Author Topic: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?  (Read 2174 times)

RosieTR

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How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:19:02 PM »
I have a 1999 Sentra that is reaching the end of its useful time in my life. It's been quite a good car for me, but now it seems like it's time to move on.

What I'm hoping to do is sell the car and buy a nice commuter bike and/or some parts for other bicycles that could be better commuter bikes with the right stuff. Like a typical 17 yo car, the Sentra has some issues, many cosmetic or slightly annoying:
-the driver side visor is held up by a magnet
-the windshield is badly cracked after a chip repair failed
-the headliner fabric sags in spots
-the windshield wash spray doesn't always work on both sides
-the dash lights for the heater/A/C don't always work
-there's a few small dents and places that someone has keyed/scraped
-the headlights are somewhat dimmed/faded despite some toothpaste and elbow grease not too long ago
-it probably needs new tires, esp for winter

There's some good things too:
-temp control is GREAT, no probs with A/C or heat
-starts just fine
-radio/MP3 is aftermarket and great (DH may want to remove this but I think it'd be a selling point)
-interior other than the headliner is pretty good. The backseat has hardly ever even been used
-clutch is relatively new (2014) without very many miles
-reliably gets above 30mpg, usually mid-30s unless there's constant A/C use or tons of idling
-can make it to highway speeds just fine

So, do you think I should try to fix any of the problem issues? If so, what? I'm only mildly familiar with vehicle repair-for example, I replace my own windshield wipers, air filter, PCV valve (I think that's what it's called) and put on a spare. If pressed, I could change the oil but normally don't do that myself. I could put in a bit of $ to make it sell but I don't want to blow most of the sale of the car making it look pretty. In the days of yore, it would be the perfect car for a parent to buy for their teenager, but I'm not sure what parents are looking for nowadays.


oldladystache

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 09:30:08 PM »
It isn't worth it to fix it up.  Just make sure it's clean. The difference in price from a shabby one to an almost perfect one is not very much, acording to kbb.com

Goldielocks

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 09:31:55 PM »
Headliner.  It's personal thing but this one really bugs me when I am in a car.  Tack it up cheaply, somehow.  can you spray glue it and just press it back in place?

Buy new (used) tires with lots of wear left...  these don't cost much and people really like a car with tire tread.

Maybe windshield, but sometimes those are expensive, and people may prefer to buy cheap. 
At any rate you want to be priced at or lower than sentras of similar age for your area.

rothwem

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 07:33:31 AM »
The issue with the windshield is that it won't pass inspection in a lot of places.  Check with your insurance company, a lot of insurance companies offer cheap windshield replacement. 

I'd fix the windshield, spray-glue the headliner, give it a good wash/wax and put it up on craigslist for $2500, you'll have it gone before the week is over. 

ketchup

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 07:51:47 AM »
I'd probably just give it a decent cleaning, inside and out, and snap some decent photos.  It might sell *faster* if you fixed some of those issues, but you probably wouldn't get any/much more for it.

RosieTR

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 08:21:15 AM »
Thanks for the replies! I can do the headliner-probably still have some spray glue from a previous fix.
I know CO doesn't care about windshields for safety inspections but will see what the scoop is per insurance. Obviously it doesn't make sense to have comprehensive on a vehicle this old so may not be covered.
I have never seen used tires for sale here, except specialty stuff like snow tires or aggressive backcountry tires maybe. But I probably wasn't looking, either. I'll take a good look at them-maybe I can just get two for the front-if it's having trouble selling. I'd rather just have that be a negotiation down, honestly.

Got a good idea of what to tackle this weekend!
Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 01:15:56 PM by RosieTR »

rothwem

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 08:55:31 AM »
T
I have never seen used tires for sale here, except specialty stuff like snow tires or aggressive backcountry tires maybe. But I probably wasn't looking, either. I'll take a good look at them-maybe I can just get two for the front-if it's having trouble selling. I'd rather just have that be a negotiation down, honestly.

The used tire places are usually in the 'hood, which is why you probably haven't seem them around you.  Drive to the worst part of town you can think of and look at all of the car repair shops.  They usually sell used tires also. 

You can also look at craigslist.  Make sure the sizes you get are right, it should be printed on the side of your tire, like "195/65R15".  The "195" is the width in mm, "65" is the aspect ratio, or sidewall height in percent of the width, and the "15" is the rim diameter. 

Goldielocks

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 09:15:48 AM »
T
I have never seen used tires for sale here, except specialty stuff like snow tires or aggressive backcountry tires maybe. But I probably wasn't looking, either. I'll take a good look at them-maybe I can just get two for the front-if it's having trouble selling. I'd rather just have that be a negotiation down, honestly.

The used tire places are usually in the 'hood, which is why you probably haven't seem them around you.  Drive to the worst part of town you can think of and look at all of the car repair shops.  They usually sell used tires also. 

You can also look at craigslist.  Make sure the sizes you get are right, it should be printed on the side of your tire, like "195/65R15".  The "195" is the width in mm, "65" is the aspect ratio, or sidewall height in percent of the width, and the "15" is the rim diameter.

Agreed.  our used tire places are beside the car junk yards and misc. metal recyclers, and I had to craigslist / google it to find them.   Totalled cars often have decent tires, after all...   Maybe call the junk yards and ask them where to look.

BTDretire

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2016, 10:58:12 AM »
The headliner may be a problem, unless the buyer uses it as a negotiating point. (buyer is a DIYer)
I had a driver seat recovered on a van I sold. A big hole in the seat cover was the first thing you saw when you
opened the door. I removed the seat and the cover, and reinstalled it, so the total was $100 for the repair.
Looked so good I almost wanted to keep it.

RosieTR

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 01:22:58 PM »
T
I have never seen used tires for sale here, except specialty stuff like snow tires or aggressive backcountry tires maybe. But I probably wasn't looking, either. I'll take a good look at them-maybe I can just get two for the front-if it's having trouble selling. I'd rather just have that be a negotiation down, honestly.

The used tire places are usually in the 'hood, which is why you probably haven't seem them around you.  Drive to the worst part of town you can think of and look at all of the car repair shops.  They usually sell used tires also. 

You can also look at craigslist.  Make sure the sizes you get are right, it should be printed on the side of your tire, like "195/65R15".  The "195" is the width in mm, "65" is the aspect ratio, or sidewall height in percent of the width, and the "15" is the rim diameter.

Agreed.  our used tire places are beside the car junk yards and misc. metal recyclers, and I had to craigslist / google it to find them.   Totalled cars often have decent tires, after all...   Maybe call the junk yards and ask them where to look.

I mean, I did used to see these in Phoenix all over the place. In fact, DH and I were sort of amazed at all the tire shops (and "rent to own" tires!) but had not seen this even in the crappiest parts of our area in CO. I think it's a lot easier to get away with having crappy tires when you don't have ice to deal with, so the market for them even among poor people is low here. You might get cheap tires but then wreck your whole car, or get stuck. But you're right-totalled cars have usable tires, so maybe I can scout.

HipGnosis

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Re: How much do you fix up a car you're planning to sell?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 01:48:16 PM »

You can also look at craigslist.  Make sure the sizes you get are right, it should be printed on the side of your tire, like "195/65R15".  The "195" is the width in mm, "65" is the aspect ratio, or sidewall height in percent of the width, and the "15" is the rim diameter.
Just don't contact a craigslist seller and ask 'Will they fit my '99 Sentra?'  - they will say "Yes"... everytime.