You do not always need to replace a component that is worn, damaged or
broken. There is an increasingly wide range of
and adhesives in car
accessory shops that allow you to make satisfactory repairs, thus saving the
cost of buying a new component.
The simplest repairs you can make are to small non-stressed items, such as
plastic mouldings, badges and trim fittings, that have fallen off. These can
usually be glued back into place with one of the `superglue' adhesives.
First make sure both surfaces to be bonded are clean, then apply the glue to
one surface. Hold the surfaces together for a few seconds until the glue has
Superglues can be used on most materials but they may damage some types of
plastics, so always check on the packaging before buying a particular make.
As well as the superglues, there is a range of powerful glues on the market
for more specialized jobs such as bonding metals, wood and plastics, or for
filling small gaps in broken components.
One of the most useful of these are anti-vibration adhesives that can be
used to secure mechanical fastenings. To apply the glue, first remove the
fastening and clean it thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt or grease. Apply
a few drops of the adhesive to the threaded section of the fastening.
Screw in the fastening and tighten it fully. After a few minutes, a
shake-proof bond will have formed between the threads, keeping the fastening
Make sure you read any warnings on the packaging of the glues or
sealants, otherwise you may damage the component you are working on.
Many products must be used only in a well-ventilated area — don't ignore
this warning because the fumes they give off are often enough to make you
Some types of adhesive can cause considerable irritation if they come
into contact with your skin, so wear gloves when handling them. If an
adhesive does come into contact with your skin, you can usually wash it off
with soap and water. If you get any in your eyes, wash the affected area
with large amounts of water and seek medical advice straightaway.
You can buy glues for fixing metal to glass or glass to glass. More and more
cars are being supplied with mirrors stuck on to the windscreen. While these
can stay put for years, they do tend to give up eventually.
Some of these glues work in the same way as normal glues, while others have
to be exposed to light before they will cure. You can also refix window catches
that have come adrift.
You can repair cracks in an
casing, such as a gearbox casing,
with an adhesive putty kit.
Studs and bearings
You can also buy special adhesives for securing
from securing the components the glue has further advantages: once applied, it
provides an effective
This is particularly important with components such as
which, if they become corroded, can snap off when you try to remove them.
These adhesives can also be used for securing
bearings such as
. They are especially useful where there is a slight amount of
wear to the bearing housing which might otherwise mean scrapping the unit. The
adhesive fills the slight gap between the bearing and the housing. It also
makes the bearing easier to
as it provides some lubrication between the
Once the parts have been cleaned the adhesive should be applied sparingly to
both surfaces. Fit the components together and allow about 15 minutes for it to
cure. The adhesive will be fully cured after about three hours. Similar
adhesives are also available for keeping bushes and
To fill minor cracks in
or gearbox casings you can use repair putty.
This can also be applied to a range of metals, including stainless steel,
The repair kit usually consists of two separate pastes - resin and a
hardener - which have to be mixed together and then quickly applied to the
The affected area has to be as clean as possible to allow the putty to
adhere properly. For this use a
cleaning fluid and a scrubbing
Thoroughly mix the resin and hardener together in equal amounts and apply it
quickly to the damaged casing with the spatula provided in the kit. Make sure
you leave the putty for about ten hours before you drive the car. Full strength
is reached after about 72 hours.
Sealants (sometimes called mastics) are used for waterproofing, such as
repairing a leaking window. They are usually supplied in the form of a large
tube with a
at one end and may be either clear or black. The clear
sealants are used for waterproofing between the weatherseal and window while
the black sealants are used between the seal and bodywork.
To apply the sealant you gently lift the seal surrounding the window and
insert the nozzle into the gap. Squeeze the sealant while running the nozzle
along the gap.
You need to remove any excess adhesive or sealant from the repaired
component for a neat finish. Most you can simply trim away with a sharp
craft knife. Others, such as window sealants, are messy and often need to
be removed with white spirit or methylated spirit. You can remove most
adhesives from carpets and seats with normal upholstery cleaner.
Always check, when you buy, if any special cleaning fluid is needed to
remove a particular type of adhesive or sealant.
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