Home Cars 50 Life-Saving Car Hacks Even The Smartest Drivers Missed

50 Life-Saving Car Hacks Even The Smartest Drivers Missed

Cameron EittreimMay 18, 2022

Driving is one of the most unique privileges that we have in life, and there is more to driving than just getting from point A to point B. Owning a car is a special experience, and different cars invoke different emotions from different drivers. There is no doubt that owning a car you love is unlike anything else in the world. The right vehicle can leave a lasting impression on you that you will never forget. There are also many car hacks that can make vehicle ownership easier.

Whether you customize the exterior or make the car faster, there’s so much drivers can do with their vehicles. Whether it’s a trick that makes cleaning your car easier or something more serious, these. Check out these valuable hacks that even the smartest drivers on the road may have missed via The Daily Bee below.

Photo Credit: Lifehacker

50: Increase Your Key Fob Range

This is a lesser-known trick that most car owners don’t know about. Do you know that handy little key fob that you use to unlock your car? Well, there is a trick to get a better range out of this handy little tool. Simply push it up against your chin as you move toward your car. This trick has been said to only work at a certain range, but still, if you are in a hot mall parking lot in the middle of summer, this trick could lead to some needed relief from the sun much faster (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Lifehacker

49: Keep Your Tire Thread Good

You’ve seen the coin trick used in photos when someone sells a used vehicle. Well, this is a great way to measure how much thread you have left on your tires. Placing the penny between the threads will show realistically how long your tires have left. This is a great and inexpensive way to gauge how long your tires have left before you have to replace them (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

47: Bathroom Dent Removal

Nothing is worse than walking out of the grocery store and finding out that your car has a huge dent in it. You can pay a repair shop hundreds or even thousands to remove the dent, or you can try this method. Go into your bathroom and grab your plunger, take the plunger to the dented area, and get a lot of suction on it. There are several instances when this will work and you can pull the dent out (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Lifehacker

46: Unfreeze Your Key Hole

When it gets below freezing outside, your car is directly in the line of fire. If you have to leave for a job early in the morning, you could face a potential Popsicle on wheels. There is an effective hack to unfreeze the keyhole, though. Simply pour some hand sanitizer on the keyhole and the ice will quickly melt (via Luxurlist). This hack could be the difference between making it to work on time on a cold winter day or not.

Photo Credit: Life Hacker

45: Ged Rid Of Those Foggy Headlights

There is no denying that foggy headlights can ruin the look of your car, and most owners don’t want to deal with them. There is a cheap method to fix this that oftentimes will work. All you need to do is rub toothpaste on the lights and rub it in a circular motion. The end result will be a noticeably clearer headlight (via Luxurlist). You won’t need to buy any products that claim to remove fog from your headlights and hope that they work.

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

44: Electronic Lock Fail

Most modern cars have an electronic lock system and it’s not common to see a physical keyhole anymore. Which begs the question, what happens if the electronic locking system fails? Well, most of these cars have a cleverly hidden manual unlock that is usually tucked under the driver’s side door handle (via Luxurlist). You can use this to get into your car in an emergency if the aforementioned electronic locking system fails.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

43: Prevent Your Wipers From Being Frozen

One of the worst things about waking up to go to work on a cold, icy morning is your windshield wipers being frozen. When this happens, clearing your windshield and windows can be almost impossible until your defroster is fully heated. You don’t always have time to wait for this when you’re in a hurry in the morning. However, there’s a quick hack that will stop your wipers from getting stuck in the first place. Simply take a pair of long socks and put them over each wiper (via Luxurlist). This will prevent them from being frozen when you need them the following morning.

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

42: Forget Which Side Your Gas Tank Is On?

We’ve all pulled up to the gas station and forgotten which side of the car our gas tank is on. There’s a useful hack that will tell you which side it is actually on though. The side that your gas gauge is on is usually an indication as to where the actual gas tank is located. So next time you pull up to the gas station in a hurry, just take a quick look at your gas gauge and you’ll know right where the tank is at (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

41: Speed Limits Are There to Help

Have you ever noticed when you try to rush somewhere, you always seem to hit every red light? Well, there is a reason for this. The speed limits are designed to help you hit every green light on a designated route. If you drive faster or slower than the designated speed limit, you will hit a red light (via Luxurlist). Now you know why you always hit yellow and red lights one after another when you’re in a hurry.

