"There are four major factors taken into account when
evaluating the worth of a car: mileage, market data, the condition of the
vehicle and how well it has been maintained," says CarMax, one of the nation's
largest resellers of used cars.
Here are some tips to keep that value in your car:
1. Stick to the vehicle's maintenance schedule. Keep all car records. Don’t toss paperwork that a potential buyer wants to see. Instead, keep a simple file of all of your bills, receipts, recall notices, e-mails and letters about your vehicle.
2. Keep the interior and exterior clean. Don't neglect the carpet or floor mats.
3. Don't smoke in your car. Smoking in a car narrows the market because it is very difficult to remove the smell of smoke.
4. Avoid eating in your car. It may damage the interior by leaving stains or unwanted odors.
5. Have scratches, dents and paint chips repaired in a timely manner. If left alone, they may lead to rust or other expensive damage.
6. Go synthetic. When you do get that oil change, consider one of the well-known synthetic oils on the market. Your engine could last longer and operate at cooler temperatures.
7. Fix what breaks. Today’s cars are way more complicated than cars from 20 years ago. A little problem can become a big problem if ignored.
8. Don't be cheap. Use parts approved by the manufacturer or that come from a source you trust. Develop a relationship with the shop that repairs your car. Don't cut corners on safety.
9. Park and walk. Don't grab the first space closest to the door of the mall. Instead, park in a less used area and walk the short distance. You get a little more exercise, and your car has a better chance of avoiding dings and being a target for the "stop-by-contact" crowd.
10. Avoid customizing your car. It does not add to its value. Adding aftermarket accessories can lower the market value for a car by narrowing its appeal.
11. Get an annual physical. It’s good advice for both you and your car. Many states require an annual inspection for all vehicles.
12. Have your car professionally detailed before you attempt to sell it.
Protect your Investment
A Secret to a long life for your Automobile and fewer expensive Repairs
Engines, transmissions, differentials, power steering, cooling systems,
brake systems - they all have oils or fluids that act as lubricants
along with performing a function. These fluids carry metal that has worn
away and dirt and debris that increases friction on metal parts and seals as
it accumulates. Another integral component of these fluids are additives to
keep seals and gaskets from hardening and leaking prematurely, additives to
prevent corrosion and sludge buildup, anti-foaming additives, detergents to
suspend dirt, additives to maintain the oil viscosity and a few others to
keep the fluid performing it's function properly. Over time these additives
are depleted, diluted or just plain worn out and no longer effective.
The Tip: If you want to save a lot in repairs and keep your vehicle going for many years, change all the fluids on schedule as listed in your owner's manual.
Some automobile manufactures prefer you don't change these fluids as regularly as necessary; they are, after all in the business of selling vehicles.
Washing your car in the summer helps the appearance, but washing it in the winter helps prevent rust and corrosion, especially in areas where salt is present.