Even with proper care, including frequent cleaning and regular trips to your local mechanic for needed service, your car can start to look a little worse for the wear as the years go by. You may start to see scratches marring your otherwise pristine paint job, or you might suffer tiny chips and cracks on the windshield that don't warrant outright replacement. Your headlights may suffer from fogging that makes them unsightly (and less functional).
What can you do to repair these minor cosmetic issues without spending an arm and a leg on professional service, part replacement, or a new paint job? Luckily, there are a few DIY ways to address these flaws and return your car to a like-new appearance.
Windshield Chip Repair Kit
Whether you like to take gravel roads to remote wilderness locations to camp, or you're simply dealing with roadway construction that leaves wheels spitting up asphalt and debris, it's normal to see minor chips and cracks appear in your windshield over time. While they might not be overly concerning as-is, they can quickly spread and become a considerable eyesore if left unattended.
This is where a windshield repair kit can help, and you can find one online, at an auto parts store, and sometimes even big-box stores. Popular brands like Loctite, RainX, and Permatex offer easy-to-use repair kits for about $10-15, and they basically require you to pour an adhesive solution into a syringe, apply it to the chip as instructed, allow it to dry, and then cut away excess to create a flush surface. Results may not look as good as new, but the area will be less obtrusive and you'll stop the chip from turning into a windshield-spanning crack.
There's nothing worse than popping into the grocery store only to return to the parking lot to find that someone has sideswiped your car with a shopping cart and left a glaring scratch in their wake. Unfortunately, scratches small and large are sure to occur, unless you keep your car cloistered in the garage and away from other vehicles and people.
For surface scratches that simply mar the clear coat, rub-on scratch removers from Turtle Wax or Meguiar's may do the trick (although you'll have to repeat application every so often to preserve the effects). For deeper scratches, a complete polishing kit like the Precision Scratch Kit from 3M is a much better option. Keep in mind, you may also have to touch up paint for particularly deep scratches.
While you could try scrubbing cloudy headlights with an abrasive cleanser to remove dirt and grime, this will do nothing to eliminate haziness when the UV protective coating begins to oxidize. For this, you'll need a headlight restoration kit, and you'll find them from trusted brands like Turtle Wax, RainX, and Sylvania, just to name a few.
All you need to do is wash the headlight covers, seal surrounding areas (fender, hood, grille) with tape, lightly sand the plastic, and polish and wax it with supplies in your kit.
With the right products and a DIY attitude, you'll have no trouble fixing minor cosmetic issues and restoring your car to a like-new appearance. For even more vehicle care options, be sure to learn more about a Mopar Vehicle Warranty Plan or Ford Protect Vehicle Warranty Plan today.