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Revamp Your Old Vehicle With Auto Service Makeover

You don't have to buy a new car or truck to give it a new look. Through the use of special products and accessories, drivers can transform the appearance of their vehicles quickly, easily and affordably.

According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), there are literally thousands of specialty parts that can give an older vehicle a completely new appearance. Whether the goal is to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece or simply to give a vehicle a fresh, new look, a few simple steps is all it may take.

Start With The Interior.

There are numerous products available to update the inside of a vehicle, including aftermarket control knobs and steering wheels, seat covers, wood grain or carbon-fiber instrument panels and dash kits. It's easy and inexpensive to get a new cover for a steering wheel, or you can spend a bit more to replace it entirely with a more sporty or luxurious one. Custom steering wheels come in a variety of shapes and styles, and are available in different materials such as wood, leather or high-tech plastics.

Similarly, seat covers are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and are one of the most dramatic ways to impact the interior. Perhaps best of all, they come in thousands of colors and fabric combinations. Like floor mats, seat covers can be ordered with emblems or logos on them, so you can show off your team spirit or school pride.

For a new look for the outside of the car or truck, consider a new grille, taillight surround, bumper, hitch, ground-effects kit or other exterior product.

Wheels and tires, both of which are among the most popular vehicle accessories, instantly update the look of a car or truck. Prices, styles and finishes vary greatly.

Try High-tech.

If your vehicle is a few years old, you may want to consider modernizing with new mobile electronics. Bluetooth integration, navigation systems, video monitors and DVD players can all be installed in just about any car or truck, regardless of its age.

Good Clean Fun.

Don't underestimate the impact that a good cleaning can have as well. Wax and car care science has progressed to the point that there is a restoring program for almost any type of finish. Car care companies have even designed power polishing tools that attach to any portable drill, so it takes less elbow grease than ever to get professional results.

Color It A Beauty.

If your paint is damaged beyond hope, automotive paint companies offer a color palette far beyond the bland metallic treatments that manufacturers usually use. Another option rapidly becoming popular is vinyl wrap, which looks like paint and applies like vinyl. It comes on rolls in a variety of colors and patterns and, when properly applied, does not damage the original surface. If you decide you want a change later on, simply peel it off and lay on a different wrap. It costs less than a custom paint job.

Installing many types of restyling parts is designed to be simple and can often be handled by anyone who approaches the job with reasonable care. But for best results, more-involved makeovers--including those that require paint or bodywork or replacing components that have safety-related features, such as seat assemblies--should be done by professionals who have the tools and experience for that kind of work.

Learn More.

To locate products or professional installers, check . The site contains information about specific automotive specialty equipment and the latest products, as well as about how to connect with qualified expert installers.

Thousands of aftermarket products can change the appearance of a vehicle, whether the goal is to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece or simply to give a vehicle a fresh, new look.

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