We’ve sold a few cars in our lives. Each time we were able to get top dollar for our used vehicles. Today I have 12 Tips to Maintain the Value of Your Car.
(This is a sponsored post for Spiffy Mobile Car Wash, my newest favorite way to get my car washed!)
You’ve all heard the saying that a new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. Although, this is somewhat true, you can prevent your car’s value from depreciating too much and too quickly by following these tips:
1. Keep it Clean – Leaving dirt and debris on your vehicle can cause small scratches. Worse yet, bird poop and splatters can actually damage the paint. A regular cleaning is going to keep your car in tip top shape.
As you know, those inexpensive drive thru car washes don’t get your car completely clean, especially on the inside. But, do you really have time to drop off your car to a mobile detailer? That’s where Spiffy Mobile Car Wash can help. They come to your home or place of business and clean your car while you work or chase the kids.
All you have to do is download the app and select your service and appointment time. Then watch as your car gets cleaned from the inside out. I’ll give you more details about the service at the end of these tips.
2. No Salt – If you live at the beach or in a harsh winter area, salt can break down your car’s paint and cause metal to rust much faster. It’s important to keep your car protected with frequent car washes and wax your vehicle’s exterior. (Spiffy Mobile Detail can do this for you if you chose the 3,4, or 5 service!)
3. Change Your Oil Regularly – Help your car’s engine run smoothly for a long time by keeping up with your oil changes. Depending on the age of your vehicle, oil changes are recommended every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Be sure to keep your receipts to show potential buyers that your car was well cared for.
4. Check Fluids – Make sure to check your car’s fluid levels at least once a month. You can check the fluids yourself or ask a mechanic to check for you. Top off engine oil, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and brake fluid if they are low. As an easy reminder, ask your mechanic to check and top off fluids at every oil change.
5. Maintenance – There is a list of required services to be perform in your vehicle’s owners manual. Keep an eye on your mileage and get those routine services performed on time. Don’t have the manual? Call the dealer and ask them for the maintenance schedule. Always keep your receipts as a reminder of what you’ve done and to show potential buyers that you took great care of the vehicle.
6. Floor Liners – One of the best things you can do for your car’s interior is to put in floor liners. We bought WeatherTech (affiliate link) floor mats the week after we bought the new minivan. They catch all kinds of spills, dirt and crumbs while protecting the carpets.
7. Keep Tires Properly Inflated – For safety and better gas mileage keep your tires inflated properly. This will also help your tires last longer.
8. Change the Air Filters – Keep the car smelling great and help your HVAC system run more efficiently by changing your air filter with every 1-2 oil changes. This is an easy DIY job, learn how to change your air filters here.
9. Fix Dents and Scratches – Keep an eye on your car’s body. If you get a dent or scratch that goes through to the metal, fix it ASAP before rust can form. It might be as simple as getting touch up paint from the dealer. Or you might need the help from a professional auto body shop.
10. Don’t Trash It – Keep a trash bag in your car to collect any garbage. Kids are especially prone to leaving half eaten food in the car. Train them to dispose of all waste. A simple trash bag that clips to the back of your seat (affiliate link) has worked well for us.
11. Park it Inside – This is a tough one if you don’t have a garage. Or like me, your garage serves a purpose other than storing your automobiles. If parking your vehicle inside isn’t an option, try not to park under trees (birds and falling limbs can do damage to your car.) And be sure to refer back to tip number 1.
12. Drive It – A car needs to be driven at least once a week to keep the engine and parts in good working order. This will also prevent tires from getting flat spots.
Follow as many of these tips to maintain the value of your car and receive top dollar when it comes time to sell your vehicle!
Now, about that Spiffy Mobile Car Wash and Detail. Here’s how my car went from “kid taxi” to “fresh off the dealer lot” look. Follow along, and you too can use your phone to wash your car!
Here’s how Spiffy works:
Scheduled your service through the app on your phone. I chose the #4 Awesome Detail:
Then sit back and wait for Spiffy to show up! Mike, my technician showed up on time.
He opened his blue truck and had all the tools on hand to give the van a thorough cleaning.
Mike immediately got to work.
He took the middle seats out and all the WeatherTech liners (affiliate link). Later he told me that those liners work really well and that he only had to clean around the edges and the seams of the liners.
All the vents and crevices were sprayed with compressed air and the outside was sprayed with a pressure washer.
If you have an SUV or van, you know how hard it is to get the top of your vehicle clean. I know you’ll appreciate this photo:
After the car was washed and dried, Mike waxed and buffed everything to a beautiful shine.
Last, but not least, everything got the final clean cloth wipe down.
Want to see some amazing before and afters?
The rear window always has a film of dirt. No “tunnel” style car wash has ever gotten it 100% clean.
This space on the bumper is a dirt collection zone. I have specimens of sand and dirt trapped there from every road trip we make. Now it looks brand new. (Besides that spot where I backed into a pier, just ignore that dimple.)
This is probably a familiar sight — the dusty dash. Spiffy cleaned every square inch of my car’s interior.
I have to admit, although I like the navy blue color, it really shows dirt.
But, when it’s clean, it’s beautiful!
My van is so clean, it has a mirror finish. I know you are drooling over my clean van right now.
I’m off to try to keep my van spotless. Should I tell the kids they have to take their shoes off at the car door?