15+ Car Hacks That Mechanics Don’t Want You To Know

Having a car gives you the freedom of mobility, wherever you are. But as wonderful as it is, however, owning a car comes with a lot of upkeep and maintenance which requires your time and a good amount of your money.

Between gas, car insurance, and trips to the mechanic for checkups, it can cost a pretty penny to keep your car in good shape; and that’s if nothing has gone wrong with it.

We’ve compiled a list of absolutely genius car hacks that will help keep your car clean, shiny, and running smoothly, that will save you a ton of cash and maybe even a few trips to the mechanic. 

Fix Fogged Up Headlights With This Super Cheap Item Everyone Has

No matter how much you try to keep your car clean, eventually the headlight begin to turn a murky yellowish color. Not only is it ugly, but it also slightly dims your lights so you have a bit less visibility at night. 

Instead of having them professionally cleaned for a pretty penny, grab a tube of toothpaste from your bathroom and rub it on there with a cloth! Your headlights will be bright and shiny and good as new.

Easily Remove Old Bumper Stickers

For anyone who’s ever bought a used car, bumper stickers from the last owner are always a risk. And if you’ve ever tried getting them off yourself, you’ll know how much uglier it looks when all that remains is the sticker residue.

Next time you want to remove an old bumper sticker, get a newspaper and soak it in warm water. Then, lay it over the stickers you want taken off. After about 15 minutes, remove the newspaper with a wipe, and the entire sticker should come off with it.

Stop A Windshield Crack From Getting Bigger (And Make It Almost Invisible)

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes there’s too much wind or someone carelessly throws something onto the road, but almost everyone has heard the sickening sound of something hard hitting the windshield and leaving a small crack. 

This crack will keep growing if it’s not taken care of quickly. Although it’s not a permanent solution, always have some clear nail polish available, and paint over the damage filling in all the cracks. Not only will it stop the spreading, but it will make the crack almost invisible.

Save On Gas In The Summertime

During the hotter days, it can feel like torture to drive without the AC on full blast. But did you know that the AC in your car runs on gas, just like your engine? With this knowledge, a lot of people will simply open all the windows to cool down, but this actually backfires completely.

With all of the windows open, air is pushed from one window to the other, instead of circulating throughout the car to cool it down. Instead, open only the front two windows, which will force the air to circulate towards the back, cooling off the entire car.

Increase The Range On Your Key Fob With By Turning Yourself Into An Antenna

Have you ever been in a crowded parking lot looking for your car with no luck? No matter how many times you press the panic button, your key fob only has a certain amount of range to reach your vehicle. 

Finding car with key fob
MIT

Amazingly, if you press the key fob to your chin and open your mouth, you can significantly increase its range and find your car from a further distance away. This sounds trippy, but it really does work.

Fully Remove Small Dents With This Common Bathroom Item

Tiny knicks and dents aren’t the end of the world, but they certainly do take away from the aesthetics of your car. Even though they aren’t very big, taking your car in for a detailing can be pretty expensive.

If you have a few small to medium sized dents in your car, go grab the toilet plunger from your bathroom. That’s right, most of these dents can actually be suctioned out, leaving your car smooth and nice.

Get Your Car Unstuck With Something You Already Have Inside Of It

If you’re driving around any sort of rugged terrain, be it snow, mud, or something else, you know that there is a chance you will get stuck. If you’ve ever been stuck deep in the elements, you’ll know it’s a nightmare to try and get out. Unless you’re savvy to this simple trick…

Put your car in park and grab all of the floor mats you’ve got. Put them right at the base of your stuck wheels, and then drive back and forth over them until you’ve freed your car. The mats provide traction that the snow and mud do not.

This Vegetable Will Keep Your Windows Defogged From The Inside 

When your windows get foggy it becomes impossible to see until you run your defroster. But what happens when they fog up from the inside? The defroster does nothing and your vision will be impaired putting you at risk of an accident.

Cut a white potato in half, and rub it all over each of your windows from the inside, then let it dry. Once dry, it will become invisible, but prevent your windows from getting foggy.

