Car Audio Troubleshooting Tips

Imagine getting a new stereo system installed in your car, but it doesn’t work properly. Car audio problems are common nowadays, the reasons for which can be varied, like loose wires, problem with the amplifier, or problem with the stereo. Such problems can also cause the speakers to produce a popping or crackling sound. However, there are some steps that can be taken to diagnose and repair these problems.

The first thing you would need to do is to find the source of the problem. There can be many things at fault, such as cables, audio amplifier, or speakers. Make sure that everything is properly connected between the speakers, stereo, and the amplifier. Disconnect the wire that connects the stereo and amplifier, but do not unplug the cable connecting the amplifier to the speakers. If the problem still persists, the amplifier might be at fault. But if the problem is solved, simply disconnect the wire from the radio. If the problem still persists, then the connecting cable probably needs a replacement.

The stereo system also won’t work if there is a loose or missing connection. Check all the cables of the stereo, amplifier, and speakers separately and ensure that they are properly connected. Torn, pinched, or exposed cables can also be a reason for the system to be defunct.

If there is not enough power supplied to the speakers, they will not produce sound. Speakers that are installed by the car company work fine with the store-fitted audio system. If different speakers are installed, they might not work due to compatibility issues, or may need more power to operate. Check their power supply by using a power meter. If they are receiving power but are still not working fine, the power provided may not be sufficient.

A blown fuse also can be a reason for the stereo to be nonfunctional. Refer to the car owner’s manual and ensure if all fuses in the fuse box are intact. If they are fine, you need to check if the car’s stereo system has its own fuses, which can be possible in case of some systems. If you find a faulty fuse, you need to replace it with a new one.

There also are chances of the speaker being faulty. You may check a blown speaker by an electric meter. Ensure that there is no power supplied to the speaker; set the electric meter to show “ohms”. Place one meter lead on every terminal point. If the speaker is fine, the meter will display 1.0 ohm, but if it is blown, the meter will read infinite ohms. A simple way to check a blown speaker is to place your hand on it and feel if there is any vibration and thump coming out at high volume. If the required thump is not felt, the speakers are blown.

If the speakers are not mounted in a correct manner, they may cause problem by producing a buzzing sound or vibrating. Such problems can be solved by simply turning the mounting screws a bit tighter. You can also place a piece of rubber between the speaker frame and the car interior.

If any of these above tips don’t seem to work, you probably need to take the help of a car stereo technician.

Tips for Buying a Car Audio Amplifier

If you want to blast the speakers of your car audio system, you will need to install an amplifier. Basically, an amplifier picks up a sound signal from a source and increases it, resulting in the sound getting louder. The difficult part is amplifying the source signal without distorting it. In order to keep them functioning, amplifiers require an adequate power supply and must also have the ability to store sufficient current to be able to deliver all the fluctuations within the music being played.

A CD player or cassette radio produces about 9 real watts at the maximum into 4 speakers considering the power it is provided from the electrical system of the car. However, in case you want more than that to power the speakers you have, you will require an amplifier. Amplifiers provide the extra power resulting in your ability to play music louder. In addition, amplifiers improve the quality of the sound at every level of volume that the music is played in.

In case you are thinking of buying a car audio amplifier, you will require taking into consideration a few factors beforehand. Some of these factors are the power, the channels, and the heat.

The power is one of the most important aspects that has to be taken into consideration when you buy a car audio amplifier. Basically, there are two kinds of power ratings: RMS and Peak.

The RMS rating is a measurement how much power the amplifier will be able to use in order to power the speakers. When buying your car audio amplifier, be careful to choose one to match the ratings of the speakers and subwoofers. If you do not do so, there are high chances of damaging your speakers.

The other type of power rating is the peak rating. This is a measurement how much power that the amplifier has when there are sudden amplifications of sound. This rating is not as important as the RMS rating. Car audio amplifiers usually have a lower RMS rating compared to the peak rating.

The power of amplifiers range from around 20 watts per channel to more than 1000 watts per channel, while the prices range from anything like $50 to thousands of dollars according to the quality, power output, and features.

