There are a lot of car problems that can be solved with a little elbow grease and some ingenuity. Some places charge hundreds of dollars to fix relatively simple problems and people pay out way too much money to fix simple little problems. Here are some car hacks you can use to save yourself some money and make your car experience more enjoyable.
1. Use toothpaste to clean those headlights
This one is really easy but requires a little arm strength. Use some toothpaste and rub it all over the plastic cover over your headlights. Let it sit for a bit then rinse with clean water and dry. This will remove the foggy glaze that covers them. If you want to keep them that way, try using some furniture polish or car wax to keep them clean.
2. Use a shoe for a cup holder
Pretty much all cars come with cup holders but not all cup holders are good. Sometimes you need something a little more secure to hold that 32oz drink than a flimsy piece of plastic or a cup holder that isn’t deep enough to hold it properly. The answer is a shoe! Use a tennis show to put your drink in. since the opening is adjustable it fits nearly every cup. It’s also deeper than many cup holders and the shoe itself is bottom-heavy to help prevent spills. This is also a great trick when you’re in the great outdoors and need a cup holder.
3. Use a staple remover to add keys to the key ring
Getting keys onto a king ring can be a real pain in the rear end. If you don’t have nails it can be even worse. New key rings are also really stiff from not being used and some are just huge and cumbersome. Don’t break a nail or hurt yourself anymore! Use a staple remover to open the key ring to put keys on!
4. Use your seat warmer to keep food warm
Not all cars come with seat warmers but the ones that do can be used for a really useful function. When you pick up food, turn on your seat warmer and put the food on the seat. It won’t keep food piping hot but it’ll definitely help slow the process of cooling so your food stays warmer longer.
5. Use nail polish to fix paint chips and scrapes
Getting your car dinged sucks and it can also be an unreasonably expensive repair for how little damage is actually being fixed. If you don’t want to fork out the dough but still want it at least sort of fixed then you can always try some nail polish. Just head to the local drug store and find the color that matches your car as closely as possible. Then just paint it on. Up close it won’t look all that amazing but it’ll definitely make your car look better from afar.
6. Use a plastic cereal container as a trash can
Those little trash receptacles on the driver and passenger side doors are a joke. You can never fit anything of substance in there and cleaning them out is a pain. Fix both problems at one by picking up a plastic cereal container. If you get one with a big enough hole you can stuff anything in there and you can even put a trash can liner in there so you can empty it out easier. They only cost a couple of bucks and can make your car look less like a dumpster.
7. Use tinted plastic sheets for shade anywhere
A fun little trick that pilots use is to attach plastic sheets to their windshields to avoid glare from the sun. By using that same trick with some plastic sheets like these, you can achieve much the same effect. The sheets stick on your window using static from the windshield so there is no messy stickers or anything to clean up. When you need relief from sunlight to your face and the visor isn’t doing it’s job, you can always try this instead.
8. Mesh bungie net can add extra storage
Where do you toss your coat when you get into the car? There really isn’t a designated coat storage thing in a car anywhere so why not make one yourself? If you pick up a mesh bungie net you can attach them to the ceiling handles on your car. You can then use this space to stash practically anything from clothing accessories to children’s coloring books. That stuff doesn’t need to be on the floor of your car anyway and the nets are surprisingly cheap.
9. Park facing east
This one can be a little tricky but it’s so awesome when you do it. When you park your car, make sure you park facing east. Since the sun rises in the east, it will be radiating its warm goodness all over the windshield of your car long before you need to get in it to go to work. This can dramatically decrease the defrosting time and it may even help you avoid getting back out to scrape it off manually.
10. Use a plunger to fix dents
This oldie is still a goodie. If you don’t feel like paying a mechanic to do essentially this exact same thing you can do it yourself. Do note that this won’t work for heavy damage and only for smaller dents. It’s also worth mentioning that this also works with other things like washers and dryers. It’s really easy to do because all you’re doing is taking a plunger to your car door!
11. Use hand sanitizer to de-ice key holes
The title pretty much says it all. The alcohol in hand sanitizer will melt ice very well and getting a bottle lets you spray it directly into the keyhole for the lock. Many people carry this stuff around anyway and really you should too. It doesn’t just clean your hands in a jiff but it also de-ices keyholes. Two birds, one stone.
12. Boost the range of your remote alarm by holding it against your chin
Yes, this really works. The science behind it is actually quite simple. Your head is filled with fluids and fluids make for a good conductor. So when you put your key fob against your skull you turn your head into an antenna that can extend the range of your alarm. It won’t be very far and you won’t get more than 20ft of range out of it but it does actually work.
13. Rub out scuffs with toothpaste
Not only can tooth paste rub out the fog of your headlights but it can also remove scuffs from your car. It’s simple to do. Just rub the tooth paste where the scuffs are and wipe clean. Your car should be monumentally less scuffed or if the scuff wasn’t bad, possibly gone altogether!
14. Use a laundry basket to organize your things
The trunk of your car is probably a mess. I know mine is. If you pick up a laundry basket you have a place to put all of your stuff so it does’t go flying everywhere. You can pick up one of these at the dollar store for a couple of bucks and you don’t have to worry about stuff being loose and rolling around your trunk!
15. Create a backseat organizer with a shoe organizer
Our last one is a well known car hack but it’s still amazingly effective. If you pick up a shoe organizer and some shoe ties, you can fasten the shoe organizer to the back of your front seats. You can then put stuff like maps, coloring supplies for the kids, and even stuff like gloves.
There are a lot of fun things you can do to make your car more enjoyable. With these little car hacks you can save time, money, and make your car cleaner. It’ll even help keep you safer with those brighter headlights!
Featured photo credit: Deviant Art via th01.deviantart.net