IRVINE, Calif., July 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With prices for both new and used vehicles hitting all-time highs, it can be daunting to think about trading in your car for a new set of wheels in the current marketplace. On the one hand you could get more for your trade-in, but on the other hand you would have to pay more for its replacement. The best scenario may be to just hold on to the vehicle you have and use this time wisely to maximize its value in the long run. The experts at Kelley Blue Book recommend investing in the car you have right now by catching up on vehicle service and repairs, creating a benefit that is two-fold: You'll enjoy better performance and fuel economy, and when it comes time to trade-in or sell your vehicle, it will be worth more because of these expenditures.
"It's always a smart move to stay current on vehicle maintenance, but in this challenging marketplace for car buyers it's more important than ever to take care of the car you have," said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "Now is the time to catch up on the vehicle maintenance, service and repairs you may have put off. Doing so will increase your car's value so you can get top dollar when it comes time to trade or sell down the road."
Kelley Blue Book's 10 Vehicle Service and Repair Tips to Consider
1. Get the car detailed (and keep it clean)
Car detailing is the process where your vehicle is restored to a like-new showroom condition. Performed by hand, it can include an exterior wash and polishing, vacuuming and steam-cleaning the interior and trim, conditioning the seating surfaces, scrubbing and brushing crumbs from crevices, wheel cleaning/tire dressing, and more.
2. Fix those dents
When your car looks good, you look good. Take detailing a step further and have dings removed, dents repaired, and the paint refreshed. Also consider cleaning, polishing or replacing oxidized, cloudy headlight lenses.
3. Oil changes and tune-ups
Oil changes are necessary for the long life of your vehicle, as it's essentially a transfusion for your vehicle's engine. Traditional oil should be changed every 6,000 – 7,500 miles, while synthetic oil can go up to 10,000 miles or once a year. And because today's vehicles are more complex than ever, they need regular maintenance to run properly – so don't skip tune-ups. Technicians use a computer hooked to a vehicle's onboard diagnostics to see how the engine is working and restore it to factory specs.
Front or all-wheel alignments keep your vehicle running on the straight and narrow. A properly aligned vehicle will allow your car to steer straightly, maintain its suspension geometry, and most importantly, maximize the life of your tires.
5. New tires
There's nothing like a new set of tires to revitalize your automobile. Make sure that the tires are balanced dynamically (spinning) to ensure a smooth ride. Be sure to have the tires rotated as part of regularly scheduled maintenance, and you also should regularly check the tire pressure. If you live in a Snowbelt state, consider an investment in winter tires.
6. Brake job or inspection
Brakes are comprised of brake pads, rotors and brake calipers. Eventually, one or all of them will wear out, which means it's time for brake service. Brake life depends on several factors, but probably the most important is how you drive your car. Brake pad manufacturers say to expect from 30,000 – 70,000 miles per set of pads and rotors – some may need changing sooner, while others can go longer.
7. Coolant flush
A coolant flush is an often-neglected service item. This fluid prevents engine overheating from the combustion process. Failure to flush and replace it results in it breaking down, causing the engine to run hotter than its specification, which can result in much more expensive repairs. A good rule of thumb is to flush your coolant every 30,000 miles.
8. Replace the wipers
There's nothing more annoying than streaky wipers that don't move the water away from your windshield. Wiper replacement is one of the easiest repairs and it doesn't cost a lot of money. There are many different sizes depending on your vehicle; universal-fit wipers are available at every auto parts store, or your dealership parts department is guaranteed to offer the exact fit for your vehicle.
9. Air conditioning service
Your car's air conditioner is a closed system that should provide years of service with little required maintenance. Eventually, you may find it's not cooling like it once did, signaling a refrigerant leak. A mechanic can check and replace any leaky parts. Since the system is sealed and should theoretically never need service, lack of cooling signals what could be a costly repair.
10. Transmission oil change/flush
While in the past transmission flushes were a regular part of vehicle maintenance, modern transmissions do not require maintenance unless they are high-mileage vehicles like a police car or taxi. Most owner's manuals recommend periodically checking the transmission fluid level and only refilling as needed – when in doubt, have a mechanic check it out.
For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book's Service and Repair Guide at https://www.kbb.com/auto-repair/.
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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides market-reflective values on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor tool, which provides a range for what consumers can reasonably expect to pay for a vehicle in their area. Car owners looking to sell immediately can also get a redeemable, transaction-ready offer with Kelley Blue BookSM Instant Cash Offer. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book is a Cox Automotive brand.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using vehicles easier for everyone. The global company's more than 27,000 team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Dickinson Fleet Services, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of nearly $20 billion. www.coxautoinc.com
SOURCE Kelley Blue Book
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