Maintenance That Can Affect Your Vehicle’s Valuation
The most important factors that determine the valuation of a pre-owned vehicle are its make, mileage and age. Other factors, like being involved in a serious accident or being flooded, might supersede age or mileage in importance in some circumstances.
There are a lot of other lesser factors that might also have a significant impact on the valuation of a pre-owned vehicle. Fuel efficiency, aesthetics, physical condition, safety features, addons and maintenance history are a few examples.
There are many things that you as the owner can do to ensure you get the most value possible when selling your current car, truck or SUV. Staying on top of routine maintenance is one of those things.
There are a lot of things on your vehicle that need to be replaced periodically. These various components are often broken out into a few different mileage umbrellas.
Oil changes rank at the top of the list for frequency. Depending on the quality of the oil and the age of the engine, you should consider getting the oil changed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.
While many manufacturers recommend 3,000 or 3,500 miles, a lot of mechanics will tell you 5,000 is probably fine. Older vehicles might benefit from high mileage oils and more frequent oil changes, especially if they’re inching towards 200,000 or more miles. Different cars have different needs, so you should always look at what your manufacturer recommends and what other owners have experienced.
One of the benefits of getting your oil and oil filter professionally changed are all the other things the service specialists will throw in. They’ll generally check a number of fluid levels, including coolant, power steering, brake fluid and even your windshield washer fluid. They’ll also do things like check your tires, check your battery health, air and cabin filters etc.
Having this cursory checklist performed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles can help ensure the longevity of your vehicle and protect its value in the long run.
Roughly every five oil changes you should also have several other components checked or replaced. These include:
- Fuel filters
- Power steering fluid
Although they may not need to be replaced, things like brake pads and hoses should also be checked. It’s also a good time to ensure air conditioning systems and other important comfort components are working properly. Your battery may also need to be replaced every 25,000 to 35,000 miles, depending on the quality of the battery and the climate in which you drive.
Important components that may need to be checked or replaced at 40,000 miles include:
- Spark plugs and your vehicle’s ignition system
- Brake fluid
The quality of your vehicle’s spark plugs has a lot to do with how frequently they need to be replaced. The new titanium and iridium spark plugs might be able to continue operating at upwards of 100,000 miles.
How you drive has a lot to do with how long you can expect your vehicle’s brakes to last, but some people use 60,000 miles as a general rule of thumb for pad replacement and rotor resurfacing. You should ideally have your brake pads checked semi-frequently during oil changes or other maintenance and inspection visits.
Brake rotors don’t always need to be replaced. In some cases, they can be smoothed and continue performing safely.
At roughly 60,000 miles it’s usually a good idea to flush and completely replace a vehicle’s coolant. Manual transmission vehicles might also need their transmission fluid replaced every 50,000 to 60,000 miles. There’s more of a range with automatic transmission fluids, with some only requiring replacement every 90,000 to 100,000 miles.
Vehicles that still use timing belts instead of timing chains should probably have the belt replaced about every 80,000 to 90,000 miles. Your manufacturer may recommend replacing the timing belt more frequently.
Many modern vehicles use timing chains, which are much less likely to break. However, timing chains can stretch over time, so it’s not a bad idea for it to be inspected, especially once a vehicle gets over 100,000 miles.
The Value of Your Car Is in Its Remaining Mileage
When someone buys a used car in Washington DC or Baltimore, they are essentially buying its remaining mileage. A poorly maintained car that will only reliably go another 30,000 miles will inevitably be worth less than a well-maintained vehicle that has another 100,000 to 150,000 miles of life left in it.
Car owners can’t personally do anything about market forces or the popularity of their vehicle, but they do have complete control over their own vehicle’s maintenance and physical condition.
Take care of your car, so when you do sell your vehicle to Easterns Automotive Group or someone else, you can maximize the price you receive.
Call us at 877-867-0641 if you’re interested in selling your current car, and make sure to browse our inventory if you’re in the market for a great, well-maintained pre-owned vehicle.