The Car-Owners’ Guide To Saving Money And Space

By Aayush G

This article was originally published on morehackz

Cars are, hands down, the best inventions in modern history; nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a world without vehicles. If you live in the suburbs or rural areas, then you know how important it is to have a fully functioning car. Although our cars make it easy for us to commute to work and go on grocery runs, it is a job in and of itself to keep them maintained. Problems that come with cars are endless, and while many are something only professionals can deal with, there are many others that anyone can handle. We’re here to help you with a few of them to make driving simpler. The hacks, tips, and tricks on this list are easy for anyone to do. Have you tried any of these yourself? If so, let us know which is your favorite!

1. Homemade Car Freshener

Car fresheners are an essential accessory one should have in their car. It gives the vehicle a cool vibe and lifts the mood of the driver. That’s why the first hack on the list is the homemade DIY car freshener.

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You can make it by using a container with a lid and some scented candles. Take the container and put some holes in its lid, now put the scented wax candles in the jar and close it. Put it in the cup holder, and when your car gets warm, the candles will melt to give you a soothing fresh smell.

2. Keyring Hack

Keyrings are something we use daily, to carry our keys in an easy and stylish way. But the problem is changing the keys in it is a painful process that one has to go through every time they want to make alterations.

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But we are here to make the process easy and pain-free with our easy keyring hack. You can do this by using a staple pin remover; you can use the present on the back of every stapler or the specific one, like shown in the picture above.

3. Ice Melter

You got up late, now you only have 30 minutes to get up and drive to work, but as soon you come out, you find that your windshield is covered by snowfall that happened last night, and here you are late for the job again!

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But we will not let this happen because, with this hack, you can melt the ice in under five minutes. Just mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray some on your windshield. The ice will melt away, and after a wipe, you’re good to go.

4. Easy Car Hooks

Between umbrellas, purses, reusable bags, and a garbage bag, it’s easy for our cars to get cluttered. Especially when it comes time to pack things away like groceries, we want to keep the seats, or even floor, clear. Why not make room for the essentials with this easy organizing hack.

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That’s where the carabineers or “car hooks” come into play. These are simple hooks that can be attached to your car’s front seats, and in a snap, you have extra space to hang whatever you want in your vehicle. It’s a great way to stay organized, too!

5. Seat Gaps Sealer

There are just too many examples to prove that car seat gaps are one of the worst places to lose your things in, not the least of which is because they are very tight and hard to reach. That’s why sealing them is very important.

image courtesy of Alpacalypse28/ Reddit

But don’t worry because you don’t need any fancy product to do this because pool noodles would do the trick pretty well. Just grab a pair and stick it in your seat gaps, and voila, you are saved from a headache.

6. Winter Driving Hack

One of the worst things about snow is black ice, which makes it impossible to drive on the roads. To save yourself from this situation, you can use weights like salt bags in your trunk to increase the weight on your rear tires.

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This will increase the friction of your tires with the road, and hence it would be easy for you to maneuver in snow. But this hack will work best for the vehicles which are rear-wheel drive, so FWD car owners, you still have to suffer! (Just kidding)

7. Clean Wipers

Everyone would agree that the most crucial thing when driving on the road is visibility. Even a full tank will take you nowhere if you can’t see the road properly. To tackle this, you should make it a habit of cleaning your wipers regularly.

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Wipers are in direct contact with your windshield and hence it becomes important to clean them because the dust present in them will scratch the windshield, which is a costly repair in your car. Glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth are all you need to keep your windshield wipers good as new.

8. Car Paper Towel

Paper towels are essential to keep on hand in one’s car. Spills and dust are two major reasons why your car can get dirty, and having paper towels in easy access can help you clean up those problems the moment they occur.

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But throwing a roll of paper towels in your trunk would not be a good decision as they themselves will become dirty rolling around on the floor. What you can do is take a rope and stick it in the trunk of your car like shown in the picture and get the paper towel from there when needed.

9. Keep Your cup holders clean

Cup holders are one of the most common places where you can find all kinds of small crumbs and pieces of food items, and dust. To help you in this, we’re here to give you an easy and quick way to solve this nerve-wracking problem.

