For many of us, our first car was nothing to brag about. We were teenagers without a lot of money so we bought whatever we could afford. Now, as a parent, your kid is likely going through the same thing. Even if you can help them out financially, they’re likely looking to buy themselves a used car at a reasonable price. And while many used cars come in great shape, some require a little work. Below are some tips you can use to help your kid fix up their car and turn it into something a little nicer.
Start by looking into exterior detailing. Exterior detailing includes several things, most notably getting rid of any scratches or dents outside the car. With some at-home tools and materials, you can remove a significant amount of these blemishes from the exterior of a vehicle. A few hours spent doing this can make any car look significantly better.
You can also explore other things, such as adding a spoiler to the vehicle, perhaps some window tinting by CarToys.com, or a new license plate cover. Perhaps there is a big scratch or dent on the back of the car that’s hard to get out with home detailing kits. This could be the perfect place to add in a fun bumper sticker. The point is, with a little time and money, you can fix up the exterior of the car and make it look a little less used.
Clean the Interior
Once you finish with the exterior, turn your attention to the inside. While many used car dealerships take the time to clean the inside, this isn’t always the case. And even if they do, with a teenager, it’s likely not long before it becomes dirty again. To fix this, show your kid the proper way to clean the interior of a vehicle.
This includes wiping down all the surfaces, like the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. Get rid of all the dust and smudges that pile up in a car over time. After that, grab a vacuum and clean out the floor and seats. Most home vacuums have an attachment you can use, or head over to your local car wash to see if they have an outdoor vacuum you can use. A simple wiping down and vacuuming every few weeks can make a big difference to the interior of a vehicle.
A few simple accessories can make a car more enjoyable to drive and help you keep it in better shape. For example, if you think your teenager won’t be that careful about cleaning their feet before getting into the car, grab them some rubber floor mats. These floor mats are easy to clean and protect the carpeting on the floor from stains.
You can get some other small things, including an air freshener, a holder for their smartphone, or a small bag to hold their garbage. If you want to go bigger, you can get them a new stereo system, a remote starter, or some interior LED lights. These are a little more expensive, and you’ll likely need a professional’s help to install them, but they have a large impact on how enjoyable a car is.
Remind Them of Important Maintenance Tasks
Teenagers are notorious for forgetting things. One thing they’re likely to forget or put off is important maintenance tasks for their car. To help them out, keep a record of when they need to do things and remind them when the time comes. For example, you can remind them to check their oil, perform oil changes, get their brake fluid checked, or replace their tires. Simple maintenance tasks like these help a car perform better and make it less likely to break down. Hopefully, if you remind them enough, eventually, they will start to remember on their own.
Find a Reliable Mechanic
Finally, help your teen find a mechanic they can trust. There will likely come a time when their car needs repairs, or maybe they want to have some work done to improve it. In either case, they’ll want to take their car to someone who will do a good job at a reasonable price. If you already have a mechanic you use, you can help them set up their first appointment. If not, do some research online to find a great mechanic in your area. Your teenager may not know what to look for in a mechanic, and you can help them make a good decision.
Help Them Have a Car They’re Proud Of
Getting your first car is a big deal. When you hit the road for the first time, you want to drive something you are proud of. Help give your child that feeling with the few tips above. This will not only make them happier but, in many cases, will even make them safer while they’re on the road.