The next thing you need to take into consideration is how many channels they have. Amplifiers range from a single output channel to up to 8 channels. The most popular models at present are 2 and 4 channel ones, although mono amplifiers are also getting quite popular. It is the number of channels that will be the determining factor of how many speakers can be connected to the amplifier. Amplifiers have a left and right signal for each of the channels they have.

Heat Generated
Another thing you need to think about is the heat factor when you buy your car audio amplifier. Always look for ones that have a heatsink designed into them. These are metal strips that are provided on the exterior of the amplifier. The heat that is generated by the car audio amplifier is absorbed by the heatsinks.

Preamp Output
In case you want to go in for multiple car audio amplifiers for your audio system, then you will require one with a preamp output, which will enable you to connect multiple amplifiers to each other. The amplifier which has the preamp output will send the signal to the other amp.

The quality of the amplifier has also got to be kept in mind when buying one. Generally, the weight and the size of the amplifier itself is a good indication of the quality of the power output as well as the build. Usually, amplifiers that are of better quality usually have a larger and heavier heatsink compared to one that is of a lower quality, although many top quality amplifiers may not always follow this prescript.

Frequency Signals
In order to produce bass tones, large car audio subwoofers require lower end frequencies. However, make sure to not to go in for frequencies that are below or above the range that is recommended. If the frequency is too high it will cause undesirable effects on the sound quality, and if it is too low, the speaker could get damaged. Most amplifiers come with a subsonic filter to prevent frequencies that are too low, and also a crossover to eliminate the higher range of frequencies. These components will help the speakers receive the correct frequencies they require for performing at their optimum level.

Buying a good quality car audio amplifier is like shopping for any other component for your car audio system. First, you need to have a good idea what you intend accomplishing with your amplifier, and then make a thorough research of the choices available accordingly. You don’t need to buy the most expensive one if you are just installing a superior quality car audio system in your vehicle. But if your goal is taking part in car audio competition, then you will need to go in for a top quality and expensive amplifier. Make informed choices by finding out all the facts before buying one.

Build Your Own Custom Car

For car lovers, customizing is a very rewarding activity. Moreover, personalizing is a great option if you are bored with the way your car looks at the present.
For those aspiring to be a la Chip Foose, the mere mention of the word custom car is sure to give them an adrenaline rush. It conjures up the images of whacky designs, modified fenders, bonnets, mirrors and so on. A custom car is an altered or changed vehicle in two ways. The objective is to enhance the performance and make the car a style statement, thus giving it a different look from the other run-of-the-mill car designs.

Create Your Own Custom Car

Initially, you need to assemble the things you would require to customize your car. You need innovation, the accessories for making the modifications, and the blue print of your design plan. These things will generally get you started. You can also watch shows such as ‘Overhauling’ to understand what the task of giving your car a makeover will entail.

Before you give your beloved vehicle an overhaul, check out its condition for wear and tear. This will help you determine how much to modify and which areas you can work upon. To customize your car and give it a different look, one of the most easiest ways is to change its tires. Replace the normal wheels with the custom wheels. If you have a SUV or a truck, chrome and billet are good options for the wheel material, otherwise you could opt for aluminum wheels.

Custom wheels are available in the size between 13-26 inches. Pick whichever size is suitable, depending on the type of the vehicle (car, truck, or SUV). You will need to have a blueprint at hand to get a rough idea as to how the car will look after the modification. Once you choose the wheels, many people opt to work on the vehicle suspension; they either reduce or increase it. For that, you would need to get a kit.

Another area to focus on would be the body and the color. However, body modification is a tough task. So, you would need to go for an auto shop specializing in this aspect, and tell them what changes you exactly want in your vehicle. For instance, if the body of your car is a bit rough and you want to give it a smooth, suave look, what can be done is shave your vehicle. So, that would perhaps entail removing the handles, mirrors and so on. Then you can weld together the seams, grind it out and smoothen it, so as to make it ready for a coat of paint.

You can have graphics added to your car through paint. Paint the jazzy formula 1 design on your vehicle. In that case as well, it would be better to get a professional to apply paint. Choose from the shiny metallic colors to the dull and flat ones. If you just want to change the color, remove all the parts, paint them and put them back again.

