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DIY: How to get that new car smell in your used car

2017-03-09 06:01

When buying a new car, that new car smell when you first enter the driver’s seat with your keys in your hand seems to sum up the experience as a whole. The smell of a new car is intoxicating, quickly invoking a memory — maybe like your first real job, or a graduation present, or a reward for your retirement. It evokes that golden time of a new car, the time before coffee stains, peanut butter seats and a boot that smells like a gym locker room and dirty running shoes. Whether it’s a new car from the showroom or a new car to you, that fresh scent can set the tone of how you enjoy your new vehicle adding to the excitement of your purchase.  

While we can’t guarantee our tips below will get you that new car smell quite like the one on the dealership showroom floor, we can promise a clean, fresh and wonderful smelling car for you to enjoy in your old faithful or to entice the buyers to pay-up for your pre-loved car.   

1. Pick a sunny or clear day to clean out your car, by throwing away all excess dirt and refuse.

2. Use a vacuum and clean your seats and carpet of the car, making sure to reach into the edges and corners of the car.

DIY TIP:Certain smells, like smoke, can get into everything in a car, and sprinkling baking soda on the floor mats and cloth seats (avoiding electronic parts, screens and glass areas) will help draw out and neutralise some of the odours that are in the seats and carpets. Don’t forget the floor under the mats and the space between the back seats and the rear window (where fitted). Be sure the floor, mats and upholstery are completely dry before you sprinkle on the baking soda. Let the baking soda sit for three to four hours before wiping clean and vacuuming.

3. Get hold of some vehicle cleaning wipes or alternatively a wet cloth, and wipe down surfaces like the dashboard, the inside of the doors, and the steering wheel.

DIY TIP: Don’t forget to clean the mats! Fill a bucket with several drops of dish soap and some warm water. Place the mats on flat surface (somewhere that can take the dirt), dip a new un-used shoe brush or soft scrubbing brush in the soapy water and scrub the mats with the solution. When you're finished, wash the soap out with water and hang the mats out to dry before placing back in your car.

4. Use fabric cleaner on your seats and every other fabric that is in your car. This also helps to infuse the new car smell.

DIY TIP: Try a vinegar and water mix to wipe down the inside of your car. Mix a fifty-fifty solution in a clean spray bottle and, starting with the driver seat, spray down the entire seat with the solution and then wipe it with a lint-free or microfibre cloth [ NOT for all types of leather ]. Then do the passenger seat, followed by the back seats, the dash, the floors, the mats, and any remaining surfaces. It may take a while for the vinegar smell to dissipate, but once dried it will have worked to help remove most smells (even cigarette smoke).

5. After you have cleaned the fabric, spray an odour neutraliser on the seats or carpet. You can also get ‘new car smell’ air fresheners for your car.

DIY TIP: Not a fan of the traditional hanging car freshener smell? Glue cotton balls or pom-poms to a clothes pin, and add 5-10 drops of your favourite essential oils or even perfume. Clip it to your vents, turn on the air or heat, and your car will be sweet smelling in just a few seconds.

6. Finally, close all the windows and leave the car. If the weather is warm, the new car smell will become more intense. The best would be to leave your car for 24 hours and then the smell will set in well.

There you have it – with a little cleaning, scrubbing and elbow grease you can give your old car a new car smell, perfect for you to enjoy or attract the new buyers!

With your car smelling fresh and ready for sale find the buyers on AutoTrader then get yourself that real new car smell with one of their best priced new car deals. AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media market space for the past 24 years for buying and selling vehicles. Whether you are looking to buy a brand new car or are on the market for a pre-loved model, AutoTrader has over 65 000 cars to choose from and is sure to suit your tastes and needs. Find your perfect car on AutoTrader.

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