Thursday, May 31, 2018

10 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Your Summer Road Trip

BAY CITY, Mich. –– Before you head out on a road trip for a fun summer vacation somewhere warm, we highly recommend you inspect your vehicle to see if there is any auto maintenance it needs to be done. Winter and spring can take a pretty serious toll on your vehicle and its internal components, so it's important to have it serviced especially before you subject it to a long drive. There are also other road trip resources to consider bringing as well. So, whether you're heading south with your family or some friends from school, make sure to read up on our 10 tips to prepare your car for your summer road trip! 

10 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Your Summer Road Trip

Get an Oil Change

Getting an oil change before a long road trip is very important. Your motor will be running continually for long stretches of miles (and hours) and if your oil is old it won't do its job effectively, lubricating your engine's internal components and keeping them from warping and doing serious damage.

Create a Roadside Preparedness Kit

To prepare for anything and everything, we recommend creating a roadside preparedness kit. Stock your car with bottled water, road flares, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, blankets, jumper cables, and make sure you have a spare tire and jack just in case.

Get Roadside Assistance 

If you don’t have roadside assistance through your insurance, consider getting AAA. That way, if your vehicle breaks down while on your trip, you’ll always have someone ready to come to the rescue!

Bring a Map

While it's easy nowadays to rely on your phone's GPS and navigation systems, you may wind up driving through places with bad cell phone signal. If you take the wrong turn, you could wind up way off track and add more time to your trip. So, bring an old-fashioned paper map to ensure you'll always know how to get where you're going!

Plan For Rest Time & Switch Drivers

If you're heading out on a long road trip, plan on taking some to rest time from driving and/or switch drivers frequently. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Check Your Fluids

The fluids in your vehicle help keep your internal and external parts clean and running properly. Washer fluid and coolant are easy enough to replenish in your vehicle by picking some up at your local auto parts supplier, or our service technicians can always top off your fluids during your next service appointment at Graff Chevrolet Bay City Service Center. With long hours of driving to your summer destination, your coolant is especially important to help keep your engine from overheating, so make sure you've filled up before you leave for your trip. You don't want to wind up with engine trouble stuck on the side of the road midway to your destination.

Check Your Battery

After winter, it's important to get your battery checked to make sure that the freezing cold weather hasn't reduced its capabilities. Our experienced technicians run a simple diagnostic test to see if it's time to get a new battery.

Do Some Interior Cleaning

Your vehicle will likely get a bit messy during your road trip from food wrappers, receipts, crumbs, and other such debris. So, why not start your trip with a tidy vehicle and do some cleaning. At the very least, take your vehicle to a car wash and make sure to vacuum up all the road salt and debris tracked in during the winter.

Check Your Tire Tread

As one of the most important components of your vehicle, you want to take tire care seriously. Check your vehicle's tire tread to ensure they are in good enough condition to handle a long trip and effectively stop and handle well out on the road. If you're not sure, use the penny test to determine if your tire tread is satisfactory. Place a penny in-between the treads on your tire with Lincoln's head facing down, if the tread doesn't cover the top of his head, it's time for new tires.

Check/Replace Your Wiper Blades

Your wiper blades may be a bit worse for wear coming out of the winter season this year, and ineffective at clearing your windshield properly during rain, sleet, or snow. So before you head out on your summer road trip, it's important to check your windshield wiper blades to see if they need to be replaced. You don't want to get caught driving on the highway during heavy rain and have to pull off because you can't see the road well due to your streaky windshield wipers, adding more time to an already long road trip.

So before heading out on vacation, make sure you've read and completed our list of 10 tips to prepare your car for your summer road trip to ensure your vehicle doesn't encounter any issues far from home! Also, maybe you're looking for a new ride to show off this summer? Browse our online inventory of stylish and capable new 2018 Chevrolet models! Then, schedule a test drive with our friendly sales staff to experience them in person and find the right sedan, SUV, or truck to suit your lifestyle!

Hank Graff Chevy
is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

BAY CITY, Mich.,– On road trips, your passengers can make or break your time while you drive. Without proper entertainment to distract everyone, you'll probably hear "are we there yet?" more than once. Plus, distractions from passengers of any age can take your attention away from the road and can increase your chances of getting into an accident. Follow our guide on how to keep your kids entertained on road trips to maximize your peace and quiet and minimize any chances of distraction, giving everyone on the road a much safer experience.