A great idea to customize your car is to get the upholstery or the interior changed. You can use leather or any other upholstery that you want. You can also install a swanky music system. Performance enhancement can be done by installing new air intake or a factory exhaust.

Basically, if you have proper plan and good imagination, you can completely give your car a new look. So, use the aforementioned information to get started with this task.

Custom Car Audio Systems

mcc-039Customizing the Components of Car Audio System

A customized car audio system is not very different from a stock one in terms of basic components. It more or less comprises the same fundamental parts as its counterpart. The major difference lies in the fact that in case of a customized car stereo, each component is separately designed and purchased on an individual basis, whereas in case of a stock car audio, the entire system is designed and installed as a single entity. In case of a custom-built car stereo, you can individually buy different car audio components such as speakers, head units, sub-woofers, etc., on a one-to-one basis, and then assemble them to build your own personalized system. A custom car audio system typically consists of:
Head Unit: It is nothing but the frontal control unit that houses the CD player, MP3 player, DVD player, radio, cassette player, etc. While purchasing a head unit for your custom car stereo, you should pick one that is compatible with the maximum number of media. Also, make sure that it has an inbuilt anti-theft mechanism for added security. These days, certain head units provide advanced features like USB and Bluetooth compatibility, and can be synchronized with mobile phones as well.
Speakers: I guess there is no need to stress on the importance of having good speakers in the sound system of your car. Bad speakers can make a Michael Jackson song sound like the London Symphony Orchestra. So, if you happen to be a music aficionado and a purist, you really should be careful about what speakers you buy. Speakers come in multiple variants such as door speakers, front speakers, rear speakers, floor speakers, and specially designed boot speakers. Each variant is available in different sizes and output capacities, and is exclusively designed for performing a very specific role in the cumulative sound production.
Subwoofers: If you are the type who loves the thump, then this one is a must-buy. Subwoofers give that added bass effect to the entire sound and provide a boost to low-frequency sounds. Depending on your stereo needs, you can browse through different subwoofer models before you zero in on your final choice. Subwoofers when installed as a pair at the rear end or in the boot of the car provide excellent sound production.
Amplifier: It is an optional accessory that you should buy only if your subwoofer needs additional amplification and wattage. An experienced car audio dealer can inspect your setup and then recommend the appropriate amplifier and other necessary accessories that your stereo system requires.
Why You Should Invest in a Custom-built Car Stereo

Customized audio systems make listening to music truly enjoyable and blissful. One can make out and appreciate the delicate musical nuances, which is rarely possible in case of a stock car stereo system. At the same time, you can go about building a customized stereo as per your convenience and availability, with respect to time and money. There is a lot of variety among the various components, so you should have a good time exploring each one of them during the buying process.

Remember, when it comes to customized car audio systems, quality matters more than quantity. So, the next time you take your car out for a drive through the city, remember to turn the volume up, and let the party begin!

How to Car Stereo Installation

A very important point to remember before you set out to purchase a new stereo set (the head unit) is that it should be of the right size, so that it fits in the slot of your built-in stereo. Different audio systems are available according to the different models of the car. Hence, finding one for your car should be easy. The cost of hiring a professional to install it could be very high. Installing it yourself is simple.


First of all, gather all the things you will require; these include: a new stereo, screwdriver set, wire strippers, wire cutters, and electrical tape. While buying a new music system, also look for a wiring harness that is suitable for your new system as well as for your car’s make and model. A wiring harness makes the job simpler; if you don’t get one, you’d have to wire it up manually.

Disconnecting the Cable
Before doing anything else, it is very important to disconnect the negative ground cable from the battery.

First, remove the cover of the stereo or the dash panel. Using a screwdriver, unscrew it and take the old head unit out of the slot. Now, there could either be a single plug with many wires connected at the back of the old audio system, or there could be a bunch of single wires. If they are individual wires in a bunch, then they need to be detached one by one to avoid any possible confusion.

Connecting the Harness
There are two ways to wire the system; one is by using a wiring harness and the other is doing it manually.

