Ooooo That Smell! Can’t You Smell That Smell?!


You’re sitting in your car smelling a smelly smell that smells a little smelly…fishy even(Bless literally anyone who got that reference. You the real MVPs) but have no idea where it’s coming from. You have bleached and vacuum your car, but still, the stank persists. If this sounds familiar to you, you might need to clean out your vents. HOW, you might ask? Well, just follow the steps below and your car will return to its pine fresh splendor!

Step 1 – Cleaning the Vent

First things first, get a cotton swab that’s been soaked in scent-free interior car cleaner and wipe down the vent. Make sure you get into all of the corners and crevices where the dirt and stank could be hiding.

Don’t forget to clean your automobile’s lower air vents, too, that are used to warm or cool your legs. They are decidedly the stealthier vent that you may have forgotten existed, but will definitely need to be cleaned too.

Step 2 – Getting Rid of the Smell

Though cleaning the outside of the vents will ease any bad car smells, you may need to go farther into the vents to fully eradicate musty and stale scents.

  • Change the Cabin Air Filter

    • The air filter is collecting all of the nastiness in the air so that you aren’t breathing it in. Downside: when all that gunk gets trapped in the filter all the bacteria and dirt can start to smell. That smell is then blown through your air vents. You should change the filter regularly to keep your car smelling fresh. Its location and the type of filter you will need depends on the make and model of your vehicle. You can find this information in your car’s service manual.

  • Clean the Cabin Air Filter

    • Plan B is not quite as effective but definitely will help in a pinch. You can spray the filter with disinfectant. This will kill the germs within the filter, improving the smell. However, it might make your vehicle smell like disinfectant for a while, so pick one that doesn’t smell like regret.

Step 3 – Clean the Drain

Finally, and something you might not think about, you should clean your air conditioner’s drain. I didn’t even know my air conditioner had one! In most cars, the drain can be found in the corners next to the fenders and will consist of rubber tubing that’s usually black. To clean the drain, squeeze the tubing to ease out anything that’s accumulated inside. After doing this, straighten a wire hanger, and run it up the tube to remove the last of the debris.


Once you’ve accomplished all of these steps, your nose will notice a vastly improved environment. If your vehicle still smells, you could always just get a brand spanking new one at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. There’s nothing quite like new car smell!

Dead Car Battery Blues


A dead car battery is one of the most inconvenient things that can happen on a cold winter morning. You left the trunk door slightly ajar and now your car won’t start. Stellar. If you’ve never had this happen to you, consider yourself lucky, but maybe also take a minute and read these helpful tips on how to jump your car battery when it’s gone dead. You’ve been lucky so far, but let’s not test fate.

Preparation to jump your car:

  1. Park your vehicles face off style with the working car and your said dead car about 18 inches apart, but never touching each other. For automatic transmission cars, put the vehicle in park; for a manual transmission, set the vehicle to neutral.

  2. Set the parking brakes on both, so neither car moves unexpectedly.

  3. Both cars should be turned off, with keys removed.

  4. Open the hood to both cars, and locate the batteries (refer to the owner’s manual for battery location) and battery terminals. Usually, the two terminals on each battery will be covered in red or black, with a + or – sign on top. Look at the batteries and make sure that you can identify which is positive, and which is negative. This distinction is crucial to the success of your jump. If the battery terminals are dirty, wipe them off with a rag or wire brush.

Attaching the jumper cables:

  1. Attach the red, positive cable clamp to the positive (+) battery terminal of the dead battery. You want a solid connection to the battery terminal, which may require some initial wiggling of the clamps

  2. Attach the red, positive cable clamp on the other side of the jumper cables to the functioning vehicle’s positive (+) battery terminal

  3. Connect the black, negative cable clamp to the working battery’s negative (-) battery terminal. Walk over to the car with the dead battery. Do not connect the black, negative cable clamp to the dead battery. Instead, attach that clamp to an unpainted, metal part of the car such as a shiny, clean nut on the engine block. This will help ensure a safe jump.

