Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Tiny car with keys

Planning on trading in your car in Federal Way? Chances are you’d want the best offer possible, and you’ve probably wondered, “Should I repair body damage before trading in my car?” That will depend on what the damage is. The service team at Sunset Kia of Auburn suggest you to only work on anything that’s minor and leave the major damages as they are. Find out more about the shoulds and should nots with Sunset Kia of Auburn below!

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not To Fix

If your vehicle have any damage that needs a major repair, we highly recommend that you don’t work on them for the following reasons:

  • Major repairs will be expensive, which will lower how much you will actually get from the trade-in near Sumner.
  • Dealerships have the expertise and tools to easily fix major issues at a way lower cost than you will spend out of pocket. This is how dealerships are able to make a profit from buying and reselling used cars!
  • Depending on the dealership you go to, they might not do a detailed inspection of your car before finalizing the trade-in, so they might not deduct the cost of these repairs from your trade-in price.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What to Fix

Is there anything that you should fix before trading in your car? You can fix minor things to at least make your car presentable in hopes to maintain or increase the trade-in value. Still, dealerships reserve the right to deduct the amount they will spend for reconditioning just in case there are major issues that aren’t visible at a glance. Here is a short list of things you can do before bringing your car over for a trade-in estimate:

  • Clean out the inside, which includes disposing of any garbage, taking out any personal items, and cleaning the windows & carpets
  • Wash the car whether you decide to do it yourself or go to a professional
  • Fix any minor scratches
  • Wax your car for a shiny finish
  • Check headlamps to make sure they’re working properly and replace them if needed
  • Check the fluids (brake & transmission), oil, radiator, and windshield-washer

While cleaning the interior and washing your car are two simple jobs, the other tasks might require more skills if you decide to do them yourself. You want to be realistic about how proper of a job you can do before you attempt them. If you try to fix something minor and the fix isn’t done properly, the dealership might notice and subtract that from your offer, so keep that in mind!

What Else Can I Do Before Trading In My Car?

If you’re looking for other ways to boost your trade-in offer, you should do the following:

  • 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 Sunset Kia of Auburn Today!

Follow the steps to trading in your car in addition to making your car presentable and gathering all of the right documents now! Then, head on over to our Auburn showroom for the trade-in. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at any time!


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