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.

Construction Zone Safety


As we all know, summer into early fall is peak construction season. 787 is in a constant state of being under construction so it’s important to know how to safely navigate through a construction zone for the workers and our own safety. It is our responsibility as safe drivers to use caution when driving through a construction zone. To do so safety professionals at Arrive Alive have provided a handy list of some safety precautions to take when driving through a construction zone.  Every safe driver has a responsibility to exercise caution and good judgment in construction zones. Consideration for the safety of construction workers and other motorists can help turn highway construction areas into “safe zones” for everyone.


Safety professionals recommend several precautions to help make construction zones safer for everyone:


  • When approaching a construction/maintenance situation exercise caution and slow down.

  • Observe warning and caution signs before entering a construction zone.

  • Observe these posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.

  • Turn on your lights to make your vehicle more visible.

  • Expecting the unexpected is a golden rule when traveling through construction zones.

  • Avoid abrupt driving maneuvers.

  • Always be aware that vehicles ahead of you may stop unexpectedly.

  • Maintain a safe following distance. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of construction zone accidents.

  • Drivers should slow to the posted speed and move to the proper lane as instructed.

  • Traffic and road conditions may dictate an even slower speed.

  • Keep -up with the traffic flow.

  • Obey road crew flaggers!

  • Drivers should not wait until the last minute to merge to the correct lane.

  • Use correct merging techniques when changing lanes – use your indicators.

  • Narrow lanes and restricted shoulders make construction zones a common place for lane-change accidents.

  • Regular traffic lanes are often shifted to temporary lanes and shoulders that may not provide the stability regular traffic lanes offer.

  • Stay alert for aggressive drivers. If another motorist is aggressively jockeying for position, drivers should let them move on. Challenging another driver encourages road rage and endangers the safety of other motorists and workers in the area.

  • Avoid distracting activities. Remaining alert for unexpected hazards is critical when traveling through construction zones. Talking on a cell phone, tuning the radio, eating, reading, or other similarly distracting activities can quickly lead to an accident.

  • Watch for construction equipment and workers. Construction equipment entering and exiting a work zone without warning, equipment extending into traffic, and construction crews and flaggers working dangerously close to moving traffic are a few of the hazards to expect.

  • Stay alert for obstacles and debris. Construction equipment, signs, and barriers may be located close to the edge of the roadway. Debris from work projects, especially dust, dirt, and gravel, may cause added disruption.

  • Be patient, cautious, and courteous. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.’


While taking extra precautions is extremely helpful and even important while navigating construction zones, it’s always good to have the extra help from safety features like Lanesense® Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning With Active Braking, or Blind Spot monitoring available on vehicles like the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Compass, or Renegade at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park!


“Road Safety near Construction Zones / Road Works.” Arrive Alive,

Peep The Sweet Deals at Zappone Today!


How ya doin’ Capitol district? The temperatures sure have been dropping pretty quickly and at this point, there is no doubt that Fall is in the air. Personally, Fall is my absolute FAVORITE SEASON! I love going apple picking and pumpkin picking, and drinking hot apple cider! Going for long car rides and watching the beauty and majesty of the changing leaves, it’s heaven. Also, the mosquitos have returned to whatever evil place they came from, which is a bonus! With all of the beautiful changes this season brings, perhaps it’s time for a change of your own.


Here at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park, the prices are dropping like the temperature! We have some pretty excellent new vehicle specials that will have you FALLing in love! You’ll find offers for some amazing vehicles with low payments will make enjoying the fall weather and traditions a breeze!


So if you, like Charlie Brown are seeking out the Great Pumpkin, you’ll want a sturdy vehicle to get your ultimate pumpkin home.  The  2017 Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab is a beautiful option and can be leased for $163 a month! Math that out! That’s an awesome deal! Perhaps you’re looking to bring home a bunch of pumpkins with your family! You’ll want to check out our 2017 Jeep Compass Latitude which can be leased for $149 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!


Maybe you’re looking for a nice lazy Sunday activity with the family, maybe a few friends and some hot cocoa?  Leaf peeping is a quality fall activity! And what better way to enjoy nature’s beauty than behind the wheel of spacious 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which can be leased for the insanely low price of $220 per month! Or perhaps you’ve got a LOT of friends and need a bit more seating to accommodate? Check out the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring which you can lease for $299 a month! You’ll be leaf peeping with plenty of space to stretch out and still have room for the cider donuts from Cider Belly!


So if fall is getting you thinking of changing up your ride, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park! We’ll get you behind the wheel of a vehicle that will have you FALLing head over Wheels!