How Long to Charge a Dead Car Battery:

  1. Start the working vehicle

  2. Wait a minute or so.  Depending on the age of the battery and how long since it died, you may need to let the car run for a minute or two to get the jump to work.

  3. Try starting the dead car. If the car doesn’t start, allow the working vehicle to charge the battery for an additional minute or two before attempting again.  In some instances, slightly revving the engine of the working car while charging the dead battery may help.

  4. Once the dead car is running, you may disconnect the jumper cables, starting with the black, negative cable clamps. Do not let the clamps touch each other while any part of the cables is still attached to a car.

  5. Now, take a short drive. This will allow the battery to build up a charge. This driving allows the vehicle’s alternator to charge the battery and ensures that your vehicle does not die again once you turn it off.


Hopefully, you won’t have to use these tips, but if you do, we hope that they were helpful to you. If you are concerned that your battery is dying and needs replacing, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll test your battery and replace it if need be. We’ve got you covered.

Getting Yourself Hooked Up For The Holiday Season


This is the season for trailers. With the holidays coming up perhaps you’ll need a trailer to pick up that giant tree to fill your house with the holiday spirit? Maybe you and the fam are going to head out for an awesome snowmobile adventure when the first real snow (The light dusting last week DID NOT COUNT) of the season blankets the ground with frozen magic. Whatever reason for needing to tow, it’s going to be helpful to know how to hook up the trailer, U-Haul, or whatever to your vehicle. If you’re a first-time tow-er check out these helpful tips to set you up with the best towing experience OF YOUR YOUNG (or aged) LIFE!

Fortunately, the steps involved in hitching a trailer for basic jobs are pretty much the same. Having a vehicle that is able to tow will be a pretty crucial step here. Some solid towing vehicles include the Ram 1500, Jeep Compass, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. After checking your vehicle’s towing capacity and hitch weight rating for compatibility, you will then:

  1. Back up the tow vehicle so the hitch ball lines up with the coupler on the trailer.

  2. Lower the coupler until it completely covers the hitch ball.

  3. Close the latch and insert the retaining pin.

  4. Cross the trailer’s right safety chain under the tongue and connect to the left side of the tow vehicle’s hitch (making sure there is enough, but not too much, slack for turning around corners), and repeat the process with the opposite chain.

  5. Plug in the lighting—which leads us to…

If you’ll notice, with the trailer attached, your directional, tail, and brake lights are blocked. So maybe you’re thinking, “ I guess the other drivers are going to be playing a high stakes game of turn signal and brake roulette.” Nope, nope, nope. That is SUUUPER unsafe. The law actually requires you to have the built-in lights (tail, brake and turn signals) on a trailer working in tandem with those on the tow vehicle. This will allow you to avoid trouble with law enforcement and make things a bit easier for your fellow drivers.

Some newer vehicles come with a plug-and-play connector to accept the wiring harness from the trailer, while others may need a more custom approach. Either way, make sure you’re all hooked up.

Driving any large vehicle requires extra caution and care. So when you drive with a trailer that adds both length and weight to your vehicle, you definitely need to be careful! Here are a few tips for managing a larger load:

  • Do everything more slowly than normal, such as making turns or changing lanes, and ensure there’s enough room to maneuver.

  • Coming to a stop will take more time, so allow for that at lights and stop signs.

  • Hills can be tricky—climbing steep inclines may be more difficult, so if that’s the case, pull to the right and flash your hazards to alert other drivers. Shifting down a gear and using the engine to help brake can make descents easier.


If you need to tow this season, but don’t have a vehicle that can handle towing, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll be happy to help you find the right fit for your needs!

