There are few things more satisfying than making your own automotive repairs — but once you’re done, what happens to those old, spare car parts? Maybe a tire gets made into a swing for your kids, but let’s face it: Most of those old parts just end up cluttering the garage or the back of the shed. There are plenty of ways to transform those otherwise-useless objects into nice additions to your shop, home garage or house. Here are a few ideas for repurposing your old car parts that go beyond the everyday tire swing.
If you’ve recently replaced your windshield wipers and still have the old ones lying around, consider attaching them to a broomstick or short handle. When it comes time for spring-cleaning, they might come in handy for hard-to-reach windows. A worn-out wiper makes for a quick squeegee in a pinch when you are washing windows, and can also be used as a handy sweeper to get dust and dirt off your work bench.
We all know that tires can be recycled or turned into the aforementioned swing, but why not use a few for landscaping projects around the yard? Paint the threads and sidewalls in a mix of colors, then lay them on their sides and fill them with dirt. The result is a unique planter for your garden. You can even cluster tires together and paint patterns on them to take your design up a notch. If you have a lot of tires, dig steps into a hill. Lay the tires in pairs filled with dirt for some decorative landscaping steps.
If you replaced the bed on your truck or ended up with an old tailgate from your last truck, hang on to it. Using some pipe for a frame and some spare sheet metal or wood, you can make a pretty cool outdoor bench. Start by making a frame and then cut part of the old bed for the seat. Of course, the tailgate itself should be saved for a decorative back. You can either weld the pieces together or drill holes and secure with nuts and bolts.
Take a Seat
Upgrading your ride with a racing bucket seat is a popular modification for cars, but it leaves the stock seat lying around your garage. By building a frame and mounting your old car seat to it, you can build a pretty sweet gaming chair. You can even extend the frame out to hold your game system’s steering wheel and pedals for racing games.
Nothing finishes off a garage hangout spot like great lighting. No matter what kind of headlamps you have, any spares can be transformed into cool lamps with a bit of creativity. Mount the lamps on an old strut or some pipe for a standing lamp; connect them to some tubing and run the wiring inside for some sweet-looking ceiling lights. You could even mount them to the wall; the possibilities are limitless.
There are a lot of things you can do with spare car parts. A little of creativity goes a long way, and when you consider the value of repurposing over putting something in a landfill, being creative with your old parts never was so worthwhile or so much fun.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on spare car parts, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy of Flickr
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.