Every smart car owner I know love finding ways to cut as many corners as they can and work more efficiently. Today, we’re going to compile a list of all the best car hacks that we know — some can even save your lives.
Take a look at these and see how many of these you already know:
- Cover your seats with a towel when parking under the sun.
- If you have infants onboard, avoid skin burns by cooling their belt and buckles with a fine mist spray. The water doesn’t have to cool as evaporation will cool the hot plastic and metal quickly.
- Is your steering wheel burning hot when you come in? Turn your steering wheel 180 degrees when parking.
- If you’re stuck in the snow and you’re using your car to keep warm, make sure your exhaust is clear. Otherwise, you might die of carbon monoxide poisoning. A lot of times people think the heat will melt the snow off, but that won’t happen if there’s a high volume of snow around it.
- If you can’t get your car out of snow, take your car’s floor mat and place it on your car’s wheel. This will give your car enough traction to get out of your spot.
- During winter, little animals would find shelter everywhere just to stay warm. Knock on the hood of your car before starting it to make sure no animal has climbed underneath it. You might be surprised to see squirrels nesting in it.
KEEPING A HEALTHY CAR
- Before handing your mechanic the keys to your car, take pictures of all sides of your car and the odometer. If anything is damaged, you’ll have proof that it’s their fault and not a pre-existing condition.
- To find a good mechanic that you can trust, find out where the police take their cars for repairs. No policeman would want to do business with a cutthroat.
- The sounds your car make usually tells the story of what’s wrong with it. Turn off your radio once in a while to listen. You might catch a lot of mechanical issues early before it gets really expensive.
- Avoid driving over plastic grocery whenever you can. They tend to get sucked and intertwined into the most precious parts of your car like your AC compressors, alternators, half-axles, exhaust system components, clutch area, etc. leading to failure, expensive repairs, and a risk of fire.
- Before jacking up your car when changing a tire, loosen your lug nuts first. Don’t remove it until the car is jacked up — just LOOSEN it. We all know that removing the lug nuts can be very tough, and struggling with it is difficult (and scary) when it’s jacked up. This wouldn’t be a problem if you took care of it beforehand.
- Sometimes, the flat tire wouldn’t come off your car even after the lug nuts are removed. Just use your spare tire as a battering ram. Hitting the bottom would pop the top off, and vice versa. While doing this, keep your feet and arms away from under the car. You do not want your car falling on you.
- If you have an hour free, go ahead and rehearse the whole tire replacement in a safe place. This will keep you prepared for any emergency breakdown situations since you would know what’s up with your car.
- If you want to have a deeper understanding of the computer systems and embedded software in modern vehicles, check out this Car Hacker’s Handbook. It’s completely free, and it would give you a crash course on how to track vehicles, unlock doors, glitch engines, flood communication, and other low-cost tricks.
- Have a sticker on your window that’s a pain in the ass to remove? Soak some newspaper in some warm water and place it over the stick for 10 minutes. It would make the sticker peel right off.
- If you have hazy car headlights, use toothpaste on it to polish it. Cleaning headlights with toothpaste work wonder as toothpaste is a mild abrasive.
- Buying a new car is the worst financial decision anyone can make. New cars depreciate in value a LOT, right off the bat upon purchase. With the fast-paced changing technology, your car might not be worth a lot after a year or two.
BUYING USED CARS
- Look at the tires. If it’s worn on edges, it means the wheel bearings are worn or the car has bad alignment. If they’re brand new tires, it masks the problem for a few thousand miles.
- Forget mileage — look at the brake pedal pad. City driving, which makes for the low mileage, causes the brake pedal pad to wear down since there’s a lot of stops and go involved. This is hard on the transmission.
- Check out the body lines where the hood, doors, and trunk lid meet. Cars from the factory have equal lines so the gap should be the same the entire way around. If it’s closer or further apart in some areas, the car has seen an accident.
- Notice the paint. The color should be the same for the entire car. Otherwise, bodywork has been done. Look for bubbles in paint or small holes in body panels.
- When test driving a car, drive it harder than you normally would and listen for the noises. Lightly hold the steering wheel and make sure it doesn’t pull to one side or the other.