Transportation has been important since the dawn of time. Cars were invented to replace horse-driven carriages and to conquer larger distances in a shorter amount of time. Many world economies have boomed because of cars. Large industries and free markets have benefited from cars and transportation. In more recent decades, personal transportation has become increasingly important. Many people rely on public transportation rather than personal vehicles to get from point A to point B in crowded places and cities since there is limited parking. However, for anyone living in the suburbs, small towns and far-off places, owning a car means freedom, independence and accessibility.

Owning a car also comes with responsibilities. You don’t just fill it with gas drive it and park it at home. To make sure your car runs smoothly for years, you have to do some basic car maintenance. Regular oil and filter changes, tune-ups, clutch and brake checks and replacements, correct tire pressure and so on. It’s also important that you take care of any minor issues as soon as you recognise them to prevent costly and serious problems in the future. Have your car inspected regularly by a good mechanic.

So now you know the importance of having your car maintained, to add to your regular maintenance here are some amazing car hacks that you can do for minor issues and damage prevention.

1. Toothpaste for Foggy Headlights

Your headlights will surely go foggy through the years of regular use, especially if the lenses are made of plastic. Weather and pollution will contribute to this deterioration. You don’t have to replace the lens to make it work, you just need to have some whitening toothpaste to make your headlights clear and fog free. Just apply toothpaste to the lenses using a cloth and then gently rub it thoroughly all over the lens. Rinse off with clean water and let it dry. You can add some more protection by using a furniture polish.

2. Removing Small Dents with a Plunger

Small dents can be solved by using a plunger. Just place the plunger over the dent, press it down gently and then slowly pull out the dent. Before you do this, make sure your plunger is really clean or better yet, buy a new plunger just for your car.

3. Removing Stickers and Adhesives

If you need to remove old car stickers and old registration stickers, just place a newspaper page with warm water over the old sticker. The heat from the damp newspaper will be absorbed by the old sticker, releasing the glue in about 10-12 minutes.

4. Shoe as a Cup Holder

This may seem really gross, but it works, especially if you have a really old car without any cup holders. You can put an old shoe just beside the emergency brake lever or just below the gear shift.

5. Cool Down in One Minute

You know the feeling of going inside your car when it has parked in the sun for hours. It’s just like going inside an oven and baking yourself to death. You can cool down your car’s interior in about a minute. First, just roll one of the windows all the way and then walk over to the other side of the car. Open and close the door 5-10 times, this will create a circulating air flow that forces the trapped hot air out of your car. It may not make it cold as ice, but it can lower the temperature significantly and help your car aircon to cool the interior faster.

6. Keep Your Keychain Lightweight

To avoid any ignition problems, make your keychain lightweight. If you put too many keys on your car’s keychain, it will damage the car’s fragile ignition over time. Gravity will pull it down and will wear the ignition switch more quickly. The ignition doesn’t just start the car, but it also maintains the electrical circuit. So if any of it fails, your car will just shut down. You don’t want this to happen, especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere.

7. Use a Staple Remover For Your Key Ring

A key ring and your fingernails are not really made for each other. Use a staple remover to prevent yourself from injuring your fingers when putting a new key with your car keys. Press the staple remover in between the two key rings and press it to separate them. Insert the keys just like you always do. No bleeding fingers!

8. Razor and Crushed Bugs

Crushed bugs or bird poop on your windshield is not only icky but also dangerous. It can impair your vision and may cause an accident. If you don’t have any handy cleaning solution, you can use a straight edged razor to scrape the bugs off your windscreen. After removing the bugs, wipe your screen with a clean cloth.

9. Car Seat Pizza Warmer

If you love pizza and your car has a seat warmer, then you’re in luck. You don’t want cold pizza when you get home so use your seat warmer to warm up the pizza on your way home. No cold pizza, all the awesomeness.

10. Nail Polish for Scratches

Touch up paints are always the best for this kind of situation, but if you want to temporarily fix small scratches just use the right colour of nail polish.

11. Lighten Your Car’s Load

Taking out any unnecessary weight from your car will surely improve your gas mileage. Remove all of the heavy junk from your trunk and you’ll notice the difference. The lighter the vehicle, the less energy your car will need and the less gasoline it will burn.

12. Pool Noodle and Banged Doors

This is a cheap and very effective way of preventing your car door form banging the garage wall. Just cut the tube in half and then nail or glue it at the specific height your car door meets the wall.

13. Car Parking App

If you always forget where your car is parked, you can download an app that will help you locate your car. You can download iParkedHere and it allows you to input where your car is parked indoor or outdoor. It also utilises GPS and image capture if needed, so you’ll never lose your parking space.

14. Toothbrush for Interior Detailing

If dirt has embedded itself into the textures of your car’s vinyl, some scrubbing with a toothbrush will do the job.

Image credit: www.6speedonline.com

Image credit: www.6speedonline.com

15. Scented Candles

If you run out of car freshener, you can use a scented candle. Just place it in your car’s cup holder and let the scent waft inside your car. This will work more effectively on a hot day. The candle will begin to melt and release the fragrance as your car warms in the sun. No need to light the candle!

16. Cleaning Wipers

If your car wipers leave streaks in their path, you can clean them by using alcohol or WD40. Use a cloth dabbed in alcohol or WD40 and rub it against the rubber part of the window wipers and get them cleaned.

17. Hang a Tennis Ball as your Parking Indicator

If you have trouble gauging the distance between the front or the back of your car and your garage wall, just hang a tennis ball using a string. Measure the distance between the roof and the middle of your car’s windscreen and then add an extra foot then cut it. Just screw the string on your garage ceiling and the other end of the ball and you’re done.

Hack yourself away to a good driving experience.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.