There are great buys and bargains to be had at auto auctions. That is why they are so popular. Many buyers see them as a way to upgrade their current car, or to buy a better car at a cheaper price. Others use it to buy their first car, or for their son or daughter. Whatever the reason you can pick up quality cars at cheap prices.
Cars at auction come in the condition that they are on auction day. Unlike a purchase from a dealership, the vehicle is not detailed and made perfect before the buyer collects it. At auction you get what you see when the hammer falls. But you can easily add value to your car.
So once you have bought at auction. You have saved some cash. So why not use some of those savings to improve your car instantly. For a few hundred dollars go to your local auto shop and buy the following:
- Good quality motor oil
- Cut and polish kit
- Good quality sponge to wash the car and a cloth to polish
- Leather cleaner and conditioner (if the car has leather interior)
- Windscreen wiper blades (check to fit your car)
- Other fluids like brake fluid (check levels beforehand to see if you need them)
Firstly check your owners manual as it will often have advice on how to care for your particular car. If it didn’t come with a manual then you can usually pick one up from a wrecker or online. It may sound boring to read the manual but it can be time well spent and can save you time and money down the track.
It is a good habit to check the fluids of you car regularly anyway, but certainly check them once you take possession of the car after auction. Use a good quality oil to top up levels if necessary as well as checking other oils such as brake fluid and windscreen washer fluid. Better still, use some of the money you saved to get the car serviced by your local mechanic. That can save you further time and money, particularly if the service manual of the car shows that it has not been serviced for a while. Your mechanic can also give you advice on any other items that need addressing.
One of the best and easiest ways to improve the look and value of your car is to give it a proper clean and polish – inside and out. If the interior is really dirty then take it to your local car wash and use their vacuum (don’t clog up your vacuum at home) and the shampooing machine to clean the carpets and upholstery. If you have leather seats then give them a clean and condition to prolong their life. Then give your car a cut and polish. The cutters take off contaminants from the paint and the polish will bring the paint back up to shine.
Checking your battery is another easy way to ensure your car does not break down on you unexpectedly. If you know what you are doing then you can check the battery fluid levels and also ensure the terminals are connected properly and not loose. Better still – take your car to your nearest battery specialist and they will usually conduct a comprehensive test of your battery for free. Then you will know for sure how much life your battery has and budget for its replacement.
Windscreen wiper blades are one of the most neglected items on a car. It can be very annoying (and dangerous) when you go to use them in a rain storm and they don’t do the job properly. Wiper blades are relatively cheap and easy to replace. But again, the staff at your local auto shop would probably be happy to fit them for you. All you need to do is ask (nicely).
If you carry out the above tasks then I am sure your car will love you back. It will drive better, be more reliable and last longer. It will even improve the value of the car which can be important when the time comes to sell or trade. These are also good habits to get into to keep your car looking and driving great.