Car hacks allow you to take control of your car and driving habits and save space and travel smart.
If you’re reading this you probably find you are spending most of your spare time driving. Whether commuting to work, doing the school run, or just driving for pleasure, most of your time goes on your car.
Like with anything though, even if you love it there will be the small things that annoy you, and that is were these amazing car hacks come in!
Hacks are clever way to solve a problem or simplify something complicated. They can make use of seemingly useless items, or add a new use to helpful tools. Car hacks can help you get the most out of your vehicle and if you give them a try you will never want to go back.
1. Cool down your hot car in minutes with this quick trick.
Sometimes when you go for a drive on a hot summer’s day it feels more like you’re stepping into an oven than a car. When this happens you open all the windows, switch on the air-con, and drive in misery until everything cools down. But no more! You can cool your car in a matter of minutes with this simple car hack.
This video from Japan demonstrates how to do it, but it couldn’t be simpler. Unlock your car and wind down the driver’s side window. Now close the door and go to the passenger’s side. Simply open and close this door four or five times.
Opening and closing the door forces the cooler outside air into the car and pushes the heated air out of the open window. Some people are saying their in-car temp dropped 10 degrees just from doing this!
2. The fuel gauge tells you which side your fuel cap is.
You’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve been on the wrong side of the petrol tanks when trying to re-fill. You might be in an unfamiliar car, or maybe you just forgot, but as a result you are now scraping the paint off the back of your vehicle as you try to force the nozzle around. Avoid this in future by looking at the fuel gauge. Most cars will have a little arrow that tells you which side the cap is located, making it a lot easier. Just a glance at it as you pull into the petrol station will remind you what side to be on.
Pointing out a feature that you didn’t know exist? That is what car hacks are all about!
3. Cloudy headlights? Toothpaste. Obviously.
Over time your headlights might get cloudy and dirty. The longer you wait the worse they will be, as air and dust leaves dirt and scratches on the plastic, and the sun’s UV rays dull it further. You could replace them, which is expensive, or buy a clearing kit, which is also expensive. Or you can use some toothpaste and elbow grease, which is all that is needed for this car hack.
I’m not sure how it works, but is does, and the picture above shows the type of result you can expect. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive and contains tiny crystals that are rough enough to polish and small enough to fill scratches. All you need to do is buff the toothpaste onto the light in a circular motion using a cloth and then wipe clear. To make the results last longer follow up the cleaning with some car wax. Your headlamps should go from dirty and cloudy, to clean and clear.
4. Keep rubbish off the floor with a re-purposed cereal tupperware.
It is really easy to ditch used coffer cups, crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers onto the floor of your car when you have nowhere else to put them. This rubbish can build up until you have no choice but to have a big clear out, wasting your Sunday afternoon. This car hack will save you a big job though if used correctly.
Get yourself one of those plastic tupperware boxes you use to keep cereal fresh. Pop off the top and place in it a plastic bag like you would any household bin before replacing the lid. There you have it. A makeshift travel rubbish bin. The tall, thin shape of the box means it slots easily into either the driver or passenger side of the car, and the hinged top makes it easy to deposit waste. When it is full simply take out the bag, tie it together and throw it away. Job done.
5. Save your finger nails and use a staple remover to open your key ring.
Key rings are one of the most painfully frustrating things in the entire world. How many times have you spent way too long trying to pry open the two metal rings with your finger nails only for them to shut on you before you can even get a key anywhere near it. You might even find yourself using your teeth, or a knife, to open it up. But you’re missing a trick.
Staple removers are vicious looking things that you might not usually need, but this use alone makes it worth the 99p you could pick a cheap one up for. All you have to do is position the two fangs between the two rings and push, prying them apart. You can easily slide on your key afterwards. Key chain hacked.
6. Hang a bungee net for extra storage.
People use these bungee nets to secure luggage to the roof of their car, or keep things from rolling around in the boot, but getting an extra one will give you even more options for storage thanks to this car hack.
Secure the corners of the net to the upper handles in the car to create a sort of canopy. You can use this to store your coats, bags or even toys for the children. This is perfect for longer journeys as it not only gives you more room, but also ease of access if you do want to get anything stored back down.
7. Use your seat warmer to keep food toasty.
A repeated problem with takeaway food is that it gets cold by the time you get home. A lot of modern cars have electric seat warmers. Put this feature to good use by using it to keep your food hot. Simply pop your food onto the passenger seat and crank up the heating, you will find that your food stays warmer for longer.
8. Need a spare cup holder? Use your shoe.
Maybe you don’t have a cup holder? Or maybe your cup holder is already in use? This car hack will give you an extra place to store your drinks … actually, it will give you TWO extra places. All you need to do is slip off your shoe and neatly slot your drink into it! It should be snug and sturdy, so all you need to worry about is putting it somewhere where it is not in the way. The last thing you want is for it to spill into your lap or be kicked over.
Warning! We do not advocate actually drinking from your shoe.
9. Hang a tennis ball in your garage to help you park.
Did you know parking your vehicle in a garage is more dangerous than parking it out in the street? This is because when you are parking in a garage you are more likely to damage the car by scraping against the walls or dinging against the back wall. This car hack fixes that though by warning you when you go far enough.
Attach a tennis ball to a piece of string and hang it from the ceiling in a position where it touches your windshield. This way when you are parking you know to stop when you knock the tennis ball.
If you want to add to this hack you can also prevent yourself from slamming your door into the wall or scraping the side of your vehicle by adding extra padding to your garage. The best we have seen has been to cut a pool noodle in half and put them along the side walls.
10. Fix small dents with a household plunger.
This is sort of a no-brainer when you think about it, but that is what these car hacks are all about. This one solves a problem every experienced driver has.
The plunger is already used to fix other unpleasant accidents, so of course it can be used to treat car dings as well. I won’t go into the science behind how plungers work (because I don’t know it), but we all have a vague idea. Pushing the plunger onto the dent creates suction which in turn pulls the dent out and leaves the car looking like normal. Just make sure the plunger is clean before you use it on your shiny motor.
By Peter Jepson