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All you have to do is take a couple of cupcake holders and throw them in the cupholder space of your car. They’ll collect all the dust and food pieces in them, and you can simply replace them instead of vacuuming the whole area each time.

10. Easy Sticker Peel off Trick

We all agree that nobody likes unwanted stickers on their car, especially if it’s left by the previous car owner. But when you go to peel them off, their glue just makes it impossible to do so in one piece. And then the never-ending process of hurting your fingernails begins.

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But there’s an easier way to peel off stickers without destroying your nails. Just take your hairdryer and apply some heat to the decal. After some time, peel the sticker, and you will see how easily it comes off of your car.

11. Slimy Cleaning

If you use social media, you must be aware of those satisfying videos where people use slime in different ways. Well, one guy on Tiktok used it for cleaning his car and millions of people liked the hack, including us!

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Just take the slime and run it through your car’s interior, and in no time, you will find your car as clean as new. It’s better than a microfiber cloth because it can easily reach places the cloth would struggle, like the AC vents.

12. Colgate to the Rescue

The headlights are an integral part of any vehicle, and they are the most important in night driving because these are what will give you the vision to drive. But foggy headlights are something nobody likes and can be dangerous on dark evenings.

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To fix it, you don’t need to get your headlights replaced because the solution to this is lying in your bathroom. Take your toothpaste, pour some on the headlight and rub it with a toothbrush; doing this, you will get headlights clean as new.

13. Speeding is a NO!

If you want to reach your destination fast, speeding on the road is NOT the quickest way to get there. You would think we’re out of our minds but wait till we explain it to you. When you speed, you wear out your breaks quicker every time you stop.

Image courtesy of Vinnikava Viktoryia/Shutterstock

Speed limits are there for a reason. Not only do they keep you safe among all the other vehicles and keep you in check when there are pedestrians, but slower speeds in areas with a lot of stoplights also help your vehicle. Remember this the next time you feel the need to speed.

14. Olive Oil Dashboard Cleaner

Olive oil is a great alternative to regular oils because of its nutrition and health benefits. But why is it included in this list of car hacks? Well, the oil which you use to cook meals is a secret dashboard cleaner.

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Just take a few drops of olive oil through a coffee filter and pour it on the dashboard of your car. Give it a good wipe and wait for a few minutes to let it soak; at the end, you’ll get a dashboard looking as good as new.

15. Easy Utility Space

If you’re reading this list, you’re probably a car owner, and so you know how difficult it is to accommodate stuff in your car when you don’t want to put them in the trunk. But we are here to rescue you from this issue.

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Shoe organizers are a great product to hold shoes at your home, but in the car, it is the perfect place to keep all your important stuff. You can fix them on the back of your front seats, and in no time, you’ll have more space than you’ll ever need.

16. Even more space

If you’ve filled up your shoe organizers but still need more space, there is another hack waiting for you. The ceiling of your car is a hidden spot most wouldn’t think about using for storage. We certainly didn’t until we saw this hack.

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Create a DIY ceiling storage area from simple materials like a mesh net and bungee cords. Just take four bungee cords and tie a net in between them, then fix them with all four grab handles of your car to get a space to keep your “extra stuff.”

17. Get More Gas

What’s the one thing that all cars need to run? Gas, of course. Organized cars and clean windshields are useless without a full tank of gas. But did you know that there’s a hack to use at the gas station?

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When you rush your gas station visit, your car gets a greater amount of air with gas, which firstly gets you less value for the money you paid, and secondly, it makes the air enter into the fuel tank. So be relaxed the next time you fill up to get gas to get your money’s worth.

18. Hand Sanitizer

While some people love winter, others are not fans of the cold and what consequences the weather brings. Snowfall and freezing winter days can add layers of ice to your car, making it harder to do simple things, such as unlocking it.

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If snowfall has been successful in jamming your keyhole, then your savior is probably lying right inside your pocket. Pour hand sanitizer in the jammed keyhole to make the ice melt away, making it possible to unlock the car…where you can turn up the heat to thaw your cold hands.

