Your motor is creakier than a rusty doorframe, your exhaust pipe spurts more fumes than a chain-smoking chimneystack, your interiors look like they’ve been attacked by a serial slasher, and moving your handbrake feels like shifting a ton of cement across a mile-long courtyard.
It’s not the kind of car you dreamed of when you played with your Hot Wheels as a child. You wanted a superfast Subaru, the kind of vehicle that could race down highways with a roar, every acceleration a roar of full and fitful freedom.
But instead you’ve got a boxy Vauxhall Nova you found in a skip – and even that drives at the speed of a mobility scooter.
There are, however, plenty of simple ways to turn your dodgy banger into a sleek and sexy motor vehicle. Here are just a few.
The right adhesive
Some people think your adhesive should be an afterthought, that it’s not a particularly important part of your toolbox. But a high-quality glue is one of the most vital elements when it comes to fixing the interiors of your car.
Without an adhesive that’ll maintain its bond under any conditions, your car seats and dashboard will fall apart at the slightest sign of difficulty, like a flaky partner who leaves you after an argument.
You want a permanent bond, like a super-clingy partner who’ll mollusc onto you and never let go.
Odd similes aside, our preferred adhesives company is Tensor, which can provide everything from composite adhesive to marine glues and, most importantly, glues that are ideal for your car. What’s more, they come highly respected, so give them a look.
A lick of fresh paint
We’ve all seen cars with dodgy paintjobs. Some people decide that what their car really needs is a decal of a python throttling a chicken, plastered on their bonnet like a demented postcard from the seventh circle of hell.
But it’s not only garish designs you’ve got to worry about. Without the right kind of paint and tools, your car will look about as stylish as a fashionista put through a meat grinder.
For a thorough and effective paintjob, you’ll need a sander, sandpaper, an air compressor and a spray gun (like these). To find out more, we’d recommend this thorough and useful guide.
Tend to your engine
Your engine is the linchpin of your vehicle. Like the human brain, it sends signals to the rest of your car, via the use of engine belts and oodles of oil.
It’s those engine belts that are most likely to snap after a short period of time. Check them every couple of thousand miles to ensure their integrity and, if they’re looking ropey, replace them quickly. After all, you don’t want to be stuck on a motorway with a useless engine and no phone reception!