Have you ever sold or traded-in your car only to walk away thinking you could have made more money? If you are like most people, you may have missed an opportunity to sell your car for more. Making sure your car is in as good of condition as possible goes a long way toward increasing its value.
Be careful not to get too carried away with repairs or fixing too many things on your car. The idea is to find relatively easy and inexpensive fixes to increase its value. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you are sinking more money into the car than you will make back.
Small repairs are the key here. You want to find little ways to improve the functionality or appearance of your car before listing it for sale or having potential buyers take a look at it.
If your car does need major repair, it is best to leave that work for professionals. You will want to compare the cost of the repairs versus the potential increase in value to determine if it is worth it to fix the car before selling it. There are buyers who will still have interest in your car at a lower price if you choose not to fix it.
Some cars will require more work than others when preparing for a sale. Most people who are selling their car are already thinking about upgrading to a different vehicle. The exciting anticipation of a new-to-you car can sometimes distract you from making a final push to make your previous vehicle as presentable as possible for potential buyers to look at.
If you are considering selling your car, you can try a few simple things to squeeze the most value out of it and put more cash in your pocket. Here are five easy fixes to try before selling your car:
Refill or Change Fluids
Regular maintenance is important. Before selling your car, take a moment to check the car’s fluids to see if they need changing or a quick refill. Check the oil, is it dirty? If not, at least make sure the oil reads at the right level on the dipstick. Some cars use more oil than others, so if your oil level is low on the dipstick, top it off. If your oil is dirty, change it or schedule an appointment at your favorite shop.
You will also want to check your brake fluid. Make sure it is not low, obviously brakes are important, so make sure you give the next owner one less thing to worry about when driving the car home. Another fluid you will want to check is the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid maintenance helps prolong the life of the gears, so make sure it is at the proper level.
Check the coolant, but as always, make sure the engine is not warm and has not been running recently. Always make sure the engine is cold when checking the antifreeze level in the radiator. Is the coolant relatively dirty or clean? If the coolant is dirty, you should drain it, flush the system and refill it with fresh coolant. Of course, you can always set an appointment for a shop to change the coolant as well, it is much easier.
Here is one that every driver who has ever run out of windshield washer fluid while driving will appreciate. Visibility is so important while driving, making sure drivers can see out of the windshield is a good way to make sure the roads are a safer place for everybody. Take a moment to check the washer fluid, chances are there is some room to top it off. The next driver of your car will be grateful there is windshield washer fluid when they need to use it.
Replace Wiper Blades
Windshield wiper blades wear out over time. They become dry and eventually begin to crack. You already know how important visibility is and nothing is worse than having to deal with streaky wiper blades in adverse driving conditions.
Take a moment to inspect the wiper blades, maybe even use a little windshield washer fluid while sitting inside the vehicle to see how the blades perform. While inspecting the wiper blades, also take a moment to inspect the windshield for any cracks or damage. Some insurance companies will replace the windshield for free if your coverage includes it. Even if your insurance does not cover it, windshields are not very expensive to replace.
If the wiper blades do not pass your inspection, it is probably time to replace them. Wiper blades are relatively easy to replace, but even if you do not know how, the auto parts store you purchase the blades from will likely change them for no additional cost.
Check Or Replace Headlight and Taillight Bulbs
Have you ever flashed your bright lights at oncoming drivers who only have one working headlight? As the driver of the car, it is rare to notice when a headlight stops working right away. Take a moment to turn the headlights on, then walk in front of the car and verify they are both working properly. Next, walk around the back of the car to check the taillights.
If you have another person who can help you, have them step on the brake pedal while you check the brake lights in back as well. Verify the blinkers are working, both in front and in the rear of the vehicle.
If any of the bulbs are not working, they are usually affordable and easy to replace. This is a great way to give the potential buyer confidence in their decision to buy your car. Many used car buyers check all of the lighting to make sure it is working properly.
Finally, make sure the lenses for each light are clean and not foggy. If they are foggy, try cleaning them. If you cannot get them clean, try to find a specialized cleaning product auto parts stores sell to assist with foggy headlamp lenses.
Check Tire Pressure
When was the last time you checked your tire pressure? Maintaining proper pressure levels is important for driving safety and promoting normal tire wear-and-tear. Proper tire pressure levels also promote better fuel efficiency and a more comfortable riding experience.
Take a moment to check the tire pressure levels on all four tires. Tires usually have PSI suggestions along the sidewall, but the safest place to find this information is in the owner’s manual of your car. As long as you still have the stock wheels or rims on the car, the tires should follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual.
Over-inflated and under-inflated tires cause damage to the tread. Over time, the tread damage causes the tires to require replacements quicker than they would have if properly maintained. Before a potential buyer looks at the car, make sure the tires have the right amount of air in them. This will ensure a better test driving experience for interested buyers.
Wash and Detail – Inside and Out
Okay, you have checked fluids, visibility out of the windshield is good and the tires are all set. What’s next? It is time to clean the car up, inside and out.
Vacuum and clean inside the car and trunk as much as possible. Make sure to test any cleaning products on a very small area of the interior before wiping the whole area down. You want to make sure nothing causes any damage to the interior before selling it.
After cleaning the interior, wash and detail the exterior. Try to make your car look as shiny as you remember it being the day you first drove it. A clean car makes the best impression possible on potential buyers, it is the first thing they see when they approach the vehicle.
You can either take your car to a car wash or you can do it yourself. If you decide to wash the car yourself, don’t use laundry soap or dishwasher soap, buy an actual car-wash soap. Also make sure you are using car-specific sponges and towels.
After washing the car and making sure it is dry, apply a coat or two of wax. Make sure you do this in a well-lit area or with plenty of sunlight. You want to see and wipe out any wax residue using a clean microfiber towel. Always use tight, circular motions when applying or removing automotive wax.
If you do not have time to wash and detail your car before selling it, schedule an appointment with a professional car detail shop. They will usually do everything from shampooing the carpet to using odor neutralizers in case the interior needs it. This is a very inexpensive way to make sure your car stands out to potential buyers.
Sell Your Car With Confidence
Okay, you have taken care of the five easy fixes to try before selling your car. If you are curious what kind of condition your car is really in, you may want to dig a little deeper to find out how much it is really worth.
Many used car shoppers use mobile vehicle inspection services before purchasing the vehicle. These used car inspection services are affordable and available to sellers as well. Knowing the true condition of your car puts you in the best seat at the negotiation table.
Not all third party vehicle inspection companies are equal though. Make sure you do your homework before picking the first result in your ‘car inspection service near me’ Google search. The best pre-purchase car inspection company combines state-of-the-art automobile inspection technology with experienced inspectors to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end vehicle report.
CarDr.com is the only mobile car inspection service who offers nationwide access to the world’s largest database of technical vehicle information. Putting this advanced used auto inspection artificial intelligence (AI) in the hands of CarDr.com’s expert inspectors provides sellers with a full report on the overall health of their car.
CarDr.com scans and inspects millions of cars while collecting important technical information about each car. The collected database storage allows CarDr.com to compare each new inspection against the same makes and models from previous scans. This cutting edge approach allows CarDr.com to provide a pre-purchase car inspection service with doctor-like precision.
The last thing you want as a seller is to have a buyer hire a car inspector who finds something you really did not know about. It is an embarrassing moment as a seller. In all honesty, you did not even know about the issue to begin with, but the discovery instantly makes you lose credibility with the potential buyer. Worst of all, it automatically puts the buyer in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating.
Don’t put yourself in this unpleasantly surprising situation. Inspect the unexpected with CarDr.com to avoid any awkward moments while trying to sell your car. It is a very inexpensive way to get a clear picture of your car’s bill of health.
Now that you know the vehicle’s true condition, your car is ready to list. You can use any listing service you want. From Craigslist to CarGuru, there are a lot of ways to let the world know your car is for sale. By monitoring the heartbeat of your car, CarDr.com will help you sell it with the confidence you need to get the most money from the sale.