Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Ford salesperson handing keys to customer


Wondering if you should fix your car before trading it in? Trade-in value is largely about vehicle condition, sure. But what most dealers won’t tell you is that they receive so many trades and have such well-trained service professionals, that even if your vehicle has serious issues, they a) may not realize before accepting your trade, and b) can likely fix it on the cheap. So, while making small fixes to your trade is advisable, you’re probably better off holding out on that new transmission or radiator repair. Read on to learn more about what you should vs. shouldn’t fix before valuing your trade and selling it to us at Walt Massey Ford.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not to Fix

Major repairs should be, mostly, considered a no-go for you before trading your car in. Why? Because:

  1. Major repairs will be expensive, which will lower your net trade profit.
  2. Dealership service centers like Walt Massey Ford have the expertise and tools to fix major issues at cost, such that they can usually still make a profit from buying and reselling used cars that need major work done.
  3. Depending on the dealership you go to, they might not do a detailed inspection of your car before finalizing the trade-in. Every dealer is different.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What to Fix

What should you fix in your Prentiss or Tylertown ride before trading it in? Minor reconditioning work, detailing, and small mechanical repairs to clean up your vehicle and getting it looking like new again can be quite beneficial, both from a curb appeal and financial standpoint:

  • Check Your Lights: Be sure your headlights and taillights work well and replace them if needed. Brake lights are another thing to complete.
  • Check Your Fluids: Brake & transmission are especially important — but also oil, radiator, and windshield-washer-fluid — to ensure that they’re up to date.
  • Clean the Inside: Throw out garbage, remove personal items, and clean the windows & vacuum the carpets and upholstery.
  • Wash & Wax the Outside: Try to get the paint as shiny and illustrious as possible!
  • Repair Dents & Scratches: if they’re minor and can be pulled or compounded out easily, then repairing dents and scratches can go a long way to making your vehicle’s exterior look shiny and new.

If you do all of the above, the other plus is that the dealership may think you’ve taken really good care of your car and be more lenient about the inspection process.

What Else Can I Do Before Trading in My Car?

There are some final steps you should consider before you trade in your car at Walt Massey Ford or other Oak Grove area, including:

  • Complete or at least recent maintenance records neatly put together
  • Have everything that came with the car when you show up at the dealership, including the mats, keys, and winter tires

Trade in Your Car at Walt Massey Ford Today!

Now that you know more about what to fix and what not to fix on your car before trading it in, it’s time to get down to business! Need to order parts for minor fixes? You can use our online parts order form!

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Walt Massey Ford 31.253639, -089.783294.