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

40: Remedy Your Messy Car

Nothing is worse than a messy car, but there is a unique way to get rid of the mess fast. Simply take one of those large cereal containers and put a grocery bag inside of it. With the lid attached, you will have a nice and neat garbage can that passengers can use to put their trash into instead of on the floor of your car (via Luxurlist). It’s really a simple hack that can be overlooked but nevertheless saves trash from adding up inside your car.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

39: Freshen Up Stale Car Interiors

Do you sometimes feel like your car has taken on a life of its own in terms of stale and unwelcoming smells? Well, you don’t have to keep plowing through air fresheners as there is a cheaper alternative. Taking a few dryer sheets and scattering them throughout your car is a great way to make the interior smell a whole lot fresher (via Luxurlist). It’s an easy and effective way to keep your car smelling fresh.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

38: Prevent Those Pesky Parking Lot Dings

Few things are worse than getting dings and dents when you go somewhere in your car. You may have come out of the grocery store to find some new mark on your car. There’s an easy little trick that you can do to save your car, and that is parking as far away from the doors as possible. Yes, it can be irritating to have to walk further, but you could save your car’s paint job in the long run (via Luxurlist). You also get several extra steps in for the day, which isn’t a bad thing either.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

37: Keeping Cool

It gets rather uncomfortable being in a hot car on a summer day, and if your AC system fails, you will be even hotter to the point of scorching. But there is a solution to this that works somewhat well. Instead of rolling all of the windows down, just roll down the two in the front. This will cause the air inside of the vehicle to start circulating around your car’s interior. You’ll notice that your vehicle is a lot cooler, although it may not be the icebox you might desire at the time (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

36: Getting Rid Of Moisture On The Windows

Do you ever notice that your windows get foggy on a cold winter day? It can take forever to defrost if you are in an older model car, but there is a way to keep your windows clear. You’ll need to fill a small baggy with rice, place it on your dashboard, and remove the excess moisture from the air in your vehicle (via Luxurlist). The rice soaks up the moisture and keeps your windows clear enough to see out of.

Photo Credit: Luxurlist

35: Save Money On Fancy Interior Wipes

Generally, a nicely-shined interior takes a lot of expensive products to achieve, and there can also be a lot of elbow work involved. For do-it-yourself saving, a few bucks can be a lifesaver. You don’t have to spend money on fancy interior wipes if you don’t want to. There’s a hack for that. Coffee filters, believe it or not, are a great option to quickly keep the dashboard dust-free (via Luxurlist). Just give your car interior a quick wipe-down with a few coffee filters and the dust will go bye-bye.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

34: The Impossible Key Ring

Putting new keys onto a key ring can be rough on your hands, especially if it’s an older key ring that has seen a lot of use. There is a trick that you can do to save your fingers, though, and it’s relatively simple to do. Take a paper clip puller and put it between the keyring, you’ll now be able to slide as many new keys onto the ring as you need. This is a fairly simple trick that will save you a lot of time, headache, and even physical pain in the long run (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

33: Easily Remove Bumper Stickers

Bumper stickers are great when you first apply them, but eventually, they start to fade or get chipped. But there is a way to remove bumper stickers without damaging the paint on your vehicle. You’ll need to use a blow dryer to remove the bumper stickers slowly and surely. This will slowly head the sticker up enough that you can cleanly remove it from the vehicle. A good adhesive remover will get rid of any remnants once you have gotten the majority of the sticker removed (via Luxurlist). Once you put it all together, you won’t be able to even tell there was a bumper sticker on your car at all.

