We love a good life hack. From quick car tricks to improve mundane tasks to life changing discoveries that will forever change your daily chores, there’s a lot to love when it comes to easy changes that improve your driving experience.
If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll be all too familiar with the many challenges that driving presents. To make your next journey efficient and enjoyable, we’ve prepared this list of the very best car life hacks.
1. Be app-conscious
The popularisation of smartphones has affected all of us. Gone are the days of carrying multiple bulky devices around, with tiny smartphones now acting as a capable computing device able to take on a wide range of tasks.
On our smartphones, there are a whole host of applications to suit whatever need imaginable. Google Maps and Waze are arguably the two best satellite navigation alternatives on the market, even outperforming dedicated devices thanks to real-time traffic updates, clean user interfaces, and unparalleled convenience.
There are even apps to help you pay for parking. The NCP app, for example, allows users to pay for parking hours in advance for over 150,000 spaces all over the UK, helping you save time after a long commute.
2. Keeping food warm
Sometimes, a takeaway is just what you need. But there’s nothing worse than driving home on an empty stomach, only to find that your food is stone cold when you arrive.
It’s a heart-breaking situation, but thankfully, there’s a solution. If your car has seat or feet warmers, they can be extremely effective as a makeshift food warming station. We’re not saying your food will be as hot, but it definitely won’t be as cold.
3. The power of toothpaste
Not just a part of your oral hygiene, toothpaste is a very diverse tool. It can be used to remove stains, mark walls for drilling, and general cleaning tasks around the house.
Toothpaste should also form a part of your car maintenance kit. It can be used to de-fog headlights, and even correct mild scratches in paint work. Thanks to its various ingredients, toothpaste is able to act as an effective polish, removing surface level blemishes from years of road use. It can even integrate itself into your car’s clear coat as an effective way of disguising scratches.
4. Fixing dents with a plunger
There’s nothing worse than a minor dent in your car’s panelling. Some of them are so small that they’re practically invisible, but others are substantially bigger and can cost thousands to fix.
If you’ve discovered a dent and are in need of a budget friendly fix, consider trying a plunger and some boiling water.
Brew some hot water in the kettle and let it cool for about 30 seconds, then add a drop of washing up liquid to produce some soap suds. Once mixed, simply pour a small amount over your car’s dent and apply pressure with a plunger. The water will help make the panelling more malleable and easier to manipulate, while the plunger does a good job of pulling the dent out of the body.
5. Remembering parking places
So, you’re on a new adventure to a place you’ve never been to, and now it’s time to park the car. In unfamiliar environments, it can be easy to get lost; a real problem when it comes to navigating back to your parking spot.
If you’ve got a smartphone, switch on geo-tagging in your camera settings and simply take a photo of your car. This will save your current coordinates to the photo, allowing you to re-trace your steps and find your car. You can even make things easier by looking at nearby landmarks or distinguishable parts of the road such as statues, signs or road markings.
6. Using razorblades to clean glass
Okay, we understand. Taking a sharp blade to a glass surface may seem unnatural at first, but razorblades make for a great cleaning tool for particularly dirty windscreens and car windows.
The belief here is that glass is a harder material than metal, and thus won’t be scratched by even the sharpest of razor blades. Sometimes, the usual cleaning process involving window cleaner and microfibre cloths simply wont cut it, so you’ll need something a bit stronger.
Rather than continuously rubbing chemicals into your windscreen and producing smudges, simply spray a small amount of cleaning solution on to your windscreen and wipe it away with a sharp razor blade.
7. Spotting a flat tyre
Has your car’s handling recently deteriorated for seemingly no reason? It could be that one of your tyres has become flat.
This does happen naturally, as tyre pressure decreases over time. But sometimes, a tiny nail can be the underlying culprit. If you’re having trouble spotting your flat tyre, try spraying some soapy water over it.
Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add in a drop of washing up liquid. Give it a shake and spray the liquid on to the surface of the tyre. Keep an eye out for any air bubbles bursting outwards, as this is where the air is escaping your tyre and causing the tyre to deflate.
8. Improve organisation
If the inside of your car is cluttered and difficult to sort, this could be one of the most useful car interior hacks that you’ll come across.
There’s a lot of wasted space within cars, the biggest of which happens to be on the backs of our seats. Give yourself another neat storage area by strapping a shoe organiser to the back of your car seat. You then have a bunch of little pockets that you can use to hold frequently misplaced items that is always within easy reach.
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