Life In The Fast Lane: 40 Car Hacks That Will Turn Your Life Around For The Better

By Israel O

The art of driving is quite simple, at least for automatic car drivers. Want to know what’s hard? Things like maintenance, traffic, the escalating price of fuel, and let’s not forget the accidental bumps and bashes from other cars. These things will drain you as a car owner, up to the point that you feel like abandoning your car on the highway and taking a walk instead. Of course, there are good times when you feel grateful for having a car, but those times will fade fast in your memory if you don’t know how to navigate your way around your daily car hiccups. This brings us to why we’re here – we’ve taken the liberty of sharing 40 hacks that will turn your driving life around for the better. 

Manual Lock

Undoubtedly, many cars come with electric locks these days. It is uncommon to see modern cars that still operate on only manual locks. However, the beauty of electric locks fades when they fail, or your battery is dead. They leave you stranded and confused. 

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The good news is that you do not have to remain stranded when your car lock fails. A small plastic piece under the handle gives you access to the car’s manual lock. Most manufacturers place it there as a backup. 

DIY Air Freshener

Having your car smell nice and cool doesn’t require that you break the bank. After all, some commercial air fresheners do not last for a long time. Here, we have come up with a cheap and long-lasting alternative for your car. 

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Get scented candles and place them in your car’s cup holder. You don’t need to light them up. As your car gets warm, the candle melts on its own and releases its scent into the car. This is a safer and more economical alternative. 

The Magic In Olive Oil

Olive oil has several uses and benefits. The most famous use is for cooking, but many people have found it beneficial in making beauty products. Another advantage of olive oil that you probably haven’t heard before is actually connected to cleaning.

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Cleaning your dashboard and leaving it shiny can be achieved with olive oil. Simply drop some on a coffee filter and wipe your dashboard with it. This will leave it shiny for many weeks. However, it might leave an unusual smell. 

Taking Care Of The Trash

It’s easy to turn your car into a garbage dump due to the fact that not so many strangers enter it and the limited space in most models. With so many hours in the car each week, you find yourself eating snacks and have nowhere to put the wrappers.

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Here’s an alternative. You can find an empty cereal container. If you don’t have one, empty one yourself and put plastic bags inside. This setup can become your trash can which would go a long way in keeping the whole place tidy. 

Versatile Phone Stand

Instead of wasting cash on buying fancy phone holders for your car, we have a cheaper alternative that is guaranteed to last for a long time. Get rubber bands and tie them around the AC vent. Ensure that you use strong enough elastic bands. 

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You can take one or two elastic bands that you have lying around your home. Secure your phone with these bands after you run them through the AC vent and enjoy having easier access to your phone and a safe spot to store it.

Expanding your Key Fob’s reach

Using your key fob to unlock your car is pretty cool until you’re standing too far from your car and the buttons become useless. Everyone knows the dreary feeling accompanying looking for a car with a non-functional remote control. It’s embarrassing and frustrating. 

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However, there’s a solution to this unusual hindrance. We discovered that placing the key fob under your chin makes it have a farther reach. The next time you’re standing too far from your car, don’t hesitate to try this trick. 

Food Warmer

Your car’s seat warmer has more benefits than you realize. You can use them to warm your takeout food order and keep them in top shape until you return home. Place your food on the seat warmers and enjoy your ride and food.

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This remedy would save your food from getting cold when you’re stuck in traffic and have a movie or date to catch. Instead of reaching the movies with a cold pizza, you can employ your seat warmers to do the job. 


People often experience a shortage of cup holders in the car, especially those who drink a lot of coffee or have a few passengers in the vehicle. A helpful alternative is getting your shoes and placing your coffee in them. Hopefully, the shoes are fresh!

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If you have more cups of coffee than your cup holders can take, you can set aside some shoes that will always stay in your car for this purpose. If you’re really in a pinch, ask a friend to lend out their shoe for the ride!

Repainting Your Car

As a road or car user, it’s nearly impossible to avoid scratches on your vehicle at all costs. No matter how careful you are, you can’t control the others on the road. These scratches will require that you buy expensive paint jobs, which will cost you a lot. 

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A helpful alternative that is also economical is to get nail polish. Repaint the scratches with a nail polish that has the exact color of your car. It might not be the best option, but it would cover the defects for a while and keep your costs down.

