Whether you love classic-looking cars, or a used vehicle is all you can afford at the moment, you still have the chance to keep your wheels in good shape with a bit of care. As you can see below, it only takes some patience, a maintenance budget, and maybe some creativity to bring an old jalopy back to life.
#1: Regular Check-ups
Just like you need more visits to the doctor as you move forward to your senior years, so does your used car need regular check-ups. If you perform your own car maintenance, make sure to check for small adjustments and repairs (like replacing a gasket or tinkering with a cable).
It’s also good practice to take it to a professional mechanic, who may find parts and maintenance items a lot easier. Professionals also have the advantage of tracking down parts that are difficult to find and getting them at a discount.
#2: Maintain the Internals
You should consider regular oil and filter changes (set reminders if you must), replace worn tires and rims, and clean the air filter.
For better performance, check the plugs and replace if necessary, align your wheels, and check if the transmission is working on optimal terms.
Just like a beautiful woman or a presentable man, cars need accessories to stand out from the crowd. Even more, in today’s day and age, most classic cars can catch up with their technically-advanced sisters due to a wide range of accessories.
Here are some that could spark your interest:
Bluetooth systems that connect your phone to the car’s functionalities (audio, video, and some controls);
Portable Navigation systems that help you replace that old map you’ve been using;
Tire pressure sensors – these tiny devices are mounted on each wheel and communicate with an app on your phone. When something is off, the app will let you know it is time for a check-up;
Personalised number plates – If you want to pimp your ride a bit, but keep it classy, personalised numbers may be the perfect choice. With a plethora of combinations and an infinity of options, your car’s plates could read anything you want them to read (see here for private reg plates in the UK).
Headlights kit – Depending on the type of improvement you want (functional or aesthetic) there are plenty of lighting kits you can purchase at rather affordable prices. You can change the colour, shape, and look of your lights, but make sure you respect the regulations.
#4: Detailed Cleaning
Every car owner knows that feeling and smell of a freshly detailed vehicle! It’s somehow close to the new car smell and it’s quite empowering to be honest. Furthermore, dirt and grime can lead to performance problems, chipped paint, and rust, which in time leads to degradation of the vehicle’s aspect and damage of pieces.
So, if you want your baby to look at her best, make sure to give her a detailed cleaning from time to time. Of course, this advice is valid for both new and classic cars!
#5: Fix Bad Weather-stripping
If the windows and doors are not well-isolated, you may have the surprise of a moldy interior (especially with Wintry weather!). In time, the humidity inside leads to interior deterioration and rust, which is why this is something you should take care of as soon as possible.
If most of the weather-stripping is good, but there are loose sections, these can be re-secured with trim adhesive. Some sections, even though worn but still in place, can be preserved by inserting foam roads which you can find at your local automotive store.
Still, the areas that can’t be recovered should be replaced with high-quality weather-stripping recommended for your car model. For this, you may want to visit a garage that specialises in repairing and maintaining used cars.