*All specials expire on 9/30/17 see specials page for full details.

Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FLASH SALE!


Here come the deals, driving on four wheels! In all seriousness, if you’ve been looking for a new vehicle TODAY is the day to act! Here at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park, we are having FLASH SALE you definitely don’t want to miss! FLASH SALE?! Those words alone are sure to make you feel a bit, excited, perhaps hopeful? The need for a great deal is suddenly COURSING THROUGH YOUR VEINS! We get it really, we do. That rush of adrenaline is no stranger to us here! You only have until September 9th, so you’re going to have to act fast! It is a FLASH SALE after all!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with FLASH SALES and how they work, WHAT an exciting time to be alive! You’re first ever FLASH SALE! What joy and happiness you are about to experience! So how does the FLASH SALE work? It’s pretty simple! Between September 5th and September 9th at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park, you will find unbelievable savings on new vehicles and even oil changes! How cool is that?!

So what’s the catch? There has to be some kind of trick or something, right?? Nope, the only thing you need to worry about is that there are only a limited number of vouchers left! If you want to claim a voucher for yourself all you have to do is go to our website, and click the view inventory button on the FLASH SALE banner! That will bring you to our FLASH SALE page and provide you with the current FLASH SALE offers and how many vouchers are left! Pro Tip: THEY ARE GOING FAST!

So Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Keys! You need to move fast friends! Stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park today or check out our website for more information on these incredible deals! This is definitely a sale you don’t want to miss! Stay in the loop and subscribe to find out when the next FLASH SALE happens!

Back To School Car Gadgets


This week marks the first week of schools for students in Clifton Park! So here’s hoping that you have everything you need to make this year a super success! Do you have all of your binders, pens, paper, AWESOME lunch boxes? Good. Now, what about your not so little school goers? Do you have the sweet car accessories that your High School or College student will need? Back to school shopping isn’t just about backpacks and notebooks anymore, because there are a lot of car accessories that can help you to ensure that your new driver’s ride is comfortable and safe. These gadgets are portable, well thought out, high quality, and most importantly, affordable!


Let’s be real for a minute, letting go of the car keys is something all parents struggle with. Driving is your child’s first big step into independence. Few things will give you more reassurance during this time of growth than knowing that there are ways to improve the safety of your child’s experience while behind the wheel, even if it’s just a little bit. You may not be able to be there for you kind ALL the time, but it is possible to ensure that your kids are properly equipped for whatever may come along while they’re on the road.


Check out the following gadgets that are among the best car accessories for your back to school shopping.


A multi-purpose digital tire gauge is a natural first choice, not only because of its accuracy and portability but also because it features a number of emergency safety features that can come in handy at the times when they are most important. There are a variety of different brands and models to choose from, but this is a gadget to keep inside the vehicle within easy reach so that your child is prepared for the worst. Many of them are equipped with a glass hammer and seatbelt cutter in the event escape from the vehicle becomes necessary.

Second on the list is the portable battery charger, which can help to make sure that everything from a smartphone to a tablet has enough juice to run throughout the day, even after a late night when the student forgot to plug them in.

A portable air pump. You can get a manual one or one that plugs into your car’s lighter socket. Either one will prove extremely useful should your child find themselves with a flat or slightly deflated tire. Most gas stations have an air pump, but that air pump won’t help them if they are at the school’s parking lot or on the highway.


A small 12-volt lighter socket car jump-starter can often help in a pinch, giving the car a boost in as little as three minutes from another car’s lighter socket/power source, without ever having to open the hood.


A digital breathalyzer acknowledges that while drinking may happen, drunk driving isn’t acceptable. Including these among back to school car accessories purchased for a student who is important to you can help to make sure that he or she arrives home safely, every time.

We want you and your child to feel safe as they take their first steps into the real world independently. These gadgets are sure to help with that. In the event your child happens upon a problem, they can always come to Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we will be happy to check out the vehicle and get it safe for the road ahead!

Doing the Responsible Thing!


So when it comes to being a responsible driver, until recently I was not. That isn’t to say I was reckless on the road, I just wasn’t particularly good at keeping up with the regular vehicle maintenance that I should have been. The thing is, I just REALLY really didn’t want to have to spend all that money to fix things up that appeared to be working fine. The funny thing about appearances is that they aren’t always accurate.

I got myself a Jeep Compass a few years ago and, honestly, I’m amazed that the poor thing survived as long as it did with how I abused it. My signature move was to wait until the last possible second to change my tires. Let’s just say that driving in the winter was a fast paced game of Russian Roulette. I probably should have died at least a dozen separate times. But here I am, alive and confused.

