I've had a lot of calls lately from my clients either looking to buy or sell a car or truck.
Have you considered speaking to your repair shop when you are in the market to purchase a replacement vehicle or sell your existing one? It's a great place to go for either of these transactions.
When you are looking to buy, your shop may not only know of a client who is looking to sell, but you will be able to buy with confidence knowing no one will know the car or truck better than those at the shop who serviced it. They will have records for when various services were performed and would most likely pass any service guarantees on to you as the new owner.
When you are looking to sell your car, no one knows it better than your shop and staff may just have a buyer looking for a car like yours. Everybody wins and the new owner can drive away with confidence.
I always encourage my clients who are purchasing a replacement vehicle, if they don't know anything about it, to bring it in for a pre-purchase inspection. Worst case, it can save you from making a really bad decision and, best case, you will have an idea of the maintenance that needs to be done over the next couple years.
Either way, the investment of time and money to have a thorough inspection is well worth it.
Don't put off repairs
When your car is leaking antifreeze, don't put off getting it repaired. We had a client who just tried to deal with a leak by adding coolant here and there to put off spending a few hundred dollars to repair the leak. The problem is that he got caught a few times running low and overheated the engine.
The engine overheated so bad one time that the head gasket let go and now we need to not only do the work that he put off but he needs to spend a couple thousand on major engine work.
The moral of the story is, don't put off known problems … they are not going to just magically get better and could lead to a much larger expense. This goes for any part of the car.
For example, if you hear a brake noise, don't ignore it. By letting it go, you could have to replace a brake rotor instead of just the brake pads. If you ignore a misfiring spark plug, you could actually damage a catalytic converter.
Sometimes it is hard to part with the cash to get stuff repaired but think of it this way -- you have made a substantial investment to buy your car, so keeping the car maintained protects that investment.