I am an expat living overseas in Africa and am looking to sell my car soon. I wanted to get some opinions about what is customary for servicing.

Some background, I have a 4x4 car with 114,000 km. I bought it when it had 103,000 km. In the last 7 months of ownership I have replaced:

  • steering rack
  • timing belt
  • front and back shocks (Monroe)
  • fixed a broken coil
  • spark plugs
  • replaced wind screen
  • replaced side mirror
  • fixed radiator lid which was causing leaks

I’ve put a lot of money into the car so far and so I am reluctant to put in more before I sell it. I was quoted $20 USD for buffing (which I'll definitely do) and $100 USD for a “service” which would include:

  • engine oil
  • oil filter
  • air filter
  • fuel filter
  • check brakes
  • check suspension

I am just wondering if all those items in the service are necessary. Are any of those items truly necessary for checking if my car is well-maintained? The next oil change is at 133,000 km and I check my oil and coolant regularly.

Are there any items instead of those above that would be better to have checked as a pre-sale inspection?

Anything helps. Thanks so much.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about car mechanics. Travel.SE may be a better place for it.
    – GdD
    Nov 1 '18 at 8:41
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about car mechanics. Travel SE isn't appropriate, either. Nov 1 '18 at 21:13
  • Wish we had a stack exchange forum where it would be appropriate!
    – NKT11
    Nov 2 '18 at 8:56

You're probably better off asking around the locals to see what the custom is there. When was it last serviced? Is it due? If it's not overdue, I wouldn't bother as the new owner would probably want to get it serviced themselves at a garage they trust - that's what I do if I buy a car where I'm not sure of it's history, that way I know it's been serviced to my standards!

  • Agree. An oil and filter change (which is basically what the OP's "$100 service" amounts to) is a nice way to stop potential buyers from easily knowing what the real mechanical state of the car is, since you can't deduce anything much from clean new oil, but it's not a "service" in the sense of what the manufacturer's handbook says. Getting the engine steam cleaned before selling the car is an even "better" way of hiding any evidence of neglect, fluid leaks, etc ;)
    – alephzero
    Nov 1 '18 at 9:18

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