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25 Car Hacks That Make Every Serious Driver’s Life Easier

Cameron EittreimFebruary 11, 2022

Driving can become a daily grind, especially if you drive a long commute. But there are certain things you can do to make the driving experience more pleasurable. There are a lot of hacks that we can use when it comes to owning and driving a car. Utilizing some of these will make your driving life a lot easier.

Your car is like an extension of yourself and it is a second home for a lot of people. When you spend countless hours on the road, the need for a comfortable environment is more important than ever. We took a look at some automotive hacks that will completely change the way that you drive. These tips and tricks will make your daily driving experience surprisingly better than it is, so check them out now.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

25: Nice Smells – Without The Air Freshener

Car air fresheners are expensive and the scents are limited. Generally speaking, a car air freshener also doesn’t last that long. You generally have to replace them often and the scents just don’t make that much of a difference. If you have an older car with aged upholstery it can be even harder to get rid of certain scents. Fortunately, there’s a nifty little hack that will make your car smell amazing no matter what the season is (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Take several ordinary dryer sheets of any scent and stick them under the seats of your vehicle. You’ll immediately notice that the interior of your car is much fresher smelling. This is a great way to get rid of pet odors or even odors from passengers that might smoke in your vehicle.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

24: Find Your Car at The Mall

Anyone who knows what it’s like to go shopping knows how much of a pain finding the perfect parking spot is. If you don’t find the right parking spot, chances are you’re going to be walking a far distance. All doesn’t have to be lost though, as there is a useful hack that will make finding your car easier than you think (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Take a photo of the car, including all of the marks that are on the ground and the cars that are parked near you. This will give your vision a direction to look at when you start back toward your car. All of a sudden you will be able to find your wheels in a much more efficient way instead of wandering around a parking lot for hours.

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23: A Proper Phone Stand

Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to driving for a long distance is finding somewhere to place your cell phone. They make phone mounts that are designed for the dashboard but these mounts are usually cheaply made and fall off. If you’re driving an older car that doesn’t have built-in navigation, then you’re missing out (via Family Handyman).

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There is a method that you can use to make a homemade mount and it works quite well indeed. This hack involves using some elastic bands which you can get at an art supply or hobby store and then tying them through the air vent. You will then secure your phone to the air vent and you will have something secure and ready to go.

Photo Credit: Pexel

22: Cut Back On Trash

As is the case with most long-term driving situations, if you spend a lot of time in your car there is a lot of trash built-up. The trash cans that they sell for use inside of a vehicle are usually very small. This doesn’t bode well when you have a lot of people in your car or are too busy to clean it out (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

Fortunately, there’s a useful piece of Tupperware that you can use. It’s that one that you put cereal in. These make a great trash can because you can put a liner inside and the top makes it easy to pop open and drop trash into it. Your car will become cleaner and you’ll notice that you have a much easier place to put your trash.

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21: Keep Your Lunch Warm

One of the worst things about living in a cold climate is that it can be hard to keep your lunch warm when you’re car is parked at work. Even the best lunch box won’t protect your food from the elements after a certain amount of time. So how do you keep your lunch warm and still enjoy the benefits of your car (via Family Handyman)?

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If you have a car with seat warmers built-in you have a solution for heating food that you might not have realized. Simply place the food on the seat warmer and turn it on for a few minutes. You have a way to slowly heat your food up that is remarkably safe and will save you money in the long run.

Photo Credit: Tesla

20: Keep Your Tires In Good Shapes

Tires are probably one of the most forgotten areas of the car. Drivers tend to leave our tires until it is too late and we’re stuck on the side of the road stranded. But if you take preventative measures you will have your tires in great shape and never get stuck. There are a few ways that you can stay on top of tire maintenance and one of the most popular is quite simple (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Just Tires

It involves taking a coin and putting it into the threads that are on your tire. If the coin goes halfway down then you know that it’s time for a tire change. This will help you to examine your tires and make sure that you are still road-worthy. There’s a lot that can go wrong with your tires and doing this is a great way to prevent that.

Photo Credit: Pexel

19: The Nail Polish Trick

Nobody likes car scratches, especially if you just bought the car or you have a nice paint job. Getting touch-up paint is not always an easy process, and certain paint jobs are very hard to get a match for. If you want your scratches fixed on the same day it can be almost impossible and costly. But there is a hack that you might not realize and it works quite well if you do it right the first time (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

Using nail polish to do the job is a great way to get rid of scratches quite and easy. There are thousands of different nail polish tones to choose from. Nail polish is quite durable and a lot of times you can find a close enough match to your car. Simply put the nail polish on the scratch and your car will be repaired quickly.

Photo Credit: Pexel

18: Store Your Coffee

Many drivers drink coffee, and if you commute there is a good chance that you will have hot coffee in your car at some point in time. If you are going on a family vacation or you commute with a lot of people then you’ll notice that storing your hot coffee is difficult. A new vehicle only has so many cup holders and if you have a full house then you are going to be out of cup holders very quickly on a trip (via Family Handyman).