With a Harness
This method is called the crimping method. It is possible that the wires are of different sizes. Use the right size of crimp caps and wire strippers in case the wire sizes vary.

Strip half an inch of the wire and then twist the wires together. Put the crimp cap on the twisted wires and ensure that it is fixed tightly. Once the wires are connected to their respective connections, place the new stereo into the mounting bracket. Now, connect the wiring harness to the one inside the dash and then place the new system inside. Connect the removed battery cable to the battery. Test your audio system, and if it works fine, then fix it into the dash permanently. If it does not seem to work well, then remove it and check all the connections again.

Without a Harness
Connecting the stereo harness into the factory harness is a much longer process without a harness. This is because each stereo wire needs to be connected separately to the corresponding wires in the dash. The wires can be identified and attached with the help of the different colors.

Connect the negative wires of the new system to the corresponding negative wires in the dash. Ensure that the color of both the wires match. Refer to the manual if the colors don’t seem to match. Now, connect the ground wire to the metal of a bolt next to where the audio system is set. Here, it’s important that the black ground wire is only touching the metal part and not a material like plastic. Next, connect the ignition power wire to the stereo. Before fixing the system permanently, check if it works right.

Tips to Build Custom Car Speaker Boxes

The type of bass you receive from your car audio system doesn’t solely depend on the speaker. For optimum speaker performance, you require strong and tightly-built speaker boxes. Speakers without these enclosures are unable to deliver full bass, as the sound from the back of the speaker cancels some of the low frequencies emerging from the front of the speaker. Therefore, learn how to build custom car speaker boxes.


Sealed enclosures are smaller than all other types of such boxes, but are most widely used and easy to construct. They do not permit air to escape from the box, thus making it difficult for the speaker to move in and out. This, as a result, enhances the transient response, i.e., tighter bass and better sound accuracy. These boxes have good power handling capability and their tightly-sealed design prevents the speaker’s motor structure to cool down like other boxes. Other than sealed boxes, there are ported boxes that use a vent to reinforce deeper and forceful bass. Bandpass boxes are another type that are designed for maximum slam. They work great for rap, reggae, and hard rock music, as the sound that comes out is aggressive and loud, within a narrow frequency range.

Steps to be Followed

Things Required:

  • ¾ inch high-density particle board
  • Power drill
  • Car stereo subwoofers
  • Jigsaw
  • Subwoofer box
  • Swiss Army Auto Tools
  • Router
  • File
  • ¾ inch bit
  • Down spiral bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Razor blade
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Pencils
  • Silicone
  • Solder
  • Solder gun
  • Spray glue
  • Calculator
  • Scratch paper
  • Carpet


  • Consult your subwoofer or speaker retailer to find out the proper dimensions of the enclosure. Keep in mind to account ¾ inch for the thickness of the particle board.
  • With the help of a pencil and tape measure, draw the patterns of the speaker box on the particle board, which should include six sides of the box, and a center divider for inside the box to separate the two speakers. Cut out the traced pattern with the help of the jigsaw.
  • By applying the grille cover for the subwoofer, draw the outer and inner areas onto the location of the board where you want to position the speakers.
  • With help of the router having ¾ inch bit, route out the area between the inner and outer circle at a cutting depth of 3/8 inch depth. With this the frame of the speaker will rest on the top of the box.
  • Drill a large hole and with the help of the jigsaw cut the holes for the speakers. Smooth the edges and routed area with a file or sandpaper. Cut a 2-inch hole in each side of the panels for the connectors of the speaker wires.
  • Set up the box with screws and seal the joints with silicone so that no air leaks out, but leave the front panel side as that will hold the speakers.
  • Apply glue on to the outer region of the box and the back of the carpet and then enclose the carpet tightly onto the box. With the help of the razor blade, cut vertical, horizontal, and angled lines in a star design into the carpet that covers the connector holes for the speakers.
  • Put the connectors through the holes, in such a way that the two prong terminals are inside the box. Fix the connectors with screws and seal the surrounding area with silicone.
  • Solder the connector and the speaker wire, i.e., the positive wire to the positive lead of the speaker and the negative wire to the negative lead of the speaker.
  • Set up the front panel on the box with screws and seal with silicone. Place each speaker into the star design cut out on the carpet. Finally, install the enclosure in your car.

