The internet is a great source of help and advice on every topic imaginable, including car care.
Social media channels like TikTok are packed with people offering their DIY tips on how to maintain and repair your car, and save money in the process.
While many of these tips contain useful information, some of them could be doing more harm than good, according to the motoring experts at Peter Vardy.
They have looked at some of the most popular car repair tips on TikTok and discovered that performing them could cause up to £1,660 worth of damage to your car.
1. DIY dent removal. (£335)
Many variations of car dent removal circulate TikTok – from using glue sticks to pouring hot water and pushing the dent out. One TikTok user shows how she fixed her car dent with a toilet plunger. However, some incidents of car damage are more complex than others. While some users have had success with removing their dents, performing the repairs yourself can mean you can pull the metal too far out and cause more damage to your car.
Peter Vardy found that car dents can be fixed by a professional but if you cause further damage to your car, you could risk paying around £335 in dent repair costs.
2. DIY foaming jet wash (£1,000)
In order to get the fresh car valet feel at home, one user shows us how to give your car a special at-home car wash – by pouring washing up liquid in the hose pipe to create a foaming jet wash. While it gives a similar foamy consistency to those used at a professional valet service, using dish soap to wash your car can strip the wax protecting your delicate clear coat.
Getting rid of this protection makes your car’s paint and bodywork more vulnerable to dirt and damage, which can eventually lead to rust. Following the damage, it could cost you around £1,000 for a respray.
3. Using hot water to remove ice and frost (£420)
It’s commonly known that you shouldn’t use hot water on icy windscreens. Such an extreme temperature difference can cause a crack in your windshield. However, one TikTok user is among those whole suggest using a bag to hold the hot water gets around this problem.
It’s possible that this could work if the water inside the bag is merely lukewarm but Peter Vardy’s experts have warned that even containing hot water in a sealed bag can damage your windscreen and can cost drivers up to £420 for a crack repair on their window.
4. Use WD40 to clean foggy headlights (£15)
WD-40 has been suggested as the solution for just about every car problem ever, including as a useful cleaning solution for foggy headlights. While it may be useful for a one-time temporary solution, Peter Vardy’s experts warn that if not applied carefully, the oils in WD-40 can leak through the headlight seal and onto the bulb, causing it to blur or burn out entirely.
5. Using a magic eraser to get rid of bodywork scuffs (£240)
Magic erasers can come in handy for removing dirt and grime from car cupholders and dashboard and some TikTok users have found that magic erasers can buff out car scratches.
However, magic erasers are made from melamine foam and have the abrasiveness of 3000 to 5000 grit sandpaper. Depending on how hard you scrub, you can cause further damage to the paint of your car rather than getting rid of visual paint scuffs. Peter Vardy crunched the numbers and found paint scuff made worse by the use of abrasive materials can cost you up to £250 to put right.