Strange But True Car Tricks Every Driver Should Know

Dated: 10/16/2019

Views: 161

Thanks to TheDelite.com for most of the tips here (Disclaimer: I have not tried many of these, don't take any safety or damage risks based on this blog entry ... test cleaning and other "tips" on small areas that are less visible!!

Why you need toothpaste, pool noodles, nail polish and a toilet plunger for your car.  [Mostly random order. ]

Cleaning Your Car Seats

What’s the best way to clean your fabric car seats? Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, dish soap, and hot water. That’s it.

Thanks to TheDelight.com for sharing these tips ...

Here are some simple tips that will keep your car in tip-top shape, make driving more pleasant—and maybe even save you a few bucks along the way.  

Clean Headlights With Toothpaste

To see things more clearly, clean your cloudy headlights with toothpaste. There are mild abrasives in your toothpaste (which is how it gets the plaque off your teeth) that clean the headlight, and it can also fill in small cracks. 

Image result for vehicle headlight fogged

Make A Travel First-Aid Kit

It’s important to keep safe while on the road. In addition to driving defensively and buckling up, you should have a first aid kit at the ready in case of emergency. Endlessly Inspired recommends tossing in everything from painkillers to bandaids to allergy meds.

Try This Weird, But Efficient Way To Cool Down Your Car

Instead of blasting the air conditioning (or if your A/C doesn’t work), try this instead:

  1. Roll down the driver’s side window.

  2. Go to the passenger side, and open and close the doors a few times.

This forces the hot air out of the car, cooling your car faster than simply relying on the air conditioning to cool down your hotbox. 

Don’t Buy Any More Air Fresheners

Instead of shelling out good money for those car freshener trees that you hang from the rearview mirror, simply use an herbal tea bag. Wrap it in a breathable cloth, and hang it on the mirror. Tea bags are much cheaper to replace, and there are plenty of soothing scents to choose from. If you’re prone to road rage, may we suggest some calming lavender? 

A Paint Brush For Your Air Vents

The Family Handyman came up with a brilliant way to clean those hard-to-clean car vents … with a little paint brush! 


Keep Your Cup Holders Clean With Cupcake Liners

Add some cupcake liners to your cup holders, and when they start to get dirty, remove and replace them! The Kids Activities Blog recommends silicone ones, which means you can pop them into the dishwasher when they’re in need of a cleaning.

Tame Your Mess With A Remote Control Caddy-Turned-Organizer

If you’re tired of finding pens, toys, books and other odds and ends all over your car, get a remote control caddy and affix it to the side of one of your seats. Tame that clutter!


Clean Your Car Seats

What’s the best way to clean your fabric car seats? Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, dish soap, and hot water. That’s it.

How To Clean Those Little Crevices

Once again, The Family Handyman came to our car-cleaning rescue by sharing his tip on cleaning small crevices in our cars. All you’ll need is a flathead screwdriver and a cloth to cover it with. You can then spray a cleaner on it, or a natural cleaning agent—if you read our pieces on all the amazing things vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice can do—and clean all your car’s hard-to-reach spots.

Remove Stickers With Wet Newspaper

Maybe you got a little overzealous with the political bumper stickers when you were feeling fired up, or your car is still boasting that your kid is an honor roll student even though she’s now a college grad. Whatever the reason, sometimes you need to purge your car’s bumper of old stickers, but anyone who’s ever attempted to do this knows that it’s easier said than done. A simple way to remove old stickers without damaging your car is to use damp newspaper. Just wet a piece of newspaper and lay it over the sticker for about 15 minutes. This will soften the adhesive residue and make it easier to wipe off. It works for stickers on the windshield as well.

Clean Rust With Coca-Cola

Most soda is so acidic, it can ruin your teeth. So, instead of drinking it, why not use Coca-Cola on your car to get rid of rust?

Club Soda For Your Windshield

Got some tough-to-remove sticky spots on the windshield? Trying scrubbing them off with a rag and club soda. You’d be surprised what those bubbles can do.

Tackle Dog Hair With Rubber Gloves

If you’re a dog owner, driving with your canine companions is often (OK, mostly!) unavoidable. To combat the fur they leave behind, try this simple hack: Fill a spray bottle with water and lightly spritz the interior of your car. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves and rub your hands over the seats, floor and doors. The hair should stick to the gloves, and you can rinse them off as you go.


Dryer Sheets For The Front Of Your Car (when "Love Bugs" come back)

There’s almost nothing worse than those pesky bugs that seem to decorate the front of your car, right? The Sugar Spice and Spilled Milk blog figured out the solution: Dryer sheets. She wet the car, then put the dryer sheet in a bucket of warm water before using it to remove the bugs. So easy! Plus ... Dryer Sheets As Air Freshener - Traditional car air fresheners can have an overwhelming scent. Dryer sheets make an ideal air freshener. You can attach one to the heating/air-conditioning vents or hide them under the seats to keep them out of sight.

Use Pam To Fight Bugs

As mentioned, removing bugs from the front bumper and grill of your car can be tough. Some savvy car owners have found that using a cooking spray like Pam helps them wipe off easier. Others swear that applying a good coating of cooking spray or car wax before taking off on a bug-filled journey will also help.

A Cargo Organizer Will Do Wonders For Your Trunk

The Kids Activities Blog also recommends adding a cargo shelf to your trunk to save space and help organize your car or SUV. Whether you have kids or not, your trunk could probably be a bit more organized, right? (Mine sure can!)

