You Can’t Call Yourself a Driver If You Don’t Know These 10+ Tricks
Being an experienced driver doesn't mean you know everything there is to know about cars.
Things like knowing that dishwashing liquid is actually useful when cleaning windows, how socks can keep your wipers from freezing in the winter, or the simplest and easiest way to get that fogginess out of your headlights are just a few of handy tricks you'll want to remember.
Because we love inexpensive and easy-DIY solutions, Bright Side has looked into some terrific hacks to care for, safeguard, and maintain your beloved four-wheeled assistant!
14. Use the recirculation button when stuck in traffic to recirculate polluted air.
Perhaps one of the most forgotten buttons on anyone’s car dashboard, the recirculation button actually has a use, besides just hanging out there all alone.
It basically recirculates the air inside your car, instead of pulling it from the outside. This could be useful if you’re stuck in traffic and the air outside fills with exhaust smoke. Just press the recirculation button to shut off the airflow from the outside. You can also do this during the summer to keep the inside air cool and refreshing. Pretty neat!
13. Save fuel by removing unwanted weight in the car.
Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Well, yeah, but we bet everyone has a bunch of stuff that hasn’t left the trunk for ages! The problem is that fuel consumption goes up the more weight is in the car because the engine needs to burn through more fuel in order to accelerate and keep it moving.
12. Use dishwashing liquid to remove grease from windows.
Dishwashing liquid can be a really good and cheap way to clean your car windows and windshield after years of use. Anything from cigarette smoke and fingerprints, to dog saliva, can be hard to remove in the long run, even with a good window cleaner.
Just grab a damp and warm washcloth, use a drop of dishwashing liquid, and start cleaning. Afterward, just proceed with the normal window cleaner procedure. Dishwashing liquid is really good to use to remove all sorts of greasiness and it’s really effective if applied as a before-window-cleaner solution!
11. Use a movable shade on the windshield to block the sun (it’s a pilot trick!).
Sometimes the sun is a pain and an actual danger for all of us drivers. Luckily, there’s a cheap and proven way to mitigate the problem: a movable shade. This hack has actually been used by pilots for years, so its usefulness has been proven over and over again.
It’s cheap and it will make your experience during the summer much better and less stressful.
In case you’re wondering where you can get your hands on such a handy tool, you can grab it here.
10. Socks on windshield wipers
Leaving the house early in the morning during the winter can be hard, especially when you get to your car and not only is your windshield frozen, but so are your wiper blades. A handy tip to keep them from freezing overnight is to pull them up and cover them with old socks. This will keep them protected from all kinds of things, including snow, ice, rain, and extreme coldness (within reason, of course).
9. Pin your car on your GPS app to remember where you parked.
We’ve all been there, in a city we are unfamiliar with or in gigantic parking lot, and BAM! You’re lost. A surefire way to remember where you left your chariot is to use your phone’s GPS. Just pin it on the map and relax, you’re safe and you don’t have to remember exactly where you parked!
8. Use a damp newspaper to remove bumper sticker marks.
Those bumper sticker marks are a reality we have all faced before. They’re especially troublesome on the car’s paint. A quick, cheap, and easy way to take ’em off is to wet a newspaper with warm water and apply it on the damp area, then let it become moist to the point that it sticks on the car.
Leave it on for about 10 minutes, so the water penetrates the adhesive on the sticker/sticker mark. Then, gently scrape it off (along with the newspaper) with a card (like a credit card). Repeat if necessary, we guarantee it’ll come off.
7. Clean foggy headlights with sandpaper.
Foggy headlights are a reality we’ve all faced after a while. This makes the headlights less effective, and if you let it go too long, it can potentially be dangerous.
First, we have to get a headlight cleaning kit, like this one. Then, it’s very handy if you have a drill on hand because you’re going to have to attach a special drill accessory to sand over the yellow “dirtiness” on the headlights. Keep going through the different sandpapers, and after it looks like snow, polish it with the special compound included in the kit. Clean it properly afterward and you’re all set!
6. Use a kitchen plunger for dents.
Plungers are actually pretty useful outside of kitchens and bathrooms. As shown in the picture, you can also use a cup plunger to fix small and medium-sized dents in your car. Wet both the dent and the plunger, and use it as if you were unclogging a drain — push and pull — until it comes out.
5. Remove rust with Coca-Cola.
Since coke is available everywhere, and since it’s carbonated, it’s a useful and cheap way to remove tarnish and rust from metals and their alloys, thanks to its phosphoric acid.
Just spray the desired rusty surface with coke, and then use a brush (or a toothbrush if the area is smaller) to break it up. Apply and scrub as necessary. Don’t forget to clean the scrubbed area with water after you’re done.
4. Get out of mud or sand
We’ve all been to a picnic on a particularly rainy or wet day, only to have our four-wheeled friend get stuck in the yucky mud, or the sand. The first thing to keep in mind is that there’s always a way to get out, and panicking isn’t helpful. You’ll need a shovel or high scooping endurance and patience for this.
Using the shovel, your hands, or anything you can get to dig and try to clear as much mud and sand as you can from around the wheels. If your car still won’t move, there are other things you can try, like switching from reverse to drive to start gaining momentum and deflating your tires to increase their surface area. Remember, take a shovel with you whenever you venture into dangerous territory.
3. Keep your car’s remote control separate from your keys.
This is more common sense than anything, but most modern car alarm systems have a built-in system to prevent car theft, effectively locking everything in your car if you use it.
It’s especially handy to keep it separate from your car keys in case you get mugged, thrown out of your car, if someone decides to take a ride in your chariot or, if for whatever reason, you left the keys inside the car.
2. Don’t start the car right away in the winter.
Just like pretty much everyone and everything, car batteries don’t really enjoy extremely cold temperatures. In fact, those really cold temperatures during the winter can be really harmful to your car battery if you don’t warm it up first.
Just turn your headlights on for a little bit and then turn on the car engine. You can also warm it up with the radio, if you prefer.
1. Use the arrow beside the fuel icon on the dashboard to figure out which side your gas tank is on.
Pulling into the gas station to refuel, only to park on the wrong side of the fuel tank has happened to all of us. That “uh, oh” moment, when we realize everyone at the gas station is going to make fun of us. What most of us don’t know (or never really noticed) is that the fuel icon on the dashboard actually tells us which side the tank is on with a little arrow.
What did you think of our handy little tips? There’s plenty more out there and we’d love to hear your suggestions below!