We live in a disposable world. If something breaks, we throw it away.
With modern electronics like cellphones, computers, and entertainment consoles, technology is almost out-of-date when we purchase the device. After a year or two, we start to look at the next release, finding all the bells and whistles too tempting to ignore.
As much as modern day vehicles use technology to their advantage, it’s more difficult to think of your vehicle as a disposable item. When it costs tens of thousands of dollars, it’s more important to care for your vehicle rather than letting it run down. You can’t run and pick up the latest release from the store with the same ease as a smartphone.
Today’s cars are expensive. Learning the most important maintenance tips will keep your vehicle running well for as long as you own it. Doing so will ensure you have reliable transportation, no matter what the weather is outside, no matter where your travels will take you each day.
And when it’s time to trade in your vehicle for something new, you know it will hold its value.
What is car value?
Value can take on a variety of meanings. But when most people think about car value, they think in monetary terms. Value becomes the estimate of how much the vehicle is worth.
When a car is brand new, being sold from the dealer, it has a price tag that goes along with it. You may have a little wiggle room, but in most cases, you’ll pay somewhere around the sticker price.
The value of the vehicle changes the moment you drive the car off the lot. If you do a search online, you’ll find a variety of resources that can help you determine how much your car is currently worth. Things to consider include:
- Make and model
- Year of production
- Where you live
It also depends on what type of transaction will occur.
- A trade-in value is what you can expect if you bring it to the dealer and hand over your current vehicle in order to make an offer on a different car.
- A private party value would be the amount an individual would be willing to pay for the car if you handle the transaction yourself.
- A BlueBook value would be the suggested retail price based on make, model, and year alone.
Maintenance tips to ensure top dollar when you sell
If you want the highest trade-in value, or have a desire to sell your car for the highest possible price, maintenance will play a key role in helping you achieve your goal. With common sense maintenance tips, you’ll create an easy plan to ensure you achieve top dollar when it comes time to sell.
Be kind to the engine
A car’s engine is arguably one of the most important components of today’s modern cars. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to go. Keeping it in good shape means it’s reliable and ready to move whenever you sit behind the wheel.
Regular maintenance starts with motor oil changes. Most manufacturers suggest bringing your vehicle in for servicing every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This ensures your engine is operating with clean oil, and gives mechanics a chance to check and determine if other components are in good working condition too.
In between oil changes, don’t ignore other messages your vehicle might be sending you. Is your heater working in the winter, and your air conditioner operating well in the summer? If your car is struggling to produce proper temperatures, it could be a sign of deeper problems.
Pay attention to what’s happening around your car. As you leave your parking space or garage, take a quick glance underneath as you drive away. Are there any leaks? Note the size of the puddle, the color, and if there are any unusual smells. An antifreeze leak will take on a lime-green, orange, pink, or blue-green color, and may have a sweet aroma after you’ve driven it.
You should also refer to your owner manual frequently, and bring your car in for regular checkups to ensure all systems are working properly. Brakes, belts, spark plugs, and more can all last thousands of miles, but may eventually wear down to the point of causing problems with the way your vehicle drives and handles. Through regular inspections, you can catch potential issues before they escalate, leaving your car in better working condition throughout its life. Which in turn extends its life as well.
Maintain the interior too
If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle driving around town, you might think of it as a second home. There’s a pile of papers on the floor, leftover food bags behind the seat. Gym bags in the trunk, and extra grocery bags piling up in the back. Over time, these things accumulate, attract dirt and dust, and can eventually impact the air you breathe.
As this settles into the seats, dashboard, and floorboards, it can dull the interior of your car. If you ever hope to sell it, this will be difficult to correct, and lower the amount you can ask for the car. To keep your value high, take a few minutes each week to ensure the interior shines.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Most of us take that approach to maintenance in every situation in our lives.
Yet to keep your car running well and free from potential problems, staying ahead of maintenance items will ensure the best condition for your vehicle. Read your owner’s manual thoroughly. Pay attention to maintenance checks to perform at different mileage markers. And consider working with our service station on a regular basis. This will allow our mechanics to understand your car, make suggestions about routine maintenance items, and help you make the best decisions for keeping your car on the road in the best condition. You’ll save money by replacing things before they can escalate into larger issues.
Keep your car in good working condition. Maintain the value of your car simply by staying ahead of maintenance items, ensuring your vehicle is always running at peak performance.
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