You and your car are in this for the long haul. Make sure both of you are at your best with these 21 car life hacks.
The relationship you have with your car is an important one. Usually, we’re on good terms with our vehicles: it gets us places quickly, and plays music so we don’t lose our minds in traffic. But sometimes it can seem like a love-hate relationship, especially when the car decides to break or have expensive issues.
But, certain issues with your car you can FIX YOURSELF! There are even things you can do to your car to make it even better. Check out these awesome 21 car life hacks that will make both you and your car happy.
1. Toothpaste can clean foggy headlights: As we drive, our headlights get full of smudges, dirt, and unlucky insects. It is going to take some major arm power, but toothpaste can make your cloudy headlights look shiny and new. The whitening kind works the best, simply smear it all over your headlights and scrub in small circular motions with paper towels or napkins until the toothpaste is gone. You will be amazed at the results.
2. Use a shoe as a giant cup holder: Most cars come with cupholders, but it is rare to find one that will fit every size cup. Nothing is worse than getting an epic XXL Slurpee from 7-Eleven only to have it spill everywhere because it almost fit in the cupholder.
Avoid the tragedy by using an old (but clean) shoe instead. The rubber on the bottom of the shoe will prevent your drink from sliding and spilling all over your car.
3. Add keys to a ring with a stapler remover: Stop ripping apart your nails trying to fit another key on your keyring. Instead, use the sharp pinchers of a staple remover to easily add or remove a key or keychain.
4. Keep food hot with the seat warmer: I have a delicious pizza in mind for this hack. Before you leave to pick up food, turn on your seat warmers. By the time it’s time to drive home the seat will be nice and toasty, keeping your food hot in the process.
5. Use a plastic cereal container as a trash can: Sometimes the backseat floor of our cars can become an unofficial trash can. This is not only really gross, it gives a horrible impression to anybody who rides in your car with you.
Get a plastic cereal container and line it with a plastic bag from the grocery store. The lid allows the container to bump around your car without spilling anything. Your car will be tidier, and people will be more comfortable driving with you.
6. Get shade anywhere with a tinted plastic sheet: Tinted windows are expensive, and a bit unnecessary unless you are head of the Secret Service. But sometimes when we are driving we need a little relief from the sun, that’s where tinted plastic sheets come in handy.
Like removable tinted windows, you can slap a tinted plastic sheet over any area where the sun is obnoxiously shining in your car. When the sun isn’t blinding you anymore you can remove it and slip it between your seats until next time.
7. Defrost your windshield by parking to the east: This hack takes a bit of effort, you may have to use your compassing skills.
In the evening, make sure your car is parked facing the east before you leave it for the night. Then, when the sun rises the next morning, it will shine on your car’s windshield, effectively melting any frost or thin ice that may have accumulated over night.
8. Use a Plunger to fix dents: Who knew you could go to your bathroom instead of a mechanic to fix a dent in your car. As if your plunger wasn’t important enough.
To do this: Put any household plunger over the center of a small dent or ding in your car to pop it out easily.
9. De-ice keyholes with hand sanitizer: This hack is great because many of use already carry hand sanitizers in our car, purse, or jacket pocket. If not, it’s a good habit to pick up anyway.
Squirt some hand sanitizer over a frosty keyhole to melt the ice faster. The alcohol will melt the ice quickly, saving you the hassle in the morning. Hint to make this easier… buy one now and put it in the glove box!
10. Keep your trunk organized with laundry baskets: Our trunks can become a dumping zone for bottles of car fluid, reusable bags, and any other random thing we might throw back there. This can leave our trunks looking kind of like a snow globe when you shake it.
Tame the mess with a few inexpensive laundry baskets, your stuff won’t fly around and your trunk won’t have that “shaken up” look.
11. Forgot where you parked? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that: Never spend what seems like hours looking for your car again. Car Finder AR is an app that keeps track of your parking spot. There is even a feature to share your location with friends so they know where you are. You can even just use your cell phone and take a picture of the surroundings. This is great if it is a big parking lot like the airport or a mall!
12. Use a tennis ball as a distance gauge: This trick is an oldie but a goodie. Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling of your garage or covered parking spot so you always know when to stop.
13. Get an instant makeover with seat covers: Want some leather seats but can’t afford them? Wish you had a funky printed fabric in your car? No need to spend hundreds of dollars, all you need are some car seat covers! They come in all sorts of sizes, so finding a set that fits your car shouldn’t be difficult.
14. Use Newspaper to rub off annoying stickers: If you’re re-thinking the too-many-bumper-sticker look on the back of your car, don’t go out and buy expensive sticker remover. All you need is that Sunday newspaper you never read and some water.
Wet the newspaper and let it sit on top of the sticker. The gummy mess will start to dissolve, from there it will be easy to scrape off the rest with something like a credit card.
15. Temporarily stop a window crack with clear nail polish: We all rue the day when we hear that little *dink* sound when we’re driving on the highway. Cracks in the windshield can end up costing thousands of dollars if the damage is big enough.
Stop the crack from growing for a short time with clear nail polish. Pour a bit in the center of the crack until it is filled. It won’t eliminate the problem, but it will give you some time to figure out how you are going to permanently fix it.
16. Clean the inside of your car with olive oil: Not just useful in the kitchen, olive oil is also a great way to give your car’s interior a polish.
Dab some oil on a rag or paper towel and wipe it on the inside of your car. The oil will grab all of the dust and gunk, plus your car will have a fresh new look.
17. Use a pool noodle to prevent bumping your car door on the garage: Cut a pool noodle in half and stick the flat side on the wall in your garage at the height of your car door. That way when you swing it open you won’t dent the side of your car.
18. Make a phone holder with a rubber band: This hack is great especially if you need to see the GPS map on your phone. Loop a rubber band through the air vent in your car. Then all you have to do is slip your phone through and voilà! The rubber band will hold your phone in place.
19. Cool your car in seconds: You know how your car feels like the middle of the desert after its been sitting in a hot parking lot for an hour or so? Open one backseat window and then open and close your driver’s side door a few times to blast out hot air in a car. Avoid the potential heatstroke and cool your car down before you get into it. Even better if you have a sunroof. Heat rises!
20. Get directions without a GPS: Go to a local fast food delivery restaurant to ask directions if you are lost in a new town and need directions. The drivers most likely know the area like the back of their hand. Never again get less-than-helpful directions from that random person or gas station attendant.
21. Use the floormats in your car as traction: It definitely blows when our car gets stuck in mud or snow. Before you call an expensive tow truck, try using the floormats in your car as traction to get your car moving again.
You and your car are kind of in a long-term relationship. Keep the romance alive and show it some love with these car life hacks.