3 Tips To Refresh a 10-Year-Old Used Luxury Car

Decade-old luxury cars are one of the best deals on the used vehicle market. While many buyers want as new a car as possible, many older luxury cars offered features ahead of their time. Some of them are even the most reliable vehicles around. But just because they can hold their own on modern roads does not mean they can’t do with a refresh. Here are some ways to breathe life into a 10-year-old luxury car.

Start with the standard service

A mechanic completes routine oil change maintenance on a ten-year-old used luxury car.
Maintenance | Hum Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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If you are refreshing a car that has been parked for more than a year, consider replacing the battery, the oil, and all the filters–no matter its mileage. Also, consider some injector cleaner and even new spark plugs–both may improve your performance and mileage considerably.

Check in with your local dealer. Try to pull any service records available for your 10-year-old luxury car before coming up with a maintenance plan. Start with any big-ticket maintenance items the manufacturer recommends based on your vehicle’s age and mileage.

You can go above-and-beyond on some mechanical tasks. For example, instead of an oil change, you can spring for a full fluids change. You can even ask your mechanic to take a look at these fluids to identify any lurking issues.

If you want to restore the smooth, quiet ride of your used luxury car consider replacing shock absorbers and weather-stripping. The shock absorbers of your car allow it to glide over bumps on the highway without vibrating excessively. Your personal mechanic may not mention they are wearing out until they begin to become dangerous. But swapping them earlier will go a long way towards restoring your smooth stock ride.

In addition, replacing the rubber weather stripping that seals your car’s doors and windows can make driving much quieter. As these seals wear out slowly, you might not even notice how much louder a car you’ve had for ten years is than when it was new. But if you replace them, the difference may astound you.

Check out more vehicle repair hacks.

Invest in a deep cleaning and waxing

The quilted leather interior of a luxury Jeep Grand Wagoneer SUV.
2023 Grand Wagoneer interior | Stellantis

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Vacuuming your car out, or even having it detailed, is great. But a deep cleaning and interior restoration will go a long way to restoring its luxury car prestige.

Double-check that your detailer has an extractor vacuum so they can pull a decade of junk out of your car’s seats. Also, consider springing for redying your leather seats. You can even invest in a redye of black plastic components that have faded to gray–both inside and outside of your car. Dying these back to stock will really make your car pop.

Read all about cleaning car seats.

Consider an updated stereo system

One of Apple's first CarPlay head units, a software now available in aftermarket stereos--alongside Android Auto.
Apple CarPlay stereo system | Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

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Whether or not you listen to a lot of music, an updated stereo system can go a long way towards updating your ten-year-old luxury car for modern driving. This is because many aftermarket stereo head units incorporate Apple Carplay/Android Auto. This functionality will-from an electronics perspective–gives you much of the comfort of a brand-new vehicle.

Aftermarket head units with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto range from $200 on the budget end to $1,500 for absolute top-of-the-line units with GPS navigation. See the best Android Auto/Apple CarPlay radios you can upgrade your car with.

With some minor refreshes, even a decade-old luxury car can be comfortable and eye-catching for another 10 years of driving.

Check out the two most reliable decade-old luxury cars or find out whether it’s worth buying a used luxury car in the video below:

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