Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Chevy Service Technician Adjusting Windshield Wipers

If you want to trade in your current vehicle and put the money towards a down payment on a new model, it’s normal to have questions. One of the main questions we field at Five Star Automotive Group is “Should I fix my car before trading in?” To help you avoid spending unnecessary money on your current ride, we created the following guide. Review what to do, and what not to do, before trading in your vehicle. And remember, our dealership near routinely accepts trade-ins!



Fix My Car Before Trade: What to Do

So should I fix my car before trading in? That’s what a lot of and drivers ask us. Alongside “How to fix my car before a trade-in?” is another question we’ve received. To obtain the highest possible trade-in value, you’ll want your vehicle to look as sleek and eye-catching as possible. Our team recommends taking the following steps:

  • Clean and detail the inside: Remove any trash and personal items. Clean the dashboard, console, storage bins, windows, seats, and carpets using the appropriate tools and products.
  • Wash the vehicle: Take your vehicle to the local car wash in or the surrounding area. You can also wash the exterior yourself to remove insect remains, bird excrement, water marks, and any other stains.
  • Fix minor scratches: Deal with small car paint scratches using a scratch removal product or a DIY baking soda and water mixture. Large paint scratches should be handled by a body shop.
  • Wax your car: Make your car gleam in the sunlight with a fresh coat of wax.
  • Inspect the headlamps: Ensure the headlights are functional; replace burnt-out bulbs as needed.
  • Check the fluid levels: Top off vehicle fluids and replace them if necessary, including the brake and transmission fluids, oil, radiator fluid, and windshield cleaner.

You’ll also want to gather vehicle history and maintenance reports. Make certain you have all copies of the car keys as well as all winter tires and mats.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not To Do

There are tasks you can skip before scheduling a trade-in value assessment:

  • Major repairs: Serious maintenance and repairs reduce the amount of money you’ll receive from the trade. Dealership service department technicians have the tools and expertise to quickly fix major problems for a lower total cost. So in answer to How to fix my car before trade, it might impact your total value.
  • Detailed Inspection: Some dealerships do not perform vehicle inspections before completing the trade-in. Find out if the dealer wants to do an inspection before scheduling one to keep your costs low.

Trade In Your Car at Five Star Automotive Group Today

Now you know the answer to, “Should I fix my car before trading in?”! If it’s time to learn the trade-in value of your vehicle, call or contact us online today to make an appointment. We look forward to helping you lower your new car down payment! For more helpful reads, learn more about your buying power and the benefits of buying new vs. used vehicles!


More from Five Star Automotive Group

  • Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Car?

      Certain times of the year are great for buying a car. Is now a good time to buy a car? December is typically one of the best months of the year! As you shop at Five Star Automotive Group and see about auto loan financing, you’ll notice that the end of the year represents one of the…

  • Five Star Has Acquired Two More Stores in Ohio

    If you love shopping at Five Star Automotive Group but can’t always make it to the area, then you’ll be pleased to hear our wonderful news. There are now two more Five Star Ohio dealerships from which you’ll be able to shop. That’s right, Five Star Automotive Group has acquired two new stores in Ohio: Toyota of North Canton and…

  • Apple CarPlay No Longer Available for GM Electric Vehicles

    That’s right. General Motors just announced that they’ll be cutting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility from their electric vehicle lineup, starting with the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. So, why would a manufacturer do away with your ability to connect your smartphone to your infotainment system? That’s because GM is introducing a new Google-powered infotainment…

Five Star Automotive Group 33.109962, -83.254708.