I am sure by now you must be having a fair idea of how to build speaker boxes for your car. They can either make or break the perfect set up of your car speaker system, therefore the procedure for building speaker boxes should be conducted carefully and perfectly.

Tips for Car Speakers Installation

Most cars these days come with an audio system installed. However, many car owners are not satisfied with the factory speakers that come along with the car. They often offer flat sound and a lot of distortion. Moreover, factory speakers are the weakest components of the car and may not last for many years. This leaves car owners with the choice of upgrading the speakers of their car.

Installing high quality speakers in your car not only improves the sound quality, but also increases the life of your audio system. Speaker installation is not all that difficult and requires a few basic tools that can be found around the house.


Installing speakers is a fairly simple job and can be done in about an hour or so. It requires a few simple tools and a basic knowledge of electrical wiring or automotive repair. You can get the job done by a professional, but installation costs are high and can be heavy on your pocket. The best thing would be to do it yourself.

Things Required:

  • Screwdriver set
  • Multi-use screws
  • Drill
  • Blow dryer
  • Wire crimper
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire stripper
  • Socket wrench set
  • Electric tape
  • A sharp knife
  • Super glue


Step 1: The most important thing to do before you begin installation is to read the instructions of your speakers.

Step 2: Remove the door panel and grill covering the old speakers. For that you need to first remove the door panel popper.

Step 3: Using the appropriate screw drivers, unscrew the old speakers and disconnect all the attached wiring. Once the old speakers are disconnected, carefully pull them out from their mountings.

Step 4: Your new speakers have to be installed in the place of the old ones. If you are planning to use the same old factory wiring for your new speakers, the task is extremely simple.

Step 5: Using a blow dryer or a heat gun, warm the Dynamat for installation on the door. Apply an adhesive to the surface of the door where you want to install the speaker. Peel off the back of the Dynamat and install it to the door. Use a roller to press the material onto the surface to ensure a tight bond.

Step 6: Connect the speaker harness to your new speakers, carefully attaching the right terminals. Solder or crimp the wire connections. Set the speaker in the opening and reinstall it to the mounting. Test your new speakers by playing some music.

Step 7: If they are working fine, it is time to put everything back. Replace the grill and door by fitting the screws carefully. Your new speakers are now installed and ready to use.

Every car has its own type of speakers installation issues and hence it is recommended that you read the instructions in the manual carefully.
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Upgrading your Car’s Audio System

Listening to music while traveling in a car has become a norm these days. If you are driving a car from the last decade, there are more chances of the car stereo being outdated. Young drivers generally prefer their cars to be fitted with the best audio systems for in-car enjoyment, as they mostly prefer listening to loud music. Along with the development of technology in audio systems, nowadays you will find a variety of systems housing the latest technologies. While upgrading, you need to keep in mind some considerations to decide on the most suitable setup. But let us first take a look at the sound system parts to be thought about before deciding on an upgrade.

Car Audio System Parts

If you want the best performance from a car’s audio system, instead of replacing individual parts; you may consider a full upgrade of the set. The main part of a car stereo system is the head unit which is incorporated on the dashboard. Modern systems consist of a CD/DVD player, USB connectivity, radio receiver, and a small amplifier. The amplifier is a second system connected to the head unit. It does the job of amplifying signals from the head unit to the speakers. The speaker set consists of multiple speakers and a sub-woofer. The sub-woofer is responsible for throwing out bass signals from the music. Capacitors are other sound components which store energy for further use by the amplifier. Now let us move on to some tips on upgrading the audio system of the car.

Tips on Upgrading your Car’s Audio System

Head Units
When choosing a head unit for the car audio system, go in for one that has options for connectivity. Nowadays, most head units are sophisticated, and include a large LCD touchscreen for GPS navigation display and showing a view of the rear camera. They let you connect MP3 players, iPods, external hard drives, and other media devices.