Reduce Food Mess With An Organization Bucket

Meals on the go are a fact of life for many families, but trusting kids with fast food in the car can lead to a big mess. Next time you swing through a drive-thru, come prepared with an organization bucket for stashing the food. This prevents fries from getting lost in the crevices and helps protect against spills.

Check it out in action — using a $1 bucket from Target, no less — on the blog Lookie What I Did

DIY A Backseat Garbage Can

If you frequently have little passengers in the back seat, you know they can make quite the mess. Craft a garbage can to hang over the front seat to encourage them from littering all over the car. They can even make a game of it by trying to see who can “score the most baskets.”

DIY A Car Seat Cover For Your Dog

If you’re headed out on a road trip with your pooch, you can protect your back seat from becoming covered in fur and keep your pup comfortable at the same time with a DIY seat cover. This tutorial from Your Sassy Self does not require any sewing. You can use a twin-size bedsheet or the fabric of your choice.

“Scour Off” For Your Hubcaps

If hosing down your hubcaps isn’t cutting it, try this trick I came across on the Ring Around the Rosies blog, where Jaima used Scour Off to clean her tire rims. Clean, shiny hubcaps can make such a difference for the overall appearance of your car.

Quick Fix For A Missing Wiper Blade

If you can’t make it to the mechanic to get a new wiper blade or happen to lose one on a long-distance drive, here’s a quick fix for you: Find yourself a woman’s stocking. Wrapping pantyhose tightly (keyword: tightly!) around your windshield wiper can offer a quick fix in a storm and prevent a bare wiper from possibly scratching your windshield.

Use Your Head To Lock/Unlock Your Car

Do you want to feel like a magician? If you’re too far from your car for your key fob to work, try using your head to extend your remote range. Yes, really. Your body’s fluids can extend the wireless signal from your key fob to the parked car. Just put your car key fob under your chin and push the button on your remote. (This works! I remember hearing the trick from a car alarm manufacturer's representative back in my electronic's career, but he said it was the bone structure in your head that applified the transmission -- maybe he was gigging me about the size of my head!!)

Use Clear Nail Polish To Repair Windshield Cracks

You know the old trick where you put clear nail polish on pantyhose to stop a run from going all the way down your leg? Well, the same theory works on small cracks in your windshield. Instead of waiting for the windshield to completely crack, put some nail polish on it as soon as you notice a small fracture.

Park Perfectly With A Tennis Ball

Do you ever struggle to figure out how far to pull in when parking in your garage? There’s a simple hack to prevent you from running into your storage boxes. Simply hang a tennis ball from the ceiling at the point where it will hit your windshield when you’ve pulled in to the exact right spot. Genius!

Borrow The Kids’ Pool Noodles For Your Garage

Do you hit the garage wall every time you open your car door? Place a pool noodle along the side of the garage, and it will protect your car from getting door dinged on a daily basis.

Get Directions From Delivery Drivers

Even with every square inch of this country mapped out thanks to Google, you could (theoretically) still get lost. Instead of asking the gas station attendant for directions, ask the local pizza or food delivery service. They have to drive the roads all the time, and they know where they’re going.

Remove Dents With A Plunger

If you have a minor dent, you may be able to repair it on the cheap with a plunger

plunger pulling gif

Use These Tricks When You’re Extremely Low On Gas

When you see your gas tank nearing “E” for empty, it may be tempting to speed up to find the nearest gas station. Don’t! According to car experts interviewed for Cars.com, the first thing you should do is pull over and look up the closest gas station and fastest route to getting there to avoid wasting any precious drops of fuel on a wrong turn. Next, turn off your heat or A/C, if possible, your stereo and unplug anything you’ve been charging. Finally, try to stick to a slow and steady speed (ideally going 35-45 miles per hour) until you reach your refueling point.

Drive Through Standing Water The Right Way

The best way to drive through a flooded section of road or massive puddle is to NOT drive through it at all. If going forward is your only option, hold steady on the gas and drive slowly. If you drive a manual, don’t change gears. You want to avoid water meeting the air intake on your engine, so the higher your car is off the ground, the better. But, again, the best way to prevent damage is to avoid driving through standing water in the first place.

("Winter is Coming") 

Defog Your Car By Turning On The Air Conditioning

It sounds crazy, but there is a reason this works. You can defog your car faster using this multi-step process:

  1. Turn the heat on full blast to eliminate moisture in the air.

  2. Turn on the A/C to make it more arid.

  3. Switch back to heat, and switch off the air recirculation button (the one with the arrow twirling around the inside of the car). Let that cold outside air come into the car while the heat is on.

  4. Open the windows. Not a lot, since it’s clearly cold outside, but enough to let cold air come into the car, drying it even more.

This works much quicker than just blasting the defrost when you first get in the car.

De-Ice A Frozen Lock With Hand Sanitizer

The alcohol in hand sanitizer will melt the ice right off your car door handle. Other ways to de-ice frozen locks in a pinch include breathing warm air onto the door handle, warming your key with a lighter or applying some WD-40.

Be Your Own Pizza Delivery Service

Who says you have to hurry home before your takeout gets cold? Why not use your seat warmer to heat up the large pizza sitting next to you?

Other links:  https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/56833/car-hacks-tricks-tips-families;  https://www.thedelite.com/30-strange-but-true-car-tricks-every-driver-should-know/ (warning: these sites are full of ads! that is why I collected most for you here.)

car tips and tricks for families 1

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