Play Road Games

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

A great way to get children of any age involved in a fun and distracting activity is by playing the "alphabet game". Using road signs, businesses, and billboards, the goal of the game is to find words that start with every letter of the alphabet, from A to Z in order! You can make it a group effort or divide your vehicle into teams to make it more competitive. If you aren't a fan of the alphabet game, there are plenty of other road trip games you can try, too!

Purchase a Polaroid

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

For older passengers, a Polaroid camera can be an awesome way to make road trip memories extra special. They're relatively inexpensive and print photos as soon as you take them. Whether your passengers are taking pictures of noteworthy destinations, state signs, or landmarks, this is a great way to help your teens hone their photography skills and make use of their time in the car!

Non-Digital Entertainment

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

Want your kids to take a break from the screen time? You can keep them entertained with plenty of great non-digital activities to bring their creative minds to life! Coloring books, whether the artists are young or old, are proven to reduce stress and make them that much happier. Other activities, like a good old-fashioned game of Hangman, Mad Libs, or candy necklace making, can keep anyone of any age occupied for long periods of time!

Listen to an Audiobook

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

By age 3, children are typically old enough to follow a story. Head to the library or bookstore to purchase an audiobook that'll bring a story to life! Whether you're listening to the incredible story of Harry Potter, the classic tale of Charlotte's Web, or something else, you'll be able to find a story for everyone in no time. Plus, you can download audio stories on devices individually if you want to listen to music on your own but want to keep your kids distracted!

Download Entertaining Apps

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Road Trips

With hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, the possibilities are endless for entertainment and fun on the road! You can make a scrapbook with Animoto, play a game of Road Trip Scavenger Hunt, or take on the road with Extreme Road Trip! Whether you're looking for games, fun, or a great way to save your memories, there's something for everyone in the app store. Download plenty of apps on your tablet, phone, or other electronic devices to keep everyone entertained for hours to come.

There are plenty of ways to keep everyone on the road occupied, but having a few backup plans just in case something falls through is the best way to stay prepared! Now that you know how to keep your kids entertained on road trips, you'll have the perfect strategy to minimize distractions and maximize road trip fun. Plus, who knows, you just may join in on the alphabet game or another form of entertainment, too! Before you go on your road trip, don't forget to inspect your vehicle to see if it needs maintenance. If it does, schedule an appointment with us before you go on your trip to avoid any inconveniences! Also, don't forget any important vacation items while you pack this year!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Service Lights and What They Mean

BAY CITY, Mich. –– We've all had it happen before: you're driving and suddenly a service symbol lights up on your car's dashboard. It can make anyone worried, from first-time drivers to people that have been driving for a very long time. To help you manage your stress and vehicle, we've created a list of the most serious service lights and what they mean. Using this handy guide can keep you and your car safe with any situation. We'll show you to handle each of these severe warnings to keep your vehicle in peak condition.

Service Lights and What They Mean

Check Engine Warning

Service Lights and What They Mean

There are many reasons why your Check Engine light can come on, but it's best to be proactive with this warning. It could be anything from a loose cap to wires that need replacing. When a Check Engine light comes on, it is best to take it to a mechanic as soon as possible, as their scanning tools can diagnose the issue much quicker to get your vehicle back on the road.

Coolant Temperature Warning

Service Lights and What They Mean

This light means that your vehicle is running at a higher than normal temperature. It's best to think ahead when you see a warning like this, as it can potentially damage your vehicle if left unchecked. It can be a coolant leak, a malfunctioning engine thermostat, or another issue, but your best bet is to get your vehicle towed to take care of the issue before it gets too serious.

Parking Brake Warning

Service Lights and What They Mean

If you have malfunctions in your braking system, this light will turn on to indicate that. However, there's also a chance that you could have left your parking brake on, so before you test your brakes, make sure your parking brake isn't on! If you release it and the light is still illuminated, you should call for assistance. You and the other vehicles on the road will be much safer because of it!

