Little Known Car Hacks Every Driver Should Know

Everyone has car trouble at one point or another. It comes with the territory of being a vehicle owner. Unfortunately, repair, luxury, space, or just getting to a location can be an expensive or timely endeavor. That is why we put together a list that may make drivers’ lives a little easier. While some are bizarre, these DIY tricks may help some people out. We have scoured the internet and our own experiences to bring everyone some solutions from creating more storage, finding parking, and getting ready in winter. Cruising around a vehicle should not be a hassle; we have enough of those already. So without further ado, here are clever car hacks that every driver needs to know. Please enjoy.

Use A Plunger To Remove Car Dents

This one is pretty straightforward. If anyone wants to remove a dent with tools at home, grab some hot water and a plunger. Drizzle the water on the dented area to soften the material. Next, everyone will hold the plunger and place it over the dented surface.  Then pull, and hopefully, the dent will come out. If not, make sure the plunger has some suction and try again. If the dent is in the bumper, people can take it off push the dent out from the inside.

A Shoe Makes A Good Cup Holder

A car can never have too many cup holders, and if there are not at least 30, the manufacturers are doing something wrong. We have a solution if anyone is a weirdo who does not have fifty cup holders and needs a spare one.  Use a shoe. That’s right, a shoe. The drivers can stick their cup in it and squeeze the shoe between their seats. Do not do this if being shoeless impedes driving or, better yet, get a car with many cup holders.

Drivers Can Use Socks On Their Wipers To Prevent Freezing

We cannot tell everyone how often we found our windshield wipers frozen to our car’s windshield on cold days. If only we knew this trick past winters. Placing women’s stockings or socks on the wipers should keep them warm enough to prevent ice buildup. Just make sure that the clothing is tight. The trick will also prevent dirt from getting underneath the wipers, saving drivers the hassle of scratches on the windshield. Maybe Walmart should move its stands of socks into the automotive section.

Use Toothpaste To help Clean Windows

We’ve used this trick before. A simple way to clean foggy and dirty headlights is toothpaste. Grab a couple of tubes and brush over the headlights until the paste covers it completely. Let the toothpaste dry. After returning, use warm water to help get the toothpaste off. The driver’s headlights now should be clear and clean as a result. Whoever came up with this method had to be brilliant or crazy. In any case, it is much better to drive at night when we can see where we are going.

Pick Up Dust With Slime

Okay, so this next one is a little weird but effective. Slime is always an option if anyone needs to pick up excess dust or debris cluttering their car. Dust sticks to slime, but the slime typically does not leave any residue.  So, feel free to move it across anything, including the vehicle’s vents. People can buy slime at stores, or they can make it themselves. Tons of videos show how to do this. Just be sure to use cleaning recipes.  No one wants a sticky mess.  

Use Bungee Cords To Make A Paper Towel Rack

Paper towels are a lifesaver. It is always good to have a couple on hand if we need to dry something quickly or wipe something off. The problem when driving, people might not have any paper towels if a beverage gets spilled in the car.  We found a fix; use some bungee cord and make a paper towel rack inside the trunk. By having it tied rather than flopping around, people can easily access it, and it saves room for other things. We can dig that.

Laundry Baskets Make the Perfect Organizer/ Storage Container

Here is a trick we learned to organize the car better and save trips going back and forth after returning home from grocery shopping—two words: laundry baskets. By putting baskets in the vehicle, anyone can quickly place their bags in one place. There is no need to have groceries flying all over the trunk every time someone shops, and this trick will hold them together. Best of all, people can get all their groceries into the house in one trip by carrying the basket. These baskets are just not good for groceries, use them for small luggage or pack food if anyone likes camping. Heck, some companies make baskets specifically for cars, but some cheap ones from the laundry room will do just fine.

Dryer Sheets Make A Good Air Freshener Alternative  

Dryer sheets make an excellent air freshener replacement when removing unwanted odors. To do this, all someone has to do is clean their car out and grab some sheets and place them around the vehicle. It is just that simple. Another way to keep it smelling fresh is to put a dryer sheet under each seat. The fresh smell may last up to months, and people can easily replace them by keeping spares in the vehicle. We also heard that some people even put the sheets in their AC Vents.

The Tennis Ball Technique Will Prevent Back Wall Collisions

We will admit that parking our car in the garage can be difficult. That may be because our garage is so full of junk that it is impossible to get in there. But, even when it is clean, sometimes, it is hard to estimate how close we are to the back wall when pulling into the parking space. Well, someone has found a unique technique that we found pretty helpful. Two words: Tennis Balls. By tying a tennis ball to a rope and hanging it from the ceiling, the driver can use this as a marker where their windshield should be when they pull in. This technique will avoid any future collisions into the wall if the driver pays attention.

Get More Space With Ceiling Nets

There is never enough space in a car. Believe us; we had stacks and stacks of things piling up. A fix we came across was ceiling netting. Simply use the net along with some bungee cords and fasten it to the car’s hand-holders. If anyone does not want to make it themselves, plenty of retailers will sell pre-made nets. However, they do not hold a lot; still more space is better from our perspective. Plus, it keeps things from getting cluttered in the back—a win in our book.

Remove Stickers On Cars With A Hairdryer

Getting stickers off cars is annoying. If anyone covers their bumper with them and sells the vehicle used without taking them off, they are a monster. But we have a way to get rid of stickers that will not leave scratches or residue. All anyone has to do is grab a hairdryer. The sticker should come off more seamlessly by using applied heat because it loosens the adhesive. If someone is still having trouble, stores sell stickers and adhesive remover that should do the trick along with the heat.  

Keep Cup Holders Clean With Cupcake Liner

We have a lot of cup holders and try to clean them as much as possible, and it is hard when we have to vacuum out fifty every week. We learned that cupcake liners are an excellent way to catch material that ends up in the cup holder. All we have to do is toss out the liner and put in a new one when it gets dirty. It saves so much time. Plus, it is easy to buy cupcake liners in bulk—no more dirty cup holders for us. 

There Is A Metal Key Inside The Fob

Most modern and electric cars come with a battery-powered key fob. Manufacturers typically include a traditional metal key inside the fob if the batteries are dead, and users will have to find the button to let it out. So, don’t panic. Once the user finds the key, they can automatically unlock the vehicle. However, there is one caveat: some doors have plastic pieces covering the manual lock. Users can usually feel underneath the door handle to take part off, and they should have access to the lock.

Use Hand Sanitizer To Melt Ice

Everyone seems to be carrying around hand sanitizers these days. Well, some good things besides hygiene can come of it. If the keyhole on their car is packed with ice, the alcohol in the hand sanitizer will melt it, and drivers can hop in. All someone has to do is squeeze the sanitizer into the keyhole; it should go deep in it. That is all. We imagine it might take a minute or two before the ice clears. Obstacles like frozen keyholes are one of the reasons we prefer opening our car remotely.   

Use The Penny Test To Check Tire Treads Deepness

If anyone has a penny lying around, there is a simple way to check to see if the treads on Fr tires are deep enough. Simply take the penny and put it in the tread grove. Make sure Abraham Lincoln’s head is facing downward. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, it might be time to look for tire replacements because the treads have worn out. On the flip side, if the tire covers Lincoln’s head, they still have tread. Even if someone passes the penny test, we should note that the tires still may be worn, just not as visible yet.

Use Tinted Paper To Block Out Sun

We love tinted windows because they basically work like sunglasses when it is super bright out. However, when it comes to the windshield, completely tinting it is not street legal in many states, which makes driving during the sunrise and sunset annoying. True, we could always wear sunglasses, but even those can obstruct vision. One workaround we found was using tinted plastic sheets to cover bothersome areas. Pilots often employ this trick. If it is good enough for airplanes, it should be safe enough for cars.

Pool Noodles Make Good Bumpers

We bet everyone has seen bollard poles in parking lots. Sometimes they have foam. The idea is cushioning a car if someone accidentally hits it. Well, maybe it is time to build something similar in a more localized area. The garage will do nicely.  If someone’s garage is small, the vehicle can be pretty cramped. We often have to make sure our door does not hit anything as we squeeze out. Thanks to the internet, someone has come up with a way to worry less. By chopping a pool noodle in half and connecting it to the sides of the garage, the noodle will work as a bumper to soften the impact of the car’s doors.  

Make A Temporary Fan Belt Out Of Stockings

Sometimes cars stop working. For instance, a person might be driving at an average speed but begins to slow down until they cease entirely. There could be many reasons, including a damaged fan belt. If a tow truck is too expensive, we might have a solution to bring the car home. If anyone has stockings lying around their vehicle, now is the time to use them. Remove the belt and replace it with the clothing by attaching it around the engine pulley. To make ourselves clear, this will be a temporary fix.

Cover Up Car Scratches With Nail Polish

If anyone’s car is scratched up, nail polish is a perfect way to help cover them up. While drives can still see some indent from a scratch, the nail polish makes it incredibly less noticeable. Also, this should go without saying, but drivers should buy nail polish that matches the color of their car. We will admit this is a temporary fix. If drivers want to remove the scratches altogether, we recommend repainting the vehicle. But hey, maybe drivers who clip a lot in parking lots should keep a variety so the damage is less obvious and they can get away with it. That is a joke, by the way, please don’t do that.

Drivers Should Park Their Car Toward The Sunrise On Cold Days

Here is a clever idea if anyone keeps waking up to a frozen windshield. Park the car east so that the direction will allow the ice to melt faster when the sun rises. Hey, maybe someone can sleep in a little more instead of getting up early with the ice scraper. Unfortunately, if drivers have to be at work before the sunrises, we are afraid they are out of luck on this one. Everyone in this situation better whip out their coats and turn on the defroster; it will be a very long morning.

Getting Pictures Takes the Stress Out Of Finding A Car In A Parking Lot

In a rush, we often forget where we parked our cars. A trick we like to use is getting a picture of a nearby marker or sign with our phone so we know where we are going when we come back. It even works for issues outside a parking lot, such as neighborhood curb. People can get photos of streets or landmarks on the way to their destination so they can easily navigate when they return. Heck, some phones have the option to get location via address. Typically people can click the photo and swipe up to see the information, including location details.

Shoe Organizers Make For Perfect Car Shelves

This trick is pretty clever if anyone has any spare shoe organizers lying around (let’s be honest, who doesn’t), clip them to the back of the car using bungee cords to fasten them. These make for perfect shelves in a vehicle. All anyone has to do is stuff things in their pockets, and they are good to go. Better yet, if drivers keep things organized, they can access items incredibly fast without searching around. These shoe organizers would come in handy for road trips.

Vinegar And Rubbing Alcohol Can Melt Ice

Waking up to a frozen windshield is the worst, especially if anyone has to be somewhere fast. Sure, ice scrapers are effective, but they take a lot of energy, and standing in the cold is not the most pleasant experience out there. One way to save time is using vinegar and water in a spray bottle. The vinegar has acetic acid, which lowers the melting spot of H20. Also, room temperature water or cold water should be used. Hot water hurts windshields. People can also use a bottle filled with 1 part water and two parts rubbing alcohol. This solution should loosen the ice.

For Entertainment, Use Tape Or A Harness To Attach A Tablet To The Backseat  

We bet at some point everyone has seen a TV in a car, whether it is hanging from the ceiling or attached to the back of the seat. We found a workaround if anyone wants that luxury but does not have the money to install it or buy a new car. With some tape or a harness, anyone can have a screen their car. They just apply to the back of seat and put a tablet in it. This method will be perfect for those out there that want to distract their kids on a road trip.

There Is An Arrow That Points Toward The Gas Tank’s Location

This one blew our minds. Sometimes locating the gas tank is a hassle, especially if the driver just bought or is renting a car. Well, next to the gas gauge, there should be an arrow or triangle that specifies the gas tank’s position. For example, if the arrow’s direction is left, the gas tank is on the left side, and if it points right, the tank is on the right side. This trick would have saved us a lot of time at gas stations. Now they need to build an arrow that points to cheap gas. 

Use Olive Oil To Clean The Dash

We do not think it is out of the ordinary for a car dash to get messy or filthy after a while, especially if the driver owns a used car from over twenty years ago. But we have a way to help someone who might want to get it a bit cleaner. Our solution is not snake oil; it is olive oil. All someone has to do is grab a coffee filter and pour a little olive oil on it, and the person can then rub it across the dash of the vehicle to return its sheen look.

Use Water Softener Salt Bags During The Winter

Drivers who have more weight in their car during the winter will keep more control on icy roads. To achieve this friction, any individual can buy bags of water softener salt and place them near the end of their trunk. The bulk of these bags will help with weight distribution and might assist the car to hold onto the road. Drivers can even use bungee cords to keep the bags in place. However, do not use this technique if the vehicle has front-wheel drive. The physics will be off.

Someone’s Head Can Extend A Fob’s Wireless Range

Alright, this is strange. If someone is out of range from their car in the parking lot and are pressing the car fob and hearing nothing, one solution would be to follow the step we posted earlier and get a picture before leaving; pay attention.  But seriously, users should use the metal key part of the fob and press their chin against it. While holding in place, they should press the unlock button. Essentially, the user extends the fob’s wireless range when performing this action. A silicon Valley radio engineer Tim Pozar says the trick basically transforms the user’s head into an antenna by using the fluids in it as a conductor.

Sticky Car Pads Or Velcro Will Come In Handy

A sticky car pad or Velcro can be handy. Imagine someone using a phone as a GPS or needing a pen to write something down; it is right there. This invention will make sure items do not fall in any unwanted places. Sticky pads and Velcro are something everyone has to try for themselves, and we do not think they will be disappointed. Also, thinking outside of the box will allow people to do many incredible things. For instance, we would like to put a dry erase board on ours for essential reminders.

A Dry Food Container Makes An Excellent Trash Can

A dry food or cereal storage container makes for an excellent portable trash can for a car. All someone has to do is put a small trash bag or grocery sack inside, and it is ready to go. It also does not take up much leg space. We can’t tell everyone how trashy our car has gotten due to the accumulation of receipts and candy wrappers. Having a small container will keep all the garbage in one place, and with the big lid, there is no chance of it flying around everywhere. Someone could also easily use bungee cords to keep the container itself in place.

Roll Down Windows To Cool Off

If, by chance, anyone’s AC is not working, rolling down the car’s windows is a worthy substitute. However, there is a trick to doing this correctly. Drivers should exclusively put down the two front windows by the driver’s side and front passenger seat. The reason to only roll down these two windows is it creates a flow that allows cool air in and hot air to exit. Also, if anyone’s car lets them remotely roll down their windows, drivers can access the windows as they approach their vehicle and give it more time to cool down.

Use A Staple Remover To Open Keyring

Whoever invented keyrings made them so they would be hard to come apart. Unfortunately, the design is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it keeps our keys tightly together; on the other, it is hard to get a key on/off the ring. Often we have to get between the metal and pinch it up, which is never comfortable, but leave it to the internet to find another method. A staple remover can easily pry open a keyring, and anyone can attach or take off their keys in seconds.

Garage Door Openers Save The Hassle Of Getting Out Of The Car

It can be frustrating to exit a vehicle and open the garage. However, a lot of places make garage door openers. These are portable devices that let people access their garage with a button press when it is in range of the garage. We’d love to install it in our car if we had the option. Many companies provide this service, but if anyone is a do-it-your-selfer, there is material out there that describes how to install it. Heck, someone could just clip it to their car visor. No more opening the garage outside for us.

Pump Slower At Gas Stations To Get More Fuel

We typically fill up our gas when we are on the way somewhere. If those reading are like us, we are often in a huge rush. Well, we are telling everyone that they might want to take things a bit slower. Inconvenient, sure, but there is a practical reason. When people pump gas, a lot of air gets into the tank. By holding the pump handle halfway, drivers will get more gas. For us, that means fewer trips, which is always good and will save money in the long run. We think that is worth a little more time at the pump.

Use Carabiners To Hold Items

We’ve talked about baskets, nets, and shoe organizers, but we have another way to save some space. If anyone wants anything less permanent, use carabiners to hang items from the car seats. People can attach them to bags, umbrellas, or whatever they want. If someone needs quick access to a purse, they will have it right behind a seat. The possibilities are endless. Heck, people could use this for a spare grocery sack or if anyone is interested in photography like us, use the carabiners to hold equipment—what an excellent idea.

Keep Windshield Wipers Clean With Microfiber Cloths

It is a good idea to keep windshield wipers clean. Dirt and gunk from the wipers can scratch or muddy up the driver’s windshield. One thing that everyone can do is use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wash them. Also, it might not hurt for everyone to replace them entirely once in a while. Wipers are an excellent tool for terrible weather, and we would hate for anyone to go in those conditions without having a pair of reliable ones. So, keep them spick-and-span.

Use Rice To Absorb Condensation

Rice is an excellent way to absorb liquid, and it is not uncommon for condensation to build up on car windows. Personally, we like our windows to be perfectly clear when we are driving, so we place a bag of rice on the dashboard. We suggest using a cloth bag. This trick might not work if drivers use a bag made from another material. Anyway, this should eliminate all that excess moisture that builds up. Also, dry the bag out every once in a while; it may get really wet.

Use Candle Wax To Keep A Car Smelling Fresh

Let us be honest, cars can literally stink. Sometimes driving a vehicle can attack the senses with a mixture of body odor and trash. However, the worst is when someone gets used to the smell but still invites other passengers. There are plenty of ways to get anyone’s car smelling fresh. One we found is using scented candle wax. Put the wax in an open container or a jar with holes in it and place the item in the cup holder. The wax will melt as the car heats up, discharging a pleasant aroma.

Drive The Speed Limit

Hey, we understand wanting to get to a destination faster. Sometimes speeding on the highway helps out, though going 30 over might be a bit excessive. However, speeding in cities and towns brings its own set of challenges, especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The issue is traffic lights and stops signs. It is tough to go faster when a stoplight is always around a corner. The best option is to drive the speed limit. That is right. If drivers go at an average speed, they can hit most green lights faster, plus it might cut back on road rage.

Clean The Engine Compartment For Better Performance

Something that will save a lot of headaches in the future is frequently cleaning the engine compartment. Soap and water will do just fine. By doing this, people will help mechanics quickly navigate the compartment during an inspection. That sounds good to us. Mechanics can easily see issues without digging through the muck to find them. As a result, people who clean will probably get a better running vehicle instead of taking it in all the time. Plus, they will have a cooler-running motor.

It Is Easy To Make A Phone Stand With Rubber Bands

When someone uses the GPS on their phone, it is probably best not to keep it on their lap. Trust us, people’s eyes will be distracted from the road, and their phone might fall under the seat. A simple solution for this problem might be a phone stand. If someone does not have one and needs something fast, rubber bands are more than enough. Simply loop a rubber band through the air vent, and voilà, they made an adequate way to hold their phone in place. It is clear and easy to see; best yet, it is not under the accelerator.

Use Pool Noodles To Fill In The Gap Between The Car Seats

We love this idea. We can’t tell everyone how many times we dropped things between the car seats. Well, someone out there decided to fill in the gap by the seats with a pool noodle. That is absolutely genius. We wish we could take credit. Our phone falling out by the seat could be a thing of the past. Also, dropping food or snacks would be easier to retrieve versus cleaning the whole car to throw them out. Now we just need pool noodles in different colors to match the interior.

Use Toothpaste To Hide Scruffs

Toothpaste is a miracle substance. Other than teeth, the paste can help get scuffs out of vehicles. All someone has to do is take the toothpaste and scrub it into the scruffs, and once they finish up, they can clean it off. While the scuff might not be gone entirely, it should be way less noticeable. For the car we are working with, that will do just fine. The toothpaste method saves us more time and money than getting our vehicle professionally buffed at a car detailer.  

Use A Rubber Glove To Remove Pet Fur From Seats

We bet many people let their dogs or cats ride with them in the car. As a result, we guarantee there is fur sticking all over the seats. Tape rollers and vacuums will only take someone so far. A trick to removing this unwanted fur is to use a rubber glove. Spread the glove on spots with a lot of hair, and the fibers will turn into clumps. From there, someone can get rid of it a lot easier.

Keep Food Warm With Heated Seats

Riders will often stay warm on chilly days using heated seats. We are here to tell everyone there is another function. We enjoy taking out from time to time only to experience disappointment when we get home and discover the food has gotten cold. Well, that is where the heated seats come in. If someone puts their food on them, it will keep their items relatively warm. Our only caveat is keeping the food from sliding off the seat. If it is something like a pizza box, a seat belt will typically work, or if a rider has an additional passenger, they can hold the food in the place.