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

32: Keep The Cup Holders Crumb Free

Cupcake holders are useful for many things, but this is definitely a lesser-known use for them. They can also be used to keep your cup holders clean and orderly. Simply place a cupcake holder into each cup holder, and you’ll have a barrier from crumbs and spillage. Then when you are done driving, simply pick up the cupcake holders and throw them out. This is a great way to keep the hard to keep clean spots in your car from getting grimy and/or filled with crumbs (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Luxurlife

31: Dual-Purpose Seat Warmers

Ever notice the seat warmers in your vehicle are perfectly positioned and get nice and hot? Well, you can use these seat warmers for several things. One thing that seat warmers are great for is making sure that fast food stays warm on the way home. If you get a pizza, you can place the pizza on top of your seat warmer. On the highest setting, this will keep your food nice and warm until you make it home (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

30: Programming Built-In Garage Door Opener Controls

Nothing can be more frustrating than losing the controls to your garage door opener. But on most modern cars, there are programmable controls that are built into the mirror. By programming these controls ahead of time, you can save yourself the headache of losing your garage door opener. Most drivers forget about these handy controls built into their vehicles. Programming usually takes a few minutes, and the time you’ll save will be endless (via Luxurlist).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

29: Find Your Car At The Mall

Feel like you lose your car too often in a large covered parking lot? Who doesn’t hate coming out of the mall only to see your car is nowhere in sight? Taking a photo of your car with your smartphone is a great way to have a general idea of where you parked. When you come out of the mall you can just look at the photo. Another idea is to park directly in front of the store entrance, even if you are far back, it will be a straight shot to your car (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

28: A Proper Phone Stand

No one wants to be a distracted driver, but most quick and cheap phone stands just don’t work. One method for a homemade phone stand is to use a piece of putty and a coke can. The result will be a stable phone stand that can keep your phone right where you need to see it. Another idea is to use two heavy rubber bands and connect them to a clip. You can easily connect your phone to the air ducts and it will stay in place during driving (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

27: Cut Back On Trash

We previously covered how to get rid of trash for the passengers in the back of your car, but what about if you need something casual in a hurry? Well, you can also take a very small Tupperware container and put it in the door of your car. This is the perfect solution for the type of trash you find yourself throwing in a hurry such as straw wrappers or food wrappers. You never have somewhere to put these small pieces of trash, so a compact trash container is nice (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

26: Keep Your Lunch Warm

If you feel like you can’t keep your lunch warm on your lunch break at work, your car has a solution. This solution is different than using the aforementioned heated seats to heat food, though, as it involves your dashboard. Small lunch items can be placed on your dashboard in the sun to be kept warm for an hour or so. In certain cars, you can also place the food in front of your hot HVAC vents to keep it warm. When it comes to eating some grub in your car, the possibilities are many (via Family Handyman)

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25: Keep Your Tires In Good Shape

No one wants to pay for new tires, but after a while, we simply have to. When it comes to replacing your tires, there is a hack that will help you get more time out of them. Keeping the rotation on proper schedule will dramatically increase the wear and tear you get out of a single pair of tires. You’ll find that the tires last a lot longer when you rotate them every 3,000-5,000 miles (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

24: The Nail Polish Trick

Car scratches can happen just about anywhere, and you can’t always get touch-up paint. But nail polish comes in literally hundreds of different shades. Many of these nail polish shades will match the paint on your car, oftentimes close enough to the original color that you can’t tell the difference. Don’t be shy when it comes to this cost-effective hack because it could save you time and money to repaint your car (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

23: Store Your Coffee

Certain beverages just will not fit anywhere in your car because the cup holders are too small. But there are certain beverages that you just cannot live without. There is a solution for this, and it could greatly help your problem. Taking an old pair of shoes is a great way to give your car extra cup holders in a pinch. A nice heavy pair of shoes will not sway or spill your drink for short distances and you’ll have more cup holders instantly (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

22: Visibility Hack #2

Another way to get rid of fog on your windows is to turn the air conditioner on for a few minutes. The cold air inside the car will quickly evaporate most of the fog on the windows. Another idea that works well is to give the windows a good cleaning once a week. Dirty windows can also be a haven for fog and other elements when the temperature changes as well (via Family Handyman). So keep your windows clean on the inside to prevent fog from building up, or use your AC in a pinch to get the fog away quickly.

