Common Non-Mechanical Issues & How to Easily Fix Them
We rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to go. We take care of them to ensure they are running properly and efficiently. Sometimes though, despite our best efforts, damages are done. Know how to fix some of the more common non-mechanical issues your car will face and save yourself time and money in the long run.
Despite its significant importance to the makeup of your vehicle, windshields are all too easy to break. In an instant, the truck in front of you on the road can kick up a rock or a hail storm can hit your car’s windshield and its status as one piece on the non-chipped glass is no longer. There are simple ways to repair or replace your windshield though.
With the minor chips and cracks, you can spare the existing windshield and just repair the damage it has suffered. Using an epoxy or acrylic filler, you can seal off the crack in the glass and prevent it from enlarging or letting in dirt and moisture. Fix cracks while you can before they turn into larger blemishes that are irreparable.
Sometimes your only option is to replace the entire windshield of your vehicle when it gets damaged. When this is the case, there are now several services that make the process easier than ever. With the ability to have someone come directly to your home to replace the windshield, you are able to save both valuable time and money.
No matter how careful you are, unfortunately, others will not always be so careful, and dents can still happen to your vehicle. Luckily though, there are various DIY methods to fix small- and medium-sized dents without having to exert much effort or spend much money.
With the help of a cup plunger, oftentimes you will be able to pop out a dent. Wet the plunger itself and splash some water on your car’s debt. Then, use the plunger on the dent as you would on your kitchen sink, and ta-da, you’ve fixed the dent!
When a dent happens to your car’s plastic rear bumper, it can sometimes be more difficult to repair. Since the plastic is so unpliable, it can resist efforts to pop a dent out of it. However, by using boiling water to make the plastic more malleable, it can be easier to work with. Pour boiling water on the dent and push on the dent from the opposite side of the bumper. You will need to work quickly since the heat from the boiling water will not last long, but if your efforts don’t work on the first try, repeat with more boiling water until they do.
You can purchase a dent repair kit at practically any supermarket, hardware, or automotive store. These kits supply the user with special tools made for the purpose of popping a dent out of a vehicle.
With the hustle and bustle of life, and sometimes the distractedness of other drivers, scratches to your vehicle can happen pretty easily. When pesky scratches do make their appearance on your car’s exterior, it is best to treat them right away. It is definitely not a bad idea to keep touch up paint in your vehicle’s color on hand, so you have it when needed (the color of your vehicle’s paint is generally located inside the driver’s door on a manufacturer’s label).
Steps to take:
1. Determine the depth of the scratch. If your fingernail can catch on the edge of the paint scratch, the scratch is probably too deep for you to give it a DIY repair without the help of a professional.
2. Wash the car. Give your car a good wash before attempting to repair any scratches. With a clean work surface, you will be able to avoid having to deal with any lingering dirt getting caught in your paint touch up a process.
3. Sand the area of the dent. Using wet and then dry 1500 grit sandpaper, gently sand the affected area to give you a nice, smooth surface with which to work.
4. Apply the touch-up paint. After having cleaned and prepped the scratched surface of your car, you can begin your work to restore the paint. Apply the paint color with a small brush, or with the paint itself if using a paint touch up the pen, as neatly and evenly as possible. Let dry overnight.
5. Polish. Soak a piece of 1500 grit sandpaper in water for about 30 minutes, then wet the area of your car you are working on. Then, sand the spot (in lines, never circles) softly just until the surface of the repair is even.
6. Lastly, apply a fine-cut compound. The application of the compound will add gloss back to the paint that was dulled in the last sanding step. Apply the compound with back-and-forth strokes using a polishing cloth, then buff it out with a microfiber towel.
Burned Out Headlight Bulb
Although a fully busted headlight or taillight on your car may not be a simple fix, a mere burned out bulb is an easy repair. Before you begin, be sure to have the proper replacement bulb for your vehicle (an employee of any auto shop should be able to help you properly match one to that of your vehicle’s), alcohol wipes, paper towels, and a Phillips screwdriver.
- 1. Locate your car’s headlight holder through the open hood. It will typically have three wires leading to the bulb.
- 2. Unhook the wires and remove the old bulb. The wires will be held to the base of the bulb by either a plastic or metal catch or a screw cap. With plastic, you can push down on its lever as you pull the plug away from the bulb. With metal, you will pull up and away from the bulb, and with a screw cap, you will just unscrew it from the headlight bulb. Then, you can remove the old bulb from its bulb holder.
- 3. Clean the new bulb and install it. Handle the new bulb with paper towels so as not to transfer oils from your skin, and clean it off with alcohol wipes. Then, you may install it and replace its wires.