Discounts and Holiday Distractions


I don’t know about your family, but holidays with my family look a lot more like a trial than a fun family function. How’s your job? Do you have a boyfriend yet? Where are you living? Have you been eating right, you look like you’ve gained weight. Thanks, fam. I can always count on you to make me feel good about myself. Well, not this year. Thanks to Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park I’ve got a foolproof plan to distract my family from my painfully average life.

It’s going to be really hard for Gram to come at me about the state of my apartment when I tell her that she can lease a 2018 Jeep Compass Latitude 4×4 for $155 a month. She might not even care that I haven’t done laundry for about a month if we’re busy talking about the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 which can be leased for $219 per month. Dad might even stop asking me why I don’t visit every week if I strategically distract him by telling him about the 2017 Ram 1500 that can be leased for $239 a month.

So come down to Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park, at 1780 State Route 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065, if you are also looking for a way to distract your family from the mediocrity that is your life. This year, the savings from Zappone are definitely something I’m thankful for!


*All specials expire on 11/30/17 see specials page for full details.

Time to Retire Your Tires?


Is it time to retire your tires? Or perhaps they’re just a little down and you need to pump them up a bit? Either way, making sure your tires are at their peak will be an important part of staying safe while driving this winter. Lest we forget the blizzard of last winter, I’m gonna go ahead and err on the side of caution here and get myself some snow tires. That choice, however, is up to you. Regardless of whether you decide to stick with your all-weather tires or your existing tires, at the very least follow these helpful tips to keep your tires road safe.


Phase 1: Keep those bad boys inflated.  


Under-inflated tires might cause an accident that could kill you. Need another reason for inflating your tires?


Under-inflated tires increase tire wear, which could burn through a set of $400 tires a year early. Need another reason?


Under-inflated tires waste gas. How much gas? SO MUCH GAS. I don’t know about you, but I  don’t have gas wasting money, friend.


Inflating your tires to the specified pressure is important. So make it a habit to check and refill your tires at least once a month, more often if there are large fluctuations in temperature. And remember, you can’t always tell if a tire is under-inflated just by looking at it.


Phase 2: Tread Carefully.


By this I mean keep an eye on that tire tread. Just before the winter months, your tires are just as worn down as you are. If you want to make sure that your tires are safe to drive, use the penny test which basically means that you take a penny, put the penny in the indent of your tire tread with Abe’s head down. If you can see the top of Abe’s head, it’s time to stop by Zappone and change those puppies out. It’s not safe to drive on tires that are worn down, especially when icy roads or rain are a factor.  


If you think that your tires are in need of a little TLC, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll get you all hooked up for winter!


Trunk-or-Treat Family Fun


This year a group of my friends and I have decided to take our kids to a trunk-or-treat event rather than the traditional trick or treating around the neighborhood. We wanted our kids to be able to have fun and enjoy Halloween, but it’s a school night and I we live on a busy street in Albany and I’d prefer my kids enjoy Halloween in a bit safer way.


The thing about Trunk-or-Treating is that it’s fun for the whole family. You get to have just as much fun as your kids. You can decorate your car with a lot of detail, or you can keep it simple. Whatever works for you and yours. The basic idea is that a group congregates, typically in a parking lot or space large enough to hold all the vehicles and people. The cars are often decorated pretty extravagantly to make the trunk-or-treating an exciting and fun event for parents and kids. You can even have costume contests for the kids, AND the cars!


Fun theme ideas:

Christmas in October

Under the sea

On a farm


Pumpkin patch




Mummy car

Spiderweb car



Football (or other sports)

Specific professional or college sports teams

Dr. Seuss

Children’s books, like Harry Potter

Cartoon characters, like Minions or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Video games, like Pac-Man or Minecraft

Popular movies, like Cars, Frozen, or Star Wars

If trunk-or-treat sounds like something you’d like to try out you can
check out these trick-or-treat alternatives near you! Stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park today and we’ll be happy to get you behind the wheel of the perfect car.