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Nevertheless, there’s a hack that can help alleviate this long-running problem for travelers. Have a pair of old shoes that you don’t wear anymore? Don’t laugh, because you can use these as a cup holder in a pinch. The shoe is generally pretty stable and you can place them throughout the car, you’ll notice that all of a sudden you have a lot more cup holders than you thought you did.

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17: Fix Those Foggy Windows

One of the most annoying things about winter is foggy windows. There are several ways that you can alleviate this problem, the most common of which is your vehicle’s defroster. But the problem with running the defroster is that it takes over the vent placement in your car. When the defroster is running, you can’t use your heater functions, and that’s no good (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

But there is a hack that you can use to get rid of the moisture is in the air inside your vehicle. The trick to fixing this problem is as easy as having a bag of rice in your car. The bag of rice will gradually decrease all of the condensation in your car, eventually drying all of the windows to give you a clear viewing area once again.

Photo Credit: Pexel

16: Beat The Heat Without A/C

Summer can be some of the toughest for a driver to experience. If you live in the South, then you are going to be dealing with some of the worst humidity ever. Drivers living on the West or East coast will still have a tough time in the summer. If your car air conditioning quits on you, the obvious solution would be to open the windows. But that doesn’t always work and you may end up making the situation worse (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

The trick involves rolling down the front windows only. What this does is push the hot air out the front of the vehicle. The air that will be left inside of the vehicle will be fresh air, which will be colder than what was there before. It’s not the ideal solution but it will work long enough to keep you cool.

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15: Clearing Frost Early

Nothing is worse than waking up late and rushing out the door only to be confronted by a frozen windshield. Every modern car has a window defroster, but their effectiveness of them can be minimal at best. This is especially true in an older, cheaper car where the defrosters were never that effective anyway (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

But there is a trick that you can use that will work from time to time and make the morning rush a bit easier. Park your car towards the East where the sun rises. This will ensure that your windshield is hit by the first rays of sunshine. The result will be a car that is much easier to get into and get going in the morning.

Photo Credit: Pexel

14: Know Which Side The Gas Tank Is On

Borrowing a car is never an easy task. You always have to make sure that you bring it back with fuel. But every car has a different gas tank location, and it’s not always on the same side depending on the vehicle. Finding the gas tank location is not as difficult as you’d think if it slips your mind (via Family Handyman).

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You don’t even have to get out of the vehicle. You just have to look at the location on the dashboard. Depending on the location of the gas icon on the dashboard will tell you what side the tank is on. You’ll be able to pull up to the right pump and get the fuel that you need in a pinch.

Photo Credit: Pexel

13: Tennis Ball Garage Trick

Having a garage is both rewarding and challenging at the same time. On one hand, you have plenty of space to put your stuff and tools. On the other hand, when you put too much stuff in the garage you can’t park your car. Another problem with having a garage is that you can bump into stuff when you pull into it (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

But there’s a solution to this problem called the tennis ball trick. You simply hang a tennis ball from the top of your garage and it will give you a designated spot that you can park at every day. This will stop you from pulling too far into the garage or not pulling in far enough if you have a larger vehicle.

Photo Credit: Pexel

12: Hand Sanitizer In The Snow

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, we often have some type of hand sanitizer with us. While the ordinary use for this is to stop yourself from contracting germs, there are some other uses as well. Believe it or not, hand sanitizers have a couple usages that you will find useful in the cold winter months (via Family Handyman).

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Locked out of your car in the morning from ice? It’s not fun to get through the doors with you are frozen solid. But with a little bit of hand sanitizer, you can melt the ice quickly and get into your car. You don’t want to coat your vehicle in hand sanitizer yet a little bit around the door lock will suffice.

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11: Pool Noodles To Protect Your Car

Having a garage is great but having a small garage can make it quite difficult to get your car in there. Even if you get your car into the garage there is a good chance you could bang the doors on the wall. There is a solution to this problem and it is a lot simpler than you’d expect (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

Pool noodles are a great item that you can stick to the wall in your garage as a bumper to protect your car doors. Every time you open a car door and hit the pool noodles you will protect your paint job and your calls. This is an interesting hack that you may not have thought of but it works fairly well.

Photo Credit: Pexel

10: Lost Your Garage Door Opener?

Garage door openers changed the way that we opened our garages until we lose the remote of course. Nevertheless, there are a few different ways you can still get into your garage. You can buy a universal remote to replace the one that you lost or you can program the garage door opener to those three buttons at the top of your car (via Family Handyman).

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Most modern cars have a garage door opening function built right into them, but we seldom use this because most garage doors have a remote already. It only takes a few minutes to program a garage door opener into the top of your car. The result means you’ll get back into your garage quickly and easily.

Photo Credit: Pexel

9: An Old-Fashioned Air Freshener

What if we told you that there was another way to get great scents inside of your car? It involves a mason jar, candle wax, and some holes in the lid. The wax will begin to melt from the daily heat on the inside of your car. After a while, you’ll smell the wonderful scents permeating throughout your vehicle (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

This homemade air freshener will last you a lot longer and the smell will be more impressive. Store-bought air fresheners never work longer than a few days so it can be a pain to have to replace them over and over again. The mason jar method allows you to repurpose old household candles and get a renewed scent out of them.

Photo Credit: Auto World

8: Using a Carabiners

There is no doubt that it can be tough to store everything in the out car, especially if you have kids. Every car is pretty much limited by the storage compartments that are built into it. Not to mention the fact that finding new storage can be pricey and difficult. Most aftermarket storage items for your car are not that effective at all (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

A carabiner is a great way to increase the storage space in your car. It goes behind the driver and passenger seats and there is room for just about anything. Whether you need to store extra tablets, an umbrella, or just about anything else. A carabiner may just be the solution to your vehicle storage problems in the long run.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

7: A Unique Paper Holder

Nothing is worse than getting a mess in your car and not having the proper stuff to clean it quickly. If you don’t react to a stain in the right amount of time you will end up with a tarnished car interior. That’s not something that you want but there is never a good place to leave a roll of paper towels in most cars (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem that involves a homemade paper towel holder. You take a bungee cord or a tie and put it through the paper towels, making a simple paper towel holder that hangs from your trunk. This homemade paper towel holder is a great way to increase the versatility of your cargo area as well.

Windshield Wipers
Photo Credit: Autoweek

6: Clean Your Wipers

Have you noticed that you have an obstructed view of the road? Don’t fret, this happens to a lot of us and there’s a solution for it. You need to take some glass-cleaning solution and go across the window with a microfiber towel. Once that has been completed you’ll need to clean the wiper blades with the same solution (via Family Handyman).

Mercedes SL 320
Photo Credit: Car Domain

If you have rubber wiper blades there is a good chance they are spreading dirt around. You want to avoid this by keeping the blades clean. You can also improve the visibility of your car by switching out the water in your washer reservoir with a better mix of window washer fluid that is designed not to streak.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

5: Tinted Plastic Sheets

In the summertime months, the harsh rays of the sun can burn your eyes. The first solution for this would be to add tinting to your windows. If you don’t want to tint all the windows in your vehicle there is another less invasive solution. You can use tinted plastic sheets in certain areas where the sun hits most (via Family Handyman).

This will provide temporary relief without having to tint the entire window portion of your car or truck. If you tend to park in high heat areas this is a great way to shield yourself or protect certain areas inside of your car’s interior.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

4: Use Slime To Clean Your Car

Believe it or not, that slime that your kid plays with is more useful than you’d think. When it comes to cleaning the interior of a car there is dust in all kinds of crevasses. You can’t reach these areas with a traditional vacuum and they can be hard to clean. The slime conforms to every area of the dashboard and corners that you need to clean (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

You’ll immediately notice that the dust will be must less than if you were just using a vacuum alone. If you’re particular about keeping your car clean then this is a great method that you can use to keep everything orderly.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

3: Remove Old Stickers

Many drivers have put a sticker or decal on our ride for a time or two. But when it comes time to remove these from the windows it can be a pain. You don’t need to scrape and cause damage to get rid of old stickers. You won’t even need to use harsh chemicals. Instead, there’s a better solution for doing this (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

All you need is an extension cord and a hairdryer, what you’ll do is heat up the stickers for 20 minutes. The hairdryer will cause the glue underneath the sticker to become moist and it will end up being removed. This works for regular stickers and the more complicated decals that you get from the auto parts store.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

2: Toothpaste Trick

Foggy lights are not only a visual problem on the exterior of your vehicle, but they hamper your vision while driving at night. Some shops charge a pretty penny for headlight restoration and the kits you buy require a drill to use them. But there is a better solution and you will notice it right away (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

Take old-fashioned toothpaste (not the gel kind) and rub it all over your headlights. You’ll want to use a brush of some sort to get it rubbed in well. The result will be a headlight that is visually much clearer to look at than before.

Photo Credit: Family Handyman

1: The Olive Oil Hack

You can clean your vehicle using olive oil, but before you get excited, there’s a trick and a purpose to it. The olive oil is used to protect the dashboard in your car, the same way that those expensive cleaning solutions will. You just need to put a few drops on a rag that you are going to polish the dashboard with (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Family Handyman

Rub it around generously until the rag is dry and you’ll immediately notice the difference. The olive oil will shine the plastic and make protect your dashboard from the harsh rays of the sun. This is something that you can do once a week or once a month and you’ll notice the difference almost immediately.

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