The Best Time To Change Tires

Knowing when to change tires is not common knowledge to many car owners. Many people drive their cars till the tires wear out and leave them stranded in the middle of nowhere. A simple coin test can help you in this regard. 

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Take a penny and dip it into your car’s tread. Ensure that the side with Lincoln’s head goes deep into the tread. If the tread covers Lincoln’s forehead, your tires are still good. Otherwise, it might be a good time to change them. 

Keeping your Windshields Dry

This hack is the same as our tip to keep moisture out of our phones. The hack can also be applied to our car windshields. Remember that putting your wet phone in a bag of rice helps you remove the water moisture and return the phone to normal.

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If you wish to remove moisture from your windshields, as you need them dry to see the road clearly, fill a cloth bag with rice and place it on the dashboard. Doing this will be sure to keep the moisture out efficiently.

The Best Way To Melt Snow

The dreary feeling that accompanies going out early in the morning and having to clean off accumulated snow on your windshield is second to none. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the chance to clean them off before you become late for your appointment.

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Some other times, you might not be that lucky. Instead of arriving late to your next appointment, you can park your car outside and make it face east. The early sunrise will help you melt the ice on the windshield without hassle. 

An Effective Wiper

During snow or other similar environmental conditions, your car’s windshield will suffer from a steady accumulation of dirt, ice, snow, and humidity. When using your wipers at full blast while driving, you might cause more harm than good. It might lead to scratches on the windshield.

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An effective way of cleaning your windshields in this kind of situation is to wrap them in stockings. Doing this will help you clean the windshield from getting an obstructed view from dirt. Ensure that the socks are clean before use. 

Keeping Your Body Cool In The Summer

Waiting in traffic is enough hassle, especially for people that get stuck frequently. The worst part is to have to wait in summer while your AC decides to go on vacation. This feeling is quite possibly hell on earth. No, thank you!

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Some people decide to open all the windows in a bid to find a quick solution to their heat problem. Doing this might not be the best solution. A helpful alternative is to open the two front windows only to allow the air to circulate effectively. 

Finding the Gas Tank

Finding your gas tank shouldn’t be difficult if you’re used to your own car. The story changes when you rent, borrow, or use another person’s car. It’s even somewhat embarrassing when you pull up at the wrong side to get fuel. 

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The secret to finding the direction of your gas tank is to look for an arrow beside the gas gauge panel in front of you. The arrow’s direction points to where the gas tank is located. Ensure you look for this next time. 

Another Use For Pool Noodles

One of the biggest fears of car owners is getting their cars scratched, especially if it’s new. The cost of repainting is enormous, so many people drive carefully on narrow roads. Similarly, a tight garage space predisposes car doors to dings. 

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Those pool noodles that you think aren’t useful when you see them can help you prevent car door dings. Simply put some at the same height as your car door on both sides of your garage. This trick provides a soft bumper for your door. 

A Sanitized Keyhole

Winter comes with several challenges for drivers, one of them is getting your car covered in ice all the time. Even worse is getting your keyhole jammed due to the accumulation of ice and debris. It’s a frustrating and unforgettable experience. 

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Whenever you have a jammed keyhole, a helpful solution is to generously pour some hand sanitizers into the hole. Wait for a couple of minutes and watch as the ice melts. Another advantage of this method is that you’ll have a clean keyhole. 

The Parking Secret

Hitting a car against a random object in the garage while parking is common for many drivers, especially newbies. These unexpected hits might give your car permanent scratches that will cost you a lot when you go for a repair. 

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You can try this trick as a remedy. Suspend a tennis ball with a rope and let it stay at a point that touches your windshield. When the windshield touches the ball, it will tell you that you’ve parked in the best spot.

More Gas

Filling up your tank as a gas station shouldn’t be a rushed affair. Many people are guilty of rushing while filling their tanks, probably because they don’t know its disadvantages. Rushing might make you pump more air than gas. 

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Next time you’re at the gas station, try filling the tank slowly or take a rest as you pump. Doing this will make you get less air into the tank. It’s important that you get your money’s worth with gas. 

Neat Trunks

Bedrooms and car trunks have one thing in common: the ease with which they get untidy and unorganized. Almost everyone feels like throwing various items randomly in their trunk. Thankfully, there’s a hack to keeping the things in your trunk more organized. 