Traction Control Warning

Service Lights and What They Mean

When this light is illuminated, it means your vehicle's ability to brake or control traction is impaired, either due to the computer in your vehicle or through your car itself. Sometimes, the traction control's "off" button may have been accidentally pressed, and other times, it can be a more severe issue. Refer to your vehicle owner's manual to reset the issue, and if it persists, make sure you receive service!

Airbag Warning

Service Lights and What They Mean

This light comes on for a few seconds when you start up your vehicle. If it stays on, though, it means there could be an issue with your airbag or seatbelt. If you get into an accident and this light is on, it can prevent your airbags from operating. You can still drive your vehicle with no issue, but make sure you get this problem taken care of as quickly as possible.

Safety is a priority for us at Graff Bay City. We want to make sure that you know what to do if one of these lights happens to come on while you're driving. Keeping up to date on service lights and what they mean will help you keep yourself safe on and off the road. If one of these lights comes on, make sure to schedule an appointment at our Service Center as quickly as possible. We have an FAQ for any questions you may have with additional service lights or other maintenance issues. Our Service Staff is always available to help you with any concerns you have for your vehicle.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

BAY CITY, Mich. – What's better than a summer cookout, surrounded by family, friends, and fun? Nothing! The summer is full of excitement, and your stomach should be too! Try some mouthwatering summer cookout recipes to treat your taste buds on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and the whole rest of the season! Even the pickiest of eaters will be coming back for seconds with these incredibly delicious dishes. From filling entrees to satisfying side dishes, creating the perfect cookout meal is just a few simple steps away!

Fajita Chicken Kebabs

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

Spice up this year's cookout with some tasty fajita chicken kebabs. Show everyone who's boss with this fantastic combination of chicken, vegetables, and salsa. Sprinkle some salt and limes to add an extra kick of flavor! If you aren't much of a salsa person, guacamole and chips go perfectly with this yummy entree. 

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

Want all the taste of buffalo wings with none of the hassle? These grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches are sure to be the talk of the cookout. The bold flavor blends with the freshly grilled chicken, and it goes perfectly with the blue cheese-apple slaw served on top! It's an easy-to-make entree with an iconic buffalo sauce to top it off!

Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

Take a bite of golden, tender perfection with these garlic parmesan potato wedges. They're much healthier than regular french fries, and have an added kick of garlic parmesan flavor, too! It only takes around 45 minutes to cook and the recipe serves up to 6 people, so you'll be able to feed the whole family with this terrific side dish! 

Grilled White House Pizza

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

Looking for a healthier option this season, but don't want to miss out on great food? The grilled white house pizza uses vegetables and sweet potatoes for a surprisingly satisfying and tasty take on a pizza. You can make the most of this fresh flavor with some oregano for that bold kick! Give your taste buds the special treatment they deserve with a slice of this savory pizza.

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

Mouthwatering Summer Cookout Recipes

Experience every color of the fruit rainbow with this honey lime fruit salad! Using orange juice, honey, and lime zest, you can create the perfect dressing for this extravagant spectrum of flavors! You can use the leftovers with some yogurt and granola to make a fantastic follow-up breakfast, too. The honey and lime dressing will help to create a tart flavor that will compliment the sweetness of the fruits, giving you a must-have side dish for cookout season!

With just a few of these easy-to-make recipes, you'll be the talk of the cookout in no time. Putting together these must-have dishes will fuel your creativity and give you even more ideas for the next cookout. We hope these mouthwatering summer cookout recipes have inspired the master chef in you! If you're out and about and run into any trouble on the road, feel free to contact us and we can get your vehicle towed and inspected as soon as possible! Make sure to regularly check up on our coupons to ensure that you get the best deal you can when you schedule service, too!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Where to Travel in Michigan This Summer

BAY CITY, Mich. – Is your heart yearning for adventure? Want to get out of the house but hate long road trips? You're in luck: you can quell your hunger for exploration in your very own state! We at Graff Bay City have compiled a list of where to travel in Michigan this summer to help you plan your next vacation! Take a look at some of the best the Mitten has to offer with quick and easy getaways for the whole family! With destinations ranging from massive sand dunes to serene forests, you'll have plenty of options when you plan your next family trip!