Photo Credit: Pexel

21: Beat The Heat Without A/C

We’ve all grown accustomed to air conditioning in our vehicles, but did you know there was a way to beat the heat without using the A/C? If you roll down the windows in your vehicle and turn on the recirculation vent option, the car will circulate the cool air coming in from the outside. If your AC unit has failed this is a quick way to get relief. You can also clip a fan or two to your dashboard or in your direct position, which can also help (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

20: Clear Frost Early

One surprising way to clear the frost off of your windows is to use cold or warm water. You never want to throw hot water on the windows, but cold or warm water will melt the ice as well. You can also use Epson salt if you are in a hurry as it will melt the ice quickly and effectively. The interesting thing about these methods is that they can keep the frost from reappearing for the rest of the day (via Family Handyman). It’s certainly an effective hack that will help you see out of your windows on those cold and icy winter days.

Photo Credit: Pexel

19: Increase Your Gas Mileage

Want to know a simple and easy hack that will get you increased fuel mileage? Don’t drive with the A/C blowing. The less strain your engine has to do in the heat, the better your gas mileage will be. Another way to increase the mileage is to ensure the air filter in the engine is nice and clean. The more air the engine can pull in, the better mileage it will get (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

18: Tennis Ball Garage Hack

The garages that we park our cars in are getting smaller and smaller, which only makes parking more difficult. When it comes to fitting your vehicle into a garage, you want to make sure you don’t hit anything. Tying a tennis ball to the roof in your garage is a great way to make sure that you don’t pull too far into the garage. Once you hit the tennis ball, then you know you are too far into the garage and need to back up (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

17: Hand Sanitizer In The Snow

The hand sanitizer in the snow trick works in several different ways that can save you from an annoying bind in cold weather. You can use it to melt ice in almost every other portion of your vehicle. You can also use it to melt ice on your hands or even in certain spots on your driveway. If you have a few bottles of this stuff leftover from the past two years, it can be very useful. Part of the reason for this is because of all the alcohol used to make it (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

16: Pool Noodles Protect Your Car

As we recently said in a previous item, garages are getting smaller and harder to park in these days. What do you do to protect the doors on your car from being banged into the walls? Well, there are a few methods. Paint protectors are the most common, but if you don’t want to spring for those, you can stick pool noodles onto the walls. These will provide a bumper from the walls and stop the doors on your car from being damaged (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Pexel

15: An Old-Fashioned Air Freshener

There are a few interesting methods that you can use to make your car smell better inside. We covered dryer sheets earlier in the list, but did you know that an old candle will work too? When the car is parked in the heat of the day, the candle will begin to melt in the jar and its great smell will resonate throughout the car. If you have some old candles lying around that you can use for this, it will work out well and the smell will be excellent (via Family Handyman). It doesn’t get much easier when it comes to turning your car from funky to fragrant.

Photo Credit: Auto World

14: Carabiners Create Storage Space In Small Cars

Making more space in your car’s interior is not an easy task if you have a compact car. But there are a few notable tricks that you can use to get the job done. Carabiners provide a great way to get more space behind your seat, which has open real estate for the taking. Most carabiners are designed for holding quite a bit of load, which means you can store a lot of stuff (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

13: A Unique Paper Holder

Do you ever have a mess on the go and wish you had paper towels within arm’s reach? Sure, you can try to put them in the center console, but what if it’s too small to hold them? Well, you can use a bungee cord and create a noteworthy paper towel holder in the rear of your vehicle. This hack works especially well for SUVs or car models with a large cargo area (via Family Handyman).