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The solution to this is to get one or two laundry baskets. Doing this will allow you to have conducive storage space and also help you keep your trunk tidy. When you are ready to bring things like groceries inside, just grab the entire laundry basket and bring it inside. Easy!

The Beauty Of Traffic Lights

Speeding your way through to every destination isn’t always the best way of arriving early. In fact, speeding your way through to every place will make you late, in the long run, eventually damaging your brakes. Not to mention the risk that you are taking for your life and all the other drivers on the road as well.

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The reason is that speeding causes you to break and stop at every traffic light forcefully. If you followed the traffic lights and speed limits religiously, you would reach your destination on time without risking your vehicle or brake pads. 

Organize Your Shoes

Your home isn’t the only place where you can have a shoe rack. You can create a special shoe rack with the aid of a shoe organizer in your car. All you need is to buy some of these special pouches from the dollar store.

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Hang the shoe organizer at the back of the front seat. With this, you can have a tidy space for keeping your shoes. Moreover, you can put snacks or toys and games for the children to keep them occupied. The possibilities are endless.

Extra Storage Space

A simple mesh netting and cords can help you create extra storage space on the top of your car. You can simply attach the net through sole cords to the ceiling of your car. You DA attach the ropes to the hand-holders. 

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This way, you’ve succeeded in creating extra storage space in a conspicuous place. However, you shouldn’t put too many items in it except if you don’t mind banging your head on the storage space. You should also ensure that the cords are strong. 

Sticker Remover

Having old stickers all-around a car disfigures it sometimes. This is particularly the case when the stickers are half-torn or dirty. The worst part is that putting them there is easy, but removing them after a while is quite difficult. 

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A sure way of removing old and dirty stickers is to apply heat. You can supply this heat through a hairdryer. Simply plug and make it hot. Then, apply on all sticker areas. This should make them fall off easily. 

Repairing Dents

As a driver, it’s almost impossible not to have one or two dents on your car as a result of accidents or collisions with other road users. These dents can disfigure your vehicle and cause you to spend outrageous sums. 

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Here’s a hack to repair those dents. Simply pick up the plunger in your bathroom. Clean it and pour some hot water over the area with a dent. Place the plunger over the dent firmly and pull till the dent evens out. 

Cleaning Foggy Headlights

Here, you’ll learn another use of your brush and toothpaste. Everyone knows that a foggy headlight isn’t the best while driving, no matter the distance. It’s against safe practices and can lead to unwanted accidents, especially for other road users.

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Next time you’re dealing with a foggy headlight, smear some toothpaste and spread it all around with a toothbrush. Wait for some minutes and wash the paste off with warm water. Doing this leaves you with clear and shiny headlights. 

Another Use For Stockings

Here’s another uncommon use for stockings. They can help you as a temporary fix for a damaged fan belt. We recommend keeping an extra pair of socks in your car before your next trip. They may come in handy for many reasons.

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When your fan belt snaps, instead of getting stranded before the mechanic comes, you can use a stocking temporarily to get home. Simply stop your car quickly and remove the damaged belt. Then, tie the sock around the engine pulley. 

Finding Your Car Effortlessly

Sometimes, finding your car after parking in a crowded spot can seem daunting. This is especially the case when you use a large or multilevel parking space. The feeling of looking for your car when you need it is not a pleasant one. 

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We have a hack for you if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. The secret is to snap photos of the surrounding where you parked the car. Doing this will make it easy for you to locate your vehicle at the night’s end.  

Cleaning With Slime

A while ago, someone became famous on TikTok not for a comedy skit or winning a giveaway, but for cleaning their car with an unusual item. The person proved that one could get the dirt out of a vehicle with slime. 

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You can start by making all specks of dirt come in contact with the slime. The sticky nature of goo or slime makes dirt stick to them willingly. Next time you want to clean your car’s interior, simply think of slime. 

Cleaning The Wiper

Even though it works as a cleaner, your wiper also accumulates dirt over time. When this happens, it becomes ineffective in its work and could cause more damage than good. Hence, cleaning the wipers regularly becomes imperative. You can achieve this with a microfiber cloth. 

