There are a few malfunctions that are especially likely to strike a vehicle at the beginning of the winter when the frigid temperatures first arrive. These malfunctions could ruin your sale if they occur during a test drive or if they occur right after you sell a vehicle and the buyer demands his or her money back.
If you’re selling your an older used car right at the start of the winter season, you should definitely take some time to carry out some basic maintenance to make sure the sale goes well.
The following are five important things to consider doing as the winter approaches before you take your vehicle out to be looked at by potential buyers:
- Check the Kelley Blue Book value of your vehicle– Before anyone tries to sell a used car, they should make themselves aware of how much their vehicle is worth. If you don’t know what the exact market value of your vehicle is, you may be holding out on lucrative offers. Many drivers assume their vehicle is worth more than it actually is. Get an objective opinion on the value of your vehicle by going online and entering some basic information about your vehicle. Within minutes, you can look up the value of your vehicle so you know about how much you can expect buyers to be willing to pay.
- Have a mechanic inspect it and discuss winter driving with your mechanic– If you don’t know much about auto mechanics, you should definitely consult your mechanic about what types of hazards or risks drivers face with your vehicle in winter weather. Potential buyers are going to want to know about any work your vehicle needs or will needs in the near future, and you’ll appear more reliable as a seller if you can give potential buyers this much needed information. Your mechanic can tell you how capable your vehicle will be for test drives and could even do some little things that could make your engine sound better when you start your vehicle up.
- Putting antifreeze in your coolant tank- One of the most important things to do going in to the winter when taking care of your vehicle is making sure you’ve got antifreeze in your coolant tank. Sometimes, people fill a coolant tank up with water in the summer because water functions adequately as a coolant, but in freezing temperatures you need a coolant that won’t freeze. If you know that water has been put in your coolant tank lately, you might want to have your coolant tank completely flushed out.
- Getting thinner motor oil- Auto mechanics experts typically recommend thicker oil in the summer months and thinner oil in the winter months. This is because liquids tend to naturally thicken at cooler temperatures. For optimal engine operation, you’ll want an oil that’s going to thicken with the cold to the right condition for the best possible engine operations when the temperatures are low. Have an oil change and discuss oil thickness with your mechanic before trying to sell. Potential buyers will assume that you’ve maintained the car well if they see the oil has just been changed, and your car will likely perform better in even long test drives in freezing weather.
- Check your battery’s charge and replace if necessary- Cold weather drains a battery’s power and makes it more difficult to get your car started. You certainly don’t want your car to have trouble getting started when you’re in the process of selling it to prospective buyers. Many auto parts stores will check the charge o a battery for customers for free. By checking your battery’s charge, you’ll know whether you need a replacement or not.
- Check tire tread and overall condition- Tire condition becomes especially important when you’re driving in slick conditions like during a snow or ice storm. One traditional way to examine a tire’s treat is to use a penny or quarter. When you stick a penny into the grooves of a tire, you should not be able to see the top of Lincoln’s head. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires are bald, the tread is worn, and you should certainly not be driving your vehicle in slick conditions until you get replacement tires. With a quarter, you should not be able to see the top of Washington’s head.
- Replace wipers if necessary- Wipers are important to keeping you safe when you’re driving in snow or other types of winter precipitation. Typically, wiper blades should be replaced at least once every year to keep them functioning optimally.