DIY: 4 Auto Upgrades That Are Easy to Do

Tired of paying the pros for easy do-it-yourself car fixes? While you may not be able to rebuild a transmission, there are some easy DIY projects you can do on your own. Some of these tips even enhance your vehicle if you’re looking to trade it in.

1. Make Dull Spots Shine

Auto Upgrades That Are Easy to Do

Image via Flickr by taberandrew.

This little secret is straight from professional car detailers. To treat dull spots on your exterior paint buy a clay bar kit. You can get these at any auto parts chain or on Amazon. A good one is made by Mothers (California Gold) and comes with two clay bars, microfiber cloths and a lubricant spray.

These kits are great for removing tough tree sap and other abrasives that still remain after you wash the vehicle. They can also add luster to faded paint spots. Once washed and dry, find a place in the shade. Next, knead the clay bars until they are flat and rounded. Spray the lubricant on the affected area and move the clay in single strokes (not back and forth). You’ll see debris on the clay immediately. Make sure you keep the area lubricated with the spray at all times and after completing, polish with the microfiber cloth. Clay bars can be used a few times by re-kneading them but a tip here is if you drop the clay bar on the ground, consider it toast.

2. Use Nail Polish for Touch-Ups and to Protect Windshields

Instead of buying expensive touch-up paint, use nail polish for small scratches. Nail polish possesses the same consistency of touch-up paint and with so many colors available, you’re sure to find one that matches. Only use these on small scratches and avoid using on dents.

If a rock or stone has hit your windshield and left a nasty crack, don’t let it turn into a bigger crack and use clear nail polish to stop the crack from spreading. Applying the clear polish around the edges of the small bubble or crack will stop it from growing until you can have the windshield replaced.

3. Revive Old Headlights

If your headlights are hazy, you can get the sheen back using a headlight restoration kit—also available at most auto parts stores or big box stores. These kits come with sanding pads, lubricant, a lens clarifying compound and finish cloths and can be used on glass, Plexiglas or plastic lenses.

Use the lubricant to wet the sanding pad and rub the lenses thoroughly—rub for a good five minutes and apply to all sides. Next, apply the clarifying compound with one finish cloth and polish with the second.

This simple DIY car project is not only easy to do on your own but restores sheen to your headlights, a great way to enhance the value of your car.

4. Get Stains Out Before They Set

Coffee, tea and cola stains can be removed quickly if you use the right cleaning ingredients and method. And, once they’re set in, it’s harder to remove them.

First blot the stain and remove excess liquid with a dry cloth. Next, use a solution of one quart of water, ½ teaspoon of dishwashing soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar and blot gently on the stain. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes. Use another dry cloth to blot again and repeat if necessary. Don’t rub the spot as it may spread.

There are many DIY car tips that help save money and give life back to your vehicle and who doesn’t want a great-looking ride inside and out?

Randy Vulture is a freelance writer based out of Brooklyn, New York, who enjoys writing about aspects of life you may overlook sometimes and providing helpful information through his writing. You can follow him through the buttons below.