Buying new cars can be fun, you get to shop around all the new models, maybe take a few test drives, get a good whiff of that new car smell… and then you go to trade in your current car to help with the bill, and… they don’t value it highly. Keeping your current car worth it’s weight can be challenging. If you want to get the most value out of your car, here’s a few tips to make your vehicle hold value (and, should you not want to trade it in, these are good ways to make your car last too!)
This one may seem a bit obvious, but it’s true. Only about 15% of the US Population smokes – if your car smells like smoke, you’re potentially alienating 85% of buyers. Smoke is also one of the hardest smells to remove, so a detail for smoke removal can be very expensive. If possible, avoid smoking inside the car.
Garage kept cars usually have better paint and less cosmetic rust over time, not to mention aren’t exposed to potential dangers like falling branches. The underbody of garage kept cars are usually cleaner too.
Rubber floormats, especially those which are designed to catch large amounts of dirt and liquids like those from WeatherTech, are great at keeping your carpet looking clean, which is a huge selling point.
Find that owner’s manual and treat it like a Bible. If you don’t have it, go to and purchase the manual for your car – manufacturers still make old manuals, you can probably find your vehicle. Do all the factory recommended services the manual recommends at their required mileage. For example, most vehicles recommend new spark plugs at 100,000 miles. Don’t forget to keep up with your oil changes too!
Carfax records are great, especially if you’ve been keeping up on your regular maintenance. Being able to show everything you’ve done since you purchased the vehicle shows you’ve been a responsible owner and that you’ve got a well kept car.
Let’s be very clear on one thing – AVOID AUTOMATIC CAR WASHES AT ALL COSTS – you can find plenty of testimonials online of former car wash employees who tell horror stories of how the machinery and brushes are never cleaned and commonly scratch paint. Wash a car by hand, or find a company that washes by hand (there’s even a few here in Mint Hill!) If you wash yourself, use car soap, not dish soap. Wax at least once a year!
Ultimately, what defines the worth of a vehicle is how well it runs and how many miles it has. Keep mileage to a minimum. Maybe bike to the grocery store instead of drive one day, or walk to lunch instead of drive there. If you’re planning on going on a road trip, get a rental instead of using your own vehicle. Also, drive gently. Doing so can increase engine life. Slower takeoffs are one of the best things you can do, they improve fuel economy.
Don’t think rubber floormats and not smoking in the cabin is enough. A dirty cabin is a hard one to sell. Vacuum your carpets regularly, and schedule a detail service once a year or so to get all those places you can’t reach clean. Avoid eating in your car too, one piece of rotting food that fell between the seats is all it takes to make the inside of your car smell gross. Lastly, avoid scratching the plastic wherever possible. It really shows.
Have any questions about keeping your car high in value? Feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireofMintHill
Hurricane Florence was one of the worst storms to hit the Carolinas in years. The coastal region experienced large amounts of flooding, and as a result many cars were terminally damaged in the process. Unfortunately, flood cars are the automobile version of Frankenstein‘s Monster — they commonly are refurbished and put back out on the street, despite being unsafe and needing to be in a car graveyard. You plan on being in the used car market in the upcoming weeks, be aware of the potential of buying a flooded car and know the signs and symptoms to look for.
1. Salvage Titles.
Salvage Titles are a great way to find flood vehicles, but it is flawed system. Any car effected by a flood is considered a total loss, and any that go back out on the road wind up with a salvage title… that is, if it was reported in the first place. While many auto owners will do what is right and report to their insurance companies, many will attempt to hide any damage on the vehicle and resell it as if the vehicle was never involved. Remember, a clean title does not necessarily mean a clean car.
2. Your Senses are Your Friends.
While some may go above and beyond to hide flood damage, shoddy jobs are easy to detect with your eyes and nose. Does the car smell moldy? Does the car smell like a air–freshener–bomb went off inside, like they‘re trying to hide a smell? Does the carpet have stains that don‘t look like a drink spill? Are there stains on the roof? Have the rugs been recently replaced? Do electronics not work? If your answer to questions like these is “yes” you should probably run.
3. Deals so Good, They‘re Fishy.
Check and see what cars are going for in your area with national evaluators. For example, a base–level 2013 Toyota Camry LE with 80,000 miles is currently worth $7,000–8,000 in “Good” condition According to Kelly Blue Book. If you see one that hit the used car circuit after mid–September and it only costs $4,000, you‘ve probably got a flood car.
4. You Aren‘t in the Clear because you live in Mint Hill
The easiest place to sell flooded vehicles is in a place that did not flood. While Mint Hill did receive an average of about 9.5 inches of rain during Florence, our weather was considerably less violent than that which hit the coast. Due to the fact that we had minimal to no flooding, used car sellers may attempt to pedal cars in our area — after all, why would we expect to be buying flooded cars if we didn‘t get flooded?
5. Flood Damage isn‘t Just in the Cabin
If a car in a flooded area didn‘t have damage to the cabin, many sellers think they‘re in the clear. However, flooding does just as much damage to frames and engines as it does to interiors, and that‘s where the real danger lies. Flooded engines commonly act like lemons (If you missed our article about those, head over to www.autorepairminthill.com to catch up!) and cars with frame rust are extremely deadly in crashes. Take a peek under the hood at the engine and look under the vehicle at the frame. If you see any rust, run.
Like with any list, we have not covered every possible sign of flood damage, so be sure to check the news for ways to find flood cars that may not have been covered in our article. Most importantly, stay safe! If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 704-545-4597, email us at email@example.com, or send us a message on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireOfMintHill.