Just like we have to take care of our house and other assets, we have to ensure that our car is always in top condition. This includes taking care of all minor dents, scrapes, scratches, chipping and scuffs on the body before they turn into major expenses.
In this article, we will take you through 10 tips for car body repair and maintenance. Remember, solving these issues yourself, and on time, means that you can save a great deal of money.
1 – Repair Minor Scratches With The Right Paint Code
Every car comes with a paint color code printed on its engine room, and documentation. Knowing the correct code will help you quickly touch up any minor dents or scrapes on your car, without having to go to a professional.
Your car dealer, the paint shop, and a quick search on the internet can also help you determine your car’s original color.
2 – Repairing A Broken Or Punched Bumper
A broken bumper can be repaired with pieces cut off a speaker mesh grill, auto repair cloth, or glass fiber matt dipped in resin.
Similarly, a punched bumper with a depression can be straightened out using a heat gun, or hair dryer, as the heat makes plastic more malleable.
3 – Removing Rust From Fender Flares Or Wheel Arches
You will need to cut and grind away the existing rust, and secure the gaps with pieces of glass fiber matt dipped in resin.
Afterwards, you can apply hardener to ‘cure’ it, and then sand the area.
4 – Sand The Dents And Dings
Do you have a million dents and dings on your car? Then a combination of body filler, sanding and buffing may be the answer for you.
Simply prep the surface by sanding down the paint, apply the filler and once it has hardened, sand down any imperfections.
For this, you can simply buy an all-purpose sander, especially if you want to opt for a smooth finish. Remember, sanding with your hands can often leave behind natural looking grooves, so it’s always better to opt for a sanding block or tool.
5 – Glaze Minor Flaws
If you only have minor damages or scratches, then a finishing glaze could do the trick. Just buy a self-leveling liquid glaze, apply it on the surface, and you’re done!
For larger repairs, you should apply the glaze right before the final coat of paint so you can have a level surface, and a smooth finish.
6 – Windshield Repair Kits For Chips
There are only a few things that can make driving more difficult than a chipped windshield; not only does it impact your visibility, but it is also a major safety hazard.
The solution? A windshield repair kit.
Such kits usually have resins that block cracks and chips before they can cause more damage. And while this isn’t a miracle solution, it can certainly help you fix minor damages yourself, and avoid a trip to an expensive repair shop.
7 – Replace Headlights
Having the fanciest trims and wheels wouldn’t matter much if your headlights are not working properly.
A burned out light can also lead a traffic cop or highway patrol to pull you over, since it is required by law that headlights must be used from sunset to sunrise.
To avoid the hassle, you must replace faulty or burned out lights – fortunately, this is a relatively easy process. You can find detailed instructions and diagrams on how to do so for your specific car model.
8 – Replace Side Molding
Car body molding is a decorative addition that also protects your doors from denting. While a number of new models don’t come with side molding, they can help you avoid a costly trip to the auto repair shop.
If your side molding is coming loose, then you can simply replace it yourself; pry off the old molding, clean the area with an oil-based adhesive remover (or a combination of baking soda and a little oil), and reattach it.
9 – Replace Your Broken Side View Mirrors
Broken or damaged side mirrors are as common as dents and scratches on your car – not matter how careful you are, you are bound to end up with a bashed side view mirror at some point.
Instead of taking your car to the shop, you should simply replace them yourself. All you need is a new mirror (purchase from the manufacturer or look up parts on Amazon), get your removal tools ready, and do the work yourself.
10 – Keep Your Paint Job Smooth With A Protective Film
Last but not the least, here’s a tip for keeping your paint job fresh – after you’re done repairing all the scratches and dents, apply a protective film to block out bugs, dirt and debris from ruining the job.
That’s about it for the best tips for car repair or maintenance. We hope that these ideas will make it easier for you to look after your car – you can also check out these car repair manuals for more tips on your specific model.