Want to keep your car looking new for longer? When you intend to resell it or trade it in someday, maintaining your car properly can lead to hundreds of dollars in sales and savings. Even if you just want to make your car last as long as physically possible, doing repairs and taking preventative measures in the right sequence can help your car last for 200,000 miles or more. Use our car maintenance tips listed here, but also keep these things in mind.
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What Future Buyers Will Look At
Every buyer is different and has a different concern, but these are the things commonly asked about and looked at by used car buyers, according to Kelly Blue Book:
- Headlight condition: Cracked or foggy headlights are an immediate, obvious repair that seems to indicate that many parts of the car have been ignored.
- Windshield cracks: If you’re trying to sell a car with a cracked windshield, heaven help you.
- Brakes: People don’t want to immediately turn around and buy brake pads, so even though they’re a normal wear-and-tear part that will need to be replaced anyway, buyers will ask about how recent the brakes are.
- Tires: It’s a very easy and visible test to check the tread wear of the tires.
- Small dents, visible rust, and scratches in the paint: Blemishes are always a problem, and even though they’re not as indicative of major problems as one might think, they’re important to buyers.
Note that there are plenty of other logical things a potential buyer may or probably should ask about, such as the shocks, whether or not you still have the car’s manual, or if you have a paper trail of maintenance records to go by.
Typical Car Maintenance and Repairs
What should you fix up if you intend to keep your car going? Here are things you’ll need to replace if you want to get well beyond 100,000 miles:
- Oil, fluids, and filters
- Brake pads and rotors
- Batteries, fuses, and pumps
- Mufflers and alternators
- Spark plugs and belts
- Shocks and struts
One of the keys to how to maintain your car’s value is to do the typical repairs and stick to your car’s recommended maintenance schedule. Actually use your manual and follow it, keep abreast of recalls, and watch for warning signs of greater problems (like foul smells, dripping liquids, or an odd-feeling drive).
The Most Preventable Damage to Your Car’s Value
An accident can really damage the value of your car, obviously, but that’s not something that’s preventable. These are the top preventable factors that lower your car’s value:
- Spills and stains: Clean up messes immediately to prevent small spills from becoming stains, and put spillable items in a cup holder or on the floor.
- Smells: Make a strong rule against having cigarettes and pets in your car.
- Weather-related damage: Wax your car to prevent rust, and be careful of potholes.
- Faded fabrics or sun-damaged dashboards: Park in the shade or a garage to prevent sun damage.
With these tips, maintaining a car will be easier than you think. Take the time to create good habits now and you may save hundreds of dollars down the road (literally)!