Buyer Tips Used Cars

Shopping For A Car Project? 5 Car Restoration Tips You Should Consider

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 07/30/2021

Buying a new car is amazing but comes at a huge cost – literally. 


If you are trying to save a few bucks, or on the lookout for awesome deals on old or used cars for immediate use or as a project car, Salvage titled vehicles are your best bet. You can find great deals at used car online auctions without breaking the bank.


A professional mechanic and body shop will get the job done for you but at a considerable price depending on the extent of the damage on the vehicle purchase, if any, but if you can restore your car yourself it will save you on steep per hour labor costs. 


Restoring a car or working on a project car yourself is a thing of passion as it can be time-consuming, strenuous, and complicated, kinda like solving a jigsaw puzzle with 1000 pieces – but rewarding once completed. So you bought the car, what should you consider or know as you prepare to get started?


We put together a simple guide to help you get started on the right note. Please note, however, that this guide should be backed up with adequate research, and where necessary, assistance from a professional especially if you have to fix more technical issues like programming, etc… especially if this is your first time at this.


Your Car Restoration Guide

1. Plan and Budget

The most important part of restoring your car is planning and budgeting. This will help you understand the whole process flow, the cost, time, the process and tools to be used. This is an opportunity to have goals set on how you will achieve owning the car of your dreams.  



Create a budget of how much you will need to complete the entire project. Then break it down to how much each section of the car will require. You have to allocate funds for parts, tools, and materials needed for the project. You have to budget for unforeseen expenses and mistakes or mishaps that happen during restoration. Try not to go for cheap parts as this will water down the desired result of your final project. 


2. Location

During car restoration, the location is usually the most underrated step. Restoring a car needs a lot of work-space and most people don’t expect this. Since your car will be sitting on a spot for a long time, you will need to figure out where to keep it. It needs to be accessible and you need to sort out where the parts will be placed once disassembled. It is best to have two separate areas for the body, mechanical parts, and another for electrical and upholstery parts. 



You need good lighting in your workspace. Install powerful lights which can let you see minor cracks and dents on the car. You can use LED lights that help you see blemishes and tiny spots that may not be visible with other lighting.


3. Tools

Getting the right tools for the job helps you save time and work efficiently. It is always a plus to get all the tools you need before you begin restoring your car.  Getting all the tools you need saves you the stress and time of making trips to the hardware store during your project. 


Car Tools

Some of the tools needed are a ventilation mask, angle grinder, socket and wrench set, traps, floor jack, etc. you can explore borrowing or renting if you are on a budget. 


4. Labels

Dealing with wirings, and small parts can be overwhelming and hard to deal with – a lot of people dread having to deal with them. It is much easier to label all wiring and electrical parts with a marker and scotch tape. For small parts such as bolts, nuts, etc use labeled baggies to store them. 



It is advisable to use labels and baggies to sort out these components to avoid wrong wiring and using the wrong bolts for different parts. Using wrong bolts in the engine can crack up the engine head.  Labels and baggies make it easier for you to reassemble the parts and save time. 


5. Documentation

Document the whole process, from before, during, and after the stripping phase. Take pictures and video recordings of the entire process. This allows you to look back and recognize the progress you have made so far. It gives you a sense of fulfillment when you see the before and after car restoration process. 



Proper documentation helps you save time during reassembling of parts taken apart. Create a checklist of the parts that need to be repaired or replaced or that need painting. Having pictures and videos of your work shared with others can open up a car restoration business venture, which equals more income for you. It is also an awesome selling point to prospective clients and shows the entire restoration process. 


Further Reading

  1. 5 Sites you Need to Check Before Buying a Used Car 
  2. What Should I Check For When Buying a Car
  3. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars
  4. How Saving Money at a Used Car Auction Actually Works


Final Notes!

It is always recommended to contact a professional mechanic or an expert in car restoration before you start ripping parts apart. Get a list of professionals you may need to contact for support in your area and share your project goal. 


If you are looking to purchase a salvage car for your restoration project, we have got you covered! Auto Auction Mall has an inventory of over 150k clean, salvage, and other title vehicles. All you need to do is sign up here for free and have access to our dealer-only auction. 


Sign up now and start bidding!