The repair and restoration of cars is not a hobby that should be entered into lightly. Your interest in turning an old and damaged vehicle into a functioning automobile needs to be matched by a commitment to the hobby over the long term. If you feel comfortable in spending months or years fixing a single car, then you are prepared to start repairing cars as a hobby.
Fix Cars as a Hobby
Develop a reliable network of spare part providers as you start repairing cars. Web sites like Inner Auto Parts have a simple interface that allows hobbyists to find the parts for their particular cars (see Resources below).
Select the style and make of car that you want to fix during your hobby. Your interests might lead you to your first car or an antique car that you want to make work again. It is important that you choose a car you want to invest time and money into over a long period of time.
Diagnose the mechanical problems of your hobby car and purchase appropriate interior parts. The best diagnosis method is to have another person start up the vehicle while you look under the hood. After you have diagnosed the problem, it is only a matter of finding the right parts for your car's make and model.
Beautify your hobby car with a mixture of paints, waxes and coatings. Early in your repairs you can choose to find the manufacturer's paint hues or make the car your own with a new color. Most hobbyists like to use a regular waxing and buffing routine to make their car shine like it is just off the lot.
Stock your garage with common auto supplies as you are repairing your car. You will take your hobby car out for a quick ride and test out the engine on a regular basis. These actions add up over the long run and you should have plenty of motor oil, washer fluid and other supplies needed for regular maintenance.
Build a strong relationship with garage owners, mechanics and auto dealers in your community. These professionals often have restoration or repair projects of their own and provide insight into the difficulties of the hobby. Your connections can also provide resources for spare parts in the future.