19. Pool Noodle to the Rescue

When you buy a car for yourself, you’re not only buying the vehicle but a big responsibility of maintenance. One of the factors of maintaining your car is keeping it safe from scratches and dents. While they might seem small, they are a costly fix.

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These can happen easily if your garage is just too small for your car, as when you open the doors, they’ll rub against the walls, scratching up your new vehicle. To save yourself from this, just attach pool noodles on either side of the walls, and you will get rid of this problem.

20. Never Get Confused Again

If you’re driving a new car, finding the position of the gas tank can be difficult, and pulling up on the wrong side in the gas station is another kind of frustration. To save you from these situations, car manufacturers have clearly marked the location of the tank on the fuel gauge itself.

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If you look closely in the picture, you’ll see a gas pump icon that will have its fuel arrow on one of the two sides. This has been added to let you know where to park your car according to the gas tank location.

21. Never get slammed again

If you’re a new driver or are staying in a new place, parking in the garage can be a real problem for you. That’s because the garages are usually a tight space which can make it easy to hit nearby things.

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But to save yourself from this situation, you can hang a tennis ball at the point which you think is a safe distance from the wall ahead. Then all you need to do is drive up to the tennis ball, and you’ll never scratch your bumper again.

22. East is a Beast

Most of the working professionals in the US and Canada rush to their workplaces in the morning, but in the winters, the ice just won’t let you go anywhere. So would you just wait till the ice melt and be late to work?

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Rather than spending your energy scraping off ice and risking damaging your car, simply park your car facing east. The morning sun will do the job of melting and cracking ice for you, saving you time and effort before starting your workday.

23. Neat cooling trick

In summers, the only savior from the weather is our car and its AC. But things go wrong when your AC dies on you, leaving you with the hot summer air in the car’s cabin. Now, if you want to turn down the heat then DON’T roll all windows down.

image courtesy of Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock

Instead of this, a better way of cooling the cabin is by rolling down only the front two windows. By doing this, the airflow will be much better, and the hot air will come out of your car easily, leaving space for the cold air to come in.

24. Wiper and Socks?

Wipers are essential to safe driving in bad weather like snow and rain. But things can go south if they are filled with dust because that will result in scratches on your windshield, which can lead to a costly replacement.

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To prevent damaging your windshield, you should always give your wipers a good wipe before driving the car to ensure the best vision at all times. You can also cover them with socks so that snow and dust won’t settle on them.

25. Extra Cup Holder

In this list of car hacks, we are trying to utilize every nook and corner of your car. Cup holders are a classic feature of cars that are handy for storing everything from drinks to spare change, but what if you need another cup holder?

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To do this trick, you just need your shoes and some tissues. Get a shoe and fix it between your front seats; if you feel that your footwear is loose, just add some tissues on both sides, and you will get a not-so-good-looking but functional cup holder.

26. Get that fog out

Rice and moisture have a very friendly relationship because rice loves to absorb moisture in the surroundings. Remember when our phones would get wet, we would keep them in rice bags to fix them; the same concept is applied here.

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The moisture that gets collected on the car’s windshield is very annoying and dangerous to drive with. When you keep a rice bag at your dash, all the moisture of your car will get absorbed in it in no time.

27. Penny Test

Well, only real car geeks/experts would know the right time at which the tires of the car needs to be changed, but this task is pretty challenging for normal people. Without this know-how, it can cause some real troubles out on the road.

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The way to check it is by using a penny sitting in your cup holder. Just take the penny and place it upside down in the tread of your tire. If you can see Lincoln’s forehead then a change is needed, but if you can see only half of it then it’s alright.

28. Car Polish

Getting a scratch on your car is the most unfortunate event in the life of a car lover/owner. But still, the road is filled with idiots, and no matter how safe you drive, you will get scratches on your car.

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But if you don’t want to redo your entire car’s paint, then a quick brush of nail polish will do the trick. Just take nail polish that is exactly the same color as your car and apply it on the scratch; it won’t fix it completely, but it will make it less prominent.

29. Trash bin for your car

If you go on long road trips, then you know how dirty your car can get by the end of the journey. To save yourself the hassle of cleaning up at the end of a long journey, use a small trash bin or bag to keep your car clean as you go.

