popular devices, such as the Garmin or TomTom, are very popular due to their portability – you can move them from car to car, or use them when walking/biking – but they are a magnet for thieves and there is little recourse when one is damaged or broken.

  • Aftermarket Systems – There are a number of aftermarket alternatives available for consumers who want integrated navigation but choose not to go with the factory system. The advantages of the aftermarket systems are that there is a wider variety of customization options and sometimes there are more features available. On the downside, these systems are a frequent target of crooks as well, since they are much easier to remove than factory models.

  • Smartphone technology – Most smartphones have GPS/navigation apps available at a very low cost, and some consumers prefer to use them for their in-vehicle navigation needs. This is a dangerous option, however; using your smart phone while driving is not only a safety hazard, it has become illegal in many states. Furthermore, with many smartphone plans, maps and directions will not be available in certain areas -- and those areas are likely to be the ones where you need directions the most!

I recommend researching the specific options for the vehicle you are considering purchasing and talk over the factory systems with your dealer. Like many consumers you may find that in the long run it is advantageous to go with the factory system.

About the Author: Jack Payton is a car nut in the purest form. He loves to write about everything gear related, and rebuilt his first engine at 15. He works as the online publisher for the online tire retailer In his spare time he enjoys cruising, attending car shows, and watching NASCAR.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Exploring Affordable and Reliable Options for Classic Customization Parts

Classic Mercedes-Benz models are some of the most popular cars to customize and restore.  However, one of the biggest challenges to owning any classic ride is finding affordable parts.  Whether you are looking for a performance enhancing intake, exhaust or fuel system, body parts, brakes, or are just simply fixing a burned out light, the task often becomes an exercise in budgeting and patience.  The old fashioned method of taking the part off, going to the local parts store to look up what they think it should be, and comparing what they currently have in stock to what you have in your hand can be time consuming and frustrating.

The age of online shopping for parts has helped simplify this often daunting task.  With a little bit of research, you can often find the exact part you need just a quick click away.  To ensure you get the right part for the best price, it is always advisable to check the policy of the online company you are using before ordering.   Look for price match guarantees, e-mail discount offers, and, most importantly, be sure you understand the shipping policy.  The cost of shipping a heavy item often becomes the deciding factor in your source selection.

Whether you have a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL or any other current or classic model, one online supplier that is becoming a popular source for even difficult to find parts is MBZ Parts.  Signing up for e-mail offers and their price match guarantee helps manage your budget for maintaining your beauty.  You can find similar online resources for just about every auto make and model.

Summer is a great time to restore or customize your ride. Don’t let finding affordable parts hold you back from showing off a hot, smooth running, shiny set of wheels.

About the Author: Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications.  Smith covers the latest topics in the automotive, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

Top Vehicle Maintenance Needs Every Car Owner Needs to Know

Al Brown, our resident Express Lane guru here at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, takes you through the 'Top Vehicle Maintenance Needs' that every car owner should know:

Top Maintenance Needs:

  • Tire Rotation

  • Oil Change

  • Brake Inspection

  • Suspension & Alignment

  • Air Conditioner Check

  • Coolant

Introducing New Express Lane Service: 
No appointments and no waiting, all types of vehicles welcome: Check out our Express Lane Oil Change, where you can receive a full-service oil change, tire rotations, and many more routine maintenance services. From our parts department to fulfill all your Mopar needs and beyond, to a body shop open to all models: Learn more about what our Service Department has to offer.

Oil Change Special:
For a limited time, purchase 4 oil changes for $67.95, which comes to just $16.99 each!* :

Check in for dealership specials:
When you're here for service, don't forget to take advantage of our current specials on Foursquare.

Read what our customers have to say about us:
Google Places:
Customer Testimonials on Youtube:

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Join on the convo:

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
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
Welcome to the Service Department at Courtesy CJD
The Importance of Having Your Car Serviced
6 Steps to Carefully Buying a Used Car
Courtesy Announces New ‘Fuel for Fans’ Facebook Contest

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Deal with a Nail in Your Tire

It's bound to happen. It's most likely not a question of if, but when. Sooner or later, you'll run over a nail and be faced with the question on the spot of how to deal with it. Here's a quick series of questions you'll want to answer in the moment, and being familiar with them now may just be the thing that gets you out of a potentially sticky situation.

