Throughout the last century, musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits have waxed nostalgic about the glory of older cars. So iconic has the image of the ol’ 55 sitting outside the local burger joint become that it all but fuelled director George Lucas’ 1972 dragster classic American Graffiti. Much of modern North American male mythology revolves around automobiles, and owning and restoring such a monument to a bygone era has become a hobby to some, a way of life to others. Should you study the art of auto reconditioning or automotive repair, there are some important aspects to bear in mind while you make that little beauty hum just like in its glory days.
Dealerships Tend to Write Off Reconditioning
Studying in an auto sales college, you may learn that dealerships often overlook the importance of detailing, typically passing the task down the ladder to a used car or body shop manager. These employees are rarely professionals in the field and as a result, important aspects get overlooked. Service directors or managers also handle their own departments already, and the extra task becomes a burden rather than a responsibility.
Auto reconditioning tends to be a labour of love, and professionals treat it more as an art form than an a necessity. Treating it like part of an assembly line automatically derails the process.
Use Lower Cost Parts Whenever Possible
No one ever claimed reconditioning a used car was going to be cheap; however, there are ways to lower costs here and there without diminishing quality. Some dealers have claimed they can save up to 50 per cent of the cost simply by using replacement parts not from the original manufacturer. Admittedly, there will be times when this is unavoidable. In this time-is-money industry, it is often best to focus on replacement parts that will shorten the length of the repair without altering the quality. Parts that are high in demand are often the easiest to replace such as brakes and rotors.
Pay Close Attention to the Interior
Don’t just make it look beautiful on the outside. Food and liquid spills will take their toll on the car’s interior. This is especially important given the harsh Canadian winters that will no doubt leave hardened salt and sand residue on carpeting. A thorough, internal shampooing should make quick work of any stains. Pay close attention to vinyl dash and door panels and steering columns.
When acquiring a used car, there are telltale signs to keep an eye out for that will help you avoid long, costly and largely unproductive reconditioning projects. It may seem obvious, but dealers frequently make the mistake of impulse buying used cars when they are desperate to meet a quota for their lot. They will look past, or even not check, CARFAX or other conditioning reports. This leads to shelling out far too much cash on easily avoidable mistakes.
These are just a few things to pay attention to while reconditioning a used car or studying auto technician courses.
What do you pay attention to most when looking over a classic car?