Easy Ways to Maintain Your Vehicle Without the Aid of a Dealer or Mechanic
In previous posts, we discussed common maintenance issues that drivers often pay a mechanic or dealer service center to fix. However, for the extra motivated car owner, those labor fees can often be avoided with some spare time, a few basic tools, and a do-it-yourself attitude. We’d like to review some of these basic repairs and upgrades you can do yourself, and not surprisingly, many are simple and easy relative to what a body shop or mechanic may charge to solve your car’s “little problems.”
How to Repair Scratches and Cracks Yourself
While not a permanent solution, you can use clear nail polish to prevent scratches and cracks from becoming major issues until you visit the mechanic or service department at your local dealership. For scratches that expose the bare metal of your vehicle — those that have bored through the layers of paint — sealing the damaged area with a thin layer of nail polish can buy you time and prevent moisture from accumulating under the paint, which leads to rust.
For minor windshield and side-window cracks, you will want to address these immediately. The natural vibrations your vehicle makes while in motion cause the fissures in the glass to slowly spread, and clear nail-polish not only covers up cracks cosmetically but staves off this process of deterioration until a glass expert can evaluate your car.
Maintain Your Upholstery and Carpets
Coffee stains can be a disaster, but I urge you to try the following method yourself before buying new inserts or submitting your vehicle to replacement interiors. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and dishwashing detergent for every quart of water you use to remove stains from your carpets. Make sure the affected area is dry before applying this solution, and leave a few minutes in between each application to let the vinegar set in.
Repair Minor Dents With Dry Ice
The last home repair I will mention is used to correct minor dents. Simply pick up some dry ice from your local pharmacy and touch it to the affected area for a few moments, and you will see the dent correcting itself. This process works best on minor dents and on heated surfaces, such as after your vehicle has been running awhile or on a hot day. Remember to wear gloves when handling dry ice.
Hopefully Honest Car Dealer has helped you avoid some unnecessary bills. Check back with us for more car buying and owning advice early and often.
July 22, 2012 by Jamie Rettig