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How To Make An Old Car Look New


Many people want to make their old car look new because they are selling it, or they just want to spruce up their old car. There are a number of options that you can perform yourself, or hire someone else to do, to make your old car look new again.

Step 1

The easiest way to transform your old car is to clean the interior. You can take your car to a professional car wash to have the interior thoroughly cleaned, or you can do it yourself and save some money. Vacuum the carpets and upholstery, making sure to spot treat any stains. Good dish soap or all surface cleaners can be used to clean the dashboard, vent openings, console and the cup holders.

Repair all outside body damage and if needed obtain a new paint job. Tighten any loose bumpers and replace any damaged molding, or take the car to a body shop for repairs. Old cars often have small dings from gravel and other road debris.

Step 2

Check the car mirrors and windows for any chips, tiny dings or scratches. Touch up materials can be purchased at an auto store for small repairs. Hire a professional to replace a damaged wind shield. Most insurance companies cover the cost of windshield repair, so call your agent for insurance information.

One of the first things a potential buyer notice is a car's exterior. A clean shiny car will attract the attention of potential buyers and can also help you receive an excellent offer. The best way to a clean shiny car is to wash it meticulously and allow it to dry completely before applying any wax. Rinse off any dirt at least 45 minutes before the buyer's appointment. This will allow time for the car to dry and for you to buff out any dull spots.

Step 3

Purchase a set of four new tires that contain whitewalls and keep the whitewalls clean with a whitewall tire wash. The tire wash can be purchased at the local auto parts store. Make sure and have new lugs, so that all parts of the tires are shiny. This will give the old car an overall flashy appearance.

Step 4

Replace the windshield wipers, broken lights (inside and out) and car mats. In addition, check the gas cap and replace it if it is damaged. Another suggestion is to oil the door latches, trunk release and the hood release.

Step 5

If you are selling the old car, make sure it is in good working order. If it is not, do the repairs yourself to save money. If you are not skilled at auto mechanics, then take the car to a professional you trust. A written inspection will also be helpful in getting the asking price of the old car.

Another overlooked element is to clean and shine the exhaust pipe. A shiny exhaust pipe will add to the overall flashy appearance of the old car.


  • Thoroughly wash and wax the car.
  • Rinse the car of dust at least 45 minutes before a buyer’s appointment.
  • The car should be mechanically sound.

Sources and Citations


By Zoe Newf, published at 03/14/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How To Make An Old Car Look New. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.