Selling Your Older Car: Why a New Paint Job Matters
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Selling Your Older Car: Why a New Paint Job Matters

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.

Selling Your Older Car: Why a New Paint Job Matters

Fix A Truck Dent: 2 DIY Tips

Nora Boyd

Few vehicles are more versatile than pickup trucks. With this versatility, however, often comes scrapes, dings, and dents of all shapes and sizes. This is particularly likely if you hope to own your pickup truck, like many pickup owners do, for more than 150,000 miles.  

These 2 DIY tips can help you make your pickup truck look like new without having to send it to an auto body repair shop:

Bent Tailgate

Your pickup's tailgate is a catchall of sorts: a step, a seat, a workbench, etc. Over time, your tailgate can warp, bend, or bow. The slightest imperfection can prevent it from closing properly. Unfortunately, the tools and work required to straighten a bent tailgate are likely less cost effective than finding and installing a replacement tailgate yourself.

Finding a Replacement: the cheapest option for replacing a damaged tailgate is often found by scouring local junkyards. When looking at your local junkyards it's important to remember two essential tools: an adjustable wrench and a tape measure.  You will need the adjustable wrench to remove the tailgate and the tape measure to make sure it fits your truck precisely. Don't worry about finding a tailgate that matches the color of your vehicle, as you may need to have your entire pickup painted.

If you can't find a replacement at your local junkyard, your next best bet will likely be an online retailer. If you're shopping for a replacement online, it is important to make sure that the seller offers free shipping on returns (just in case the tailgate isn't quite right).    

Removing Your Old Gate:  although every model of pickup has a slightly different tailgate assembly, most can be removed at the tailgate hinges. When you remove the tailgate, it's important to secure the nuts, bolts, and screws that you loosened to remove the tailgate. Storing them in a plastic zipper bag and taping the bag to the inside of the truck bed will ensure that they aren't lost.

Finalizing the Switch: unless you're replacing a virtually new (identically painted) pickup truck's tailgate with a new (identically painted) tailgate, you will need to have your pickup painted to make the swap match seamlessly. When having your pickup re-painted, it's important to make sure that the new tailgate is 100% perfect before you take it in to be painted. Contact a company that sells auto paint for help picking the best paint for your truck.

Body Dents

If you work hard and/or play hard with your pickup, it can be an automotive punching bags of sorts. Here are some easy ways to remove dents in your pickup's body.

  • Heat and Suction: metal, like most things, is more pliable when hot than at room temperature. One of the easiest ways to fix a small dent in your pickup's body is by heating the dented area(s) and suctioning each while they are hot. Although there are many ways to heat a dented area, one of the easiest is with a pressure washer. It's important to set the water temperature on your pressure washer to its highest setting. However, you will want set the pressure to its lowest setting to prevent potential burns from the scorching water. After spraying the dented area until it is uncomfortably warm to the touch, you can use a common toilet plunger to suction the dent. You may need to repeat this process multiple times to completely mitigate the dent.
  • Reverse Pressure: one unique aspect of owning a pickup is that you can easily access the inside of the pickup's body (particularly on the bed). Wedging a stick beneath a dent and the truck's frame for an extended period of time can permanently reverse most body dents.