How to Fix Up a Car Interior

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Fixing up your old car is usually much cheaper than replacing it with a new one. Years of neglect can leave a car interior damaged, stained or worn out. Learn how to get your interior back in tip-top shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery cleaning solution
  • Scrub brush and rags
  • Auto vacuum
  • Dash or plastic cleaning solution
  • Headliner adhesive
  • Floor mats
  • Spray upholstery cleaner on the seat fabric and let it soak for a few minutes. Vigorously scrub the seats with the brush, then vacuum them thoroughly to remove the loose particles. Repeat the process, as needed, until the seats are clean. If the seats will not come clean, you can install seat covers or find used seats in better condition.

  • Clean the carpet in the same manner as the seats, but be careful not to over saturate the carpet; the carpet padding is more absorbent than the seat cushion. Getting them too wet can cause mildew.

  • Spray the upholstery cleaner on the headliner. Wipe gently with the rags; a headliner is thinner than other fabric and a brush can damage it. If the headliner is drooping, use headliner adhesive to re-apply the headliner to the interior roof.

  • Scrub all of the interior plastics with the dash cleaner. Use the rag to prevent scratching. Plastic is durable and will usually come clean. If there is paint missing, use a matching plastic paint to touch up the spot.

  • Install new floor mats in the vehicle. Floor mats are inexpensive, and can give your car interior a refreshed look. Heavy-duty rubber floor mats will hold up better than carpet mats. Make sure the color matches your interior.

Tips & Warnings

  • If pieces such as armrests or buttons are missing or damaged, visit a salvage yard to find a replacement. Most small interior items are easy to replace. Install a dash mat if your dash is cracked or damaged. Dash mats are available for most vehicles and cost much less than replacing a dash.
  • Photo Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sfoskett
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