Loving your old car this Valentine’s day

Posted on Friday 14 February 2020 by CarTakeBack

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We’ve all read the articles giving drivers’ tips for car maintenance, in fact we’ve written quite a few of them! You know that stuff by now – keeping tyres pumped up to the correct pressure, making sure winter road salt is washed off your paintwork, keeping on top of oil changes and getting old wiper blades replaced. It’s all good advice, but we thought you old car lovers (we mean old cars by the way, we don’t care what age you are!) might appreciate some extra special car maintenance info in this month of love…

Cars with heart reflections of their lights

We know many of you have a special relationship with your four wheels, even if they’ve seen better days. So, while you’re getting ready for Valentine’s day, here are some different ways to keep them looking good and smelling sweet until you are ready to recycle them responsibly with us!

While you’re selecting your favourite scent…

toiletries to use on your car

We couldn’t believe how many human toiletries have car maintenance applications! Here are a few of our favourites:

Hair conditioner

We know it’s worth waxing cars; protecting the paintwork from bird droppings, sap, and pollution as well as the pride of driving a nice shiny vehicle! But who has the time for all that elbow grease? Well, who knew that hair conditioner can do the same job?! Apparently many contain lanolin, which is the same ingredient you find in waxes! Simply wash your car with a hair conditioner containing lanolin and enjoy the results.

Because your car’s worth it! (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

Nail varnish

This one is definitely not for a scratch on your brand new motor, but if you’ve reached the stage of car ownership where you have to walk round the car to find an unmarked panel then this can be a super quick-fix. Simply clean and dry the area before an even application and of course choose the right colour to match your paintwork.


Old headlights can often become cloudy and it instantly affects the overall look of your car. What we didn’t realise was that toothpaste is a trick of the trade to restore them! Obviously if the clouding has happened on the inside you may need help to remove the covers, but you can tell from feeling them whether the problem is on the outside. If it is, simply rub the toothpaste into the surface with a damp cloth (or an old toothbrush - seriously!) and then rinse. You can either spend longer rubbing the toothpaste in or keep repeating the process, but either way this little trick really works!

Producing home-made crafts for your loved one?

crafts for your car

Making your own Valentine’s day card or treats this year? While you’re getting crafty we have a great tip for making a car air freshener. We’re not sure how well it will go down as a gift, but we are sure anyone you’re taking out in your car will appreciate a fresher smelling ride!

It’s actually really easy to do, simply add your favourite laundry scent balls to a clean, empty jar (we suggest one that wasn’t previously used for pickled onions or similar). Poke holes in the lid and you have an instant air freshener for your car that can sit in a cup holder or seat caddy. This little jar will keep your car smelling fresh and you can simply swap the scent beads when they fade or you fancy a different fragrance.

Looking for a treat in your kitchen cupboards?

Use kitchen cupboard staples on your car

Leather cars seats don’t tend to require a lot of maintenance, but after several years they could probably do with a little TLC, by which point you’re probably not going to want to spend a fortune on professional products. We haven’t tried this one ourselves just yet, so be sure to do a patch test, but this homemade method has many fans on the web… Simply mix one part olive oil to two parts white vinegar in a spray bottle and using a clean cotton cloth to wipe the seats you have an instant leather cleaner and conditioner.

Although the vinegar smell isn’t supposed to linger, it’s suggested you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to provide a more appealing scent (or just make one of our handy air fresheners!).

Celebrating the 14th with a glass of bubbles… or a stiff vodka?!

use vodka for your windscreen wash

We’re sure you know not to use neat water as washer fluid in your car, but did you know you could use vodka instead?! If you’ve realised you’re running late to pick up your date but you’ve run out of washer fluid, that old bottle at the back of the drinks cabinet could just come to your rescue!

To make your own washer fluid mix three cups of (preferably cheap!) vodka with four cups water and two teaspoons of your normal dishwashing liquid in a screw-top gallon jug. Shake well and pour into the car’s windscreen washer reservoir.

You can save the good stuff for a romantic toast at the end of your night!

Please don’t resort to licking the windscreen.

We hope our alternative car-maintenance ideas give you a little inspiration for how to show your old car some love and TLC this February.

When you eventually have to say goodbye, we promise to take care of you and your vehicle. And, we’d love you to take part in our goodbye selfies so we can share the photo of you and your wheels and spread the old car love!

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