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Take a microfiber cloth and glass cleaner. Use this combination to clean the wiper. It will remove the stains effortlessly. Cleaning your wipers is equally essential as having a full tank before traveling. It prevents obstructed views during a trip. 

Making Your Car Smell Good

Using an air freshener or car spray makes your car smell good, but there’s a cheaper and long-lasting alternative that you probably haven’t thought about. The answer can be found in those good dryer sheets tucked away in your laundry room. 

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Simply get a couple of dryer sheets and place them under the seats in your car. Putting them there will make the smell penetrate every nook and cranny of your vehicle. You can also place some of these sheets in the AC vent. 

A Makeshift Tint

Waking up to drive your car early in the morning comes with some challenges, especially if the time coincides with sunrise. You will have to contend with the sun’s rays obstructing your view in that situation. It’s frustrating and dangerous.

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You can make a makeshift tint yourself by getting tinted plastic sheets. Place them at strategic spots where the rays trouble you. Hold them with the static of your windshield and enjoy your safe and easy drive without any sunny obstruction. 

Cupcake Holders to the Rescue

Apart from holding sweet and sumptuous desserts, cupcake holders can have an important use in your car. Almost every car owner knows that cup holders serve two functions- holding your cup of coffee and collecting dirt while doing the job. 

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You can get a couple of cupcake liners and put them in your car’s cup holders. This way, any spillage or dirt that would enter the cup holder will fall into the cupcake holder. It will also make cleaning the place easier. 

Paper Towel Holder

Get some bungee cord and tie it to the underside of your trunk lid if you wish to make a paper towel holder. Ensure that you put the cord through the paper towel before fixing it. You can also adjust the cord length as you desire.

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This simple DIY project will allow you to keep a spare paper towel in your car. Paper towels are very indispensable items that must be in every vehicle. Their uses vary from cleaning surfaces to mopping up spills and removing grime stains. 

Extra Space For Groceries

The trunks of some cars have enough storage, but this doesn’t apply to many people. When you go grocery shopping, you need as much space as possible. Sometimes, keeping stuff in the back seat is your only option if they’re not occupied.

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For instance, placing liquids that could spill or raw egg in the backseat would ruin the fabric in your car and your newly acquired purchases. Instead, you can get carabiners. Hang them at the back of the front seat and enjoy your newly carved storage space. 

Getting A Smooth Drive

Not having a full tank or good engine isn’t the only impediment to a smooth drive. In winter, car owners face several challenges. Apart from the ice deposits that sit on your windshields overnight, you also get massive ice deposits on the roads. 

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The downside to these ice deposits is that it causes some drivers to lose control due to low friction between the road and the tires. Place some water softener salt bags in the back to help put some weight on the back tires. 

Pool Noodles To The Rescue

Here’s another interesting use for pool noodles. Apart from helping you cushion the effect of dings and scratches on your door, they are also handy when it comes to helping car owners to prevent items that get lost between the seats. 

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We all know that it isn’t easy digging the space beside your seat for an item. It’s either your hand doesn’t reach the place, or if you’re lucky, the item rolls over. Either way, to prevent that, you can fit in pool noodles beside your seat to block the area.

Protecting your Fingers

Undoubtedly, inserting a new car key into a keyring is painful. You have to use your fingers to open up the ring and hold it long enough for the new key to enter. Doing this regularly might cause unintended injury.

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A helpful alternative in this regard is to get a staple remover and use it to hold the keyring apart. This will make the ring stay open until the new key enters without torturing yourself. It also prevents unwanted injuries. 

Automatic Garage Opener

The best thing that can happen to a car owner when he arrives home is to find the garage door key effortlessly. Otherwise, the thought of finding the garage key in between the crevices beside the seats is overwhelming and frustrating. 

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To prevent situations like this, you can install an automatic garage door opener that you can press when you get home. This requires a technical installation and isn’t something that everyone can do independently without support.

The Universal Ingredient

A combination of water and vinegar can be used to do a lot of things. Here, we’ll reveal to you that you can use this combination to melt ice. We all know how waiting for the snow to dissolve can be a real hassle. 

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Mix the two components in a spray bottle and apply them to your windshield. Wait for some minutes for the snow to melt entirely and wash the stain off the windshield. Do this every time it snows and you will always be amazed.