External Amplifiers
Though there is a built-in amplifier in the head unit, it might not be that effective to produce enough power. In this case, an external amplifier might be required to add extra power to the sound signals. These systems increase volume levels and that too without compromising with the desired clarity. You can choose a four or five channel car amp, depending on how many speakers you intend to connect. You can select a 350-watt amp for decent output, or a 4000-watt amp for a system with multiple powerful speakers.

These are devices which store power from the amp, and provide it to the speakers when required. Capacitors are mainly used when the alternators are not in a state to provide sufficient energy to the overall sound system. The power of capacitors is calculated in farads. You can choose those which have between point five to 30 farads of power, according to the setup of the audio system. Some of the best capacitor brands are Lanzar, Legacy, Pyle, Blitz, just to name a few.

Sub-woofers and Speakers
You have several different choices when it comes to choosing sub-woofers and speakers for customized car audio systems. Note that the sound majorly depends on the quality of speakers you connect to the sound system. You can choose two- or three-way speakers. Note that the more ranges a speaker can play, the more quality sound you will get. You also have choices in sizes, ranging from eight to 15 inches for hi-fi systems. The best brand for car audio speakers are Sony, Pioneer, Blaupunkt, JVC, and JBL.

Other Modifications
To better the new audio system, you might also need to consider making some modifications to the car interior. This can be done using car soundproofing to prevent outside noise from coming in. The quality of wires also plays a very important part in rendering the best sound. You can upgrade to thick copper wires for preventing the signal to degrade by the time it reaches the speakers. Small adjustments like these do have an impact on the sound heard by the listener.

When it comes to bettering your car’s audio system, experts suggest to use one brand on all installed products, owing to compatibility standards. Another alternative is to purchase a sound package from a renowned brand, which may consist of sub-woofer, speakers, amplifier, and a capacitor. The cost of upgrading the stereo system largely depends on the brand, number of speakers, additional accessories, and installation charges; and can even go to thousands of dollars.

Steps on How to Paint a Car

When you have plans for painting a car on your own, one thing is for sure that the result is really rewarding and satisfying, and will save you a lot of money too. It is the best way to change the look of your vehicle. Even if you have never done this kind of paint job before, you can succeed in your venture, provided you have the patience to comply with all the relevant instructions.

Step # 1

No matter how well-maintained your vehicle is, it is exposed to loads of dust, grime, and debris. Therefore, the first step is to wash your car. This is done to ensure proper adhesion of the paint. Firstly, wash your vehicle with soap and water. This will clean up all the loosely bound particles from the body. Then, apply a grease remover to get rid of the stains and marks that are insoluble in water. Liquid charcoal starter or mineral spirits can also impart effective results.

Step # 2

Rough, scratched, and dented surfaces of the car’s body prevent the required finish after painting. Thus, you have to treat them with sandpaper in order to smoothen them up. Identify all such spots on the car that require some amount of repairing or sanding. If the rough surface area is large or the scratch marks are deep, then you can rub with a loose grit sandpaper. For small patches, where minor sanding is required, a fine grit will be just enough. Any kind of minor or major dents on the vehicle body should be mended before you take up the paint job. Putty material is the best choice for filling up such dips, and to make the surface leveled. After this repair work, you should do another round of sanding to make the repaired patches smooth. If you find lots of dust on the surface due to this method, wash it once more.

Step # 3

Your paint job can be started only after your car has dried up thoroughly. For this, even if you have to wait for few hours, do not hesitate to do so. Cover up all the portions of the vehicle where painting is not required, like mirrors, glass, window frames, door handle, etc. Masking tape is the best option for this purpose. Make sure there are no holes and gaps in the tapes, through which paint can seep into those areas.

Step # 4

Now that your car is ready, you can begin the paint work. It should start with the application of a primer. This is responsible for making a strong bond between the vehicle surface and the paint layers, so that the latter will last for some more time. Read the instructions given on the label of the primers carefully. Some varieties require application of double coats. Apply the ones on all the areas on the car, where paint has to be applied. Make sure that the primer is spread evenly on the surface. Keep its coat slightly thicker on those areas, where repair work of dent and scratches were done. This will make those surfaces even. Let the primer cure up completely. It often happens that small lumps and dips are caused by such compounds. These uneven surfaces should be smoothed out by another round of sanding.

