Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In?

August 3rd, 2021 by

Service Technician Working Under Vehicle

Longtime vehicle owners looking to trade in their current vehicle in Los Angeles are probably asking themselves, “Should I fix my car before trading it in?” Although the answer changes on a case-by-case basis, the experts in our Finance and Service Centers have their own advice to offer.

Cleaning your car, touching up paint on the exterior, and checking for scratches are sure to improve your vehicle’s trade-in value. However, major issues should be left alone, lest you want to spend more money on repairs than you’re going to make back when you trade-in your car. Find out more about the dos and don’ts of trading in your vehicle with Toyota of Whittier below!

What SHOULDN’T I Fix in My Car Before Trading It In?

If you’re debating whether or not you should fix your car before trading it in, Toyota of Whittier recommends not spending money on any major repairs for three main reasons:

  • Depending on the dealership you go to, they may not do a detailed inspection of your car before finalizing the trade-in, so they might not deduct the cost of these repairs from your trade-in price.
  • Dealerships have the expertise and tools to easily fix major issues at a much lower cost than you will spend out of pocket. This is how dealerships are able to make a profit from buying and reselling used cars.
  • Major repairs will be expensive, which will cut into the profit of a trade-in.

What SHOULD I Fix in My Car Before Trading It In?

El Monte drivers looking to get the best deal on their car are understandably wondering, “Should I fix my car before trading it in if there are so many downsides to doing repairs on my own?”

While you can fix minor things to make your car look more presentable in order to maintain or increase the trade-in value, dealerships often deduct the value for money they will spend for reconditioning in case of major issues that aren’t obvious. Review this brief list of things you can do to get your car in great shape before taking it into Toyota of Whittier for a trade-in:

  • Check the fluids (brake & transmission), oil, radiator, and windshield-washer – make sure they’re up to date, so the dealer will know you’ve been keeping up with basic maintenance
  • Check headlamps – make sure they’re working properly and replace them if needed
  • Fix any scratches – if the scratches are minor, you can try to DIY remove it
  • Wash the car – whether you decide to do it yourself or go to a professional, you should wash the car to get rid of any marks and stains
  • Wax your car – after washing your car, you can wax it to give a shiny finish
  • Clean out the inside – dispose of any garbage, take out personal items, and clean the windows and carpets

How Else Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In?

While fixing your car before a trade-in might be more trouble than it’s worth, there are some affordable steps you can take aside from fixing your car to show the dealership that your car has been taken of properly:

  • Have everything that came with the car when you show up to the dealership, including the mats, keys, and winter tires
  • Complete or at least have recent maintenance records neatly put together

Trade-In Your Car at Toyota of Whittier in Whittier Today!

Ready to trade in your car for a new Puente Hills vehicle? Visit us at Toyota of Whittier and we can help you get started by helping you determine the monthly payments on your new vehicle purchase with our payment calculator tool! If you have any lingering questions after learning if you should fix your car before trading in, feel free to contact us.


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