Tips to keep car repair costs from adding up

Knowing a few tricks can save you big bucks the next time your car needs even the smallest repair.
March 21, 2014 4:56:44 AM PDT
Even the smallest car repair or maintenance project can quickly consume a lot of our cash. Universal Technical Institute's Robert Brown and Frank Glass say knowing a few simple car basics can save you big bucks.

"It's all a matter of putting your hands on it. whether it's man, woman, boy or child, anybody can do what we will show you today," said Robert Brown.

Donning the appropriate wardrobe, we challenged them to show us what they say are 4 "easy" car fixes-up first, changing headlight capsules. If your headlight looks yellow, dingy and scratched, it's not just ugly, It's not safe.

"Gotta be able to see where you are going. That is a very large thing to see oncoming, and they need to see you as well. and when you have this haze that's over the lens, people are not going to see you as well," said Brown, "the cost of changing a headlight capsule - could be phenomenal whereas the assembly of the product to restore the lens.. So much cheaper."

FIRST CAR FIX: HEADLIGHT RESTORATION

We bought a headlight restoration kit for $18. It's very easy to use. First, we cleaned off the headlight. Then we taped around the edges of the headlight to protect the paint.

Then, just follow the directions on the package. We used a sander to sand the light fixture with three different types of sand paper (included in the kit). After glossing the headlight, it appears to be brand new!

SECOND CAR FIX: CHANGING THE HEADLIGHT (OR TAIL LIGHT)

If that headlight burns out it's critical to be replaced quickly. That's an easy fix too! We were able to quickly switch out the headlight. When we first tried, the light wouldn't go in. Brown suggested that we put lip gloss around the "O ring" to help slide the piece into place. It worked!

THIRD CAR FIX: WASHING AND WAXING

Robert and Frank say regular car washing and waxing do much more than give us a shiny ride, it also helps extend the life of the paint job.

"A lot like suntan lotion or skin care, the paint on your car is the skin. It's actually slightly porous. So if you can fill those pores with wax whether than dirt and grime," said Frank, "You can extend the lifetime of your paint job by keeping it nice, clean and waxed."

Frank says always use car soap, not dish or laundry detergent. He says it can strip the wax off.

THE FOURTH CAR FIX: PAINT TOUCH UPS

"If you have small dings, chips in the paint it's good to cover it back up.. hot spots, where rust might form. By keeping them sealed with paint you will prevent that," said Frank, "If you have a small chip on the hood and it's to the metal, it can start to rust. When it starts to rust, it will bubble up and create a bigger spot you want to catch it early."

Most vehicles have the paint code on a label right on the inside of the door, so you'll know exactly what color to ask for. Frank says you can also use finger nail polish to cover the rust spot. You can even use a clear color to stop the rust.

For more information visit the Universal Technical Institute.

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