Buying a used car comes with many benefits like cheaper cost, less depreciation and lower insurance rates. On the downside, the car is likely no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty and you will have to search for the right kind of vehicle service contract, also known as an extended warranty for used cars.
Your used car has also belonged to previous owners and they may have not taken great care of it with proper maintenance. If you want your used car to feel like new, follow the 10 super simple and quick tips.
1. Make your used car smell great
Making your car smell like a new car might seem like an impossible task, but there are a few hacks to make your car smell fresh. Here are 4 inexpensive ways to improve the smell of your used car:
- Sprinkle some baking soda all over your upholstery and carpeting, let it sit for a couple hours and vacuum it off.
- Spray compressed air into the air intake and cabin air vents.
- Put an open box of dryer sheets underneath the passenger seat.
- Check your owner’s manual to see if your car has a removable air filter and replace it with one with a fresh scent.
2. Invest in new floor mats
Your used car might still have its original floor mats and they may still hold a lot of road dust and debris. Old mats aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing either. New floor mats are inexpensive and you’ll be surprised by how much the interior of your car improves with a new set.
Choose floor mats that are the right size and type for your car. Also, choose a material that’s easy to clean, for example, rubber.
3. Polish your dashboard
Did you know that oil you already have in your kitchen can brighten your used car’s dashboard?
Olive oil is a great polishing oil for your dashboard (as well as many other natural oils you may already have around your kitchen, like vegetable and coconut oil). The natural oil restores shine and conditions the surface. It also provides great protection from UV rays, which cause cracks and fading over time. Be sure your dashboard is clean of any dirt and add polish with natural oil to help it look new.
4. Fix your worn seats or get new seat covers
Any rips, tears and slashes on your used car’s upholstery will be the first thing anyone will notice about your car. You can choose to reupholster the seats but it may be time-consuming and expensive if done professionally.
There are many available options for seat covers that can give your used car a great, new look without it being too expensive.
5. Fix car exterior scratches accordingly
Cars generally have three levels of paint: primer, the base color and a thick clear coat. When a scratch doesn’t penetrate the clear coat, it’s a small scratch. Deeper scratches break through two or all three layers of paint and are much more difficult to fix.
Fixing scratches will help your car look better. If your used car has a few scratches, they will all be slightly different. When you take on the task of fixing them, you will have to keep that in mind. Examine your exterior scratches and understand which ones you can fix yourself and which ones will need professional fixes.
For small scratches, a scratch that not even your fingernail can catch, you can simply use a polishing compound (a mildly abrasive mix of powder, wax and fat that form a cake-like solution) that will quickly smooth out the surface. Bigger scratches will require a solid abrasive, like sandpaper.
Popular mechanics magazine offers a great guide to fixing scratches here.
6. Polish your dull headlight lenses
Most headlights are made from thick plastic polycarbonate lenses. Though they may be less susceptible to scratches, they don’t keep a brand new look for very long.
Car headlights get dull or foggy due to oxidation, debris, dirt, chemicals and water that vaporizes inside. The good news is that cleaning dull or foggy headlights is relatively easy using a non-abrasive polish. Read this blog for a quick how-to on “DIY” cleaning of your used car headlights.
7. Get a new infotainment system
Infotainment system features can include a fully integrated GPS system, full engine monitoring, tire pressure check, a rear camera system, a streaming audio system and more. Almost all new cars today are equipped with integrated infotainment systems. If you have a few extra bucks to improve the look and feel of your used car, adding a new infotainment can do the trick.
There are plenty of infotainment systems available that can be installed in almost any vehicle of the last 30 years, so don’t think your car is too old to have it be fully integrated with the most recent technology.
8. Get a remote starter
Warming up your car before getting in is lovely in the winter months. In the summer, getting in your car after you’ve let your AC run for a few minutes is heaven. The benefits of starting your car remotely go beyond just helping yourself during harsh weather. Did you know some remote starters can even help you find your car? It’s a feature that comes in handy when looking for your car in a full parking lot.
Remote starters are one the best developments in car technology in the last 20 years and they can be installed aftermarket. However, be aware that remote starters are not one size fits all (you must get one that is compatible with your exact make and model) and it does usually require an experienced mechanic.
9. Keep up with car maintenance
Most people choose to buy a used car because it’s much more cost-effective than buying a new car, but there’s always this sense that car maintenance will end up costing more on a used car than on a new one. This isn’t necessarily true. All cars, new or used, require plenty of car maintenance, including:
- Oil changes
- Fluid checks and changes
- Battery checks
- Brake inspections
- Tire inspections and maintenance
- Filter replacements
- Regular check-ups
Regular car maintenance of a used car will ensure that it keeps running smoothly, like new, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Today there are options available, like a vehicle maintenance plan, that can get you exclusive pricing on maintenance and deals on necessary car services.
10. Invest in car repair protection
When you buy a new car, it’ll automatically come with a car manufacturer’s warranty that covers factory defects on parts for the first few years. Having the security that any major repair will be covered makes buying a new car very appealing, but this coverage can also be available through an extended warranty for used cars. With an aftermarket warranty, you can buy coverage that’s just as comprehensive as a car manufacturer’s warranty. By investing in a low-monthly subscription, you don’t have to worry about saving money for a repair and getting overcharged at the repair shop.
Uproar.car has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, Uproar.car offers a full suite of worry-free, no haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!