Whether they’re selling pre-owned vehicles to dealerships or private parties, all car owners are keen to maximize the value of their autos. Maintaining vehicle value isn’t rocket science and is largely the product of routine and attention to detail. Do the following and your car will be sure to fetch top dollar.
Use OEM Replacement Parts
While it’s possible to save a few bucks on repairs by using parts from third-party manufacturers, doing so can lower your car’s overall value. Using non-OEM parts can lead to potential malfunctions and reduced performance. More importantly, they can deter savvy shoppers from buying your vehicle.
Maintain Immaculate Interiors & Exteriors
Like it or not, looks count when it comes to tallying up the value of a used vehicle. A monthly wash and wax can do wonders for your paint job if you follow a regular schedule. Likewise, keeping interiors pristine and stain-free should be a priority.
Focus on Creature Comfort Upkeep
When consumers look at a second-hand vehicle, they really notice things like robust A/C functionality and other comfort-based amenities. If the cruise control stops working, spend a few bucks to fix it. Oftentimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference for buyers.
Rein in Mileage if Possible
The ultimate car maintenance tip with regards to value retention is keeping the mileage within a reasonable range. If a lot of miles are tacked on in a short period of time, it can take a major toll on the potential resale value of the vehicle.
Document the Service History
Few car buyers are going to take it on faith that you’ve been scrupulously following the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Even if you’re performing a servicing procedure yourself, keep the receipts for any parts you’ve purchased to add to your car’s maintenance documentation file.
Change Fluids Religiously
Keeping a vehicle in tiptop mechanical shape is ultimately the best way to maintain value. After all, replacing an engine is a lot more expensive than buffing out dings. Change the oil every 5,000 or 10,000 miles and swap out the transmission and radiator fluids when necessary.
Looking at the Big Picture
A vehicle’s value is never a function of any one variable. Many factors are taken into account by the typical buyer when tendering an offer for a pre-owned car. Be sure to cover all of the maintenance bases if you wish to maximize value retention over time.