First, can you drive on it? After you notice the nail, check to see if the tire pressure is low or relatively unaffected by the puncture. If so, then it's safe to drive without using your spare, at least initially. But you will still want to address the damage yourself or get it to a shop as soon as possible. If you notice the tire is losing air pressure quickly, you'll want to change the tire immediately, replacing the punctured tire with your spare and getting your vehicle to a professional right away.

Second, does it need to be replaced? If you had to use the spare, it may be more likely that the nail damage is not repairable and thus requires you to replace the tire. Inspect the puncture hole closely and check to see if any ancillary damage exists.  Unless the tire was allowed to deflate considerably before addressing the nail, the chances are a repair is possible and replacement tire not necessary.

Finally, can you repair it? If the nail can be removed and the hole patched, you have to decide whether you are comfortable executing the repair yourself or it you prefer to have a specialist do it for you. It can be a very inexpensive and relatively simple repair to do on your own, but each situation is different and individual comfort levels with the steps involved will vary. Either way, the nail is not going away once it lodges itself in your tire. Minimize the time you drive on a damaged tire (or spare, if not a full-sized tire), and be sure to repair or replace the tire as quickly as possible.

Somewhere along your driving journey, picking up a nail is bound to happen, no matter how careful you are about where you drive. Of course, avoiding potentially dangerous locations like construction sites or unpaved roads decrease your chances of picking up a nail in your tire, but don't entirely take it out of the realm of possibilities. Knowing what to do when this unfortunate event happens to you and your car is key keeping your frustration levels low and keeping you safe.

About the Author: This guest post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers rims financing for a variety of performance rims and tires in Jacksonville, FL. We offer fast and convenient credit on a large inventory of tires and wheels with our military financing options.

2013 Dodge Dart Series: Part Three - Dart Comes to West Michigan

2013 Dodge Dart

The new car with the old name, the Dart is set to shake things up in the ever-popular compact segment. GRAutoBlog's editor Abby Hartig, Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram's Owner, Laura Betten Lamer, and Assistant Manager Curt Campeau attended the Chrysler Dealer DriveAway Event held at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where we had the honor to drive Courtesy's first Dodge Dart back to West Michigan.

We were front row at the event, during which the President of Dodge, Reid Bigland, spoke about the company's excitement for the Dodge Dart and Chrysler's recent successes. On the ride back to West Michigan, the word we all kept using to describe riding in the Dart was "smooth." From the handling of the clutch to the comfort of being a passenger, the nearly three hour ride back to Grand Rapids and Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, the Dart was a comfortable and fun ride.
2013 Dodge Dart

Watch Assistant Manager Curt Campeau's first reaction to the Dart as he drives back from the Drive Away Event: We want to hear your first reaction so tweet us @courtesygr or leave a comment on our Facebook!

Want to test it out for yourself? We now have five Darts in-stock, so give us a call to set up your test drive at (616) 452 - 2143 or stop by and visit us on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

2013 Dodge Dart Technology:  The Dart can boast an industry-first innovation: in-car wireless charging for smartphones and mp3 players.

For a complete look at what the Dodge Dart has to offer:

This is Part Three in our Dodge Dart Series, a three-part blog exploring the various aspects of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart.

2013 Dodge Dart Series:
Part One - Interior
Part Two - Trim Levels 

More on Chrysler and Dodge from GRAutoBlog:
Courtesy’s ‘Car of the Month’ March: 2012 Dodge Charger
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

Friday, July 6, 2012

Updating the Mercedes-Benz Navigation System with New GPS Maps – Your Easy Guide

Mercedes-Benz are one of North America’s best selling cars, with particular high volume sales attributed to the C-Class and S-Class ranges.  As with most automobile manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz have given the customer the option to pay extra to get the Mercedes-Benz Navigation System installed into the dashboard when buying from the dealer, which means the driver won’t have to pay for a standalone portable navigation device from the likes of Garmin or TomTom (in fact, many of the in-dash units are actually developed by these companies anyway).