Windshield Wipers
Photo Credit: Autoweek

12: Clean Your Wipers

Your windshield wipers are vital in your car in the winter months, so keeping them clean is extra important. You might not think about cleaning your windshield wipers but it is very important. Without cleaning the rubber part, the wipers will track dirt across the window, and often this will cause streaking. Cleaning them only takes a few minutes, as all you need is a damp rag of some sort (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

11: Tinted Plastic Sheets

If you feel like you catch the burn a lot in your car, there is a way to avoid that. Generally, the best solution would be to tint the windows, but if you don’t feel like doing that you still have options. The easiest way is to put tinted plastic sheets over the areas that get the most heat. You can get these at the hardware store, and they adhere right to the window without damaging the car (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

10: Use Slime To Clean Your Car

What is slime? It’s that stuff that your kids play with, but it also has other uses. You can use slime in your vehicle to clean areas that are prone to heavy levels of dust. You can also use it to clean those hard-to-reach areas (like the HVAC vents and other areas where you couldn’t otherwise reach without a fight (via Family Handyman). It will grab the particles and dust right up for an easy cleaning solution.

Photo Credit: Chevy Forum

9: Make Your Paint Last Longer

Ever wonder how so many old vehicles still look good? Because their owners apply a wax every few months. If you want your car to look great for a long period, you need to wax the paint. Whether it be a clay bar wax or a different kind of wax, you want to make sure you are doing it on time, especially during the summer months (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Family Handyman

8: The Olive Oil Hack

Olive oil is great for your health and is something that a lot of people cook with, but you can also use it to clean your vehicle. Mixing olive oil with a cleaning solution will clean your vehicle and protect the paint. Obviously, this isn’t an everyday solution, but it’s a nice trick that can bring out the shine in your paint coat every few months (via Family Handyman).

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

7: Laundry Baskets

Feel like your car has a dumpster in the cargo area? Well, you can use old laundry baskets to tidy this area up. Laundry baskets are quite versatile and offer a decent amount of storage. You can find them easily and there is a lot that you can store in them easily and without a lot of trouble (via Popular Mechanics). It’s an effective way to organize that trunk that’s becoming an outright disaster when you prepare for a road trip with the family.

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

6: Use Stockings In An Emergency

If your timing belt snaps in the middle of nowhere, it can spell trouble. You need to safely get your car to the next spot. You can tie a stocking around the gears to get the engine going long enough to get you to your next stop. This is not an ideal solution, but it will work in a pinch (via Popular Mechanics).

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

5: Fill Window Damage With Nail Polish

Did you know that you can fill a damaged window with clear nail polish? This can fix all kinds of problems, such as knicks and cracks. The key is to use a clear type of nail polish. You can put it right into the affected area, and it will dry on contact. This is a great way to temporarily fix window damage until you can get to a shop (via Popular Mechanics).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

4: Melt Ice With Vinegar

Need to melt ice off your windshield in a hurry? Well, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water to melt ice quickly. Mix a spray bottle with half vinegar and half water. Spray accordingly all over the affected area, the ice will start to quickly dissolve. If you have vinegar in the trunk of your car or home, this is a great solution if you don’t have any de-icer (via Popular Mechanics).

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

3: Use The Sun To Your Advantage

Instead of messing around with vinegar and de-icer, there is another solution to your ice problem. You can park your car in a sunny spot and the ice will melt naturally. This will give you a head start when it comes to defrosting your vehicle in the morning. Obviously, sunlight is not always an option, but if it is, you definitely want to park your car in a sunny spot (via Popular Mechanics).

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

2: Get More Gas At The Pump

Ever wonder why you just can’t seem to get enough gas at the pump? Well, it all comes down to the air that comes through the gas line. When you are pumping at the gas station, try to hold the trigger only 50% of the way. This is going to allow more gasoline to flow through and less air to flow through the line. You’ll get more gas for your money using this nifty trick (via Popular Mechanics).

Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

1: Let The Hot Air Out of Your Car

Getting into your car on a hot day can be an absolute nightmare. There is rarely anything good about it. But you can do a little prep when it comes to getting into your car. Open your doors at least 20 minutes before you get into your car if you can. The result will be all that hot air coming out of the car before you get into it. You will be much more comfortable driving if you do this first in the summer (via Popular Mechanics).

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