How to Prep
a Car for Sale

Auto Detailing Tips to
Give Your Car Some Eyeball

How to prep a car for sale using these auto detailing tips...
The 3rd of 14 steps of how to sell a car private party

Assuming you are selling a car that is average to above average and has no major mechanical problems and/or body damage, then the looks of the vehicle will be what 9 out 10 buyers will use to determine if this is a good, mechanically sound car to buy.

There are a minimum of four things you absolutely must do if you want to maximize your profits when selling a car:

  1. Detail The Car For A Showroom Shine
    • Wash the car
    • Wax the car
    • Vacuum the car (including the trunk)
    • Shampoo the interior
    • Wipe down the dash, center console, instrument cluster, etc.
    • Make the wheels shine

    Cleaning the car is like prepping yourself for a blind date...You want to make a great first impression!

    Here's a great detailing site and you can read first hand from an expert, auto detailing tips for car detailing you won't find elsewhere.

  2. Steam Clean The Engine Compartment

    You can have this professionally done or I've known people to use a can of engine de-greaser and a garden hose (not very environmentally friendly and you risk getting the distributor wet).

    Also be sure there is no obvious corrosion on the battery terminals.

  3. Change The Fluids and Air Filter

    Assuming this hasn't been done recently, you'll want to get the oil, transmission fluid and air filter changed.

    Outside of checking the belts and hoses under the hood, there really isn't a whole lot to look at here. If the fluids look good and the compartment is clean, then the buyer will assume the vehicle has been very well maintained.

  4. Check Tire Tread

    If you're selling a car with tires that are bald or will need to be replaced soon, then this will automatically get a buyers thinking down.

    The $200-$300 it may cost to replace them upfront could earn you an extra $500-$1000 when you sell the car.

If The Car Looks Good
It Must Be Good! Right?

As for any other repairs you may want to do to the vehicle that will be up to you, but I can say this...

If you take a $1,000 car and put in a new $3,000 engine, you now have a $1,000 car with a new engine. A $1,000 car is a $1,000 car!

Most money that you put into a vehicle you will never get back out of it. I would suggest sticking to the less expensive cosmetic fixes, which tend to bring the most profits.

Here is another auto detailing tips site that may be useful as well: car detailing experts cosmetic car care tips to make your life easier.

Now that you know how to prep a car for sale...
What would you like to do next?

< Go Back To Step 2
Cars Sale Price
|Move On To Step 4 >
Car For Sale Ads

Or you can...

Review the entire How To Sell Your Car guide by returning from -
How to Prep a Car to How To Sell A Car main page

Return from How to Prep a Car to Insider Car Buying Tips home

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