Somewhere to go, but how spiffed up should it be?
July 8, 2014 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Is it worth making the investment of minor repairs on a 2011 Volvo XC90 AWD that's being traded in for a 2014 Mini Countryman S All4 when I already have a quoted range for the trade-in price from the Mini dealer?

I have a garaged 2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD with just a smidge over 34k miles. There are some cosmetically minor paint scrapes on the corners of the front bumper, and the back right quarter panel is slightly dented in where it looks as though somebody backed into me while parallel parking (Hoboken!). The quarter panel had just been repaired less than two weeks prior, and I didn't bother having it done again. It's just above the wheel well, and not always immediately obvious depending on the angle/light.

The bigger issue is that the car was parked for an extended period of time (anywhere from 1-4wks at a clip), and the back brakes pitted. There's a noticeable thumping when you apply them, however there is no deficit. The car could use alignment after the pot hole events of this past winter. Tires are less than two years old with substantial tread left.

After keeping the car for a day and looking it over, my local car repair place (NOT the Volvo dealership) told me that since I was trading the Volvo in, despite not good for business, it was safe to drive and don't put money into it if I was trading it in. Upon his recommendation, I have been driving the car more frequently, but keeping the mileage low in order to keep the brakes from getting any worse.

We're trading it in for a 2014 Mini Countryman S All4 (we already have a 2011 Mini Hardtop that we *love!!*). She's already on the boat and will be arriving on the 16th. The Mini dealership has quoted a trade in offer of $26-27k on the Volvo. I have it in writing, however they didn't drive it.

My question to you my Mefite friends: other than giving my beloved Volvo a good bath and a hug and sending her on her way to a new home, is it worth spending the money on new brakes and an alignment? Also, what about dropping the cash for actual detailing? the Volvo has survived three years of abuse from two dogs and two kids; there are no stains or significant issues with the leather interior, the crumbs just don't seem to want to leave the crevices of the seats.

posted by dancinglamb to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Don't bother. They'll detail it and it give it any minor repairs it needs. They can do it for far lower cost than you and you will not be able to recoup the cost from the trade in value - basically, the Trade in Value has the costs of those things built into it already. This is why the TIV is less than the value if you sold it yourself.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:29 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nope, don't spend a dime. The dealer can get that stuff done in their shop for free.

There's absolutely no point in your doing it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:40 PM on July 8, 2014

No, don't give your charity to car dealers.
posted by sageleaf at 1:09 PM on July 8, 2014

Best answer: Currently I find myself as middle management of a dealership, and can tell you that the others are correct. If you did all those things it could cost you around $1500.00. It will cost the dealership as little as $180.00 to do, and I can guarantee you that they aren't setting themselves up to loose money. Give 'em the keys and let it be.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:05 PM on July 8, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all the confirming advice. A nice simple bath, it will be. I will miss the Volvo for how nicely it drives (this is our third XC90), but it just can't beat the fun factor and mileage of the Minis. Can't wait for the new one to get here!
posted by dancinglamb at 3:19 PM on July 8, 2014

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