Clear An Icy Windshield In Seconds Without Heating Up Your Car

If you live in a place with very cold and snowy winters, then you know the nightmare of getting up early to heat up your car and dig it out of the snow and ice. But if you don’t want to use up those precious 20 minutes breaking ice off your windshield, here’s a better way.

Fill up a spray bottle of half water and half vinegar. Spray the solution all over the windows with ice, and watch it melt away effortlessly.

Stop Ripping Yourself Off At The Gas Station

When filling up your car, most people will insert the nozzle and hit the trigger full blast to fill up their tanks as quickly as possible This is fine if you’re running late, but if you have another minute to spare, do this instead.

Press the trigger only half way so the gas comes out more slowly. This way, you will have less pressure filling your tank with air bubbles instead of the gasoline itself. Much like pouring a carbonated drink.

This Can Save You Catastrophic (And Expensive) Damage In An Emergency

The more you drive your car, the older and less elastic your timing belt gets, leaving it prone to snapping as it gets dried out with each use. If you find yourself with a snapped time belt far from a mechanic, you could be looking at irreparable damage to the other parts of your car.

Keep a pair of stockings with you, and remove and replace the old timing belt with them, following the same direction as the belt used to. Tye the stockings tightly around the engine’s pulley and get yourself to a mechanic to install a new belt.

Cool Down A Sweltering Hot Car Without Waiting For The AC To Work

There’s nothing quite as torturous and coming back to your car that was sitting for hours in a super hot, unshaded parking lot and having to sit inside until the AC finally cools it down enough. Instead of roughing it for 5 minutes in a human oven, here’s a trick to cool down the whole vehicle in seconds.

Roll down one of the passenger windows all the way, and then open and close the driver’s door a few times. This forces out all the hot air that was sitting in the car and circulates in the cool air.

Stop Losing Little Things Between Your Car Seat

It’s infuriating when you drop your keys, phone, ring, etc. in the tiny crack of the seat. You then have to shove your arm into the crack and try to fish it out, sometimes with no success.

Instead, get yourself a thin foam pool noodle and cut it to the length of the crack between your seat and the door or the middle section of the car. Simply shove it into the crack and voila, anything that falls with land on top of the noodle for easy recovery.

Get A Professional-Level Car Detailing Without The Price Tag

Who doesn’t want to get their car looking shiny and new on the inside? As rewarding as it is, though, taking your car in for detailing is not a cheap endeavour. 

Olive oil is a wonderful (and cost-effective) way to polish the dashboard and door sides, and coffee filters are soft enough to wipe it down without leaving scratches (like a paper towel might).

Feel More Secure Driving On Icy Roads By Putting This In Your Trunk

Driving on a slippery wet or icy road can be really scary as you don’t feel completely in control of your vehicle. Instead of giving yourself anxiety about slipping, here’s what you can do.

Get a few bags of something really heavy (think salt, sand, kitty litter, dog food, etc.) and fill your trunk with them. The extra weight will weigh down your back tires causing better traction on the road and making your car less likely to slip and slide around.

Thaw A Frozen Keyhole Instantly

If your car key doesn’t have an electronic unlock button, or it does but it’s not working quite right, you’ll have to manually insert your key to unlock your door. This is impossible to do if you live somewhere with cold weather, because oftentimes the door handle and keyhole freeze shut with ice. 

To unfreeze it instantly, just rub a little bit of alcohol hand sanitizer onto the handle and keyhole, and within a minute, the ice will melt completely away.

This Trick Will Tell You Exactly When You Need New Tires

It’s no secret that mechanics tend to tell you that your car has more problems that “need to be fixed” than it actually does. So to make more money off of you, they’ll sometimes tell you to change your tires more often than you actually need to.

The penny test will save you an unnecessary purchase. Take a penny and stick it all the way into the groove of the tire. If you can see his whole face, you need new tires. If at least a third of his face is hidden inside the groove, you can wait.

You Don’t Need To Replace The Rubber Around Your Doors If You Do This

The rubber seal around each of your doors that keeps them tightly closed tends to get dried out and cracked over time, especially if you live somewhere with extremely hot or cold weather.

Before this starts to happen, lubricate the rubber seals every few months with WD-40 to keep them moist and flexible, instead of eventually having to replace them. It’s more expensive than you might think.

