Before Selling, Erase All Data From Your Car – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

You’ve probably heard it before: new cars are like computers on wheels. This means that when you trade in or sell your car, you must follow the same steps as when disposing of a computer, otherwise your private data could end up in someone else’s driveway. consumer reports offers easy ways to wipe down your car so it doesn’t give you away.

It’s important to clean your old car before selling or trading it – checking the trunk, glove compartment and under the seats for valuables, loose change and paperwork.

But before handing over the keys to a new owner, it will also be necessary to clean the internal computer of your car!

“Kind of like a phone, when you’re using the car it records data about what you do, what features you access and it records the addresses you’ve been to and now there’s even things like hotspots wifi, where you like to connect and all these different connected features that you have to remember to disconnect before you sell the car,” said consumer reports automotive expert Alex Knizek.

Before you say goodbye to your car, consumer reports suggest you remove bluetooth connections and make sure there are no saved contacts on the car, then make sure you remove or forget pairing and pairing your phone and car .

And don’t forget the hardware – take your automatic garage door opener so that the new driver can’t get into your garage after finding your home address saved in the navigation system or found on misplaced documents.

If you’re using an integrated system like HomeLink for your garage door, be sure to reset that as well.

“There are also telematics services – which connect you directly to car manufacturers,” warns Knizek. “There usually you can find an SOS or call button on the rear view mirror, or something on the ceiling near the rear view mirror, and those connect you to a live operator. And so you can press that button and they will help remove the vehicle or remove you from the telematics account with the vehicle.”

And if you have apps installed on your phone that allow you to log into your car, be sure to log out of those accounts too! According to the automaker, these apps can store driver data, navigation destinations and driving history.

Many newer cars have the option of resetting the on-board computer to factory settings, which will erase all personal settings. You can check the manual or call the dealer.

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