To most car owners, that might mean a visit to the auto shop. But you can do some fine tuning on your own at home. Prep the tire changers, crank Betty up on the car lift, grab your tools, and use that the elbow grease—it’s fine-tuning time.
Even the best drivers are sure to experience car dents. They won’t usually alter how your car operates, but they can make your otherwise pristine vehicle look like a piece of scrap. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools on the market that can help you smooth those dents out.
Specialized dent pullers help to shape the car’s surface back into its original shape, though certain household items (plungers, hammers, dry ice) can be quite effective in pulling dents. Smaller dents can be removed with certain cleaners. Larger dents will often require you to remove interiors to get to the dent from the inside.
In some cases, your car gets a little too scratched up and requires a complete paint job. Instead of paying an auto shop to take care, you can quite easily paint your car on your own. This is one area where car lifts make the job much easier.
Make sure you paint your car somewhere with good ventilation. A home garage should be fine. Try to avoid doing it outside as you’ll have to deal with the wind, dust, and debris. You may want a drop cloth to avoid any stray paint on the ground.
Once you’ve found the right spot, you will need to prep your car. For an existing paint job, prepping your car means sanding away the old shine and lacquer from the entire vehicle. Make sure you tape off your windows, mirrors, and any other surfaces you don’t want to paint. After sanding your car down, you will need to prime it by wiping the surface with Xylol/Xylene, which will kill any stray oil spots you might not have seen.
The painting itself is pretty simple so long as you keep things even. Keep track of which parts you’ve painted to avoid any paint lines or uneven coats. After a few coats, you may consider wet sanding everything to remove any slight imperfections. Apply a few more coats afterwards to finish things off.