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How Tires Can Affect Your Fuel Economy

Tires and Fuel Economy

When it comes to performance and fuel economy, many people talk about things such as filters, fuel injector cleaners and regular oil changes as the key. While maintaining your car well will always result in better mileage and longer car life; people tend to overlook the fact that selecting and maintaining the proper tires will help your gas mileage as well, and keep you safe along the way.

Tire rubber is literally the only material connecting your ride to the road. This means that the tires’ performance affects everything from speed, handling, braking, acceleration and fuel economy. Worn out tires, for example, are not only dangerous as they impair handling, but they tend to slip more on the road requiring the engine to work harder to move the car forward.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is crucial. For example, tires with low air pressure cause the car’s weight to be magnified and creates more friction between rubber and road. Again the engine must work harder to move this vehicle whose weight is not being properly supported by correctly inflated tires. It’s always important to check the manufacturer’s manual, or visit a Mazda dealer in Phoenix, for the recommended amount of pressure needed. Some drivers also check for a reminder sticker on the door jamb, but it’s important to remember not to use any numbers printed on the tire. These numbers are the maximum pressure for the tire and not necessarily for the make and model of your vehicle. Seasonal weather can also affect pressure, especially in the summer months, so check the psi on a routine schedule.

Believe it or not, rims also have a part in fuel economy. Again, lightweight rims come into play along with tires because of the energy, and thus the gas, required to get the wheels rolling. Smaller wheels may increase gas mileage in the long run, but remember proper tire inflation is a major ingredient in this formula.

With all this said,  it is a good idea to have your tires rotated every couple thousands of miles and replaced as needed based on wear and tear, ability to hold air pressure, and handling. If you have questions or concerns on the specifications on your car, visit Chapman Mazda.

The thrill of buying your first new vehicle is often overshadowed by the worry of how to pay for it. While a loan from the first-national bank of dad or a co-signer like mom is often needed, Mazda USA has developed a First-Time Owner program that allows you to purchase a vehicle on your own – without the parental purse strings attached.

Available through Chapman Mazda and Mazda Capital Services, the program assists first-time car buyers with limited or no credit who want to purchase a new or Certified Pre-owned Mazda2 or Mazda3 vehicle. The out-the-door purchase price is limited to $20,000, and the buyer must put down 10 percent of the purchase price of the vehicle. Depending on the price of the vehicle, new customers could pay as little as $1,500 down on a new vehicle, explains Chapman Mazda Finance Director Jim Duncan.

“This program is unique in that it’s not an advertised special,” says Duncan. “It doesn’t require you to have any credit. It’s a program I would put my kids in, because they could get financed on their own at the same rate I could qualify for. Mazda doesn’t saddle these first-time buyers with a high-risk rate like other manufacturers do.”

Other program requirements in addition to the down payment include at least 6 months of employment history, and no derogatory marks on your credit history. This means the $1 you owe in overdue library book fines probably won’t knock you out of eligibility, but that one-time-late $30 doctor bill payment definitely will. Bottom line: if it shows up as a black mark on your credit history, you won’t qualify for this program.

However, once qualfied for the First-Time Owner program, customers may also qualify for other Mazda finance offers. This may include bonus cash, APR financing rates and rebates. Customers also cash in on fuel savings when they purchase a Mazda2, which averages 35mpg on the highway and 28mpg in the city, based on EPA estimates.

To view the complete Mazda2 and Mazda3 Chapman inventory online, visit

The Importance of Routine Service Schedules

Mazda Service Schedules

Although maintenance intervals are more widely spaced than they used to be, even the newest cars require scheduled service to live long, productive lives. Whether yours is the latest model or you paid it off years ago, the trick is giving your car the maintenance it was designed to receive. A few minutes assimilating these requirements yourself, or by visiting the Chapman Mazda Service Center will help you avoid some of the most common issues that can arise.

The truth is, the maintenance that is required for your car is hiding away than the glove box. Every car is supplied with a maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or in a separate maintenance log book that details that vehicle’s needs. Even though every car is different, below are some general rules you can follow:

Every 3,000 to 7,000 Miles

The oil and oil filter should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommended auto maintenance schedule with a majority suggesting the oil and oil filter be replaced between 3,000 and 7,000 miles. Furthermore, inspection of the transmission fluid level, coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid and wipers, tires and all exterior lights is also encouraged.

