Check Your Car for Problems Before You Sell

To ensure that your car sells quickly and that you don’t end up with an angry buyer who wants his or her money back after the sale, you should check over the components of your vehicle before you attempt to sell it. If you find a part that’s faulty or failing, get it repaired before you sell your car, or disclose the fact that certain parts will need replacing or repairing. This will make sure that anyone interested in buying your vehicle is aware of any problems and won’t be surprised when he or she test drives it or takes it to a mechanic for inspection.

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Check the Electronics

Even if you drive your car every day, you may not be aware of problems with components you don’t see or ones that don’t impede driving right away. Check all of your headlights, taillights and directional signals with the help of a friend. These parts are relatively inexpensive to replace if they have problems, and they can malfunction simply because a bulb is burnt out. Other electronics to check include the radio, heat and air conditioning, power windows and seats and the windshield wipers.

Check your Belts and Hoses

Look over your belts and hoses, or have a mechanic do this for you if you’re not mechanically inclined. Any hoses that are hard, cracked or spongy should be replaced, as should any belts that appear cracked or frayed. Listen for squeaking or squealing as you drive, which is often a sign that one of your belts needs replacing.

Check for Fluid Loss or Oil Buildup

Check components like your head gasket, spark plugs, and oil reservoir to make sure that you aren’t losing or burning fluids. Bad head gaskets are common on vehicles over 100,000 miles, and you can perform a simple check of your radiator fluid levels and hoses to find out if yours may have a problem. Only check your radiator fluid when the car is cool, and look for fluid loss, splash marks or bulging radiator hoses, which are all signs that coolant is getting into the engine. Check your oil to make sure it is at the correct level and is the right color. If you change your oil regularly, it should be a dark honey color. If your oil appears black, your engine may be burning oil or can have oil buildup inside. If it appears milky, that’s another indicator that your head gasket needs replacing.

Other Things to Look For

Also inspect your spark plugs and spark plug wires. Oily spark plugs may indicate that your engine is burning oil or has problem with oil buildup. Drive the car around and notice if it idles roughly or stalls, and make note of your gas mileage. If you’re getting poor gas mileage or your car seems to idle roughly or stall out, you may need to replace your spark plugs and/or spark plug wires. These components are relatively inexpensive to replace, and they will also make your car perform much better.


Checking your vehicle for problems before you can benefit both you and your buyer. You’ll be more likely to sell your car when it performs optimally, and you may be able to get a higher price for it as well. Your transaction is likely to go more smoothly when you know any potential problems the car may have and you can inform the buyer of them.

This has been a guest post from Are You Selling, who can offer cash for cars, so you don’t have to go to a huge effort to sell your own car.

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