Advice and Tips on Repairing Your Car’s Upholstery

As an owner of a vintage car that has needed complete restoration, I know the value of do-it-yourself projects. By doing the car repairs or restorations yourself, you can save thousands of dollars. One of the most often needed repairs for vintage cars is the upholstery. Let me give you some easy tips for repairing it yourself. First of all, you should always clean the upholstery before starting any repair projects. Use an upholstery cleaner that is made specifically for the type of upholstery you have and always follow the manufacturers instructions to the letter. I prefer to spot test the cleaner in an out-of-the-way place just to be sure. You will be amazed at what a good cleaning can do for old upholstery! Sometimes it will reveal potential problem areas that you can repair before they become a big problem.

Repairing Leather upholstery tips:

If sewing or recovering the seat is not possible, you could try a leather repair kit that can be found at any automotive store. The kit will come with a plastic substance that you will tint to match as close to your car upholstery color as possible. You’ll have to apply it and then let it dry. I don’t recommend this for large areas. It is usually o.k. for small areas if the color is well matched. Black or White upholstery is the easiest to match.

Repairing Vinyl upholstery tips:

Don’t try using glue to repair your vinyl! It seems like an easy fix, but the adhesive in the glue can actually destroy the foam padding underneath the vinyl. You don’t want to create more problems! Instead, simply cut a patch of excess vinyl found under the seat and use adhesive specifically made for vinyl upholstery to patch it. Again, follow the adhesive manufacturers instructions carefully.

If it is just the piping around the seat that needs repair, use this simple trick: Take a match stick and remove the match. Add some contact cement to one end of the match and work it into the damaged area. Then apply the cement to the other end and work that end of the stick in. Fold it in as you go if necessary. Make sure you let the cement dry completely before using the seat.

Do some research ahead of time and see if this do it yourself project is something you think you can do. You don’t want that vintage muscle car looking awesome on the outside and old as dirt on the inside. With a little work you can get it in top notch shape!

Buy Gently Used Car Parts for a New Car Feel

Do you have an older car that’s running great but looks kind of dated? Give it an automotive do-over without dropping a lot of cash in the effort by shopping for gently used car parts, to make it even more comfortable and attractive as your neighbor’s new Hyundai.

You can shop online and hope for the best, but there’s nothing like browsing in an organized wrecking yard and seeing for yourself well-preserved inventory good enough to put in your classic (or not-so-classic) ride. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save when you bypass the dealership and go to a car parts yard.

Take Front Desk Service–or Do It Yourself at the Parts Yard

Customers can decide for themselves if they want to use a wrecking yard’s service to find a part or browse the inventory themselves. If you’re in a hurry or you’re new to this, go ahead and consult with onsite staff. Tell them what you’re looking for, and they will know the right questions to ask you for specifics you might not even know about. They will bring inventory that matches your request for you to inspect.

Or, you can just wave hello and go straight to the yard to search for new bucket seats for the front or a sleek bench style for the back. Other popular parts you can search for that can spruce up your ride include:

  • Bumper guards
  • Door handles
  • Floor mats
  • Gearshift handles
  • Hubcaps
  • Mirrors
  • Spoilers
  • Steering wheels

If you can see it, chances are very good that you can find it at a wrecking yard, in good shape and at a price that’s going to be considerably less expensive than a brand-new part.

How to Make Those Second Hand Parts Look New

Don’t be dismayed if the parts you find are a bit dirty. It’s not that difficult to clean up parts yourself-just be sure you use the right cleaning product.

For example, if you find leather seats that might be perfect in your car, imagine how they would look cleaned up. Leather can be cleaned with store-brought products or a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. When it dries, apply sunscreen to prevent discoloration (advises carsdirect.com).

Headlights can be cleaned with cheap white toothpaste applied with a rag and rinsed with water, says the Krazy Coupon Lady. Car.tips.net says to clean chrome with a less-abrasive scouring pad and a little cola; use steel wool or crumpled aluminum foil for larger areas.

Numerous auto parts shops and possibly even your salvage yard sell paint to match parts.

Dealers Don’t Always Stock Parts for Older Vehicles

Another reason to check out a salvage space is the fact that many car dealerships don’t stock parts for older cars, and some manufacturers stop making them after a few years.

This situation is not only short-sighted but a money loser. According to IHS, the combined age of all light vehicles on the road in January 2014 was about 11.5 years old and is expected to rise to nearly 12 years by 2019. You are hardly alone as a driver of an older vehicle. Chances are, you may even see some familiar faces picking around the headlights!

Factors To Consider When Buying Vacuum Cleaners

To clean your car, you need to have a car vacuum cleaner. If you don’t already own one you should buy it. For you to buy the right unit you need to consider these factors:

Type of vacuum

There are two main types of vacuum cleaners in the market: cordless and wall-mount. The wall-mount units provide the highest suction power but they are limited on the size of the area that they can cover. Cordless vacuums, on the other hand, are smaller, run on rechargeable batteries, and are easy to carry around. Their main flaw is that they don’t have a high suction power. You should weigh the pros and cons of each type and settle on the one that works for you.

Size of your car

This is an important factor to consider when choosing a car vacuum cleaner. Cars come in different sizes and designs. If you have a large car, buying a small vacuum means that you get very tired when doing the cleaning work. To make your work easy you should invest in a large vacuum. On the other hand, if you have a small car, a large cleaner won’t be ideal for you as it might fail to fit into the small spaces.

Reach of the cleaner

How far can the unit reach? To easily get rid of dirt and debris from your car you should go for a unit with the ability to reach all areas of the car. This calls for you to invest in a unit with longer hoses and extra attachments. When making the purchase go with units with ergonomic designs as they are not only comfortable to use, they also last for a long time.