How To Check Your Own Oil


Typically, because your vehicle is such a complicated piece of machinery, it’s best to leave repairs and maintenance to the certified service technicians at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park. It’s not worth it to cause damage to your vehicle because you tried to fix it yourself. There are several pieces of regular car maintenance, however, that you should be able to perform on your own as they are not too hard to accomplish. One such thing is checking your oil. This is a very basic task, so you can rest assured that you won’t mess something up in your vehicle when checking the oil. Just maybe don’t go trying to change your oil on your own.


First, check the owner’s manual and follow the automaker’s recommendations. Some newer cars have electronic oil monitors and don’t have traditional dipsticks for manual inspection, so it’s important to be aware of that. None of our instructions would make any sense to you.


When checking your oil park your car on level ground and make sure that the engine is cold, so you don’t burn yourself on a hot engine. (With some cars, the automaker recommends that the oil be checked after the engine has been warmed up.) With the engine off, open the car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe any oil off from its end. Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in.


Take the dipstick out again, this time checking both sides of the dipstick to see where the oil is on the end. Every dipstick has some way of indicating the proper oil level, whether it be two pinholes, the letters L and H (low and high), the words MIN and MAX, or 2 simple lines indented or marked on the stick, you’ll know where it’s supposed to be. If the top of the oil “streak” is between the two marks or within the crosshatched area, the level is fine.


But if the oil is below the minimum mark, you need to add oil. In addition to checking the oil level, check the oil’s color. It should appear brown or black. But if it has a light, milky appearance, this could mean coolant is leaking into the engine. Look closely for any metal particles as this could mean there is internal engine damage. If you see either of these conditions, get the car to Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park for further diagnosis. If you suspect a coolant leak, have the car towed.


If everything’s okay, wipe off the dipstick again and insert it back into its tube, making sure it’s fully seated. Close the hood and you’re done. Once you’ve checked your oil, if you notice that you need more oil, or even an oil change, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll have you back on the road in no time!

Jack Frost Nipping At Your Wheels?


Now that fall is decidedly here, warm spells aside, we know that winter is going to be just as unpredictable as this fall has been. Will it be 87 degrees and sunny, will it be 4 degrees and blizzarding? No one knows for sure. What we do know is that it’s best to err on the side of caution and get yourself situated in the event an early wither sneaks up on us! So how do you prepare your vehicle for winter? Well, there are a few go-to steps that will get you ready for whatever weather comes your way.

Check your battery. Cold weather and your car battery don’t mix well. Generating power in the cold is a challenge for your battery and it takes a bit longer, to make matters harder, your engine requires more current from the batter to get your car started when it’s cold. This is basically the recipe for a rough start to the morning if your battery isn’t up to snuff. Make sure you get your battery checked out with us at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park before the temps get too low.

Change your wiper blades and refill your wiper fluid. You always think you have more time than you do to change those wiper blades, then a huge storm hits and you’re visibility is reduced to the occasional colorful blob amidst a sea of white nonsense. You don’t want that, nor can you afford to get into an accident just because you didn’t get your wiper blades changed and filled up your wiper fluid!

Consider getting snow tires. We live in the capital district, friends. You never really know what season you’re going to get at any given time, which is why it’s best to be prepared. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber than all-season tires which allows them to retain flexibility in the bitterest of cold. Snow tires also have tread patterns specially designed to grip into snow and ice. It’s important to note They won’t magically remove the chance of you slipping and sliding in your car, but they do provide more traction than the regular variety.

Check your tire pressure. If you really don’t want to change your tires for winter, at least make sure that your tires are inflated properly! Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. For every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tire’s air pressure will drop about 1psi. Keeping your tires properly inflated will give you the best chance for safe driving.

Stock your car with emergency supplies. You never know when you’ll get stranded on the side of the road in a hellacious blizzard. Be prepared by having your car packed with emergency supplies. You never know when you may need them.

