Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Woman handing over car keys


Many San Antonio drivers choose to trade in their vehicles and put the value of their trade-ins toward the cost of a brand new vehicle. If you have been considering this, you may be asking, “Should I fix my car before trading in?” There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but we are happy to offer a few suggestions that may be beneficial to you. We recommend fixing minor issues. However, fixing major issues may not be cost-effective. 

Should I Repair My Car Before Trading it in? | What Not To Fix

If your current vehicle needs a lot of work, there are two main reasons why we advise not tackling major issues before you trade in your car near Alamo Heights: 

  • Major repairs can be quite costly, which will take away from the amount you receive for the trade-in.
  • Dealerships have the expertise and tools on hand to easily repair big problems for significantly less than it will cost you to do so. 

What Should I Repair Before Trading in My Car? 

Now that you know what to avoid, you may still be asking, “What should I repair before trading in my car?” There are a few simple fixes that will not cost you much and will also help you get the most for your vehicle. Here are a few steps worth considering if you want your vehicle to make a good impression. 

  • Clean the interior – Get rid of any personal items, garbage, and clean the windows & carpets. 
  • Wash the car – Visiting a car wash is an affordable way to get your vehicle looking its best. 
  • Fix any scratches- If there are minor scratches you can fix at home, you may want to do so. 
  • Wax the car – After you give the vehicle a thorough scrub, a coat of wax is also recommended.
  • Inspect the headlamps – Replace any burnt out bulbs if needed. 
  • Check the fluids – Make sure to top off any that are running low. 

Other Ways to Prepare for Trading in Your Car

To help the trade in process go as smoothly as possible, these tips can be beneficial: 

  • Neatly organize any maintenance records you have for the vehicle. 
  • Have everything that came with the car when you show up to the dealership, including the mats, keys, and winter tires.

Trade In Your Car with Us

If you are ready to trade in your vehicle, we invite you to use our trade-in tool to get an estimate of what your vehicle is worth. You can then bring it to our dealership for an in-person appraisal. Contact us today if you have any questions.

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