– Tips for Selling a Car –

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If you want to get the most money for a used car you’ve been thinking of selling, we’ve provided a thorough list of tips for selling a car. 

Let’s face it, if your car looks and smells terrible, no one’s going to want to buy it, especially a professional car buying service. If your car hasn’t been maintained, you’ll most likely get a lot less than the market value. Maintain your car at tip top shape, it is a fact you’ll be offered a fair and competitive price, according to analysts at Kelley Blue Book. 

Some of the tips below can be implemented right away. Others require you proactively maintain your car regularly. These tips should “tip the scales” so that you get a competitive, instant car quote, coming out on top. 

1. Clean Your Car

I don’t know how many times people have tried to sell their cars without even cleaning them. They still expect to get the highest market value. Some cars smell like open ashtrays. Others have greasy seats or seats with caked on dirt or worse, food. And then there are those cars with a completely tattered steering wheel – how can you steer?! You may be used to your own dirt, but your car buyer isn’t. Make sure you wash, detail and dust off your car. Invest in a handheld vacuum and don’t forget to wash the carpet.

2. Tires

A car with good tires will sell a lot faster and for more money than a car with worn-out, unsafe tires. Keep the tires inflated to the recommended pressure. Look for any unusual wear like bulges, worn tire treads, or balding, these indicate the tires should be replaced. For regular maintenance, check the wheel alignment and rotate the tires every few months.

3. Lights

Make sure all your lights are clean and working, including the brake lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers. Restore dull or cloudy headlight lenses. Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your vehicle as a non-working light is usually the result of a burnt out bulb. If replacing the bulb doesn’t work, it may be a simple short circuit and can be fixed for little money.

4. Dents

Dents and scratches can affect the market value of your car. Invest in a good scratch remover pen to restore minor scratches. You can remove small dents yourself. There are a few methods which require the use of a hair dryer, a plunger, a vacuum cleaner, boiling water and buckets. Not all these items might work for your dents but we suggest you try since getting them removed professionally might defeat your bottom line. We definitely recommend you do the research here.

5. Electrical

Make sure that the electricals in your car are working. Cheap batteries and connectors are usually suspected in almost all electrical failures. The connectors can corrode and be eaten away by rodents. The grounds within the cheap battery might not be powerful enough to power all your electrical system. If your car is older, fixing the grounds or connectors might be cheaper. The newer the car, the more complex it is and therefore, more expensive to fix. If you are handy, you may want to try to fix these yourself. Invest in a good car battery first.

6. Battery Service

Your car’s battery is the heart of your vehicle. If you replaced the battery of your vehicle, clean the terminal ends with coca cola and a battery brush. Rinse with clean distilled water. Most recent batteries can be salvaged but make sure to check the cable terminals for corrosion and the cells for water level. Use distilled water only. If you cannot clean the battery, we suggest you replace it, especially if it will no longer hold a charge.

7. Fan Belts and Hoses

Make sure your engine belts and hoses are always flexible and in good condition. Any hose or belt showing dried out rubber that is frayed, glazed, or shows shredded threads should be replaced right away. Also, the metal clamps that hold the hoses in place should be tight, leak proof and show no signs of rust. If a radiator hose looks bad or is excessively soft or hard, it should be replaced.

8. Muffler and Exhaust

A broken muffler can be an eyesoar. Loose exhaust clamps and supports can add to your exhaust system. Check for holes in the muffler or pipes. If you live along the coast, the ocean conditions can easily rust parts from all the damp, salty air. Replace any of these or you can easily get them fixed for a minor cost. California’s stringent smog laws require that your mufflers be in tip-top shape.

9. Power Steering

Examine the power steering fluid level of your car. Add fluid if the level is down and inspect the attached pump and hoses for leaks. If the steering wheel squeaks too much when you turn it, you may only need to replenish your power steering fluid. Take your car to the mechanic shortly after to find and correct any leaks.

10. Shock Absorbers

No one wants to ride in a car that bounces up and down. Checking your shock absorbers for replacement is important. Often, the shock absorbers suffer from oil seepage through leaks. Worn shocks not only wear out your tires prematurely but affect your cars handling, making your car unsafe to drive. Replace them in pairs.