No More Sticky Cup Holders

Most cars have at least two cup holders between the two front seats. As convenient as they are, they’re certainly not perfect. Whether it’s a bumpy road or our own shaky hands, drink drops spill over and over again creating a sticky mess.

Line the cup holders with cheap silicone cupcake liners, and the mess will be collected there. You can easily take these out and give them a quick rinse and they’ll be completely clean.

Always Keep Some Kitty Litter In Your Car – Here’s Why

Just because you don’t have any cats at home, doesn’t mean you should purchase a big bin or two of kitty litter to have in your trunk at all times.

If you’re ever driving on an icy road, you can sprinkle some litter around your wheels, it makes really good traction. Also, the weight of the bin helps weigh down your back wheels to more easily grip the road.

Get A Freshly-Waxed Look Without Any Wax

Nothing looks quite as immaculate as a newly waxed car. But taking it in to get waxed means a lot of money out of your pocket and a lot of time out of your day.

Did you know you can get the same results with a hair conditioner? Simply wash your car with a conditioner that contains lanolin. As an added bonus, it makes the car water repellent for a time too.

No More Bumpers Full Of Bugs

If you’ve ever driven through the countryside during the spring and summer, you know how bugs can be a problem. Especially the small gnats that stick to your bumper and are impossible to get off.

Next time, before you go on a drive through buggy areas, spray your bumper with some cooking spray, it’ll keep it clean and protected from splatters.

Know Exactly Where To Stop When Reversing Into Your Garage

A of our cars have to share space in garages that are full of clutter, which makes backing into it a dangerous game of knowing exactly when to stop reversing.

To know exactly when to put your car in park, hang a tennis ball from a string in the exact spot you need to stop. You will see it getting close, and even if you can’t see, you’ll hear the soft clunk against your back window.

Make An Emergency Escape If You Get Locked Into Your Car

If you ever find yourself in an emergency where you are locked in your car and cannot get out via the door, you’ll have to go through the window. This is easier said than done, as car windows are thick and very hard to break.

The headrests in your seats can be easily removed, and have metal spikes at the bottom. You can use them to break the windows without too much effort.

Hide Small Ugly Scratches From View Without A Paint Job

Scratches on your car aren’t the end of the world, and they don’t affect how it drives whatsoever. But that’s not to say that they aren’t an eyesore.

If you don’t want to pay for a full paint job, go and find a nail polish that resembles the color of your car the most (there are literally thousands of colors to choose from). Paint the scratches and watch them disappear.

Never Bang Your Car Door Against The Garage With This Cheap Fix

Most car owners that park inside of a personal garage don’t have much room to work with when they open the door to get out.

Grab a pool noodle, cut it in half lengthwise, and attach the flat part against the wall. Now, when you open your car door, it will hit a soft foam noodle instead of a concrete wall.

Get All Of The Snow Off Your Car In One Swipe

Most people use this trick for parking their cars in a dusty garage or a super hot parking lot. But it can also work wonders for a snow day.

Cover your car with a huge sheet or blanket that goes all the way to the ground. After a big snowfall, simply fight a piece of the sheet on the ground, and pull the whole thing off the car in one fell swoop.

Never Lose Your Car At Night In A Crowded Parking Lot

Sometimes you park when the sun is still out, and by the time you finish your errands, it’s pitch dark outside. Trying to find your car in a big parking lot is hard enough, but when it’s dark, it’s even more difficult.

You can deck your car antenna out with some LED lights, and you’ll see it from a mile away!

Keep Your Wipers Toasty Warm During A Snowy Night

Most people know to have their wipers stick straight up if there’s a blizzard coming, so they don’t get stuck underneath the snow. But did you know that they will still freeze, even if they are standing up in midair? 

Just like you’d put on gloves, grab some warm socks and slip them over the wiper blades before the snow. It will keep them warm and you won’t have frozen wipers in the morning.

Save Your Poor Fingers From Adding New Keys To The Dreaded Keyring

Have you ever tried to add your new car key to a key ring? It feels almost impossible to do, and there’s almost a 100% chance that your fingers will get caught inside of it.

The next time you change keychains or get a new car key, grab a staple remover to hold open the keyring. You’ll be able to slip the new key right on.

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