When you’re in the market for a vehicle, shopping used cars can be a great way to save money – but you might feel like some of the fun and excitement is lost when you wind up with a ride that someone else owned first. But you can put the thrill back into your pre-owned wheels with five easy tips that will make it look and feel brand new.
Have It Inspected
Before purchasing a used car, it’s always best to have a mechanic check it out so you can be sure that it’s in good working condition. If you didn’t have a chance to get your new wheels inspected before you bought it, take it to the shop right away. Have any mechanical issues addressed so you can be sure that your ride performs like a new vehicle. Make sure the shocks, springs, struts, dampers, brake pads, and rotors are all checked, because they can make a big difference in how the vehicle drives.
Get It Clean
Used cars are usually pretty clean when you buy them from a dealership, but it never hurts to give your new ride a thorough washing for a like-new feel. Take it for professional detailing so the interior can be cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed to a near pristine condition. Add an air freshener or odor eliminator to help get rid of any lingering smells. Wash the exterior too, taking time to polish and wax it for a high-shine finish that makes the vehicle look like it just came off the assembly line.
If your pre-owned compact, sedan, SUV, or truck has upholstery that’s seen better days, freshen it up. You can scrub away small stains or patch small rips to help improve the look of the fabric. However, if the damage is more severe, think about purchasing seat covers that can fully hide the original upholstery. Covers are also a good idea if you purchase a vehicle with upholstery in a color that you’re not really fond of, because you can buy them in a different shade to completely change up the look of the interior. Replacement mats for the floor can help personalize the look of the car as well.
Replace Small Accessories
Because shopping for used cars usually means a little extra cash in your pocket, you may want to invest some of your savings back into the vehicle. Replacing small accessories both inside and outside can help the vehicle look like new. Consider having the headlight caps replaced to improve your ride’s look as well as its illumination at night. Buy a fresh pair of windshield wipers so you’re ready for inclement weather, and have worn knobs in the interior replaced too. The rubber trim that works as the doors’ seal can get worn easily, allowing air to leak in and out of the vehicle, but replacement rubber strips are relatively inexpensive and can make your ride much more comfortable. If it’s in the budget, buying new tires can definitely help revive your wheels too.