Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Mechanic with Clipboard

Should I fix my car before trading it in, or should I leave it as it is? While your trade in value might increase from a few simple fixes, sometimes the cost of larger repairs is more than it’s worth. Find out when fixing your car is a good idea and when to save your cash, and get the trade in process started at Whitten Brothers Mazda today!

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not To Fix

Should I fix my car before trading in if I need big repairs? Generally speaking, the answer is no. Here are the reasons why we recommend just trading in your car as is:

  • Bigger repairs cost a lot of money, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make that cost up in the trade in valuation.
  • Once the dealership has the vehicle, they can use their own service center to fix the issues at a much lower cost on their own dime.
  • Some dealerships don’t conduct thorough inspections of your trade in vehicle, so you might be wasting your time and funds by repairing your car ahead of time.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What to Fix

So, when should I fix my car before the trade? If you’re dealing with minor issues, like clearcoat scratches or broken windshield wipers, then the minimal cost is worth it. That’s because all of these smaller fixes can add up to a much better first impression at the dealership, which can boost your overall trade in value. Here are a few ideas to spruce up your car before your appointment:

  • Wash and clean your car. You can either book a detailing service in Ashland or Fredericksburg, or just do the work yourself. Clean up the exterior and interior, and finish off with a wax to make the paint really stand out.
  • Look for any minor paint scratches or dings in your vehicle. You can stop by an auto shop for some touch-up paint, which can quickly disguise minor imperfections.
  • Check each light in your car to make sure they work properly. If you need to replace headlamps or other bulbs, pick up replacements at the parts department.
  • Check your fluid levels for your brakes, transmission, oil, radiator, and windshield washer. This shows the dealership that you’ve been properly maintaining your vehicle over time.

What Else Can I Do Before Trading in My Car?

Beyond fixing your vehicle at the service center, what else can you do to make your car look better? We recommend putting together your maintenance records for the dealership. This proves that your car has been seen by certified technicians, and that it is mechanically sound. We also recommend double checking for all of your car accessories: floor mats, spare keys, winter tires, and other parts. These extra components can add major value to your vehicle, so now is the time to look for them!

Trade in Your Car at Whitten Brothers Mazda Today!

We’ve gone over simple ways to boost your trade in value, but we’re happy to offer more tips and tricks for the Chester area. Feel free to contact us to learn more about trading in your car at Whitten Brothers Mazda, or just stop by Richmond to chat in person. We’d be happy to start the process and answer all of your questions!


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