Advice and Tips on Repairing Your Car’s Upholstery

As an owner of a vintage car that has needed complete restoration, I know the value of do-it-yourself projects. By doing the car repairs or restorations yourself, you can save thousands of dollars. One of the most often needed repairs for vintage cars is the upholstery. Let me give you some easy tips for repairing it yourself. First of all, you should always clean the upholstery before starting any repair projects. Use an upholstery cleaner that is made specifically for the type of upholstery you have and always follow the manufacturers instructions to the letter. I prefer to spot test the cleaner in an out-of-the-way place just to be sure. You will be amazed at what a good cleaning can do for old upholstery! Sometimes it will reveal potential problem areas that you can repair before they become a big problem.

Repairing Leather upholstery tips:

If sewing or recovering the seat is not possible, you could try a leather repair kit that can be found at any automotive store. The kit will come with a plastic substance that you will tint to match as close to your car upholstery color as possible. You’ll have to apply it and then let it dry. I don’t recommend this for large areas. It is usually o.k. for small areas if the color is well matched. Black or White upholstery is the easiest to match.

Repairing Vinyl upholstery tips:

Don’t try using glue to repair your vinyl! It seems like an easy fix, but the adhesive in the glue can actually destroy the foam padding underneath the vinyl. You don’t want to create more problems! Instead, simply cut a patch of excess vinyl found under the seat and use adhesive specifically made for vinyl upholstery to patch it. Again, follow the adhesive manufacturers instructions carefully.

If it is just the piping around the seat that needs repair, use this simple trick: Take a match stick and remove the match. Add some contact cement to one end of the match and work it into the damaged area. Then apply the cement to the other end and work that end of the stick in. Fold it in as you go if necessary. Make sure you let the cement dry completely before using the seat.

Do some research ahead of time and see if this do it yourself project is something you think you can do. You don’t want that vintage muscle car looking awesome on the outside and old as dirt on the inside. With a little work you can get it in top notch shape!

5 Tips to Protect Car’s Paint – Protection From Summer Heat

Introduction

It is often painful to keep your precious car outside in the hot sun during the summer. On prolonged exposure, the surface pain on your car would get colour-faded, leading to the onset of premature rusting. When you park your vehicle outside the house, its exposed part would get tainted with bird waste, bugs, scratches the children make, bugs and other debris that you can think of. These sources of irritants are capable of causing damage to the surface of the car’s paint. When the debris falls on the surface that is already hot due to the exposure to sun rays, they get baked and embedded inside the paint surface. Hence, this debris becomes stubbornly attached to the paint. The debris becomes progressively harder to get removed. So, you need to take some precautions to protect your car’s paint from fading or getting ruined from the summer sun’s hot rays. In this article, we would be looking at the 5 steps that you need to take to protect your cars.

1. Frequent Car Washing: You have to frequently wash the car to stop the dust and other debris from accumulating on the car surface. The longer dirt or the debris bakes on your car, the more likely it is going to penetrate the paint. This makes it difficult for you to remove the dirt or debris from the car surface by car washing.

2. Keep Dry Your Car After Washing: After properly rinsing the car with sufficient quantity of water and soap, you need to quickly hand dry the surface to stop the dirt from coming back on the car surface. Quick drying also helps to stop the salt deposits from forming on the surface of the car if your area has hard water.

3. Wax your Car: If you wax your car, it creates an extra level of protection from dirt, and debris. The wax also protects your car from the summer sun’s rays.

4. Keep your car by Tree or Building Shade: You can park your car under trees or somewhere where you can shield it from the summer sun. This will not only prevent your car’s paint coating from fading but also helps keep your interior, headlights and tires in better shape.

5. Keep in Garage: It is always better to keep the car in a garage so that unnecessary debris will not fall on it. Moreover, the extent of exposure to sun rays can also be reduced by keeping the vehicle inside the garage.

Removing Tar, Sap and Bugs From Your Car’s Paint

Summer is tar, sap and bug season. During the warm months of summer, insects are at full population, trees and large bushes produce more sap, and the heat of the sun softens the asphalt, producing tar balls. Although sap and tar are a chore to remove, they do not present an immediate hazard to your automobile’s paint finish. However, insect remains are acidic and will quickly damage both paint and trim.

Cleaning Road Tar

While driving, your vehicle is constantly being speckled with small bits of asphalt, tire rubber, grease and oils that is being kicked up by the cars and trucks ahead of you. If allowed to remain on your automobile, these petroleum-based particles will become firmly attached and soap-and-water washing will do little to remove them. Over time the ugly black spots build up and ruin your vehicle’s appearance.

To remove road tar, you need a solvent. Most automotive tar removers contain kerosene, mineral spirits or another petroleum distillate. Don’t worry, though, as they are combined with lubricants to surround and buffer the road tar from your paint. They are quite safe to use.

Of the petroleum distillate products I’ve tried, I like Autoglym’s Intensive Tar Remover the best. A more modern solution for tar removal is the detailing clay bar. If the contamination extremely stubborn on your painted surfaces, use a paint cleaning polish. I recommend Klasse All-In-One. It’s a fine polish, paint cleaner and wax in a single-step process.

Cleaning Tree Sap

Cleaning tree sap off of your vehicle’s finish can be a little more difficult than removing tar or bird droppings. When removed in haste, hardened sap can scratch your paint. I discovered that if I hand rub the spots with a small amount of mineral spirits on a soft cloth, I can easily remove the sap without scratching. Mineral spirits acts as a solvent to break up and dissolve the sap.

If there is a large amount of sap on the car, or if the sap has been left on the finish for an extended period of time, it can be a lot of work to remove. In these extreme cases, I learned that polishing the affected areas with a fine paint rubbing compound removes the hard shell of the sap spots. Once the hard shell is gone the mineral spirits will clean away the remainder with ease. The light-duty rubbing compound softens the sap so the mineral spirits can do its job. The goal is to use the least pressure possible, to reduce the risk of scratching the paint. After removing heavy sap, I always buff the treated areas with a good polish to clean up any marks created during hand rubbing with solvent. The treated area must also be re-waxed.

Cleaning Insects

The head-on collision of between an insect your car’s paint and trim is a disaster for both the bug and your car. As the insect’s exoskeleton explodes, acidic fluids leak onto your car’s paint. This may seem like a small thing, but did you know that shellac is a byproduct of insects? The bug splats on your car are basically shellac mixed with a bunch of nasty stuff. When allow to stay for a few days in the baking sun, any attempt to remove the calcified remains without a proper cleaning solution results in scratched paint.

The secret is to loosen and dissolve insect remains with a solvent that will cut through the shellac. Autoglym Intensive Tar Remover does a great job. For those flying friends with a little extra grip, agitate with soapy water and a paint-safe bug sponge.

If you have a particularly large bug mess, I discovered a Paint Repair Clinic trick that seems to work pretty well. If you use a pre-wax cleaner, such as Klasse All-In-One, apply a small dab to the offending bug splat. Next, cover the spot with a wadded-up tissue and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Then pinch up the mess and give it a soft wipe with the back side of the tissue.

After Cleaning Tar, Sap & Bugs

All of the chemicals used to remove the aforementioned road stains also remove your car’s wax protection. After cleaning away tar, sap or bugs, spot wax the affected areas or re-wax your whole vehicle. If you don’t have time to wax right away, use a quick spray wax like Meguiar’s Ultimate Spray Wax. This product is great for touch-ups or a quick waxing after the weekly wash.