Whether you want to sell your car or not, a facelift can be helpful, especially since an aging car carries the stigma of years. However, apart from bumps and deep scratches, it’s possible to give your car a facelift on the outside, and also on the inside: dull plastics and stained fabrics will be nothing but a bad memory!
Make your car shine
Prior to any rejuvenation of the bodywork: a real wash, according to the rules of the profession.
Two instructions to follow:
– Absolutely avoid the brush rollers at service stations: the bristles of their brushes, too hard, are certainly effective but they scratch the bodywork, especially if the paint is already old.
– Use a pressure washer instead of a high-pressure washer.
Here’s how to proceed:
– Wet the bodywork evenly with a garden hose;
– use a soft sponge with a detergent product to wash the bodywork ;
– Rinse thoroughly;
– wipe the body with a soft cloth in concentric circular motions;
– allow the car to dry completely.
Caution: Avoid spraying the jet of the high-pressure cleaner towards the engine, as the water pressure is such that it could penetrate the electrical or electronic circuits.
Car lift for a like-new bodywork
Any car polish on the shelves at your local store will do.
Once the car has been perfectly washed, we move on to the renovation of the paintwork. Many products are available on the market. Depending on the condition of your bodywork, we use :
– a polish if it is old and dull;
– a polish if it is recent.
When the bodywork is perfectly clean and dry, park it preferably in the shade.
– Apply the product evenly with a cloth;
– Proceed in small areas;
– Do not put the product on plastics or windows because this will cause white marks;
– Polish with a soft cloth, or chamois leather, using circular movements.
Good to know: for a handful of dollars, you will find polishing products at the car center. They are very effective and a good substitute for elbow grease.
Please note: never operate in direct sunlight! The product would “cook” and be very difficult to remove. Don’t forget that in the sun, the temperature of the autobody can quickly reach 60°C.
Cleaning your car’s plastics
Door handles, bumpers, rocker panels: time alters plastics. They end up getting gray, and this is all the more noticeable as the bodywork is splendid.
Before starting maintenance, it is advisable to clean them first:
– either with a dry cloth;
– or with soapy water.
Tip: Don’t forget to clean the hidden corners of your vehicle such as the glove compartment or glove box.
Good to know: stains embedded in plastics can be removed with a cloth soaked in 90° alcohol.
Cleaning the car interior
The first step in restoring the interior’s luster is to vacuum thoroughly everywhere. Then, get to grips with the various elements that make up the interior:
– Fabrics and carpets: remove stains with a cloth soaked in 28% ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.
– Plastic surfaces: wipe with a sponge containing detergent, then rinse and dry.
– Seats and upholstery: spray a specific product and wipe with a microfibre.
– Windows and windshield: Spray with a window cleaner (silicate-free) or a white vinegar solution.
Good to know: gently rub a damp washcloth over the seats in a circle. The wet hairs will clump into balls and are very easy to remove.
Tip: To deodorize the passenger compartment, place apple wedges under the seats, which is effective against cigarette odors, or else sprinkle baking soda on carpets and seats and leave for 15 minutes, then vacuum.
Cleaning the car’s chromes
Wheels, door handles, various hubcaps: chrome is back in fashion. But it tarnishes quickly because it is exposed and requires regular maintenance.
Here again, no need for a dedicated product, even if the market offer is substantial. Use a household product used to clean silverware.
Tips to clean and shine the chromes:
– pass some Marseille soap on the humidified surface, do not rinse but just dry with a chamois leather;
– apply a cloth soaked in cider vinegar, rinse and dry with a microfiber cloth;
– rub the chromes with ash or talcum powder.
Good to know: to prevent rust from settling on the chromes, you can brush them with marine varnish or colorless wax.
Bad weather and sunlight eventually cloud the headlights. They become less efficient and their appearance is not flattering. To remedy this, a very cheap product is proving to be very effective: toothpaste!
– Apply (standard) toothpaste evenly to the headlamp lenses, which have been washed beforehand;
– operate by circular movements until the headlight is clean;
– wash the headlight with water, taking care to remove all traces;
– wipe the optics with a soft cloth.
Good to know: you can use mosquito repellent spray for cleaning, the result is amazing!
Hope the above tips helps you in restoring your car. Feel free to leave your comments below and share some more tips with our readers!