Every 15,000 to 30,000 Miles

Replace the air filter every 15,000 miles. Every 20,000 miles inspect the battery and coolant. Most 25,000-mile maintenance service requires replacing the fuel filter. Every 30,000 miles, replace the air filter and power steering fluid. Inspect the coolant, radiator hoses, HVAC system, brake pads and all suspension components.

Every 35,000 to 50,000 Miles

Inspect and replace the battery every 35,000 miles, as needed. Every 40,000 miles replace the spark plugs and spark plug wires, and inspect the ignition system and suspension. These checks are recommended again at 45,000 miles and 50,000 miles.

Every 60,000 Miles

Replace brake pads and brake fluid, radiator hoses, coolant, power steering fluid and timing belt. Inspect the HVAC, suspension components and tires.

Oil changes and air filters are very important parts of engine maintenance; however, a thorough inspection of all engine, transmission, cooling, brakes and suspension components should also be performed regularly. As an added bonus, Chapman’s Mazda service coupons offer special discounts on such routine maintenance.

If you do not have access to your owner’s manual, or if you have questions about your vehicle’s service schedule, visit Chapman Mazda on Bell Road for more information.

The Affects of Summer Heat on a Car’s Battery

Chapman Mazda

Summer is not the time of the year that you want to be stranded on the side of the road as a motorist because your car battery died. In the Arizona summer, extreme temperatures can destroy a vehicle’s battery. To be more specific, excessive heat and overcharging shortens the life of a battery. According to AutoZone, extreme heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too-high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.

A bad battery can affect performance too. If the battery in your car is bad or near the end of its useful life, the alternator may not supply the required amount of alternating current to keep the vehicle operating properly. If any other components in the charging system are malfunctioning, the entire system will suffer from poor performance or system failure.

Preventive maintenance goes a long way toward prolonging the life of your battery. Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to tell you. Below are some general tips to help keep your battery running to the best of its ability:

  • The battery and charging system should also be periodically tested for proper performance.  This can be done at a Phoenix Mazda dealer.
  • Do a visual inspection to see if the battery case is bulging, cracked or leaking. If it is, it’s time to replace it.
  • The summer heat can speed up internal corrosion. Clean up the battery connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Be sure to brush the corrosion away from you.
  • If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell.
  • Make sure the plates are covered by the fluid inside. This reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.
  • If the water level is low, add distilled water until the plates are covered. Don’t use tap water.
  • Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.

Summer is fast approaching, so take the time to service your battery sooner rather than later. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit Chapman Mazda for more information.

2014 Mazda6

The 2014 Mazda6 recently won Popular Mechanic’s Car of the Year award. What makes the occasion so interesting is that Mazda, a small company in the automotive industry when compared to behemoths like Ford and Honda, was able to engineer, design, and build a wonderful world-class automobile.

When Mazda and Ford ended their longstanding relationship, Mazda set out on its own to wholly design their next round of product offerings. Many in the industry were curious as to what Mazda would do now that it lost many of the resources of a large automotive company; namely the sharing of platforms and technology.

One of those new designs is the 2014 Mazda 6.

Combining excellent styling in a usually drab segment, the Mazda6 looks and feels like a car thousands of dollars more expensive than what it is. Add in Mazda’s unbeatable performance, and you have a car that not only looks expensive, but also is fun to drive.

These attributes are why Popular Mechanics bestowed their Car of the Year award on the Mazda6.

“It won because Mazda engineers set out to make a truly great car and succeeded,” wrote Popular Mechanics’ automotive editors.

Now that it is independent, Mazda was able to design a car and an engine specific to the Mazda6. Packing a 184-horsepower engine and either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, the Mazda6 drives and handles like a sports car.

No other family sedan in its class can create such an engaging experience. Add in the fact that it can come with all of today’s technological goodies like adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and forward-collision warning, and achieve 40 mpg on the highway, the Mazda6 is a truly attractive package.

With a starting price of $21,675, the 2014 Mazda6 is an undeniable value. With many cars losing any sense of excitement when pushed hard, the Mazda6’s beautifully styled interior and exterior, and engaging performance rightly earns the Popular Mechanics Car of the Year award.

For more information, check out the 2014 Mazda6 for sale at your Chapman Mazda dealership.