Most car owners encounter little—or sometimes large—seemingly-unavoidable inconveniences. We’ve asked around and compiled a list of our favorite car maintenance “life hacks” to make your life easier. These simple, DIY solutions can help you keep your headlights clean, remove bumper stickers, and even extend the range of your wireless keys in a strange and unexpected way.
Let’s dive in:
#10 – Prevent a Windshield Crack from Growing with Nail Polish
It’s happened to almost everyone: you’re driving along peacefully, perhaps behind a large truck transporting something like gravel, and before you know it a piece of debris flies up and puts a nice big chip in your windshield. Over the next couple of weeks, that little chip develops into a full-blown crack—ugly and in many states, illegal.
To prevent a chip or crack from spreading, fill it in with clear nail polish or any other clear substance that acts as an adhesive. You won’t be able to see the nail polish after it dries, and while you’ll eventually have to replace the window, you can potentially extend its lifespan.
#9 – Open Frozen Locks Quickly
Those of us in the colder states know all too well how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to head off to work when you realize that your door locks have frozen over, making it near-impossible to unlock your vehicle. A simple fix is to squirt a bit of hand sanitizer onto the lock. The alcohol content of the sanitizer will thaw out the ice, but the solution is gentle enough that it won’t damage the surrounding paint.
#8 – Pool Noodles to Protect Your Doors
Is it a bit of a tight fit to park in your garage? Cut a pool noodle in half—one of those dirt-cheap Styrofoam tubes kids love to play with in the pool—and attach them lengthwise on the wall of your garage where your door is most likely to hit the wall. Never again worry about damaging your car door or the wall with unsightly dings or dents.
#7 – Clean Your Headlights with Toothpaste
Fogged up headlights? Frustrated that your household cleaning supplies didn’t work quite as well as you had expected? One of the best ways to clean them off is surprisingly simple: just use toothpaste. It sounds strange, but give it a shot and be prepared to be amazed. Make it extra weird and use a big brush for added effectiveness. If your headlights are foggy due to oxidized plastic, it’s time for a BG Headlight Restoration Service.
#6 – Interior Detailing with Kitchen Supplies
Odds are you already have both of these components in your kitchen: olive oil and coffee filters. Olive oil is excellent at picking up dust and grime, both of which tend to accumulate on your dashboard and other plastic-based interior components. Coffee filters are soft enough not to cause scratches (as coarse paper towels might) but durable enough to let you get a good cleaning in. Do not attempt on an empty stomach.
#5 – Timing Belt Broken?
If you missed your last driveline maintenance appointment, it’s possible that your timing belt had worn down before you noticed it needed to be replaced—if this happens while you’re on the road, you won’t get far before causing major damage to the other components of the engine. If you’re in a real pinch and want to try some MacGyver-esque problem-solving, a pair of stockings can sometimes be enough to serve as a makeshift belt replacement. Stockings are strong yet flexible and may be enough to get your car to the nearest mechanic—but only attempt this if you absolutely must!
#4 – Prevent Missing or Damaged Wiper Blades from Scratching Your Windshield
It’s a wonder more drivers don’t keep an extra pair of stockings in their trunk. If you’ve forgotten to replace your wiper blades before the rainy months arrive, it’s possible that the summer has dried them out enough to cause them to break or even come off completely. The bare blade can scratch your windshield, but if you wrap a stocking around the blade, you can prevent this damage and wick away rainwater. It won’t be as good as a new pair of wiper blades, but it’ll work well enough to get you to the store.
#3 – Remove Bumper Stickers Easily
Everyone groans when they need to take off a bumper sticker—they almost never come off cleanly, leaving glue residue on your bumper or trunk. The glue just needs to be loosened up: wet down an old newspaper and stick it over the glue. Wait 15 or 20 minutes and come back to scrape it off. You’ll be shocked at how easy it is to wipe away after a little newspaper bath.
#2 – Remove Small Dents with This Common Bathroom Accessory
If you have a small dent in the side of your car, you might actually be able to pull it out by using… yes, a bathroom plunger. Affix the plunger to the dent and gently pull back. This is more or less the same thing that professional dent removal services do on a larger scale.
#1 – Increase the Range of Your Wireless Keys
This is easily one of the most fascinating tips we’ve shared here. Let’s say you’re too far away from your car to use your wireless keys. Maybe you need to unlock it for a friend, or the alarm is going off and everyone in the parking lot is staring at your car. If you hold your keys underneath your chin while holding your mouth open, you’ll turn your head into what is essentially a human satellite—the fluids in your body will act as a range extender.
As always, if you have questions on how BG Products can help you maintain your vehicle, contact us!