The Sleeping Bear Dunes - Leelanau County

Where to Travel in Michigan This Summer

Voted "The Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America, it's clear that this breathtaking destination lives up to its title. As one of the most unique locations in the entire state, its miles of sand bluffs tower over Lake Michigan, giving visitors a one-of-a-kind view you can't get anywhere else. With attractions like a lighthouse, expansive park, and a center for the arts, the Sleeping Bear Dunes has something for everyone!

Porcupine Mountains - Ontonagon

Where to Travel in Michigan This Summer

Explore one of the Upper Peninsula's most unique hidden gems - the Porcupine Mountains. Earning its name from its silhouette at night, this mountain range carries with it several treasures. The Lake of the Clouds, a stunningly beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, is one of the most pleasant surprises the mountain range has to offer. The Porcupine Mountains are full of excursions and activities for any season: kayaking, fishing, and skiing are just a few of the unique opportunities this exciting getaway has to offer. 

Frankenmuth Village - Frankenmuth

Where to Travel in Michigan This Summer

Known as "Little Bavaria", this quaint little village in Saginaw County carries a lot of history with it. It's evolved into one of the top tourist destinations in the Mitten, best known for Zehnder's and its award-winning chicken. The center of the town carries a long district of shopping centers, each carrying Bavarian style and activities for the whole family. If you're on the lookout for some early holiday shopping, Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland is open around the year with the over 50,000 ornaments and gifts! Check out Frankenmuth's calendar of events for parades, festivals, and more!

Mackinac Island - Mackinac

Where to Travel in Michigan This Summer

One of Michigan's most known travel destinations is the Mackinac Island. It's full of excitement, from world-renowned Mackinac fudge to historic sites and museums. Worried about the cost of staying on the island? Don't worry - every month, the island releases unique specials and discounts for activities. Make sure you plan your vacation to the Mackinac Island as soon as possible! Take a bike, ride a horse, and more on this one-of-a-kind island. This exclusive destination is a tourist hotspot, and you'll want to make sure you've got your spot reserved before lodging fills up!

Planning vacations can be extremely exciting, but they're even more exciting when you know it's only a short road trip! We hope our handy guide of where to travel in Michigan this summer keeps you and your family entertained throughout the year! Planning a road trip? Make sure you're keeping up on routine maintenance this summer to keep your vehicle in top shape to face those long drives!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What to Look For When Buying a New Car

BAY CITY, Mich. – Purchasing a new vehicle is a big decision to make, especially when it's what will get you from Point A to Point B. When you are ready to purchase, you'll be able to shop around and look at different makes, models, and specifications to fit your needs, while also finding something that fits within your budget and meets your personal preferences. It's a very exciting time in your life, which is why you'll want to make sure you make the right vehicle purchase. If you're wondering what to look for when you're buying a new car, Graff Bay City has compiled a list of factors for you to consider. On the hunt for a specific vehicle style? We carry an extensive inventory of vehicles that'll meet all of your expectations, from sporty driving to family-friendly SUVs.

1. Consider Your Budget

The first thing you'll want to take into consideration is your budget. Knowing how much you are willing to spend on a vehicle is essential in helping you narrow down your choices to find something that'll best suit your needs. Usually, the rule is that your car payments should equal up to 20% of your take-home income. Since down payments for vehicles can be quite expensive, there are a lot of options available to vehicle buyers. If you're interested in applying for an auto loan for financing, fill out a credit approval form and our auto-loan experts will help you find a plan that best fits your budget!

2. Buying vs. Leasing

Once you have your budget in mind, you'll want to consider the options of either buying a vehicle or leasing one. Buying a car can provide you with a long-term investment which will return on itself, however, it can be extremely costly initially, with large down payments and long-term payment plans. Leasing may seem like a much more affordable option, but it can also become expensive if you go over your mileage limit or have to finance any repairs. Read about the pros and cons of each on our buying vs. leasing page!

3. Write Out Your Needs

You have your budget and you've made a choice between buying a vehicle or leasing a vehicle. Now what? Figuring out what you and your passengers need is the next step. Write out everything you want and need in a vehicle. Think about what you need now and what you'll need in the future. Do you want something spacious with a lot of room? What about a flashy, sleek vehicle with a lot of customization? Safety features? How many seats do you want in your vehicle? Keep all of your needs and preferences in mind when you go in to purchase a vehicle, as they will factor into your budget and final purchase decision.

