5 AUTO-BODY HACKS
Scratched door? Hazy headlights? Some cosmetic flaws are easy to fix yourself.
1. The Problem: A Scratch in Your Paint Job
DIY: Start with a test: Run your fingernail across the scratch. If it doesn’t catch, the scrape is probably just in the clear coat and could be easy to fix using any number of scratch repair kits, which often include a buffing compound. After buffing, if the scratch is small, you might be able to touch it up. Find out your vehicle’s exact paint colors by checking the certification label on the door jamb, or by typing in your VIN number at fordparts.com, where you can also buy the paint.
Body Shop: If you do the test and your fingernail does catch—or if you can see that the scratch goes below the clear coat into the paint job primer or metal layers—you’ll want to let your our Body Shop handle it.
2. The Problem: Cracked Side-Mirror Glass
DIY: It will take a little work, but you can replace the glass at home, with the help of some sturdy work gloves, eye protection, a paint scraper, mirror glass and mirror adhesive. Put on the gloves and eye protection, then scrape the broken glass off the mirror mount, being careful of the sharp pieces. Once the shards have been completely removed, clean the mount with soap and warm water, then rinse and dry. Apply the mirror adhesive and carefully place the new piece on the mount, making sure it sticks firmly to the adhesive. If more than the mirror glass is damaged, click here to find the mirror assembly for your vehicle.
Body Shop: If anything besides the glass in the mirror assembly is damaged—the casing is cracked, for example, or its motor isn’t working—take it to our Ford Service Center to be repaired.
3. The Problem: Scratches on Your Plastic Interior Panels
DIY: You can buy inexpensive plastic scratch repair kits from your local auto store. Follow the included instructions to sand down the scratch and recoat it to match the rest of the panel.
Body Shop: If the scratch is deep or the plastic is cracked, visit our Body Shop for repair options.
4. The Problem: Cloudy Headlights
DIY: Are your headlamps a bit hazy? Toothpaste could do the trick. Just apply regular toothpaste to a clean rag and rub it all over the outside of your headlight covers. Scrub, then rinse—and enjoy your new clearer beams.
Body Shop: If you have major scratches or deterioration in your headlights, toothpaste isn’t going to help. Have your lamps examined by a Ford technician for possible replacement or resurfacing.
5. The Problem: A Busted Headlamp or Taillamps
DIY: You can change broken bulbs yourself by going in through the back of the assembly. If you have a crack in your light casing, as a temporary fix you can use clear or red tape designed to help conceal a crack in your light casing, perhaps making it less likely that you’ll be pulled over by the police as you drive to the dealer to have your car fixed.
Body Shop: If the casing is cracked—or if tinkering with the assembly puts you out of your comfort zone—take your vehicle to a Ford technician, who will replace any broken lights for you in no time.