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Take 10 Years off Your Cars Appearance

With the world economy recovering from a severe hangover there's bound to be a huge number of gearheads who have had to put aside their plans to trade up to a better vehicle, or upgrade their existing car on an extensive scale. However there is also a large percentage who still have some spare change to put into their pride and joy and make some improvements, while still keeping the wallet happy.

If you happen to own an older vehicle which is in need of a revamp, and is worthy of some time, money and effort here's some ideas which can take years off it's appearance.

Comprehensive Cleaning
It's pretty obvious but a really good wash, wax and full interior cleanup can make a huge difference to a cars appearance. Often when people give their car a wash they neglect the details. This includes the badging, the black rubber window surrounds, the windows, door handles, door jams, and various other trim. A plastic rejuvenator can make faded black plastic look almost new within a few minutes, and applying a water dispersing treatment (like RainX) to the exterior of the windows helps to make them glisten like new. A good wax can bring faded and lightly scuffed paintwork back to life (if possible use a colored wax which closely matches the paint color).

Replica or Lightly Used Wheels
Instead of buying expensive designer alloy wheels which are often not to everyones taste, and therefore can affect resale, why not try looking for used or replica wheels which match the make of your vehicle. For example, if you have a BMW 3 Series with 15 inch wheel fitted as standard - try looking for 18 inch wheels taken off a higher spec 3 Series. It could save you money and will almost certainly be a good style match with your car.

Color Code your Bumpers
Often optional trim packages from manufacturers will include 'body colored bumpers'. This basically means that they took the time to do what they should have done in the first place. It's amazing the difference a simple color match can make. Look at any modern car and you'll be hard pressed to find one which has large black plastic bumpers. There's a reason - they're ugly. If you're competent, and I mean competent, then you can attempt it yourself with a spray can (depending on the surface size). If not a quick trip to a body shop should get the job done.

Halo headlights
Halo headlights are available for a wide variety of makes and models. They are work especially well on older vehicles which lack the more recent reflector style headlights. They often cost less than standard replacement headlight units and are usually an absolute breeze to fit. Once installed they can instantly take years off a cars appearance. Another benefit to halo headlights is that they often appear to have come factory fitted and therefore provide a subtle yet effective upgrade.

Trim from Newer Models
If you happen to live close to a scrapyard or have some time to trawl through ebay why not try looking for some trim from facelifted versions of your car. Obviously if your car is the final year model then this idea isn't going to work. But if you have an early model there could be some trim elements which were upgraded during the lifespan of the model. Many of these will just bolt on in place of the old part (be careful though because some won't!).

See also:
All Tutorials
How To Check Your Oil
How To Identify Vehicle Leaks
Basic Tire Maintenance
Take 10 Years Off Your Car's Appearance
How to Perform a Heel-and-Toe Downshift
Left-Foot Braking
Driving on Snow and Ice
What is Torque?
What is a 'Monocoque'?
What are Superchargers?

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