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21 Nov 2016 | Text by Desmond Chan, Photos by Low Fai Ming | Category: Car Maintenance Advice

We check out five cheap and easy do-it-yourself ways to reinvigorate your car, offering it a fresh breath of life.



There is no denying that car ownership in Singapore is an expensive proposition. However, not every car owner treats car ownership the same way. Some drivers will lavish generous attention (and probably money) on the upkeep of their cars. Mothers will complain they spend more time in the car than at home, girlfriends will complain that these guys love cars more than their partners.

On the other hand, there are some owners who look at cars pragmatically - cars are a means of transport, a utilitarian tool that performs a specific function in their lives. These car owners won't necessarily spend money taking their cars to detailers and workshops for special treatment. And you know what, there's nothing wrong with this. After all, money is a precious commodity.

Toothpaste and hard work can help to clear up yellowed head lights

At some point, our cars may start to look a little fatigued, a little down and out. However, just because you don't want to spend more money going to car washers and detailers doesn't mean that you have to neglect you car's outlook and condition. Thus, we set out to find cost effective, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ways that you can lavish your car with care and reinvigorate it using products you can easily find at home or buy at Sheng Siong Supermarket. 

1. Use toothpaste to clean head lights

You may have seen this one on the Internet before. For head lights that have gone yellow and foggy, you can use toothpaste to clean and get rid of some of the fogginess.

While it certainly makes a difference, don't expect miracles - it's not the same as going to the groomer's for proper sanding and polishing. However, for something you can do with a tube of toothpaste from your toilet, it is certainly effective.

2. Use clear nail polish to fill small glass cracks

Sometimes flying debris and tiny stones on the roads can cause a small crack in the car's windshield or window. Of course, the best solution is to get this immediately repaired. However, there is a temporary fix that you should consider, if you are not going to immediately fix the crack.

It is important to fill in glass cracks immediately, to prevent it from spreading further

What you want to do is to use some clear nail polish to fill in the crack. This is no real repair, but it is an important temporary fix. Due to the nature of glass and the fact that it is constantly under pressure, the crack will spread if it isn't filled. 
3. Clean away any old sticker residue with nail polish remover

Maybe you have decided your tiong chia days are over and are removing the various AP Racing and Speedhunters stickers from your car's windshield or windows. However, having been stuck on for so long, a layer of old sticker residue remains.

An alcohol-based solvent, such as nail polish remover, can be used to get rid of pesky sticker residue

Well, a simple and cheap way to get rid of such residue is to wipe it with a cloth using an alcohol-based solvent, such as nail polish remover. Remember, this is for glass surfaces - avoid using nail polish remover on painted surfaces as it might damage the paint. For paint, we recommend not being stingy and using proper sticker residue removing products.

4. Polish the dashboard with olive oil

Moving on to the interior of the car, you can give your dashboard a quick clean and polish using some garden variety olive oil that you probably already have in your kitchen. Just pour some on a piece of cloth and wipe down your dashboard - it creates a shiny, glossy surface that is that much more pleasant to the eyes.

5. Use charcoal to get rid of bad odours

A common cause of bad odours is moisture, as it creates a prime environment for bacteria. It's this reason that many of us place dehumidifiers like Thirsty Hippo in our wardrobes. 

Charcoal is a cheap yet effective means of getting rid of bad odours in the car

A car isn't that different. If anything, it's that much more prone to moisture. Sweat, spilled coffee, a poorly maintained air-con, these all contribute to the build up of moisture. A simple yet effective solution is to place a bag of charcoal in the car and leave it there for a couple of days - charcoal is effective in removing moisture and moisture-related smells.

Having spent a grand total of $21.05 on products from the supermarket, here are five quick, cheap and easy DIY ways you can reinvigorate your vehicle. Just take a little time out on a Sunday afternoon, break a little sweat, and show you car a little love! 



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