If you’re looking for a way to give your old clunker a makeover without the high cost of a brand-new vehicle, consider these ten tips! While they won’t turn your used car into a showroom model, they will help you improve its appearance and make it look newer than it really is. So get ready to take your ride from drab to fab!
1. Fix Small Dents Yourself
Small dings and dents can make your used car look older than it really is. Unfortunately, these types of damages are more common than larger scratches or crunches; however, there’s no reason that you need to spend a fortune getting them fixed at the body shop. Replacing exterior car parts such as headlight covers or fenders might be expensive, but fixing small dents yourself with supplies from a local hardware store will be much cheaper.
2. Buff Out Scratches With Toothpaste
You’re cruising down the street in your used car one day when someone opens their door right in front of you without looking — BAM! You have a scratch on your bumper, and it’s clear the damage goes all the way through to the metal. While a trip to the car detailing company is probably going to be your best bet, there are other things you can do at home before taking it in. Clean off any dirt or debris from scratch, and then mix together baking soda with just enough water to create a paste that you can spread over it. Let it sit for ten minutes, and then use a clean cloth to wipe off both the residue from the scratch and any remaining toothpaste from your bumper. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and whatever paint color is left should buff out most of those light scratches, giving you a cleaner-looking car without having to pay someone else!
3. Get Rid of Water Marks Easily
Have a water spot on your windshield or side mirror from a new car wash or rainstorm? Most of us don’t give these types of small spots a second thought, but sometimes they can make our old car look older than it really is. To get rid of both the water and any marks leftover from it on your vehicle’s paint surface, try using an inexpensive wax designed for removing tar from windows. Put on some rubber gloves and use one of those red foam sponges you can purchase at any auto parts store to rub off not only the water but also any small particles attached to it.
4. Fill in Minor Dents With a Hot Glue Gun
It might come as a surprise that you don’t need to be an expert at using power tools to make your car look new again. If your car has some minor dings but no major damage, consider fixing them with a hot glue gun. Simply plug in the gun and wait for it to heat up; you’ll need to push hard on it to get strong adhesion between the metal of your vehicle and the tackiness of the hot glue itself. It will hold long enough for you to push down on it until you have smoothed out any air bubbles that might have formed underneath it, creating a clear bond that can fill in those unsightly dents!
5. Touch Up Imperfections Yourself
Since most of us want a clean car that looks nice instead of a project vehicle, we’re going to have to spend a little money getting it looking good again. Even if you do have the entire exterior detailed professionally at an auto detailing place, there’s nothing wrong with touching up imperfections yourself whenever possible so that your ride will always look its best. You’ll save some cash and get more satisfaction out of doing things on your own.
6. Clean Out Your Car Regularly
If you regularly use your car to haul around everything from groceries to lumber after work, chances are cleaning it can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself. Try making a specific weekend day “car cleaning day” and stick to it each week; that way, your car will always look nice, and you’ll save time in the long run. You’ll also notice that there won’t be as much of a build-up of dirt underneath your gas and brake pedals after multiple consecutive days of driving, meaningless scraping, and more driving pleasure!
It’s not always easy to keep our old cars looking new, but with a little effort and some creative solutions, we can all achieve that goal. By following the tips in this article, you should be able to make your car look as good — if not better — than when it was first bought.