Have your belts and hoses checked. The belts and hoses that help make your engine run can weaken in the cold temperatures. Check them for any signs of cracks or wear and have them replaced if needed. If you have the misfortune of a belt snapping while driving in a winter wonderland, you’re the winter wonderland is going to look a lot less wonderful.


Keep up with your car maintenance by stopping by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park before the real weather hits. Don’t get caught off guard!

Harvest The Savings


ZAPTOBERFEST is here once again and we couldn’t be more excited if we tried! The new car specials have been growing out there in our glorious dealership orchard and now is the time to harvest the savings! So if you’re looking for a new vehicle to get you and your family around this fall, you’ll want to stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park today! All through the month of October, you will find some amazing savings that will have you FALLing head over WHEELS!

As a part of RAM Power Days now you can take home the  2017 Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab 4X4 for a lease of $179 a month!  Maybe you’re looking for something with a bit more space to fit the whole family on that next trip to get some delicious Cider Belly Doughnuts! Check out the all new 2018 Jeep Compass which can be leased for $189 a month! You really can’t go wrong with either option. You’ll have plenty of room to pick out the pumpkin of your dreams!

Going for a nice fall drive with the family would be made that much better from behind the wheel of spacious 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which can be leased for the insanely low price of $259 per month! Or perhaps you’re looking for an awesome driving experience? You’ll be sure to have fun in the 2017 Jeep Wrangler which you can lease for $299 a month!

So if fall is getting you thinking of changing up your ride, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park! It’s time to harvest the savings while you can!


*All specials expire on 10/31/17 see specials page for full details.

Defensive Driving Tips and Tricks


Driving, even in the best conditions, can be a pretty stressful situation. Imagine, if you will, attempting drive in less than excellent conditions. Even if you are an excellent driver, you can’t control other drivers. It’s the other drivers, in my experience, that tend to lead to a good amount of my own road rage. While you might not have control over how others drive, you do have control over your own driving. To have a more relaxing ride, try out our top 10 defensive driving dips. Your anxiety levels will thank you!


1) Always pay attention to the road and your vehicle. Don’t let phones, radio, air conditioning, kids in the backseat, or a heated discussion with your spouse distract you from your job as the driver.


2) Expect other drivers to make mistakes.


3) Slow down.

Keep up with the flow of traffic, minding speed limits, but remember that it takes longer to stop at higher speeds so your reaction time is significantly less than if you were driving at the appropriate speed.


4) Take advantage of safety devices.

Find a car with a high safety rating and a large number of airbags such as the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Invest in the right child restraints and seat belt adjusters for your family, and don’t forget to use them.


5) Always, always, always buckle up.

Many car accident fatalities could be prevented each year, by simply wearing a seat belt. It’s a very simple step to take to keep yourself and your family safe, so make sure you reinforce this habit while your children are small!


6) When in doubt, yield.

If you aren’t certain who has the right of way, play it safe and yield to the other vehicle. Even if you are sure you have the right of way, sometimes other vehicles believe they have the right of way and will go anyway, so stay vigilant and let them go.


7) Stop on red.

Make sure you are watching out for stop lights and stop signs. Distractions happen, but driving through a red light can lead to very serious crashes.


8) Use your blinkers.

If other drivers don’t know where you are going and you don’t know where other drivers are going the likelihood of an accident is much higher than if you were to signal where you are going. It also helps lessen the frustration on the road. If someone is signaling where they are going, you aren’t going to be caught off guard when they attempt to merge into your lane.


9) Let it go.

People are going to do incredibly stupid things on the road that will very likely drive you insane. The best course of action is to try to let it go and not take it personally. By letting the frustration get to you, you are only making the drive harder for yourself.


10) Keep a buffer between yourself and other motorists.

Leave a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles so that if the driver ahead of you stops short, you have time to react and can avoid an accident!

Keep these driving tips in mind the next time you hit the road. Stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park to check out vehicles with additional safety features to make your commute just a little less stressful.