Pimping Your Ride: Reviving the Aesthetics of an Old Car

Whether you’ve had your current car since the day you passed your test, or whether you’ve just picked up a banger at an auction that has a certain pizzazz about it, once you fall in love with a car, it is virtually impossible to let go off it. Just because the car may look worn out however, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s destined to the big parking lot in the sky. In fact, there exist various ways in which you can revamp you ride. Let’s have a look at the various ways you can revamp our wheels, having it look like a day one delight all over again. 

New parts

Firstly, assess the entirety of the car, as there is no point in devoting hours to giving the parts a deep clean, when in fact, they simply need replacing. Nobody is suggesting that these parts have to be expensive and some you might even be able to find in a scrap yard. 

Wheels – Perhaps the most likely find in a scrap yard, original wheels, unscathed, can be a fantastic addition to any motor, taking years off its overall appearance. 

Speakers – Especially if the car is from the post millennium era it is unlikely that it will offer the sound quality delivered by modern vehicles. Swapping them out for a subwoofer and surround system can give you a truly immersive driving experience, however, one must remember, if you want to keep the car original, don’t tweak with it too much!

Lick of paint – Despite the obvious expense, a fresh coast of paint can work wonders.

A cherished plate – Across the country there are thousands of private number plates for sale, and they exist as the perfect way to individualise your vehicle, making it your own. 

A set of seat covers – Seat covers will hardly break the bank, but they can be fantastic in covering up unwanted marks or damages.


If you often frequent on the social media site, Instagram, you will probably be accustomed to the phrase, ‘Hinching’. Although the method focuses on whipping up a Mr Sheen like storm within the house, we’ll talk you through how to do it in the motor. 

Sorting out the inside 

Prior to starting, grab a bin liner and declutter the entire car. Drinks bottles, McDonalds wrappers, papers, whatever you’ve shoved in the glove box and forgotten about, the air freshener that lost its scent several years ago. Check the chair pockets, and the door storage, and the boot.

The seats 

Extend your seat belts as far as they will stretch. Once you have them pulled out attach a clip at the bottom to prevent them from retracting. Using upholstery cleaner, clean down the belt with a cloth. Leave the belt clipped to dry for a few hours before letting them roll back in.

If the car has cloth seats, vacuum them, ensuring all crumbs, dirt, and whatever else is down there has been removed. Then grab either a window squeegee or put on a damp rubber glove. Run the squeegee or damp glove over the seats to pull up deep-set fluff, dust, and pet hair. Then, go at it with the upholstery cleaner too.


Spray window or glass cleaner over the cars windows and mirrors and wipe away residue with a cloth or a squeegee. Wind your windows down a little to get the grime away from the top of the window and achieve a streak-free finish.

The dashboard and the steering wheel 

Although you can buy cleaner manufactured specifically for your dashboard, using warm water and a small amount of soap will be more than suffice. Be sure to go lightly with the water though, as you don’t want to risk water running down into the electrics. To get rid of grime and grease, a glass cleaner will do the trick. Also, wash your dashboard in the shade to avoid the sun from drying the product too quickly.

The headlining and the sun visors

Begin at the top. If you’ve never cleaned your car’s headliner and sun visors, you might be surprised just how much difference it can make. The fabric covering the interior ceiling can become discoloured and cling on to odours, so it is worth taking the time to give it a good clean.

In order to give the entire headliner section and sun visors a thorough clean, spray the whole section with upholstery cleaner. Foam-type upholstery cleaners are recommended for this. Follow the instruction on the product, then use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the headliner. Then, let it dry for a few hours. Alternatively, if its particularly dirty, you might require a steam cleaner, however be careful as this can result in damage to the interior glue.


Its time to get the vacuum back out. If the floor mats look worse for wear, throw them out and get them replaced — a rubber floor mat is a good way to ensure no mould develops from wet shoes going in and out of your car. For a really deep clean, brush your carpets with a nylon brush before going at it with the vacuum cleaner. This will bring up any deep-set dirt buried in your car’s carpets.

The grab handles and pillars

Using a microfibre cloth, wipe over all of the pillars and grab handles throughout the car. Depending on the material, you can use the same upholstery cleaner as you used for the headliner and sun visor, or an antibacterial spray.

On the outside

Now you’ve sorted out the inside, its time to move onto the exterior. You can head to the car wash if you like, but if you have the time to spare, giving it a clean yourself usually produces better results. This is because you can spend more time on the areas that really need some attention. 

Perhaps the best method of cleaning is the three bucket system

  1. Wheels and tyres bucket. As the wheels are particularly dirty, have one bucket of soapy water just for this. 
  2. Clean, soapy water bucket. This bucket is just for soapy water. No dipping your dirty cloth in here! 
  3. Water bucket. Use this bucket to rinse off your dirty cloth before dipping it back into the soapy water bucket. 

Start off by washing down the car. Use a hose or a microfibre cloth wet with just water and rinse down your car. The idea behind this is that you want to wash away any large amounts of dirt before you get the soapy water involved.

Bugs, insects, and other dried in dirt can often be hard to get rid of. Soap will have a hard time peeling these critters off your car, but there’s an easy trick to remove them. Get a few tumble dryer sheets and a bucket of warm water. Wet the dryer sheet in the warm water, then wipe down the bugs. They will come away much easier this way.

Now, its time to go at the car with the bucket of soapy water. Remember to rinse your cloth in the water bucket as you go along. For tougher spots, try using a clay bar instead.

For the headlights, to get that extra bit of sheen, use normal white toothpaste. With a soft cloth, apply the toothpaste to your headlights. Then, rinse away the toothpaste with water.

So, now the car is clean, polish it down, either using a hand-polish or a dual-action, giving it a new, gleaming shine. Then, apply a final coat of wax to protect the paintwork and that hard-earned shine. Use a power buffer to apply the wax, but then remove it with a soft cloth to ensure an even finish.

To clean the tyres, a rinse with water will be suffice. It’s time to tackle the wheels. Make sure to use your designated wheels bucket, as brake fluid smeared across your windows next time is not preferable. Don’t use product on the tires though; simple water will be enough

Ta-da, you’ve got a spick and span-new car!






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