If you're tired of how your car looks and you don't have the money to do a complete style overhaul, why not replace your rocker panel trims instead? This long strip at the side of your car allows you to easily pimp up your ride without having to go to an auto detailing shop. All you need is a good automotive adhesive or tape and your ride is ready for show.
Replacing a rocker panel trim
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- Torx head screwdriver
- Double-sided adhesive
- New rocker panel trim
Step 1: Since the rocker panel trims act as an accessory to the rocker panels, you must first know where these panels are located. Rocker panels are attached to the lower portion of your car's doors and fenders.
Step 2: Once you've located your rocker panel, lay beside the door or fender where you want your trims replaced.
Step 3: Using a Torx head screwdriver, remove the screws found on the front, base, and rear of the rocker panel to loosen its hold on your car's frames.
Step 4: Pull the clips found along the bottom of the rocker panel trim and pry it off the car's door. If the trim was held on by adhesive, you can also scrape off the trim using a pocket knife.
Step 5: Using double-sided adhesive strips, install your new rocker panel trim to the door. Let it dry for a couple of minutes. Secure its hold on the door by fastening the clips.
Step 6: When the adhesive is dry, tighten the screws that hold the trim in place.
Step 7: Check the front and rear part of your rocker panel to make sure that all the screws are put back in place.
Painting over a rocker panel trim
If you want to save on a few bucks on customizing your rocker panels, you can also choose to paint over them. Although it requires more work than an installation job, painting them gives you just the right amount of flexibility when it comes to the looks of your trims.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Masking tape
- Wax and grease remover
*This guide assumes that the installed rocker panel trims are primered.
Step 1: Place masking tape around the edges of your rocker panel trim. This will help you avoid painting over more than is necessary. So be sure to seal it with tape carefully. You wouldn't want your car door to be randomly splotched with paint.
Step 2: Using a clean rag, apply a thin coat of wax and grease remover to your rocker panel trim. Wait for about five minutes to let the remover evaporate before painting over it.
Step 3: Once your rocker panel trim is dry, apply three to five coats of paint to the surface of your trim. As a rule of thumb, wait five minutes before applying the next layer or coat of paint.
Step 4: Let the final coat of paint dry. After about six to eight hours, remove the masking tape from the trim.