I had something of a come to Jesus about a year ago when I pushed my poor tires a little too far. They had reached a level of bald that also involved little spiky bits to come through the wheel. I actually stabbed myself on them and said, “meh, I can probably go a bit further on these guys.” Nope. No, I couldn’t.

On my way home from work one day I started to notice that my car was driving a bit weird. It felt like it was pulling mostly to the right, but I ignored it. The only light that was activated on my dashboard was the tire pressure light, but that thing had been on for over a month, and nothing was wrong with the tire from what I could see, so I, stupidly, wasn’t going to worry about it. I drove like that for at least a week until one day I happened to actually look at the wheel again.

It was flat. Now when I say flat, I don’t mean it was a little soft. I mean this bad boy was flattened to the point where it looked like parts of the wheel were flopping on the road. To make things worse, it appeared that the wheel itself was now bent out of shape from driving on it. Not awesome. When all was said and done, I had to replace a heck of a lot more than just the tire.

What’s the moral of this story? Keep up with your regular vehicle maintenance. It seems like you’re spending a lot of money at the time, but I promise you, it’s significantly cheaper than having to spend money to fix something that you didn’t want to deal with in the first place. Stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Clifton Park today to get your tires checked out!

Car Maintenance, A Hands On Experience


Keeping track of your car’s maintenance is a relatively simple process. All you have to do is keep track of…well, everything. I know it sound super overwhelming, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. The service center at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park is great at helping you keep track of what needs service when, but if you’d like to keep an eye on things yourself, these are the go to fluids that will need to be checked relatively regularly and you can check them pretty easily yourself.

Engine Oil
Engine Oil is likely one you already know at least a little bit about. It’s one of the fluids that will be checked most often in your vehicle.  Fortunately, checking your engine oil is pretty easy. All it takes is opening up the hood, (remember to set the support bar so that the hood doesn’t come crashing down on your head…that’s not fun) find the dipstick, take the stick out and wipe it off, put it back in and then finally take it out one more time. The stick will show you what your oil level is, and the color of the oil will tell you if it needs to be changed out. Make sure your car is off, and has been off for at least 10 minutes before checking your engine oil. Some experts recommend you check your oil every time you fill up with gas, but checking once a month is most likely enough for newer vehicles.

Coolant, unlike its name suggests isn’t solely responsible for keeping your engine cool, it also makes sure that your engine doesn’t get too hot regardless of the time of year. Basically it keeps your engine at its optimal temperature. Your vehicle’s coolant levels should not get low, so if you notice that your coolant is low, your vehicle is most likely going to overheat, which can end up being a very costly problem, and you should drop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park to have the issue sorted out. One reason your coolant may be low is a leak. You can usually identify a coolant leak by a very distinct sweet maple syrup smell. You can check your coolant level by checking the overflow reservoir (an opaque white container under the hood) and seeing if the fluid level is at or above the minimum line. If your coolant level is low, be sure to add the same type of coolant already in the vehicle. Check your coolant levels at least every 6 months, once before winter and once again before summer. Your coolant should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.

Transmission Fluid
Your transmission fluid keeps your vehicle’s gears moving, so checking it is pretty important if you want your vehicle to work. Checking your transmission fluid is a lot like checking your engine oil, except you will want your vehicle on when you check your transmission fluid. The fluid should be red, so if you notice that it’s brown and smells a bit like it’s burnt, the time has come to replace the fluid. Your transmission fluid, like the coolant, should not get low, so if it does, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll check it out to see what’s going on. Transmission fluid should be checked at each oil change interval and replaced typically every 30,000 miles.

Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid keeps your steering running smoothly. If you feel a creaking or weird noises as you steer, your power steering fluid may be running low. You can check the level by opening the hood and checking the reservoir visually. If you do notice the power steering fluid is low, it’s worth having your vehicle looked at. Check your power steering fluid monthly and it may never need replacing. If your power steering fluid is low, it may just need to be topped off, but if it does, that’s a good indicator you’ve got a leak somewhere in the system.

Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is another one that shouldn’t be low, and if you value your ability to stop, you won’t WANT to be low. If your brakes ever feel a little off, check the brake fluid first. Your brake fluid can be checked by looking through the brake fluid reservoir on the driver side of the vehicle and should be a golden color. If the fluid looks brown, you need to change the fluid. Check your brake fluid every time you have your oil changed and look to replace the fluid every 2 years.

So if you like to have a hands on understanding of how your car is doing, check these fluids regularly. And remember, if you have any questions about your fluid levels, we at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park are happy to help. Just give us a call or stop by today!