If you’re one of those people who fertilizes their lawn, trims their hedges, and looks with contempt upon a neighbor’s collection of rusty junker cars that are ruining your property values, the holidays are the time to act. Giving that crap can-owning neighbor these gifts will keep your blood from boiling every time you look out of your window.
So the issue you’re having is that you think the state of your neighbor’s car collection makes your property less desirable for other judgmental NIMBY-esque humans. Whether it’s right to think that way is between you and your god, but I’m here to help you improve your relations with your pesky neighbor, while at the same time fixing your concerns about property values.
The ways you can do that is by either hiding your neighbor’s collection or making their cars look a little less, um, aesthetically suboptimal.
This isn’t exactly an elegant solution, but if you’re worried that the lot next to you has a bunch of rusty, leaking piles of iron out front, give your neighbors this carport in which to hide those machines. I’m sure they’ll appreciate getting out from under the elements, and it will get rid of the “eyesores,” replacing them with what others could totally mistake as a party tent filled with cardigan wearing, cigar smoking, polo playing snobs talking about stock portfolios.
Sure, it’s $350, but you’re rich anyway, and honestly, you could probably send the receipt to your accountant, who could probably find a way to turn the expense into a charitable deduction.
If you don’t want to splurge on that enclosed carport, there’s another way to help get your neighbor’s cars out of your sight: stop looking at them.
Yes, this gift isn’t for your neighbor, it’s actually for you. Throw up some curtains (these “blackout” curtains will pretty much smother all light), keep the ones facing your neighbor closed, and start worrying about some of the 11 billion issues out there that matter way more than your damn property values.
If you don’t want to spend all your money on that carport, and you didn’t find my curtain suggestion amusing, then it sounds like getting your neighbor’s vehicles out of sight may not be the best option. So that leaves the other solution: try to help your neighbor turn those stagnant junkers into something to be proud of.
Your property values will be at much lower risk if new life can be injected into those rotting carcasses. This will not only make the cars look better, but it will make it easier for your neighbor to sell them in the off chance that he or she decides to finally part ways with those machines.
So give your sloppy neighbor a Haynes repair manual, and let them learn how to fix the copious mechanical issues that have relegated their vehicles to that same spot in the yard for months.
That Haynes manual will be useless without a tool set, and the foundation of any car mechanic’s tools is the beautiful bolt-removing ensemble known as the socket set.
The 165-piece one you see above has all the combination wrenches, sockets and ratchets your neighbor will ever need, and if he or she breaks something, there’s a lifetime warranty. So if your nemesis across the street has had a car sitting on blocks for many months, he or she can no longer blame the tools or the lack of know-how. Your neighbor is just being lazy.
But fixing mechanical bits of a car can only go so far towards rejuvenating a vehicle’s aesthetics. One great way to increase a car’s curb appeal is to restore the headlight lenses.
Few things can ruin the look of an automobile like cloudy plastic headlights, so just drop 20 bucks on this Meguiars headlight restoration kit, and perhaps your friends will stop asking you about the junkyard next door.
Another thing that makes cars look like crap is deflated tires. A vehicle that looks stanced too low—especially if only in one corner—is truly a pathetic sight to behold. So make sure your neighbor has a way to ensure that their vehicles aren’t leaning hard on the back right bump stop by offering them this compressor.
All they have to do is plug the compressor into the cigarette lighter, and watch as their tires go from looking sad and flat to happy and puffy.
Beautifully transparent headlight lenses that showcase your lights’ silver reflectors and inflated tires are both steps in the right direction. But if you really want to minimize how big of an embarrassment your neighbors’ car farm is, pick them up a detailing kit like this one from Turtle Wax.
The set comes not only with car washing and waxing fluids, but also with tire shine, interior and glass cleaner, paint scratch and swirl remover and, crucially, an odor eliminator. That last one could be a godsend, especially if water got into the vehicles’ interiors and mold started forming.
So far I’ve mentioned products that can hide your neighbor’s cars, things that will help your neighbor fix their vehicle, and some ways to spruce the look of those vehicles up a bit. But once those cars have finally been brought back to life and cleaned up, you’re going to want to make sure the vehicles stay cleaned up. That’s where POR-15 comes in.
POR-15 is a well known in the salt belt as a great way to prevent rust. It comes in three containers; first, you’re supposed to degrease the underbody of the car, then you use the metal prep compound to remove rust and prepare the surface, at which point, you slather a bunch of sticky black rust preventative all over the place. I hear it works great, so it could keep your neighbor’s cars’ rocker panels intact for an extra year or two. Which is good, because rotted-out rocker panels are hideous.
Rust preventative is a great way to help keep the car looking good for years to come, but there are other ways to prevent time from taking a heavy toll on cars. One of them involves filling the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil.
If a car has been sitting for years, wrenchers sometimes like to throw some Marvel Mystery Oil down the spark plug holes to ensure that there’s a nice, slippery oil film for those piston rings to ride on as the piston tries to slide up and down the cylinder bores.
Filling the cylinders with this marvelous red fluid can keep an engine from locking up, so if you want your neighbor to drive that junker off their lawn at some point, helping to keep their engine from destroying itself over time could be a smart move.
Another way that time can wreak havoc on your neighbor’s cars is the fuel can get old and turn to “varnish.” The result can be a clogged fuel system or an engine that just won’t run.
STA-BIL is renowned for keeping fuel usable for years, so that when your neighbor finally replaces that rear axle and cranks over that throaty V8, it will fire up the first time, and drive somewhere that isn’t the front lawn.