4. Pick Your Vehicle Out

Now that you've gotten all of that figured out, it's time to visit the dealership to find your perfect match. If you prefer searching at home, take a look at our inventory to see the many options available to you! You can edit your search to specify what you're looking for, whether it's a spacious SUV or a fast and powerful 2-seater! If you're curious about a specific vehicle, you can also read their brochures for more information on the specifications and what they have to offer! In just a few short steps, you'll be able to take your new vehicle out for a drive!

5. Give it a Test Drive

Finding the right vehicle may be the hard part, but once you do, it's smooth sailing from there! First, you'll need to contact us to set up a test drive appointment. This is your chance to find out whether or not the vehicle you've been researching is the one for you! Refer to your needs you wrote out earlier to find out if the car matches your specifications. Try driving it based on your commute: if you drive on highways, see how it handles the high speeds; if you live on a dirt road, consider taking it off-road to see how it will manage! Check the trunk for its spacing, the exterior for any damage, and seats for comfortability. These steps are all a necessary part of making sure that you are happy with your purchase! If you have any questions or concerns, our Sales Staff will be glad to address them!

While purchasing your vehicle can be very fun and exciting, it can also be very time-consuming. Keeping your budget and personal preferences in mind all play a huge role in this decision. We hope that this list of what to look for when you buying a new car helps you to narrow down your choices to find the vehicle that's just right for you! Feel free to reach out to us with any concerns you may have. We're happy to help match you up with your dream car!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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Monday, May 7, 2018

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Mother's Day is the wonderful day each year we spend showering our Moms with love, affection, and gifts to thank them for all that they do for us throughout the year. If you haven't thought of any perfect presents for Mom yet, we've got some suggestions for you. Read on for 10 Mother's Day gift ideas from Graff Chevrolet Bay City.

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Get Mom a new plant or bush for her garden, or a gorgeous hanging planter of flowers to last through until next fall. An evergreen gift such a plant shows your love from Mom is a growing living thing that's beauty she can admire all through the warm weather.

Service Coupon

Right now, at Graff Bay City you can download our Mother's Day service coupon to pamper your mom's vehicle this spring! Get an oil change, tire rotation, hand wash, and interior vacuuming all for just $75.

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Your Mom works hard! A great gift to get her for Mother's Day is a relaxing massage to remove all the stress! Search online for local massage parlors in Bay City!

Agrarian Tool Basket

If your mom is a gardener, this tool tote is an awesome gift. She can keep all her little tools organized and ready for her to use, as well as store vegetables and flowers she harvests!

 10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

See a Play

A night out on the town and a fun show is a great gift for Mom. Get her tickets to an upcoming showing at the Midland Center for the Arts, where she can take in the musical and dramatic brilliance of Broadway shows.

Beach Hat & Sunglasses

Have Mom looking stylish all summer long while also protecting from the harsh glare of the sun! Shop Steve Madden sunglasses and women's beach hats online before Mother's Day arrives!

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Floral Scarf

Another trendy and stylish gift for Mom. This Echo Design Women's Coastal Floral Silk Diamond Shape Scarf is light, breathable, and colorful.

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Travel Mug

Get Mom a fashionable and functional new travel mug perfect for her morning commute each day. This Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug will keep coffee or any other beverages hot for up to 5 hours!

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Amazon Deep Cleaning

It's Mom's day, and she'd love nothing more than to kick back and relax. Although, as an adult yourself, you may not have the time to take over. That's where Amazon Deep Cleaning comes in. You can book a session ranging from 1 room to 6 rooms, and a team will hit every spot in the home including the toilets and stovetop. They even bring their own supplies!

Write Her A Letter

In the end, your Mom will most appreciate hearing from you personally and not a material gift. Write Mom a handwritten letter that lists all the reasons you love her and thank her for all that she has done for you and your family. It's a gift she will treasure forever!

This Mother's Day get your Mom something special! Consult our 10 Mother's Day gift ideas to find the right thing to show your Mom how much you appreciate her. It's also a good idea this time of year to get your Spring Car Care maintenance routine completed to ensure your vehicle is ready for all your summer driving!

Hank Graff Chevy
 is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: