19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out
Your trusty car has taken you on a lot of journeys, so check out these smart hacks that will make your car owner experience even better. From cleaning DIYs to smart storage ideas, these tips are straight-up GENIUS.
— Additional reporting by Kaitlin Goldin and Emily Co
Use toothpaste to shine your headlights.
This surprising household staple is very effective in shining headlights. Simply buff the headlight with toothpaste smeared on a soft cloth, and it'll look brand new in minutes!
Cool a car down instantly without turning on the A/C.
Your car can feel like an oven on a hot day, particularly if you don't park in shaded areas. There's a trick to cooling it down quickly. Roll down one window and open and close the door on the other side five to six times. The hot air escapes through the door you're opening and closing, while the cool air enters through the window on the other side. What's great about this trick is that you're not wasting any gas by blasting the A/C.
Use a rubber band to hold your phone up.
Thread a rubber band through your A/C vent for a makeshift phone holder.
Put your car key fob on your chin to increase range.
If you can't find your car, place the car key fob on your chin to increase the range of the car-retrieval signal. The fluids in your head turn it into an adequate conductor.
Paint your windshield cracks with nail polish.
To slow the cracking of your windshield while you're taking it to the repair shop, paint over the crack with clear nail polish on both sides of the glass.
Look at the gas gauge to figure out which side to fill your gas.
If you're driving a new car or a rental, there is usually an arrow on the gas gauge that will point to the side of the car the gas tank is on.
Take a photo of where you parked.
You know you need to do this. Instead of trying to remember your parking spot, make it easier on yourself by taking a photo of where you parked your car with your cell phone.
Hang a shoe organizer on the back of a seat.
Store your stuff in a shoe organizer ($25) — great for road trips.
Remove dents with a plunger.
Use a plunger to suck out dents. It's best for medium-size dents.
Buff your car with conditioner.
Wax your car with hair conditioner to give it an extra shine and prevent water streaks from forming.
Clean the interior with a coffee filter.
Dab the coffee filter with a little bit of olive oil to clean your car with. If you don't want to use the oils, feel free to go without it or use another cleaning solution instead. The filters are much better as cleaners than dryer sheets, which are often recommended as well. That's because dryer sheets can contain a lot of chemicals.
Keep food hot with a seat warmer.
Taking home some pizza? Place it on a seat with the seat warmer on, so it won't cool off on your way home.
Use the tennis ball trick to avoid banging your car against the garage wall.
Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling so you'll know exactly when to stop backing up.
Melt the ice on your car with a vinegar-water mixture.
Spray your car with a 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water mixture to melt ice instead of scraping it off.
De-ice a frozen lock.
Add hand sanitizer to your key when trying to get at a frozen car lock. The alcohol on the key will melt the ice.
Unlock a car door with shoelaces.
If you locked yourself out of your car, this YouTube video shows how you can get in with the help of a shoelace.
Open a key ring with a staple remover.
You won't hurt your fingers if you use a staple remover to help you add in more keys to your car key ring.
Store your quarters in a pill bottle.
Upcycle an old pill bottle into a container to store your quarters in.