Mac James Motors Dictionary– Reconditioned.

 May 27, 2019  3:21 PM

White Tofas Sedan

When you’re deciding what previously owned or used vehicle to purchase there are often some words that get thrown around that leave room for questions. One such question is, “What did the sales associate mean when saying the car was reconditioned?”


Transitive verb


  • To restore to good working condition via replacing and repairing components.
  • To meticulously clean and restore the visual and functional purposes of a mechanical device.



Most vehicles spend their time outside in the elements, and in Alberta we know how hard a car gets hit with the second and third winters before the intense summer heat. The grime, salt, gravel, hail, dust storms and exposure to the sun all take their toll on your car’s paint, body, engine well and undercarriage. There can also just be instances of collision damage or gradual wear and tear from aggressive driving. Reconditioning is meant to erase all that. Though it’s never a perfect job, replacing damaged or repairing salvageable bits and bobs goes a long way to not only increasing the value of a car but it also ensures that the vehicle will last you for years to come.


Interior Touch-ups

Vintage luxury red

Steam cleaning fabric seats makes a world of difference. It removes spots and stains for visual pleasure and it also pulls out the smells that have been lying in wait for an unsuspecting passenger to make a funky face. Same goes for carpet on the floor and insulation on the roof. Burn holes need replacing–unfortunate but true. They have a habit of getting worse over time.


Leather seats and interior can be reconditioned with a cleaner, leather conditioner, a colour restore kit and a couple of hours to get the job done yourself.


Vinyl interior trim can be fixed with a spray on technique that involves cleaning and recolouring the plastics. This is a job that can easily be botched, so attempt at your own risk.


Replacing the air filters can make improvements when it comes to the interior air quality and aroma of your vehicle. You’ve got the inside sparkling, now, you might as well have the smell match the view.


Get your engine well shampooed! Deep cleaning the the whole engine makes the car look practically unused! Be sure to seek professional help on this venture as you may be likely to damage any electrical components and compromise critical functions of your automobile leaving you with that dreaded “check engine” light–if you don’t already have it.


Exterior Touch-ups

Broken bad window

The dents and dings you get from the void will definitely bring down the value of your vehicle. Don’t know how you got them? They still end up being your problem. Leave them for too long and they will get worse. There are a couple different ways that you can work them out. For the smaller dips that make you look like an inexperienced driver you can use a couple of home remedies.


  1. The Hair Dryer/ Dry Ice Method: using the hair dryer to heat the area and place a strip of aluminum foil over the dent. With rubber gloves and a little bag of dry ice you can rub the aluminum foil and the rapid change in temperature should pop the dent back into place.
  2. The Plunger Method: While pouring water over the dent and the plunger to ensure a good seal, pulling the plunger up and down should pop the dent back into form. Provided it’s not too severe a dent.
  3. The Boiling Water Method: with a lot of vehicle paneling being made of plastic, you can heat it with boiling water and reach behind some panels to push the dent back into place. Pour cold water over the spot to cool the heated bumper or panel. (This method may require you to safely remove the part in question.)
  4. The Bucket and Vacuum Method: Cutting a hole in the bottom of the bucket to fit your vacuum nozzle makes for an enlarged area affected by the vacuum. Places the bucket over the dent and it should pop back into place. Low power vacuums need not apply.


Keep in mind these home remedies are a thrifty way to make repairs yourself and not a replacement for professional methods. Use at your own risk. For anything too large please seek the help of professionals.


Any Broken components like lights and door handles are a great way to make the exterior look new again, and are usually the perfect accompaniment to popping dents. And parts can usually be found inexpensively if you are willing to take the time to find them. Talk to a glass specialist about replacing cracked or chipped windows.


When it comes to the paint, Nothing looks worse on a car than a shoddy paint job. Talk to a professional about what they can do for you. However, a dull coat of paint with no rust can be spruced up with a quality wax and buff. Let it shine.


Mechanical Touch-ups:

Checking the oil in vehicle

Aesthetic is swell and all for boosting the surface value of your ride, but the actual components that make it function and function safely are far more important. Running the car through a scrutinous mechanical inspection is imperative. Ensuring that nothing is compromised and no one’s safety is at risk by a team of skilled professionals is the only way the automobile will make its way to the lot. From signal lights to brake fluid, tire alignment to power steering, anything that needs upkeep, cleaning and replacing is taken care of at this stage. We’re looking to get that mysterious “check engine” light to finally shut off and have the vehicle up to the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council’s impeccable standards.


We spoke about a few methods you can take care of at home and a few that should be handled by professionals, all of which are part of the Mac James Motors Reconditioning process to bring Alberta the best quality in slightly used and pre-owned vehicles.


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