Buying and Selling
As our cars become older, finding them for sale in good condition becomes more difficult. At the same time, they also lose value amongst general car buyers. How can we find good values when purchasing, and get a fair price when it comes time to sell? Continue reading to find out..
When buying any used car, overall condition must be evaluated and weighed against asking price. This includes interior, exterior, and mechanical condition. Common issues to watch for on MN12s and other used cars follow:
Check the Interior for:
- Fading or Cracking Dashboard, steering wheel, pillars
- Carpet damage, spills under seats, shoe wear
- Strong musty odor, especially during HVAC operation
- Worn seats including adjustment, buttons, upholstery, cushions, air support
- Unevenly worn pedals indicating possible mistreatment
- Smoke damage including falling headliner, used ashtrays or lighter, burns, thick film on glass or other smooth surfaces
- Malfunctioning gauges, moonroof, windows, vanity lights, controls, electric accessories
- Leakage under dash including clutch and brake fluid near pedals, coolant near floor vents, water
Check the Exterior for:
- Rust around rocker panels (especially under ground effects of SC), wheel wells, under floor pan, doors, suspension components, spoilers, trunk
- Signs of accident damage such as repainting, bondo, ill fitting body panels, frame/unibody denting
- Damaged paint and clearcoat especially bumpers, ground effects, and roof
- Damaged or missing trim, molding, lamp assemblies (esp LED taillights and yellowing lenses) badging, ground effects, air dam, antenna, windows
- Wheels damaged or bent from curb rubbing and other abuse
- Sagging doors due to hinges worn from excessive load bearing
Mechanical condition should be verified by knowledgeable people. If you encounter symptoms you don't understand, it is wise to have qualified personal perform diagnosis. Check for the following:
- Unusual sounds such as whining, whistling, howling, grinding, rubbing, rattling, knocking, tapping, or anything else which stands out. Listen in all places while car is idling and driving including, underhood, suspension, transmission, exhaust, rear of vehicle, ect
- Unusual odors such as strong sweet smell, burning, gasoline
- Uneven engine idle, backfire, or misfire
- Transmission grinding, slipping, or hesitation while driving or changing gears
- Clutch engagement near end of pedal travel, excessive pedal play, slipping or revving when shifting/accelerating
- Excessive engine or shifter movement, indicating possible torn mounts
- Spongy pedal, whistling, grinding, or shaking when braking, fading or low stopping power
- Low, dirty, or contaminated fluids especially coolant, oil, and automatic transmission
- Suspension leaning, excessive bouncing, harsh ride, pulling, poor handling, or dog tracking.
- Smoke from exhaust or underhood, excluding thin light-colored condensation buildup
Of course most used purchases will have at least some minor issues, and the price you pay should be adjusted accordingly. A common method of pricing vehicles is to determine the fair market value using tools such as the Kelly blue book and points of sale (ebay, autotrader, newspapers) and then deduct the average cost of repairs. Pricing may be influenced by demand for rare models like the Supercoupe. Specialized clubs can offer help in these cases.
When selling your car, several factors should be considered to receive the best price.
- Level of cosmetic and mechanical maintenance
- Logs of maintenance, repair, and modification history
- The type of person buying your car, and where to find them
Ensuring your car is properly maintained, clean inside and out, and in good repair makes a positive impression on potential buyers. Car dealers demonstrate their understanding of this important concept when you visit their used car lots. Also, presenting logs or receipts to help buyers verify your information will build trust.
Knowing about the types of people purchasing vehicles like these and what resources they use will help you reach the largest market for your car. You can then compare and choose from multiple offers to recieve the best results. Along with checking local resources like newspapers and car dealers, there are also many online sources for MN12 Thunderbirds and Cougars: