10 Ways to Maintain the Value of Your Car

There are many reasons why it is important for owners to keep up with their car’s maintenance. Besides the safety issue and avoiding a breakdown at an ill-opportune time, proper car maintenance adds to the resale value whether you decide to sell your car privately or as a trade-in through a dealership.

1. Keep your receipts

Receipts are proof that the car has received the proper maintenance. In turn, this helps to alleviate any concerns the next owner may have about the reliability of the vehicle they are about to purchase.


2. Keep the car in the garage

W ether it’s the heat from the blazing sun, road salt during the winter months or a hail storm leaving dents and dings, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a garage, keep your car stored inside. Avoiding overexposure to the elements can help maintain the car’s exterior. The more the car looks like new, the better the resale value.


3. Get regular tune-ups

Time slows all things, including the performance of a car’s engine. To ensure your engine is operating at peak performance, getting a tune-up when recommended by the manufacturer is important. A tune-up covers everything from a visual inspection of the fuel system to checking the oil and coolant systems. The end result … your engine will last longer and you’ll get better gas mileage to boot!


4. Keep low mileage

The purpose of a car is to move the owner from place to place, but the less miles a car has, the less wear-and-tear the machinery has. Cameron may have been able to take the miles off of his dad’s car in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but that doesn’t work in real life.


5. Wash your car regularly

Dust, wind, pollen, salt and sand can wear your car’s exterior. If unattended to, these can get into the cracks of the car and slowly weaken the inner workings. If you live in a place that gets snow and ice, make sure to remove road salt during the winter. The salt on your car is caustic and will degrade the exterior and exposed parts of your car if left on too long. When left on the windshield it can obstruct your vision as well. A salty, worn-down car is going to sell for less, even with the TLC afterward.


6. Park cautiously

Even a small dent from a car door can hurt the value of your vehicle. Park farther away from the other cars. If that’s not an option, make sure to park with a decent distance between cars. Another place to avoid parking is under trees. Not only could your car get covered in bird droppings, but you risk the chance of damage from falling limbs and branches.


7. Fix scratches and dents immediately

There is nothing quite like the sudden cold feeling when you hear a thud or a scrape against your car. Was it you? Was it someone else? Either way, there is a dent in your car. Get to your usual shop as soon as you can, or pull out your repair kit and fix it yourself


8. Drive calmly

Of course, not getting arrested for reckless driving is important, but aggressive driving can also screw up a car’s worth. Many of America’s roads are filled with cracks and potholes, and driving through them at high speeds can damage many parts of the car. The wheels and the undercarriage can be damaged from hitting the ground. Even just scuffs will devalue the vehicle.


9. Keep the inside clean

People are so busy that some seem to live in their cars. This can sometimes lead to a build-up of trash and dust. Don’t eat or drink in the car. Grease stains on the leather, the smell of sauerkraut or spilled coffee on the carpet could dramatically decrease your car’s value. It is not a Jackson Pollock painting, so be quick to clean stains. Don’t smoke in the car. As in any room, smoke will stain the interior. No animals on the seats (if necessary, use a crate or carrier.) Fur, dander, dirt, fleas, ticks and anything that comes out of a dog or cat should not be in your car.


10. If anything sounds or feels off, get it checked out

In the early 20th century, airplanes were valuable in war. Sometimes, however, the plane’s engine just might stop, on its own or because the pilot needed a quiet entry into certain airspace. To fly and navigate, pilots could feel the plane through their bodies. They were flying by the seat of their pants. Why all that? Any average commuter takes the same car somewhere every day. They know how their cars feel. If something feels off, like a sudden little skip in the brake or a strange humming, the smart thing to do is get it checked out, just in case. Let the seat of your pants guide you.


Maintaining the value of a car can be very rewarding, and some people enjoy it so much that they collect valuable cars just for the thrill. However, like Cameron’s dad, you can’t always control what will happen to them. Be prepared. Visit www.good2go.com to get a free, no-obligation quote for low-cost, minimum limits auto insurance that can keep you driving legal for less.

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