Working on your own car gives you a sense of self-reliance and accomplishment. It’s also sometimes necessary when you can’t afford to pay a mechanic. Here are a few easy DIY automotive projects that most casual at-home mechanics can handle — however, take on these projects at your own risk!
Give Your Car a Professional Waxing
Waxing your own car like a pro isn’t that difficult. However, take it somewhere and they’ll charge you anywhere from $125-$300 for a hand waxing — most would consider that to be a splurge to say the least! Waxing your own car by hand can be one of the most fulfilling projects as the end result is stunning. The key is selecting the right products for the job — there are a ton of different waxes out there, some even based on color. Get your car super clean and then check out a few tips here.
This is a super easy one — the internet is full of DIY headlight renewal tricks. Headlights can get rough looking over time, and nasty looking headlights can ruin the look of your car. Even with a nice shiny coat of wax from your prior project, the car won’t look totally clean until you address fogged headlights. Here are three methods for restoring headlights.
Spend $1 On a Phone Mount
For the cost of a large binder clip, 2 rubber bands (hair ties work too!), and 12” of paracord, you can have a smartphone holder. Take a peak at the step-by-step here, but you can probably figure this one out pretty easily on your own.
Install Your Own Backup Camera
If your car didn’t come with a backup camera, you can easily add one for convenience and safety. In about 45 minutes, you can add one of these systems to your Volkswagen for far less than an installer will charge. Edmunds.com covers the different styles and installation here.
Paint Your Own Car
Please, think deeply about this one. This could be one of the most costly mistakes of your automotive hobby if you get it wrong. However, if you’re willing and have a knack for painting, you can paint your car for the cost of the paint and sandpaper, given you have a few tools on hand. Even if you have to buy a few more things, it’ll be far less than the average $3,000 paint job. Check out a great guide on automotive painting here.