There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a new car. The fresh scent, the latest tech, and the unsoiled cleanliness inside and out are all part of the experience that makes getting behind the wheel of a brand-new car so great. Unfortunately, the latest model isn’t always in everyone’s budget, but a savvy car owner can make a used model feel almost as good. Check out these ways to make your new-to-you vehicle feel just like new.
- Thoroughly clean, inside and out- Take your new wheels to the carwash, and splurge on the full treatment. Many automated car washes offer undercarriage washes, wax treatments and more. While regular washes can keep a car looking good, starting out with an expansive treatment can help you maintain cleanliness from then on. Same goes for the interior. Do a thorough interior cleaning, complete with vacuuming and shampooing carpets and seats. This can be easily done yourself, or is offered at many car washes and service locations.
- Revamp your wipers- Replacing old wiper blades can make a huge difference, especially if you live in an area that experiences frequent rain or snow. Investing in a windshield treatment such as Rain-X can also make a huge difference in visibility and giving your wiper blades a longer life.
- Clean and deodorize you’re A/C- While you might think that grabbing some “new-car scent” air fresheners is all it takes to get that fresh-out-of-the-showroom smell, there’s more to it than that. Instead of just covering up old smells, go to the source of the issue. A/C system deodorizers can be found at many auto parts store, and work to get rid of mold, fungus and other culprits of smelly air conditioning units. You can perform the work yourself, or take your vehicle in to a detail shop to have the system cleaned professionally.
- Protect your interior- If your carpeting and seats show your vehicle’s age, covering them up is a quick way to make the years disappear. If you’ve found a used car with a fairly clean interior, meanwhile, you’ll want to protect it! Either way, seat covers and floor mats are your friend. Seat covers double as an easy way to protect your upholstery from wear and tear and an opportunity to bring your personal sense of style to your car’s interior. Floor mats, meanwhile, keep your carpets from getting dirty and can be particularly helpful if your shoes might come in contact with snow or mud.
- Upgrade your dash- You can restore a dull and faded dashboard with a wax or silicone polish, which will not only improve the appearance but also extend the life of the plastic. You can also upgrade your dash with a new radio. Replacement radios can often be installed at home, and the transition from a tape deck and an auxiliary jack can make a huge difference.
- Brighten up your lights- Replacement headlights are recommended every five or six years, but cloudy headlights don’t necessarily need to be replaced. Headlight restoration kits can be found at your local auto parts store, and can make old lenses look like new. Even easier, some DIY enthusiasts swear by a simple scrub with toothpaste and a sponge.
- Touch up your exterior- Getting rid of little scratches, dents and rusty spots on your vehicle’s exterior can do a lot for making an old car look new. Many minor scratches and other imperfections can be fixed with scratch removal systems and touch-up paint pens available at auto parts stores. You can also remove faded exterior plastic and spray paint it for a quick and easy fix. If your vehicle has significant cosmetic issues, consider taking it to a body shop.
Just because you’re purchasing a used car, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice that squeaky-clean, new car feeling. In addition to making you feel more comfortable and proud of your vehicle, experts at Kindle Auto Plaza say that a well-maintained car will retain its value better for future sales or trade ins. Make your used car feel like new again with these easy tricks, and enjoy hitting the road in a vehicle you can take pride in.