The unit’s power

Whether you are interested in a cordless or wall-mount vacuum cleaner you should ensure that the unit you go for has a high power. When making the purchase, consider the amperage of the unit. Remember that the higher the amperage the more effective the unit is. Power in vacuum cleaners starts at 12V.

Ease of use

Having a powerful cleaner is of no use if it’s difficult to use. To have an easy time go for a unit that is easy to detach and use. While it’s recommended that you clean your own car, your child should also be able to connect the unit to a power source and clean the car. If the vacuum cleaner is complex to use, avoid it.

In addition to considering the ease of use of the vacuum cleaner, also consider the ease of maintenance. Just like any other unit in your home, you have to maintain and replace the faulty parts. The unit that you are buying should have easy-to-find spare parts.

Conclusion

These are the factors that you need to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner. As rule of thumb buy a unit giving you the best results. It also should be within your budget.

6 Tips In Installing Car Roof Racks Without Damaging The Car’s Paint

There are times when the built-in storage system of your vehicle is just isn’t enough to carry your outdoor luggage. And the only place that you could conveniently put your stuff is on the roof. This is why car roof racks have been an essential car accessory for many car owners. It is the best way to carry large, oddly shaped or unwieldy items that just wouldn’t fit inside the vehicle. You just have to make sure that you strap everything properly. Otherwise your stuff might end up bouncing off the road.

When installing a car roof rack, you have to be really careful not to scratch the paint of your car. Here are some tips that will help you install your car roof rack without damaging your car’s paint.

1. Wash your car. If your car is covered with dust, road salt, tar, bugs and other substances, it is advisable to wash your car first before installation. When washing your car, avoid using dish washing detergent or soap. Doing otherwise will remove wax from your car and may cover your car paint with swirl marks.

You can use two buckets. One is for water and another for soapy water. After you’ve soaped down one section of the car, dip and rinse the sponge into the bucket of clean water before soaping up again. This will minimize the dirt that will go into the soap solution that might rub against the paint of your car when applying soap.

2. Dry your car. After washing making sure to dry the car. This will help it look clean and prevent evaporated water from leaving behind deposits or water spots.

3. Evenly wax and buff. This step will protect the car from harmful elements. It is important to ensure that your car’s roof has at least a good wax coating before installing the roof rack.

4. Mount the roof rack. Just place it carefully over to where it should go but don’t install it yet. You need to make sure that the rack is positioned properly leaving a small space between the rack and the roof.

5. Cut some strips of vinyl. Once the roof rack is installed, it creates a situation where certain dust particles, salt and moisture can get trapped in there with the base bars rubbing it all against the car’s paint. This is what causes the damage that most car owners complain about.

In order to prevent this from happening you need to put a couple of clear vinyl strips between the roof and the feet of the base bar. This is why waxing the roof of the car is so important because it will provide protection from the vinyl. In addition, it will make the vinyl strip easier to peel off in the future.

6. Apply the vinyl film. While the rack is held up, apply the film by sticking down one side first. Then, smoothly and firmly slide your hand through the vinyl to push out tiny air bubbles. If the vinyl is not properly smoothed out, the edges are not firmly affixed and air bubbles are present, it will quickly peel off and dust particles could easily get trapped under the vinyl strips.

After some time and you want to remove the vinyl film, you would probably see a light patch from where it used to be. This is not something to be worried about because this means that you car is just dirty and the light patch you’re seeing is simply a clean spot. Your car will need some cleaning and waxing to fix the problem.

DIY Tips to Clean Electric Fuel Pump Filter

Fuel pump filter is a small, yet one of the critical components of your car. The purpose of having a fuel pump filter in a vehicle is to stop impurities from reaching the car’s engine. If the fuel pump filter is dirty and clogged, the engine will have starting problems and the engine stops intermittently while running. So, it is important to keep it clean.

Now that you know what is fuel pump filter and importance of keeping it clean, you are all set to get started on cleaning it. But wait, do you know the process and order by which the filter has to be cleaned? If the answer is no, then the following section of the article gives you the step-by-step procedure on how to clean electric fuel pump filter by yourself.

DIY tips to clean

Locate fuel pump in the fuel tank

First, you need to figure out where exactly is the fuel pump filter is located in your vehicle. Usually electric filters are either located inside or close to the tank or at the back of the car – it depends on the manufacturer and model of the car.

Disconnect battery first

This is very important, first you need to disconnect the battery before you start the cleaning procedure because as it is an electric pump, any small spark can ignite the fuel.

Block the fuel pipes to avoid fuel gushing

As you have disconnected the battery, you need to stop fuel from gushing out of the disconnected fuel pipes. For blocking the fuel pipes you can either insert an old pencil, thin cocks or rubber bungs or something that is handy and can fit your fuel pipes.

Remove and clean all filters with petrol

Make sure all filters are cleaned by washing them with fresh petrol. Always use fresh petrol when cleaning the filters. Properly clean the filters; make sure there is no dirt or other contaminants.

Clean inside of the filter with clean rag

Now that you have washed the filters with petrol, don’t leave the filters drenched in petrol. Get a clean lint-free rag and wipe off the inside of the pump.

Check sealing gaskets

When cleaning the filters, check for the sealing gaskets and make sure they are in a good condition. If they are not in a good condition, replace them. Damaged gaskets would result in fuel leakage during its functioning.

Fix it back

Once you are done with the cleaning of filters, fix them back to their original position with the screws provided. Make sure you don’t over tighten the screws of the cover.

You can plan the cleaning of the filters according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule provided in the owner’s manual.