All those seemingly unimportant cosmetic problems with your car can add up when it is time to sell.
Here’s how to fix a range of automobile problems yourself quickly and efficiently.
A rock chipped my windshield
A pebble tumbles out of a dump truck on the highway, your windshield smacks it at the maximum speed limit and your day is ruined.
Not necessarily – small chips and bullseye cracks are easy to repair.
First, keep dust, mud, bird droppings, and such out of the crack, because they will interfere with the repair.
So pull over and put some clear plastic tape over the windshield crack until you can make your permanent fix.
Then tend to the crack as soon as possible.
Changes in temperature and everyday vibration caused by driving can worsen the crack.
Swing by an auto parts store and pick up a clear epoxy repair kit designed specifically for windshields.
They can be pretty cheap.
Apply the adhesive according to the package directions.
Do-it-yourself fixes won’t work well for cracks larger than, say, 30 centimetres.
For those, you’ll need to have the windshield replaced by a professional.
Someone scratched my car’s finish
Rub your finger gently over the scratch.
If you can’t feel the indentation made by the scratch, you’re in luck.
Only the surface clear coat was marred, not the paint layer.
Go to an auto parts store, pick up a polish (many feature scratch-removing properties), and follow the package directions. If you can feel the scratch on the surface of your car’s finish, buffing and polishing will not help.
The only solution is to paint over the scratch to make it less noticeable. Browse through the fingernail polish available in your home, a drugstore, or a department store.
When you find a shade that matches the colour of your car, delicately paint over the scratch and let it dry. If you mess up the patch job, dab on a little nail polish remover with a cotton swab to clean it up, let it dry, and start over.
Auto parts stores also sell touch-up marking pens and coloured polishes that will disguise a scratch temporarily.
I ripped the car seat
If you’ve cut a gash in your car’s leather or vinyl upholstery, find duct tape that matches the colour of the upholstery and cut a piece just large enough to cover the rip.
Auto parts stores sell duct tape in a wide range of colours.
The tape will mask the wound until you can get it permanently repaired at an upholstery repair shop.
Auto parts stores also sell colour-matching adhesive repair kits for leather and vinyl upholstery.
Duct tape and do-it-yourself repair kits don’t work quite as well on fabric, however.
For large fabric tears, you’ll need the help of an auto upholstery shop.