Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In?

Mechanic Going Over Car Checklist


If you want to trade in your vehicle for an upgrade in Middlesboro, you may be wondering “Should I fix my car before trading in?” There are some ways to enhance the possible car’s trade-in value, but it’s best not to perform any large fixes. Things such as scratches, paint touch-ups, or cleaning your car are beneficial steps to take when you are coming to Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro. It’s better that you avoid fixing major issues, especially if it could cost more than your trade-in value. Check out the details below. 

Fix My Car Before Trade-In: What Not To Fix

Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro recommends to Pineville drivers not to fix anything significant. This is because: 

  • Major repairs will be expensive, which will lower how much money you will actually get from the trade-in.
  • Dealerships have the tools and expertise to easily fix major issues at a lower cost than you will spend out of pocket. This is how dealerships can make a profit by buying and reselling used cars!
  • Depending on the dealership you go to, they might not do a detailed inspection of your car before finalizing the trade-in, so they might not deduct the cost of these repairs from your trade-in price. 

Fix My Car Before Trade-In: What to Fix 

So, you know what you shouldn’t fix, but what should you do to your Harrogate car to get the best car trade-in value? You’ll want to make your car presentable as this may increase the trade-in value. A dealership can deduct the value for money needed for reconditioning and if there are major issues not presenting themselves. Here is a list of some of the things you should do prior to trading in your vehicle:

  • Clean out the inside: Dispose of any garbage, take out personal items, and clean the windows & carpets. You also may want to consider getting it professionally detailed.
  • Wash your car: Get rid of any marks and stains 
  • Fix scratches: If there are minor scratches, you can try to fix them at home. 
  • Wax your car: After washing your car, waxing it gives it a shiny finish 
  • Check headlamps 
  • Check the fluids (brake & transmission), oil, radiator, and windshield-washer: Keeping these up to date will signal to the dealer you’ve been keeping up with basic maintenance 

These quick and easy maintenance tasks will give a good first impression of your car, and the dealership you’re working with might notice and think that this car has been well taken care of. While this is beneficial for you, be realistic and consider if you are capable of doing DIY minor repairs. If you do a minor repair and it isn’t done properly, the professionals at dealerships will likely notice and subtract that from your trade-in price. 

Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In? What More?

Fixing your car before a trade-in could be a double-edged sword, but there are some cost-free steps you can take aside from fixing your car. These steps will show your vehicle has been properly taken care of:

  • Have the complete or at least recent maintenance records put together
  • Have everything that came with the car when you show up to the dealership, including the mats, keys, owner’s manual, and winter tires

Visit Us at Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro Today! 

Now that you know what to do with your vehicle before trading it in, it’s time to take the next step toward prepping your car. You can use our car trade-in value calculatorto start the process today, and apply for financing online! We are eager to help Harrogate and Ewing drivers find the perfect vehicle for their families. Visit us at our Middlesboro location and we can help you get started! If you have any follow-up questions after learning if you should fix your car before trading in, contact us today.


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