Genius Car Hacks Every Driver Should TryBy Barbara Norris
James Bond and Batman knew it well: Ultra-luxury cars come with all the bells and whistles. These days, a top buyer can expect fancy clocks, champagne fridges, and scent systems as part of the package. But that’s out of reach, for most! Anyone looking to make their old clunker more interesting, pay attention. An upgrade to every element is easy as 1, 2, 3 — and free, with the right DIY tips. New car buyers are welcome too! Whether for decoration or function, there are clever car hacks for every driver. It’s time to pimp that ride, with tape and elbow grease!
The Magic of Slime
Nickelodeon used this green goo to entertain millions of kids on gameshows. Then, it became a commercialized toy at home! Not that fun isn’t legitimate, but anyone who has a bit lying around might like to know that there is a practical use for it after all. What, exactly?
As it turns out, the squishy wonder is better than any cloth to clean the interior. It can ooze into any nook or cranny and collect dust and particles like nothing else. The AC vent and dash have met their match, in slime. It’s even washable, for multi-use!
Popping Out Dents
Oh no, not again! Getting a dent is not a surprise most people want to encounter. The damage can happen in a few different ways: It might the fault of the driver, a stray biker, or an overnight hit and run in the parking lot. But in any case, it’s an expensive fix. Isn’t there a way out of it, DIY style?
Why, yes! With the help of hot water and a plunger, a lot can be done to avoid the mechanic. For smaller dents, this method just might work: Pour the boiling liquid over the dent to expand the plastic. Plunge away at the same time, and see the effect!
Supercharge the Key Fob Range
Many will admit that they are not happy with the range of their key fob. The handy device may only be convenient at very short range, and that’s not as useful as it could be. How can this feature be upgraded, with just one secret move?
It’s strange but searingly effective. It’s a hack few have heard about. But it’s true, nonetheless. By holding that fob against the chin and pressing again, it works more effectively. According to radio engineers, the angle makes the human head into an antenna. Crazy, but true!
A stinky car is no way to pick up girls for a date. And it’s no way to live, for a civilized human! Many people struggle to keep their vehicles fresh for one reason or another. Is there an easy method to minimize unwanted, lingering scents?
Yes, indeed there is. Simply take a dryer sheet from the cleaning closet, and place one under each seat in the car. This installation will neutralize odors, just like in the laundry process. Guests will no longer plug their noses. Magic sheets, these are!
Trash Can DIY
Candy addicts know this problem well. After a snack on the go, where should that pesky wrapper really go? Right on the floor seems to be a popular choice. But those can accumulate, and quick! Is there another way to stay neat near the seat?
A mini wastebasket can be accomplished by a common household object. An ordinary cereal container is an ideal vessel to hide all the evidence of a sugar habit. Place a plastic bag inside, and open and close as needed. Tidy car: Mission, accomplished!
Penny Tire Check
The question of when to invest in a new set of tires is a tricky one. It never hurts to get four fresh ones, but not everyone had the immediate budget to do so. How can a driver know when it’s truly time? Enter, the penny test!
The condition can generally be determined by the deepness of the tread. As the rule goes: The deeper, the better. A penny can actually help with this test. Lower Lincoln’s head into the tire, and see if the rubber still covers his forehead. If yes, rest easy. If not, it’s necessary to upgrade ASAP!
Noodles for Cushion
Swimmers have all kinds of toys for fun in the sun. Most are floating and squishy, and that is the way of the pool. Observers probably think they are intended for one use. But noodles have many, it turns out. There is a car-related purpose for them, in fact!
It’s time to destroy one, for a good cause. To save money on unwanted repairs, cut the noodle in half and glue it to the wall. It should be placed in the spot where the door generally hits that surface. And like magic, there’s a super functional cushion!
Seat Pizza Warmer
Pizza delivery is more popular than ever. But sometimes, it’s cheaper or more convenient to just pick up personally. The only problem? Professional pizza guys have a special sleeve to keep the food warm. What can a regular driver do to make sure everything is gooey for longer?
Actually, there is a way to keep things oven-fresh. At least in newer models, seats come with built-in warmers. Turn up the passenger side settings, and get ready to present a piping hot surprise. Family waiting at home will never be disappointed!
Vinegar for Ice on the Windshield
Icy windshields are a constant problem in the north of the country. Most people deal with it with metal scrapers, but that’s not the only way to remove the crystals. Believe it or not, there is a powerful tool against frost right in the kitchen cabinet. And everyone has it already!
The first step is to mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz it all over that frozen windshield, and wait one minute. This will allow the ice to dissolve, right in the middle of wintertime. Now, the cleanup is quick — no elbow grease required!
