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5 Easy DIY Car Projects for Beginners

2023 Sep 14th

5 Easy DIY Car Projects for Beginners

Posted by David Jones

Benefits of Working on Your Own Car

The hot rod era of the 1950s was born because returning veterans tinkered with the factory motors. Many of those veterans were trained mechanics, thanks to their military service. Today's cars may be quite a bit more complicated than the 1950s cars, but many people still like to do their own maintenance. Some of the best project cars are those that cost less than 5K.

There are many benefits of working on your own car. You can save money on parts, learn new skills, and do projects on your schedule. Plus, a sense of accomplishment comes with doing something yourself rather than waiting on a technician. Today's cars are not the easiest cars to work on, but the best beginner project car is the one that is your driveway.

Choosing the Right Project for Your Car

Before you start working on your DIY car projects, you might want to search online for "how does a car work for beginners" to get an idea of the basics. You may want to improve the car's fuel efficiency or upgrade your car's appearance. No matter which project you want to tackle, make sure that your skill level meets the skills needed.

5 Easy DIY Car Projects for Beginners

Basic Maintenance

Everyone should know how to do basic maintenance tasks like changing the oil and replacing worn-out hoses and belts. Other easy tasks include rotating tires, changing a battery, replacing blown headlights, changing an air filter, and adding washer fluid. These tasks usually only require simple tools like wrenches, jacks, and screwdrivers. Plus, the instructions for these tasks are straightforward.

Interior Upgrades

When it comes to interior upgrades, these might be some of the easiest changes anyone can make. One of the most common places to start is with the seat covers. You can make a quick change by going from factory coverings to seat covers that are more like your personality. From camo to sheepskin to faux leather, seat covers make a statement.

How to install a set of seat covers:

  • 1.Unbuckle the seatbelts
  • 2.Remove the headrests – if they are fully adjustable
  • 3.Detach the seat bib – the carpet flap is held in place with clips or elastic holders
  • 4.Place the new seat cover over the seat following the manufacturer's instructions
  • 5.Install the armrest and console covers as directed

If you want to know the difference between a universal seat cover and a custom seat cover, read this article on seat cover differences here.

Other upgrades include steering wheel covers and a set of floor mats.

Exterior Enhancements

Enhancing the exterior of your car can be as simple as applying a fresh coat of wax to it for shine and protection to a more advanced project like new wheels. You want your vehicle to look good, so start with the wax and move on to upgrades like new mudguards, custom license plate frames, and mirror wraps.

Other enhancements include:

  • Adding a spoiler
  • Adding a roof rack
  • Pinstriping
  • Tinting windows

There are various accessories for your make and model, so check your manufacturer's website for a list of exterior enhancements you can add.

Safety Upgrades

Safety should never be compromised, and there are numerous beginner-friendly projects to consider. Installing a backup camera can be achieved within a couple of hours, significantly improving your parking skills and overall safety. Adding blind spot mirrors is another simple yet effective safety upgrade; they're easy to install and help you navigate more securely on the road. If you're feeling ambitious, upgrading your brakes with new pads can offer an invaluable boost to your vehicle's stopping power.

Basic Electrical Repairs

If your radio stops working, it may be a blown fuse. Get your manual out and locate your fuse box. The inside cover should have a schematic that tells you which fuse belongs to the radio. Some extra fuses may be included in your fusebox, so check there before you buy new ones.

If you need to replace a faulty power window motor, it won't be as quick a fix as a blown fuse, but it's still an easy fix that you can do with minimal tools. Many parts websites cater to OEM parts for your model.

Check online to get links to YouTube videos from mechanics who share their expertise on your make and model. Most of the videos are made for beginners who want to do their own repairs.


DIY car projects aren't just for the mechanically inclined; even beginning car owners can do their own repairs. You can start with the simple projects, and as your experience grows, move on to other, more complicated upgrades and repairs. Keep a good set of tools in your garage, and you'll be able to do your own maintenance, saving you money and time.

Once you get good at doing the basics, you can search for cool project cars to fix up and sell. You might be able to find some of the best project cars cheap, which allows you to make a little money on the side.