Out with the old and in with the new (or used).

How has your car been performing lately? Sometimes, we have to ask ourselves if our car is doing everything that it should be doing. After all, it’s there to make your life easier, not more difficult. Unfortunately, cars don’t last forever and we’re all bound to experience some problem or another. Whether your car is German or American, gasoline-powered or electric, there’s an expiration date on machines. Some cars might last beyond 100,000 miles or ten years of life. Some cars end up as lemons and you end up replacing it much faster than originally planned. Whatever kind it may be, it’s important to take notice of your car’s performance so that when the time comes, you know you should start looking for your next car.

Take some time to listen and see

A good place to start is by paying attention to your car while you’re driving. It might sound silly, but many people are distracted when they’re driving. Thinking about work, what you’re going to eat for dinner, or talking on the phone will distract you from little things that may be going wrong with your car. For example, can you hear any ticks? Sometimes, as cars age, they begin making odd noises for a number of reasons. Almost always, odd sounds resemble some sort of engine or tire issue. Whether it’s just a nail in the tire or a serious transmission issue, pay attention to the noises you hear.

Once you identify the noise, take the car to your car’s service shop and ask questions. Most likely, unless you’re a car guru or mechanic yourself, you’re not going to be able to look at your car’s engine and figure out the problem. Your mechanic will be able to diagnose any problems your car may be having. Getting a complete service for your car will help you to identify if there are too many issues for you to keep it, if there are only a few issues that may be worth fixing, or if your car works perfectly fine. You could also get a second opinion from another mechanic or car service shop to help decide the health of your car and if it’s time for you to get a new one.

Then, take a good, hard look at your car’s interior. Are there rips in your seats and scuff marks everywhere, or is the leather untouched? Are the buttons on your dashboard unresponsive or do they all work properly? Does your gas gauge tell you the correct amount of fuel you have left in your tank or is it always left on empty? Do your seats have coffee stains all over them? When you’re trying to decide if it’s time to get a new car, all of these things matter! The interior of your car is where you spend the majority of your time with your car. Whether you have long commutes or a busy day running errands, you probably spend a lot of time in your car. If your seats are stained, your carpets are ruined, and you can’t turn up the volume or lower the air conditioning because none of the buttons work, it may be time to get a new car. If these things don’t bother you, then maybe it’s not! If all you care about is the broken air conditioning and your 8 year old Ford is running perfectly otherwise, then go get the air conditioning system replaced and don’t stress about anything else.

The parts make up the whole

After you’ve done some listening and taken a few drives around the block, do some exterior inspecting. Before you start, you want to make sure your car is clean. Often times, dirt covers up dings, damage, and dents. Giving your car a quick wash will ensure that when you inspect it, you’re going to catch each and every imperfection. Once it’s good and clean, walk around your vehicle and take note of however much damage there is to the car. Do all of the handles work properly? Are there cracks or scratches in the windows? Is there damage to your bumper that you never had fixed? Sometimes, if there is enough damage to the car, repair may not be worth it, and that’s when the option to sell your car and look for a new one comes into play. If you’re driving a car that is double digits in age and is only worth a couple thousand dollars to sell, repairing the damage will most likely not be worth it. If you’re unsure of how much it is to fix the problems, go talk with your local mechanic or service shop. They’ll be able to tell you how much it is the fix these problems and then you can add up the numbers and decide if it’s time to start looking for a new car or not.

Other times, simple things can make a huge difference in the value of your vehicle. For example, consider your car’s headlights. Do they seem foggy or dim to you? After a few years, they’re going to stop performing as they once did. Headlights keep you and your family safe at nighttime on the road. They’re extremely important to keep new and updated. You want to make sure that you can see the road at all times. And, if you’re selling your car, buyers take notice of these things. Replacing your worn headlights is a great investment when you’re trying to sell your used vehicle. A buyer doesn’t want to purchase a car and then go and make additional purchases towards the car. By keeping your headlights good and new, you can stay safe at nighttime, keep your car looking good, and even have an easier time selling it. It’s as easy as going to our sister company, Headlights Depot, and browsing through all the affordable options. Before you know it, your car’s headlights will be good as new.

Think about what you’ve found

And then you are ready to make a final decision. It’s all about preference and performance. If your car is running perfectly fine and you love it, keep it! If you hate it and you can afford to get something else, do it. If it’s starting to break down and it’s costing you time and money, then it’s probably time to start looking for a new car. There are plenty of options out there that will get you from point A to B with no issues at all – you just have to take a look around.

Cristofer Montel
Cristofer Montel is a South Florida Native, swearing that Boca Raton is much more than just a retirement destination for Northerners. He went to Florida State University for his Bachelors degree and then on to Nova Southeastern University for law school. In his spare time, he scrolls through pages and pages of car content on Instagram. When he’s not drowning in legal work, he writes for a marketing and advertising consultancy

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