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How To Sell Your Used Car Fast

Car Care Tips to more easily sell your used car fast and get highest price

The following list of Car Care tips will help you sell your used car fast and with less haggling. It is a proven fact that a well maintained and good looking car will sell faster than a used car or truck that has not been well cared for. To get the most dollars when you go to sell your used car, review this checklist of routine auto maintenance items. This will guide you and help you take care of the little things before they become big problems. It is recommended to do this before you need to sell your used car fast. Though some of these items you can take care of now, others like oil change frequency require that you do proactive maintenance on your engine. All these tips have helped me sell my car fast.



Modern cars have "maintenance free" batteries, the kind where you cannot check the fluid levels. Usually, for these kind of batteries, just check every couple months to make sure the battery terminals are clean. Lift the rubber covers and take a look. For older cars with older style batteries, its best to check it every month or so. Replace it when it becomes excessively dirty or as part of a tune-up. It is easy to reach, right under the hood, in most cars, or in a rectangular box at the forward end of the air duct hose assembly. Selling your used car means taking care of corrosion issues on your car and the acidity of the battery compartment makes this a great place to start your preventative maintenance.



Engine belts and hoses should always be in strong shape with easy bending qualities. Any hose or belts showing dried out rubber that is frayed, glazed, or starting to show too many shredded threads should be replaced immediately. Also pay close attention to the metal clamps that hold the hoses in place. Make sure to tighten these clamps. Hoses that look bad or show excessive softeness or hardness should be replaced. Selling a used car fast is easy when you take care of these small but very important details.


Brake Fluid

Check the brake fluid every couple of months. Pay attention to your car's brake master cylinder reservoir lid. If necessary, flip off the retainer clip and remove the lid or unscrew the plastic lid, depending on which type your vehicle has. Add needed fluid and check for possible leaks throughout the system. Pay special attention not to overfill the reservoir.


Engine Oil

Of all the tips that have helped me sell my used car fast, this one is the easiest to do, but also the easiest to overlook! Detailed attention paid to something as seemingly insignificant as checking a used car's oil once a month can pay off big time. Checking your oil means removing your oil dipstick mounted on the engine, wiping it clean with a paper or rag, then re-inserting the dipstick into its tube.

Remove the dipstick a second time and inspect the fluid level. Your oil dipstick should have notches indicating if the oil level is low. Add oil if necessary. To maintain peak performance, your used car's oil should be completely drained and replaced every 5,000 miles or 180 days, whichever comes first for light driving and more frequently with heavy daily use, especially if you sit idling in traffic to go to work. Refer to your owner's manual for recommended oil change frequency. Remember to always replace the oil filter whenever the oil is changed. The absolute minimum is once a year, even if you hardly drive the car for more than short, local trips. If your car has an electronic oil-change indicator on the instrument cluster, don't exceed its warning.


Different Types of Motor Oil

Premium Conventional Oil- Standard on all late model new-cars. Most major oil brands have one for service level SL, available in several viscosities (degrees of oil thickness). Auto manufacturers often specify a 5W-20 or 5W-30 oil, particularly for those cars in colder climates- an alternate 10W-30 oil can also be used by cars driven in warmer or less extreme weather conditions. These aformentioned ratings cover just about every used vehicle on the road.

Full Synthetic Oil - Full synthetic oils are made for modern high-tech engines used in sports cars and German luxury autos. The oils of this type must pass stringent special tests and display better, longer range engine performance in several important areas, from viscosity index to protection against deposits. Synthetics are often favored in more extreme climates because of the way they flow better at low temperatures and keep peak lubricity at high temps. The high cost of these oils compared to conventional oil means that only the most expensive and high performance autos are recommended to use this oil type. Lower performance autos are better served by conventional oils. As always, read and follow your owner's manual.

Synthetic Blend Oil - These oils are a blend of synthetic oil mixed with conventional oil, and are formulated to provide protection for somewhat heavier loads and high temperatures. This type of oil is less volatile and good for use in warmer climates because they evaporate slower than conventional oil, which reduces oil loss and increases fuel economy. Synthetic blend oils are often a good alternative for those drivers who want a little better engine protection for less cost than a full synthetic oil.

Higher Mileage Oil - Late model used vehicles are staying on the road longer than ever before. For those used car owners who intend to keep their autos a long time, there is also the option of using special oil formulated especially for higher-mileage vehicles. Almost two-thirds of the vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. You can find these specialized higher mileage oils at most major auto parts stores.


Loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports can lead to exhaust leaks bigger problems for you and your used car. Check for holes in muffler or pipes. If you live and drive along the coast or where it snows in winter, you should guard against rusted parts from all the damp, salty air and road surfaces.


Make sure that all your lights are clean and working, including the brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers. Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your vehicle. Often a non-working light is because the bulb has burnt out or can be the result of simple short circuits that can be fixed for little money. The resale value on a used car with faulty lighting can take a nose-dive way in excess of the cost of fixing this simple problem.

Power Steering Fluid

Examine the power steering fluid level once evey couple of months. Check it by removing the reservoir dipstick. Add fluid if the level is down and inspect the attached pump and hoses for leaks. If the steering wheel squeaks too much when you turn it, you need to replenish your power steering. Locate the pump and filler cap, remove the dipstock and check it like you would your motor oil. If you have difficulty finding the pump, have your local mechanic take a look for you.

Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers that are old and need to be replaced often suffer from oil seepage, which will be visible upon inspection. Before you climb under the car, test shock action by bouncing the car up and down. The car should stop bouncing after one push. If it keeps bouncing a couple times, then that means the worn and leaking shocks should be replaced. Always replace shock absorbers in pairs.


Well maintained tires not only help you sell your used car fast (especially to "tire kickers") but can also save your life! Keep tires inflated to recommended pressure. Any bulges on the tires indicate that they should be immediately replaced. If your tire tread is unevenly worn down, replace the whole tire even if there is plenty of tread left on most of the tire. Also have the wheel alignment checked on your car. These are problems that often cause uneven tread wear. Obviously, if your used car is showing balding tires, get them replaced with new ones right away. Few used car accessories command a higher price or helped me sell my used car fast like great tires.

Transmission Fluid

Check transmission fluid monthly with engine warm and running, and the parking brake on. Shift to drive, then to park. Locate and remove dipstick, wipe dry, insert it and remove it again. Add the approved type fluid, if needed. Never overfill.

Washer Fluid

Keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir full. Use some of it to clean off the wiper blades.

Wiper Blades

Inspect the windshield wiper blades whenever you clean your windshield. Do not wait until the rubber is worn or brittle to replace them. They should be replaced at least once per year, and more often if smearing occurs.

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