Unfreezing the Keyhole
Jack Frost strikes again: Winter has its challenges, despite its charm. With snow comes ice, and with ice comes car trouble. The windshield wipers and mirrors freeze over easily, but that’s not the worst possibility. Shockingly, the keyhole itself can freeze! What’s the best solution?
Some hand sanitizer can actually help a lot. What to do? Simply squirt it into the lock hole, and let the solution work its magic. The alcohol in the formula heats up the ice. That can speed up the process, instead of waiting for a natural melt!
Clean Sticker Removal
Stickers can be a nice touch when they added by choice. Some people add bumper stickers with cheeky messages or sports logos. But like many new items, cars come with labels that no one wants to keep forever. What is the best way to remove them, without leaving behind a glue mess?
The real answer is targeted heat. A hairdryer will work wonders, as the delivery agent. Stubborn stickers will be no match for this device, easily melting away the bond. Soon enough, all will be gone without a trace!
Nail Polish for Scratches
With so many cars zooming around the parking lots, there is a lot of cosmetic risk. Scratches are probably unavoidable, in the long run. But when they happen, it’s so disappointing! A perfect shiny car, and a tiny imperfection. What could be more annoying, especially for perfectionists?
No matter how careful a driver may be, no one can control others on the road. When a small scrape occurs, just break out the nail polish for a decent quick fix. These days, it comes in every shade of every color!
Blocking Dashboard Moisture
Condensation on the dash? There’s a solution for that. Foggy windows can affect clarity on the road, and no one prefers that. Plus, it’s annoying! There’s no reason to continue in confusion. Solving this problem is easy as pie. Or maybe better said, easy as rice!
Take a simple cloth bag filled with rice, and place it right on the dashboard. Even a teeshirt or sock will do, in a pinch. Its presence will mean that excess moisture in the air has somewhere to go. Right into the rice, in fact!
Get Even More Gas
Most people assume that the gas reader is accurate when they fill up at the local station. But there is more to the story than it would seem. All the space might be filled up, but is it only with product? As it turns out, there might be some air in the mix. No need to make so many trips, but a technique adjustment is needed!
Slowing down the rate at which gas is pumped means that less air is let inside during the process. Hold the pump at half pressure instead of squeezing it hard. The answer may take some patience. But it’s worth it in dollars and cents!
Avoiding the Back Wall
Not every garage is luxury size. And sometimes, a big SUV may not fit perfectly into the space at home. For this reason, many people have found themselves backed up a little too far, a little too quickly. Hitting the wall could be an inevitability, without planning!
Even minor contact with a surface in the garage can lead to noticeable scratches and damage over time. Pro tip: A tennis ball hung on a string is a good stopper. Dangled in front of the driver, or behind, it’s easy to know when things have gone too far. This mild tap on the window is the ideal warning!
Hidden Towel Holder
Fact: People don’t plan ahead to have trusty paper towels nearby. It might not seem like a necessity now, by any means. But it always seems to be at the worst moments! There’s no reason to be unprepared for a spill on the road. Installing a secret stash in the car is a great move!
Just lift up the trunk to see the perfect place for installation. Attach a roll to the inside of the hatch with metal wire or bungee cord. It’s easy to slide on refills, as time goes by. Rolling around and getting lost or smushed is now old news!
Cup Holder Protection
Cup holders were not installed in the design of the very first car. But with a culture of driving freedom, manufacturers realized that people wanted to sip as they sightsee. Coffee, soda, or even a healthy sip of water require a place to secure the cup. Drive-throughs would not be as popular without them!
Vacuuming the collecting dust all the time is a headache, though. To avoid so much cleanup, place paper muffin cups in the holders. They will catch debris, and can easily be replaced. No muss, no fuss!
Foggy Headlight Fix
With risk and danger, it’s time to take action. Foggy headlights are no cosmetic issue. They really can impact the quality of the lights at night, which is not the time for dim. What can a driver on a budget do to mitigate this issue?
Believe it or not, there is something right in every home that can do the trick quick. Just spread toothpaste all over the headlight. Let it sit for a minute, then rub the fog away. It costs 30 dollars to have a professional do the same thing!
New Phone Holder
New cars have all the bells and whistles, sure. But old ones have vintage charm! For an upgrade to modern status, a few installations should be at the top of the list. Many people don’t have a smartphone holder yet. But understandably, they still don’t want to spend on a fancy contraption. Why not try the DIY way?
Try slipping a rubber band through the air conditioning vent. Stretch it out, and insert a phone. Stretch it again to remove it, easy as can be. A secure holder has been created for hands-free fun!
Discover the Secret Lock
In the old days. everything was manual. But today, with self-driving cars hitting the market, the normal cars are at least equipped with electric locks. What happens when this fails? There is still a secret manual lock, but the location is not obvious!
It’s time to take a good look at the car, in a brand new way. Check the door handle for the secret location: Right on the edge, there should be a small plastic piece. Remove it, and voila — the manual lock is right there. Emergencies, no problem!
Extra Freeze Protection
Windshield wipers and mirrors have a purpose, but they won’t help drivers if they are frozen. This can happen, believe it or not! Worse, when the most fragile parts of a car freeze, they can get damaged over time. Who wants that unnecessary expense?
The solution is simpler than people may think. To protect the wipers, just add socks. For the mirror, try a nylon bag. Sounds odd? Perhaps. But the logic is clear: Creating a barrier is necessary to stop outside ice from coating things. Removal is simple and quick!
Beating the Summer Sizzle
Sitting in a hellfire-hot car in July is no picnic. It’s not safe to leave kids or dogs inside, and it’s usually illegal. But it’s awful to come back to the parking lot, even for a single driver. Maybe there is something that can be done for an abandoned car under the sun?
No more unpleasant situations, please. Open and close the driver’s door over and over with the passenger window open. The hot air will be forced out quickly by this manual fan system. Summer is no match for the technique!
Locating the Gas Tank
The mystery has been going on for a long, long time. Where is the gas tank? Since it can be located on the left or right side of the car, borrowing a friend’s means that an error can be made pulling up to the gas station. A driver won’t know ahead of time without a deliberate look, will they?
Not so fast: On the gas gauge, there is a little arrow next to the pump icon. It’s likely that few notice it at all, but that is to their detriment. The secret is, this arrow indicates the gas flap side. Who knew, right?
Minimizing Wear and Tear
Speeding may not be the letter of the law, but it sure can be tempting from time to time. When in rush. the limit may look like a suggestion. But besides the ticket waiting for speed demons, there is another reason to follow the law. What does this rule-breaking actually do to the car, in terms of wear?
It is not well known, but stoplights are designed for multiple purposes. If speed limits are followed, they allow drivers to see green lights more often. Obviously, ignoring them means that more brake usage will be necessary. Avoid the friction over the long run, please!
Conquering the Parking Lot
Big parking lots are supposed to be a place for one and all. With so many spots neatly laid out, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a temporary home. And indeed, it usually isn’t. The real problem tends to be on the way out. Where in the world is that car, hours later?
It’s embarrassing, but it happens. Next time, try something different. Take a picture of the surroundings as soon as it’s time to walk away. Find something noticeable — a landmark, of sorts. Just make sure it’s not another car. Those do drive away, of course!
Keeping Things Cool
Imagining the old days before air conditioning is hard to do. How did people survive, in the hot, hot, heat? Occasionally, modern drivers are forced to learn the hard way. When the AC takes a while to start up, is there anything that can be done to alleviate the stress?
Many people roll down all four windows to let in the air. But that’s a mistake! Next time, only roll down the two front windows. The effect will be a bit of breathing room plus an area for air to circulate, and not immediately escape. The best of both worlds, indeed!
Interior Clean Up
Car washes offer a good scrub and wax for the outside, a beloved service with a smile. It’s a nice touch-up, from time to time. But what about the inside of the car? The interior deserves to shine, in its own way. That’s where the most time is spent after all!
One easy method to keep the interior clean is to use a coffee filter. People are often surprised by how efficient the material is to remove particles. Yes, the best tool is sitting right in the kitchen. It’s time to give it a try. Got a spare?
Keyring Organizer Trick
Jangly keys keep getting heavier, the more that is added to the ring. With a key chain, a bottle opener, keys for multiple entrances to a house, a car, and more, it’s hard to keep pulling that metal apart! Is there a good way to organize things?
Yes, there certainly is a better way. An aide will go a long way, in this case. A common office object is all that is needed here: Use a stapler to separate the ring, and slide more pieces in with ease. Save those sensitive fingers in the process!
Quick Garage Opener
The garage remote is supposed to make parking easier at home. But if it’s hard to locate at the crucial moment, it doesn’t help. The question needs to be answered: How can this device be right where it needs to be, each and every time?
There is one way for a guarantee: Why not literally install it, right above the steering wheel? Just attach the opener to the ceiling or mirror inside the car. On the driver’s side, it only makes sense to have direct access. Now, it’s hard to rummage around and lose it!
Solar Powered Melt
There is a lot of power in the sun that most drivers ignore. They might be aware of it when it gets in their eyes, but once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. There is a way to use it to prevent windshield ice, a little. Why not use it if it’s already radiating through the universe?
It’s time to the sun do all the heavy lifting. Next time a parking spot is chosen, make sure it is facing east. This way, the windshield will be met by the morning sun. If the frost isn’t too severe, the defrost will be automatic!