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Selling Your Car: Do I Need to Replace Any Parts?

When the time comes to sell your car, it can be difficult to figure out how much you should invest in repairs before listing it. If you don’t do anything, you run the risk of leaving money on the table, because obvious maintenance issues lead buyers to expect steep discounts. At the same time, there are some improvements that cost more than their additional resale value, and that might mean you are better off selling your car without the upgrade.

If you are considering tune-up essentials like spark plugs as you weigh the cost of a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic headlight bulb, it helps to put some important items in perspective. As long as you have taken good care of your vehicle up to now, chances are you only have a couple tune-up items and those lights to tackle before you can list it for its best value.

Headlights Are a Must

Even if you do nothing else to fix up your vehicle, you should take care of the headlights for the next owner. You never know exactly how much life they have left, and it can be both embarrassing and costly to wind up having a headlight burn out while a prospective buyer is out on a test drive. On top of that, the discount buyers expect from a vehicle with visible issues tends to be more costly than a new 2014 Honda Pilot headlight bulb, especially when you do the replacement yourself.

While you are replacing the headlights, go ahead and check out the condition of your tires. This is another area where a little investment might go a long way. If your treads are good and there are no visible signs of extreme tire age or other damage, then you probably don’t need an upgrade. If your tires look like they will need replacement soon, it’s better to put on a set of economy-tier tires than to take the hit to your asking price.

Getting a Good Tune Up

It’s also a good idea to follow through with any past-due maintenance items from your manufacturer’s prescribed maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual to see what you need to follow up with. Some items like struts or brakes can be inspected and, if they are serviceable, delayed. Others, like valve and fluid replacements, should be handled right away. A few dollars on replacement parts can translate to a few hundred in raised asking prices, after all. You can find items like PCV valves at the same retailer you trust when you need to order a 2009 Honda Pilot headlight bulb.

To really get to the bottom of your vehicle’s maintenance needs, the best choice is a full tune-up. Changing out spark plugs and wires, changing the oil, and checking other fluids can refresh your vehicle’s performance more than you expect, and that changes the way it feels on a test drive. Today’s vehicle market is tough, and the key to getting a great upgrade is finding the perfect selling price for your old car.


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