Common Mistakes People Make When Restoring An Old Car

Written By Alla Levin
September 30, 2021
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Common Mistakes People Make When Restoring An Old Car

Restoring an old car is a project to get involved with, too, and if you budget well, it can be a way to save money. There are some beautiful old cars out there just asking to be restored.

But if this is your first project, you will likely go wrong somewhere along the way. Knowing what the common mistakes are before you start is useful for novice car restorers, so make sure you read this list before you pick up any tools.

Taking On Too Much Of A Project

Some projects may sound simple on paper, but they can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s easy to think, “I’ll just give it a quick go and see how I go.” But if the job is more involved than first thought, you have wasted time that could have been spent on another car restoration project.

When looking for a used car to restore, find something that still runs and has most of its body intact. When you are more experienced, you can work on bigger projects, but you’ll be completely lost if you buy what is essentially an empty shell. 

Starting With The EngineRestoring An Old Car

A common mistake that new car restorers make is working on the engine first. While this may seem logical, it can be a disaster. The engine is the most expensive part to restore. Hence, people often end up blowing the budget right away and then cutting corners elsewhere, affecting the overall quality of the build.

If you start with the engine, it will also sit in the corner of the garage for months while you finish the rest of the project, so it might not even work when you eventually fit it. So, leave the engine until you are ready to put it in. 

Forgetting The Finer Details

Most car restoration projects involve stripping the exterior and interior to their core components. This gives you a great opportunity to redo any part of these elements you wanted to change from your original car.

But don’t forget the finer details, such as door handles and mirrors or trunk mats and dashboard features. It’s a real shame when people spend so much time making the body look amazing and rebuilding the engine, but the finish on the inside is poor because the fine details were an afterthought. 

Cutting Corners With The Paint

The paint is one of the most important parts of a car restoration project. If you don’t get it right, you will see an obvious finish that doesn’t look like what should be underneath. Spending extra time on the painting process can save you lots of money in materials and further jobs down the track.

Do your research about how to do it properly, even if that means spending more money on quality products or hiring someone with experience to spray the car for you. If you are about to embark on your first restoration project, make sure that you avoid these common mistakes. 

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