Stay with the Old, In with the New

Make Your Old Car Like New Again

Look out your window, and you’ll see Ole’ Reliable sitting in the driveway. The car that’s been with you for years now and still (mostly) runs great. Maybe you bought it new, used, or maybe it’s a relative’s old car. As nice as a brand new car might sound, those car payments…. Fortunately, here are a few things you can do to make your old car seem new! These tips and inexpensive fixes will get your old vehicle looking and feeling like it just rolled off the lot.

  1. Cosmetic Fixes

The most obvious cosmetic upgrade to your car may be painting it, but the easiest upgrade to make an old car feel new is a nice, thorough cleaning. Not just a vacuum and a car wash. To really spruce up your car, try checking off this list:

  • Shampoo carpet and upholstery
  • Clear out the trunk trash
  • Clean outside and inside of windows.
  • Remove the spare and clean out the tire well
  • Remove and clean under seat cushions. Consider getting cushions covers to make your life easier in the future.
  • Clean off floor mats or replace them with rubber floor mats, which are far more durable than most original versions.

A high quality professional detail is the way to get the outside of your car looking new again. Waxing and buffing can easily make old paint look new! If you really want to clean your car up, consider getting the engine compartment pressure washed as well. Your engine will look new again; it’s pretty amazing. Before going on the lot, all of the cars in my inventory are professionally detailed. I’ve used Gary, owner of Liquid Investments for years. He and his team do an excellent job for a reasonable price. Give him a shout (757) 477-5752.

After you work your way through a solid cleaning session, you car should already be looking good. If your steering wheel is looking a little beat up as well, you might consider purchasing a steering wheel cover for around $10. Another easy to overlook flaw that makes for a noticeable upgrade is your dashboard. You can add a dashboard cover or even paint it with vinyl paint to make it feel newer, and don’t forget to check the dashboard illumination. If your knobs or switches are broken, replacement parts are cheap whether they are new or recycled.  

  1.            Performance Upgrades

There are bunches of simple internal, mechanical fixes that can get your car running noticeably smoother and feel more comfortable. Check these major areas and see if they need upgrading: 

  • Headlights. Cars and trucks built over the past few decades typically have plastic headlamps that fog up over time. Headlight restoration is usually less than $30 and instantly makes a difference. A full headlight replacement can add a sporty look to your ride and will cost between $50.00 and $100.00 to do it right. (top vs bottom image)
  • AC. All cars’ AC systems can get mold, mildew, and bacteria build ups if not cleaned often enough. Make sure the air passageways into the vehicle aren’t covered by leaves, dust or grime before changing or cleaning any filters. Adding an air-conditioning deodorizer to the vents or your rearview mirror can bring back that new car smell, too.
  • Rubberizing. As your car ages, the rubber trim on doors begins to wear and tear, letting your hot and cold air out and wind noise and rain in. The adhesive strips take a little patience to apply, but are incredibly cheap and can instantly make the interior of your car quieter while driving.
  • Windshield Wipers. Old wipers break down and lose their effectiveness over time, making driving in the rain and snow dangerous. Upgraded windshield wipers make the cold, rainy seasons a little safer.
  • Brakes & Suspension. Old cars start getting stiffer as the years pass, and brakes get squeakier and squeakier with every red light. Getting your shocks, springs, dampers, struts, brake rotors, and brake pads checked and possibly replaced can completely change how your car drives.

**New springs can lower your car and improve handling if you’re a car enthusiast!**

  • Wheels. Tires periodically need to be replaced as treads wear down. Use the Penny Test (http://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/penny-tire-test/) to check your car. Even if you don’t need to replace your tires, installing new tires can completely change how your car drives (and looks) and are much cheaper than a new car payment.

After working your way through these cosmetic upgrades and internal fixes, Ole’ Reliable shouldn’t look quite so old anymore and will be much more reliable! Have questions about these upgrades? Call 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love with any questions!

 

Sources:

Brown, Evan. “10 Ways to Make Your Used Car Feel New”. esurance. Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. n.d. Web. 1 Nov 2017. http://blog.esurance.com/10-ways-to-make-your-used-car-feel-new/

Huffman, John Pearley. “10 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New”. Popular Mechanics. Hearst Communications, Inc. 26 Sept 2011. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g175/10-ways-to-make-your-old-car-feel-new/

Karim, Andrea. “12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome”. WiseBread. Wise Bread. 14 Dec 2014. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome