40 Car Hacks To Help Keep The Wheels Turning And The Joy Rides More FunBy Anthony K
You probably agree that it is primarily a bittersweet experience to own a car. It is good for getting you where you need to be in due time and carrying your items — these are just some advantages that come with owning a car. Besides making life more straightforward, there are disadvantages such as door dings, spilled food and drinks, cracked windshields, alongside expensive maintenance costs. There are creative and innovative car owners that have come up with inexpensive ways to offset the challenges of owning a car. And, thankfully, they’re willing to share their hacks. Regardless of whether you are a veteran driver or just starting off, these fun, creative, and tidy tricks will help in saving you time, money, and energy to increase your appreciation of your motor vehicle.
1. Dryer Sheets
Whereas most people prefer car sprays and dangling air fresheners, there is a much better option to keep your car smelling nicer for longer. Everything you will need is present in your laundry room in the form of a few dry sheets. On top of being efficient, this option is relatively cheap and guarantees outstanding results.
Begin by placing a few of these beneath your car seats, and the odor will penetrate every corner of your vehicle, offsetting any weird scents to keep your car smelling fresh and pleasant throughout the day. Feel free to put them in your AC vent, then introduce some airflow in small intervals.
2. Trunk Organizers
Our rooms in our homes are prone to getting messy — as is the car trunk. People just love throwing various items in there for no specific reason. Whenever we need something, we are likely to become agitated trying to locate it under the mess. Keeping things neat and orderly is a proper way of finding your stuff hassle-free.
You don’t need a complicated solution here. Simply add some laundry baskets to your trunk, and you’re good to go. They will help keep things nice and orderly while giving you more storage space. Moreover, you can continue throwing anything in there, creating a tidier mess.
3. Backup Lock
In this modern era, all cars come with electric locks. However, electrical equipment still has the chance of malfunctioning. Although some are easy to work around, like escalators that become stairs, there are others that seem impossible. What do you do if your car lock fails?
If you find yourself stuck, check your car’s safety booklet. Electric features notwithstanding, most cars out there have a manual lock. Feel beneath the door handle for a tiny plastic piece. After removing that, you will notice a manual lock beneath it, ready to save the day.
4. Finding Your Car In A Crowded Lot
This is something every car owner can relate to. You’ve driven to the mall or a large event and parked your car in a crowded lot or multilevel parking garage. But when you’re ready to go home, you can’t find your car again! It’s annoying and a bit embarrassing as you make loops trying to find your vehicle.
A simple way of avoiding such mishaps is taking a quick picture of the surroundings where your car is parked. You can also draw a quick map with a quick note of where your vehicle is. The only complication arises when the surrounding vehicles leave, and the remaining picture is different from the photo you took earlier.
5. Plunge Out Dents
No one wants to shell out hundreds of dollars just to fix a small, mostly superficial dent. Luckily, you have all you need waiting in your home. That’s right! The plunger in your bathroom has numerous uses outside the lavatory besides unclogging toilets. It doubles as a dent fixer, too.
Begin with pouring some warm water over the dent. Then, ensure the plunger has a good grip as you place it above the area and pull till the mark are nicely evened out. Repeat these steps multiple times until the results are satisfactory. Also, remember to wash the plungers before using them.
6. Rubber Band Phone Holder
There’s one supply you probably have in your office or desk drawer that you should consider keeping in your car: rubber bands. We all know the common uses, like impromptu hair ties or sealing off bags of food. But did you know that they can also hold your phone?
Rather than spending a ton of money on fancy phone holders that might not even work, just head to the dollar store and pick up some elastic bands. Just loop them through your AC vents and apply them securely to your phone.
7. Key Fob Extender
Remember how we talked about losing your car in a parking lot? When that happens, most of us end up circling the lot tirelessly pressing the lock button while straining to hear our car beep. This only has a limited range, but did you know you can expand that radius?
To increase the range of your car fob, place it under your chin and your brainpower will do the rest. We also admit that it is rather strange. One is likely to wonder how anyone discovered this in the first place. If this works relatively well for you, you might possess legitimate mind powers.
8. Cereal Box Garbage Can
We all understand there is little space in the car, and we also realize that it is pretty simple leaving trash all over the vehicle. Rather than turning your car into an oversized garbage can, you’d be better off taking a cereal container and transforming it into your own mini trash can.
Locate an empty cereal container, or empty one out, and put a plastic bag inside it. Then put it in any available corner in your car. Now, you can enjoy a tidy and clean vehicle — provided you use it appropriately. In addition, the bag will make it easier to empty the contents once the container is full.
9. Tire Tread Tester
Not many of us know the precise time for changing a car’s tires before they go flat or cause an accident. To prevent this, you will need to look out at your car’s treads. The rule is that the deeper they go, the better. But how can you know if they are deep enough?
To assess how deep your car treads are, take a penny and turn it upside down, ensuring the top of Lincoln’s head is pointing to the floor. Then dip it into a tread. If the track extends beyond Lincoln’s forehead, your tires are still sound. When you can still see Lincoln’s forehead, it is time to consider changing them.
10. Food Warmer
While getting stuck in traffic can be problematic, nothing compares to watching your food go cold while you scoot up inch by inch. You may be having a great dinner planned out with an accompanying movie. Unfortunately, reheating pizza or chicken is just dull.
Luckily, you can quickly avert this annoyance by applying your seat warmers. Just plunk down your takeout on the seat, turn up the heat, and you are sure to have a nice warm meal. One can only wish cup warmers could do the same to our coffees.
11. Backup Cup Holder
Not to sound greedy or complain too much, but occasionally, car cup holders are inadequate. Some of us need more than one cup of coffee, especially on a long trip or early morning ride to work. Although cars have two cup holders in the front, that’s not always enough.
Should you ever require an extra place to store your drink, just look down. While it may not smell great, your shoe can be an ideal cup holder in a pinch. Add some tissues or a sock to secure your drink if it is loose in your shoe.
12. Painting Over Scratches
Just like with the small dents, sometimes paying to fix a minor scratch doesn’t seem worth the money. After all, why spend gas money to fix something that doesn’t affect how your car operates? Fortunately, the answer is waiting for you in the dollar store.
You should ensure that it is similar to your car’s color before painting it on the afflicted surfaces. Failure to do so will leave a weird look on your car’s exterior. This method might not erase the dent, but it is sufficient to conceal them while scheduling a repaint for your vehicle.
13. Foggy Windshields
Have you ever wondered why restaurants have grains of rice in their salt shakers? Well, without the rice absorbing ambient moisture, the salt is more prone to clumping and getting jammed in the holes of the container. This same logic works for your car, too.
Suppose your windshield keeps getting blurry from condensation while driving; this can be frustrating and even dangerous. To prevent this, fill a bag with rice and place it on top of your dashboard. This bag will absorb excess moisture, leaving your windshield nice and clear. Remember to microwave the rice bag occasionally to dry it out.
14. Smooth Wipers
In harsh weather conditions, we sometimes find ourselves turning our windshield wipers on full blast. Unfortunately, if your wipers aren’t properly maintained, the repeated motion could scratch your windshield To avoid this dangerous and costly problem, wrap your wipers in stockings.
Besides offering protection to the wipers against ice build-up, this trick also protects your dashboard and wipers. It is also beneficial to the mirrors, and if you lack stockings, socks can come in handy. By the end of this list, we’re sure you’ll have a good shopping list for your next trip to the dollar store.
15. Park Facing East
Regardless of the time of the year, there are moments when we need to rush outside and face the morning traffic head-on. We seem to lack the patience of waiting for the ice to melt or grab a tool to scrape or crack it during such times. Thankfully, nature can help to simplify your work.
If you park your car outside, try parking it with your windscreen facing east. In so doing, you will profit from the full flash of the sunrise, letting the morning sun do all the melting. You can then go about your normal chores.
16. Airflow Through The Windows
Getting stuck in traffic is horrid enough. Now picture yourself doing that in the mid-summer heat when your AC is failing. That sucks, right? Although lowering all the windows might be helpful, it may not be an effective method to cool your car.
Your best option of getting the maximum benefit of the air whooshing in is simply rolling down your two front windows rather than every window. This hack causes the air to circulate, forcing hot air out while letting in cool air to help you stay cooler for longer.
17. Tennis Ball Parking Measurement
How often has your car hit random objects or the back wall in your garage? They may be nuisances at first, but over time those tiny dings could cause lasting scratches. Not to mention, hitting stuff over and over again is annoying. To stop this, the solution might be in your garage already.
If you have random sports equipment in your garage, we bet that you have a tennis ball somewhere in a pile. For this hack, park your car appropriately and mark the position and placement by hanging a tennis ball where your windscreen needs to reach. Voilà! No more hitting your tools.
18. Gas Tank Side Indicator
When the car is new, rented, or borrowed, filling up the gas tank can be annoying because it’s not always on the same side in every vehicle. If you pull in wrong, then you have to go through the embarrassing task of shifting your car to face the right way so you can fill up.
Did you know that car manufacturers know about this problem and already have a solution waiting for you? If you study your gas meter gauge closely, you will see a tiny arrow beside the gas pump icon. The arrow points to the side where the gas tank sits.
19. Thawing The Lock
As if it is not bad enough to have your butt freezing off or slipping and breaking a hip, cold winter days can leave your entire car engulfed in ice, jamming your keyhole. As a solution, spare some of that hand sanitizer that you might not be in shortage of at this time.
Nowadays, most of us have hand sanitizer easily within reach. Spare a little of the cleansing liquid and apply it to the lock. The alcohol will melt the ice, freeing the space for your key to fit. Now you can get in your car quickly and turn up the heating to thaw your hands.
20. Gas Hack
With gas prices constantly on the rise, it is only fair that you get your money’s worth when refueling. Sadly, we may not be able to do that if we keep rushing when filling gas as though we are constantly chasing time or auditioning for Fast and Furious.
Next time you visit a gas station, try a little patience. Only hold the pump at 50%. You can even relax a moment as you fill up slowly. In so doing, you should get less air inside the tank and more gas. This fantastic trick allows you to cover more mileage at a lower cost.
21. The Garage Noodle
Pool noodles are among the items that may seem utterly useless in everyday life. Sure they’re fun in the pool, but otherwise, they seem to just get in the way of storage spaces. But we’re here to show you another use for them, other than summer fun.
Car dings are unavoidable, though some owners deal with more thanks to tiny garages and narrow parking spaces. To fix this, take a pool noodle and cut it in half, then attach it to the wall where your car door swings open. You can also try this with your front bumper if you don’t like the tennis ball method.
22. All That Extra Ceiling Space
For some of us, cars simply don’t have enough storage space. We need to keep the essentials for day-to-day use, as well as emergency supplies as well, as anything we may pick up along the way, like groceries. Fortunately, there’s a hidden storage space in your car just waiting to be used.
Car ceilings work surprisingly well as additional storage space. Just tie some bungee cords to a mesh net and attach them to all four hand holders of your car. You should have plenty of space with this new setup. Just don’t overload it, or you’ll hit your head as it sags downloads.
23. Olive Oil Cleaner
Olive oil is more than just an ingredient, it is a multipurpose product. For example, it works to keep hair and skin looking fabulous. Now, it has another use. Apply it on your interior surfaces to give your car dashboard a shining feel.
All you need to do is add a few droplets of olive oil to a coffee filter and wipe down your dash. Although it may not help you to fry eggs in there in the summer and may have a lingering smell for a while before soaking correctly, this trick will preserve your dash to be good as new.
24. Skipping the Speeding
Speeding may make your car move faster, but it’s hardly the best and quickest way to reach your destination. Its downsides include wearing out your breaks because you are likely to stop at nearly every stop sign on your way.
The most suitable way to get to your destination faster is by sticking to the speed limits. Traffic lights and speed limits were introduced to help you since they were made in such a way that they allow you to cruise through many green lights by simply sticking to the speed limit.
25. Shoe Organizers Don’t Just Belong In the House.
In addition to your car ceiling, you can also utilize your backseats for extra storage space, albeit not with that single-pocket stuff found built into most cars. Should you need more space, find yourself a pair of smart shoe organizers.
Shoe organizers have ample pockets that make them more efficient for storage and organization. In addition to keeping plenty of stuff within reach, it saves you the hassle of combing through a mess before locating your things since everything is in place.
26. Stockings to The Rescue Again
Maybe it is about time you stock up on extra pairs of stockings. These items are just too resourceful for your car. Apart from keeping frost at bay, socks may also come to the rescue as a momentary fix when your fan belt breaks.
If your fan belt fails, break immediately. Follow up by turning off your car, removing the faulty belt, and tying the stocks tight around the engine pulley. This hack might be just the thing to hold over until you can get to a shop or home where you can find permanent solutions.
27. Slime Clean Out
We have all encountered those satisfying slime videos, right? Well, if you are not fortunate enough to have seen one yet, there was a creator who blew up on TikTok because of a video whereby he used slime to clean up his car. We are in support of the idea.
Begin run the goo or slime around your vehicle’s interior, allowing it to pick up debris or dust particles it comes to contact with. It is as efficient as any other cleaning cloth found in the stores, although more cost-friendly. You can also make your specific DIY cleaning slime for some extra fun.
28. Toothpaste Vs. Foggy Headlights
Foggy headlights are annoying. Nonetheless, you do not need to wait or even go to a car shop for cleaning, for the solution is within your home. Everything you need is your brushing items (i.e., toothpaste and a toothbrush). Separate from the one you are using, obviously.
Grab your toothpaste and squeeze a few drops on your headlights. Scrub it across the entire surface, ensuring that it is completely covered. Allow it some time to dry before washing with warm water. After washing appropriately, you should have excellent and clear headlights.
29. Keep Cup Holders Clean
We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve had to clean out our cupholders. They may be convenient but they also get filled with crumbs and other everyday gunk. Instead of being frustrated with frequent cleaning, try this simple hack to keep them tidy.
Cupcake holders are the perfect size and shape to protect your cupholders from debris. They should catch anything that finds its way in there, giving you a simple task of just picking them up, tossing out the contents, and replacing them. It’s simple, and it does not demand much of your time when cleaning.
30. Bumper Sticker Removal
Don’t you just loathe the appearance of residue from stickers? They may be a fun way to decorate your car, but they are prone to leaving a sticky muddle that supports dust build-up and seems to ruin just about everything. This condition makes replacing car stickers and decals a lot more challenging than it needs to be.
Fortunately, there is a method of making this process painless and neater. Take your hairdryer and apply gentle heat before attempting to peel off the stickers. This clever hack will help you get rid of them faster and leaves behind no sticky residue.
31. Clean Wipers
Few things are as crucial as good visibility when sitting behind the wheel. Despite having a great engine and a tank full of gas, your movement is near-impossible when you cannot see the road. As a result, it is always crucial to keep your wipers clean.
Your wipers drag all kinds of nastiness over your windshield. Failing to clean them leaves you vulnerable to collecting all manners of junk over your windshield whenever you use them. Hence, spare a few minutes to secure a good microfiber cloth and some glass cleaner to wipe down your wipers.
32. Reducing Sun Glare
We all adore the feel of the sun every once in a while, especially during the early morning drives when everything is cold and gray. However, no one loves it when the rays shine directly into our eyes. Aside from being inconvenient, they cause pain and may affect the rest of your day.
Instead of covering your entire windshield with tinted plastic sheets, you just need to identify specific spots where the impact of sunrays is most common. In addition, you can use the static of your windshield to help the plastic adhere. While visors may able to do the same, this trick just ups the game.
33. More Pool Noodles
As it happens, pool noodles seem to have more applications outside the pool than inside them when it comes to cars. On top of serving as door bumpers, they can also help you maintain your items safely inside the vehicle.
It is way too easy for stuff to slip through the sides of car seats and get lost. Here’s a solution that does not demand reaching down and feeling around for your lost item — often done in vain. To prevent this from happening, jam some pool noodle pieces in the car seat gaps.
34. Carabiners For Bags
Trunks are meant to be an easy storage space, but it’s not always secure enough for some items — spillable and breakable items are always at risk when we pack them in the trunk. To prevent grocery store mishaps, keep your liquids in the front with you, hanging off the back of the seat.
All you need are a couple of carabiners. Hang them up on your front seats, and behold, you will have a hook to hang your belongings, at which point you can be confident your items remain safe and sound. With this hack, you can forget issues relating to spilled items or broken eggs.
35. Paper Towel Roll Holder
Paper towels are a resourceful component wherever you travel to but more specifically in your car, where chances of dirt, spills, and grime can occur anywhere and anytime. The question remains where you can store some without consuming more space than necessary.
Your trunk is an equally ideal spot. However, this does not mean you should go dumping your paper towels in there. Instead, loop a bungee cord through a paper towel roll. Afterward, tie it to the underside area of your trunk lid. This saves precious trunk space and prevents the paper towels from unrolling and accumulating dirt.
36. Winter Driving Survival
Even those who love the winter will agree that it can be a dangerous time, especially if you use a car. Icy roads are just accidents waiting to happen, and apart from driving carefully and avoiding dangerous roads, there’s one more trick you can use to stay safe in the winter months.
Add weight to your car for better control — heavy items like water softener bags will do the trick. This hack gives you more grip, but it would do you well to remember this might not work as effectively with front-wheel-drive cars.
37. Easy to Find Garage Opener
Picture this scene: you arrive home from a long day, you set yourself to open the garage door with your remote control only to find it’s not there. Somehow it slipped in the tight areas of your car and you only find it after an exhaustive and frustrating search. There’s a relatively easy fix for this problem.
You can effortlessly install your garage opener into your vehicle. Whereas this trick demands the services of a professional, you are free to DIY if you are familiar with cars. All you will need to have is some patience, and you can make your life as a car owner worthwhile.
38. DIY Car Freshener
Although we all adore having that citrus, fresh pine, or sweet, soothing lavender scent in our car, a variety of air fresheners are inadequate. They don’t seem to do the trick, no matter how fancy and expensive they are. So, what can be done? Make your own, of course!
Find a mason jar or any similar container and poke some holes in the lid. Then, fill the container with scented candle wax and place it in your cup holder. As your car gets warm, the wax slowly melts, releasing sweet scents in your car.
39. Vinegar Ice Melter
Icy windshields are among the most significant inconveniences during the cold and winter mornings when you seem to be in a rush. As if it is not enough that you have to panic and become restless about showing up late for work, you have no choice but to deal with all that ice.
Instead of relying on your heater to do the job slowly, try using a solution of vinegar and water to speed up the process. Just mix the two components into a spray bottle, give the ice a few good spritzes and sit back and watch as the ice dissolves. Clean it up and you’re ready to go!
40. Making Keyrings Less Painful
You may be one of the few people lucky enough not to know the pain of changing keyrings. Whenever you need to add a key, you will have to subject your fingers and fingernails to much pain since keyrings are just not made to be easy.
Luckily, a simple solution can help avoid torturing yourself whenever you want to add a new key to the holder. You will need a staple remover to hold the keyring apart. Besides adding keys in a matter of seconds, you also get to preserve your fingers and manicure.