Step # 5

Urethane based paints are the best ones for your car. Firstly, apply a base coat of paint using a spray gun, and allow it to dry up for about 15 minutes. Then, put another coat of paint. Normally, two coats are sufficient to get the desired effect. However, if you have selected any such paint that has instructions to apply it more than two coatings, then do it accordingly. The second coat needs a couple of hours to dry. When the final coat of paint has dried up, you have to give it a finishing touch by applying a clear coat. It is normally applied three times, and in the same way as of the previous ones. Allow the car to dry for one and half hours or so.

There should be proper ventilation in the place where the paint job will be carried out. You should gear up with suitable precautions to protect yourself from harmful fumes of the paint and of the primer. Choose loose fitting clothes that will cover your entire body well. Masks and eye glasses are also a must for this kind of work.

Vinyl Paint for Car Interior

SteveHorsfall3Vinyl paint can give your car a new look from the inside. Moreover, you will get that feel-good factor while driving your vehicle. You can get a dashboard color you always wanted to have. If you want to do an affordable makeover to your vehicle, then you can opt for painting the interiors, especially the dash, door panels, leather items, and other plastic areas. It promises to give your vehicle a new life.


To paint the dashboard, you will need to remove the peripherals like the gear shift knobs, radio knobs, ashtray, heater vents, etc. You may also want to wash them in warm soapy water. Make sure that they dry well, you can also use a blower to dry them. Then, with a clean cloth and soapy water, wash the dashboard, steering wheel, door knobs, etc. You may need to brush a little harder, maybe with a scrub to get the dirt off properly. Then, rinse the dashboard and dry it with a clean cloth.

If you don’t want some areas to be painted, you can apply masking tape on areas like the radio gauge, etc. Painter’s masking tape is the best for these kinds of jobs as it can be peeled off easily and it doesn’t leave any residue behind. To apply paint on hard plastic areas, you may first need to rub it gently with a fine sandpaper. Then, using a soft, dry cloth, wipe off the dust which was produced by the sandpaper. Wipe it once more with a wet cloth, which will make sure that there is no dust on it. Lastly, using a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol, wipe the plastic and the dashboard, this will make sure that there is no residue on it.

Before you start painting, be sure that it has dried so that the paint sticks effectively. Use a good quality primer on the areas you want to paint. Read the manufacturer’s directions for best results. Another important aspect is the type of paint you use. If you want to apply it on plastic, use a paint which is suitable for plastic, and likewise for other material. Vinyl plastic paint may produce better results. For the dashboard, you can use vinyl dash paint. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for better results for the paint as well.

If you’re thinking of applying it to the seats, then make sure you use the right product for it, as there are products out there specially made for these purposes. You may use vinyl upholstery paint for this. After applying one coat, let it dry thoroughly, undisturbed. Let the windows down so that it dries properly. It may take 24 hours or more for it to dry. After finishing, the interiors must be looking like that of a brand new vehicle. Install the peripherals which you had removed earlier back. Test the controls to make sure they’re working right. You can also consider changing your vehicle’s interior design.

What Products to Use?

Not many think of painting the inside of a new vehicle; you can do it if you want to lighten up the color a bit. You can use duplicolor vinyl or vinyl spray paint for the job. Most of the products available for these jobs come in spray cans, hence it becomes simpler for you to apply. Depending upon the shade you want, apply multiple coats if required. The more coats you apply, the darker the shade will be. While spray painting, keep the nozzle at a distance of about 16-18 inches and apply it in a smooth back-and-forth motion.

The prices of hiring a professional can be relatively high, so you may consider doing it at home, which will help you to save a lot. After completing the job, make sure that you take proper care of your vehicle by taking few simple precautions like protecting the vehicle from direct sun, protecting the dash, etc. Using a window sun blocker will help to a great extent. With proper care, the paint will last for years.