Mercedes-Benz GPS Maps Need Updating Regularly

As with all forms of in-car GPS devices, the Mercedes-Benz Navigation System is only as good and as reliable as the maps that are installed onto it.  Contrary to the popular opinion held by many drivers, maps are not beamed down from the satellite network, purely for your car’s position, with the mapping software installed directly onto the device.  Every single day of the year there are changes being made to the road networks such as new lanes, highways, intersections, and such like – and because of that, the GPS maps in a Mercedes-Benz car will never truly be up to date and current.

Thankfully, new Mercedes-Benz Navigation System updates are released annually by a company called Navteq.  These are the people who supply digital mapping solutions to the majority of GPS manufacturers and for Mercedes-Benz vehicles the new software comes packaged on a yearly Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD.  If you decide it’s time to update the maps in your car, this is how you do it with a few tips to make sure it all goes smoothly.

How to Install the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD

Assuming that you have already purchased the Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD set for 2012 then installing the new maps is relatively straight forward, and should take you no longer than 30 minutes.  Here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Get into your Mercedes-Benz and turn the ignition on.  This should boot up the Mercedes-Benz Navigation System automatically, but if it does not then you will need to switch it into navigation mode.

  2. If the old Navteq DVD is already in the disc drive then press to eject it.  Regardless you will need to insert the new Mercedes-Benz disc.

  3. Once the new Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD is in the system, the display should prompt you with the command “Update Maps.”  Click “Yes” to confirm.

  4. You will now need to enter in your unique customer identification and authentication code.  This is printed on the packaging for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD so make sure you don’t lose it.

  5. Once your serial number has been entered, the navigation system will start to install the latest software update.  Typically this could take between fifteen and twenty minutes as there’s a lot of data that it needs to load.

  6. When the new Mercedes-Benz maps are all loaded to your system it should read “Update Complete.”  You now have the latest maps on the device and are ready to drive again.

Important Note: One important aspect to consider is that you should never turn the Mercedes-Benz Navigation System off during this install and upgrade process.  If you do so, then the install could become corrupted meaning you need to start again from scratch, or in a worst-case-scenario will need to seek assistance from an official Mercedes-Benz engineer to fix any problems or issues.

More Information on Mercedes-Benz Navigation System Updates

If you have found this “how to” article interesting and want to know more then please visit the team at  They offer comprehensive and independent advice on all things related to GPS map updates and have a specialist section dedicated simply to Mercedes-Benz map updates.  For full details please click to visit on: Mercedes-Benz Navigation DVD Updates.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Courtesy's 'Car of the Month' July: 2012 Chrysler 300

What goes 0-60 in just six seconds, has a 31 highway mpg and a five-star safety rating? That would be the 2012 Chrysler 300, giving new meaning to the old saying ‘affordable luxury.’

Motor City luxury is seen in full force with the 300’s signature grille, LED-accented headlamps, and available dual-pane sunroof. Being the most technologically advanced car in its class, the 300 incorporates intuitive technology with the Chrysler UConnect infotainment system and offers the peerless Beats by Dre audio system in the S model.

While dramatic design touches lend a level of refinement to the sedan, the 300's cabin has also been designed with your comfort in mind, including its laminated acoustic windshield and fiber acoustic wheel liners built to mute out distracting road noise.

With a winning combination of 31 highway mpg, and the choice of award-winning Pentastar V6 and HEMI V8 engines, the 300 is a great example of a car that refuses to sacrifice power for fuel efficiency. The 300 has also received numerous awards touting everything from its interior to its five-star safety rating, and is named one of the Best Family Cars by Kelley Blue Book. View the full list of awards on 

To discover for yourself Chrysler’s leading luxury vehicle, visit or give us a call at (616) 452-2143 to learn what options are available for you.

2012 Chrysler 300:

  • 19 city, 31 hwy mpg

  • Pentastar V6, Hemi V8 engines

  • 292 horsepower

  • Five-Star Safety Rating

  • UConnect Tough System

  • ParkSense Rear Park Assist

  • Blind Spot Monitoring

  • Beats by Dre Audio System - S model

Download the Chrysler 300 mobile app.

More from ‘Car of the Month’:
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan - June
2012 Jeep Wrangler – May
2012 Chrysler Town & Country – April
2012 Dodge Charger – March
2012 Jeep Compass – February
2012 Chrysler 200 – January

2012 Ram 1500 – December
2012 Dodge Journey – November

2012 Jeep Liberty – October