Last year, I bought a new car. Rather than trade in my old one, I decided to sell it myself. Before I put it in the market, I took the car to a local shop and got my old baby a new paint job. The new paint made all the difference with the car. While operationally it was sound, the outside was not all that great. After the fresh coat of paint, the car generated a lot of attention from prospective buyers. I even had a bidding war going on between two parties who really wanted it. If you have an older vehicle to sell, it pays to invest in a new paint job. Let me tell you more about why this strategy works. Follow my tips for selecting the color and the paint type, and you'll get a great price for the old jalopy.
Keeping your vehicle looking good and operating safely is probably one of your major concerns. Regular maintenance and routine tune ups are part of your responsibility as a vehicle owner, but there are some common issues that you an handle on your own. Check out these five quick fixes for common problems that vehicle owners face.
#1 Scratches: You can repair minor scratches on your car yourself, but you'll need to determine the depth of the scratch before tackling this at home. Run your fingernail across the scratch. If it slides across without a hitch, your scratch is isolated to the clear coat. If your nail catches on the scratch, it has likely gone through the clear coat and into the paint, primer or metal layer.
Solution: Purchase a scratch repair kit that includes a buffer. Follow the instructions for repairing the scratch. Scratches in the clear coat typically disappear completely, but scratches that have penetrated the paint layer need additional attention. Look on the tag on the door jamb of your vehicle to find the proper paint color. Purchase touch up paint in the correct color and gently repair the scratch. However, deep scratches that reach to the primer or metal layers are better left to professional auto body shops.
#2 Dirty Interior: Let's face it. The interior of your vehicle takes a lot of abuse and can benefit from regular cleaning. But you don't need to spend an arm and leg to buy fancy cleaners. Try this easy home remedy for cleaning dirt and grime from the interior of your vehicle.
Solution: Place a few drops of olive oil on a clean coffee filter and use it to clean the dashboard and other hard surfaces in your vehicle. The coffee filter is soft and flexible and just the right size to get into those hard-to-reach areas. Don't have coffee filters on hand? Try a dryer sheet instead and reap the added benefit of a little fragrance too.
#3 Foggy Headlights: Headlights tend to become foggy or hazy from exposure to the elements, making it difficult to see on dark nights. Fortunately, you can use another common household product to buff them and restore their clarity.
Solution: Apply ordinary toothpaste to the outside of your headlights with a soft cloth. Add enough water to work the toothpaste into a foam. Scrub lightly to remove dirt and grime and then rinse away the residue. Wipe the headlights dry with a soft cloth.
#4 Cracked Mirrors: Many are surprised to learn that a cracked side mirror is easy to fix at home. If the casing is cracked or broken, you'll need the services of a professional, but if the damage is restricted to the mirror glass, you can fix it yourself.
Solution: Purchase the mirror glass and glass adhesive at your auto parts store. Check that the mirror glass is the right size for you mirror. Remove the broken glass from the mirror mount and scrub down the area with soap and water to remove the old adhesive. Allow it to dry before applying the new adhesive and gluing the new mirror glass in place. Always wear safety goggles, gloves and protective clothing when working with broken glass.
#5 Overheated Interior: If you live in a warm climate, you already know the temperature in the interior of you car can sky rocket in a matter of minutes. The air conditioner will cool it off eventually, but there is a better way to cool down you vehicle quickly.
Solution: Roll down the window on one side of the vehicle, preferably the side in the shade. Open and close the opposite door at least six times. Each time you open the door, hot air will gush out and cooler air will be drawn in through the opposite window.
Learning to solve common vehicle problems yourself saves you money and keeps everyone safe and comfortable.
If you have any serious problems or feel you cannot do any of these things, you can always take your car to a local auto shop, such as Rocky Mountain Collision of Sandy.