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All you need to do is take an empty cereal container and fix it at any place you like in the car. After that, just collect all your garbage in the plastic bag in the container and throw it away once it’s full.

30. Keep it Warm

Having a car also means having to go on food runs. But what if you get stuck in traffic? All you can do is sit and wait as your food gets cold. But don’t worry, we’ve got a hack to solve this problem!

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The trick is to use the seat warmers of your car to keep the food warm till you reach home. Make yourself and your guests happy with warm food. While they might not know that you were stuck on the way home, you can tease them about it as you serve up the food.

31. Increase your Key Fob range

Finding your car in the parking lot can get pretty tough if you have parked it in a mall on a busy day. And the anxiety increases after each click as your car isn’t responding to your directions. Luckily there is a save to this situation.

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The brain has waves flowing in it which we can utilize to increase the range of the key fob. Put your key on your chin and press the button, and you’ll notice that the range is increased. And here we thought that telekinesis was only in the movies!

32. DIY Phone Stand

Elastic bands are such a helpful tool that offices have an endless supply of them just lying around, waiting to save the day. But if you think that they’re only suitable for office use, then you’re wrong. They can also transform into a phone holder in a car.

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Take the rubber bands and run them through your mobile and your AC vents and fix your phone in place. We won’t recommend you to use it every time because it takes time to set up, but it can be great for emergencies.

33. Trunk Cleaner

In the list, we have told you many ways to increase the storage space of your car, but when it comes to using the storage space, we tend to ignore the sorting and just throw everything in the spaces at random.

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Doing this makes finding a specific thing very difficult because you have to search through the pile of mess you’ve created. Instead of this, you can use laundry baskets which will keep things together while giving you space to store even more things.

34. Use the Plunger

A plunger is a great tool for unclogging toilets, but what else can it do? Well, it can fix the dents car shops ask hundreds of dollars for. Because let’s admit it, nobody likes to pay to repair minor dents in a car, and why would you when you have the solution available at the dollar store.

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The dent should be cleaned with hot water first, making it easy for the plunger to pull it out. All that’s left is push and pull. Repeat a few times to get an even surface. Looks like we’ll be adding a plunger to our list of tools to keep in the trunk.

35. DIY Car Freshener

The smell in a car is the thing that sets the vibe of the car for the driver and the passengers. But instead of using an air freshener, try this quick hack and see how easy it is to make your car smell nice.

Image courtesy of using dryer sheets as a car air freshener/ Facebook

Just grab a few dryer sheets and keep them underneath your car seat, and you’ll get a fresh, soothing smell that will last on long road trips. You can also keep some in the air vents to have a better flow of the fragrance.

36. Find your car

We saw earlier how to increase the range of your car key fob, but what do you do if it’s a big parking lot that would take hours to comb through? There’s a simple trick to help you remember where you parked your car without needing to do laps around the lot.

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The trick is to take a picture of your car and the surroundings where it is parked before heading to your destination. This will make it easier to find your car when you’re done. Just make sure to get a picture of the surroundings, as the cars nearby may have moved by the time you return.

37. Socks Rock

Owning a car is a learning process, and over time you will learn more about your car as well as tricks to easily fix your vehicle in an emergency if needed. Here’s another trick with stocks (well, stockings) save the day!

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The fan belt is an essential component in your car, and if it snaps or breaks, you should stop your vehicle immediately and fix it before proceeding. To fix it you can use a spare pair of stockings by wrapping them around the engine pulley.

38. Window Tint Trick

Driving on a sunny day is always fun, but the sunshine itself can be distracting and even dangerous. Visors in the car don’t reach every angle, especially if you’re short, and it’s annoying to constantly shift to keep the sun from your eyes.

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Luckily you can use a window tint that you can get easily from the nearest convenience store. The tinted plastic sheets will do the trick perfectly well, and you can apply it at the point where the sun strikes the most. By doing this, the sun will never bother you again.

39. Wireless Garage Opener

Making your life easier as a car owner is our today’s motive, and in addition to it, we are here with the addition of a garage opener in your vehicle. We know you can do this with the remote, but finding it beneath the seats after a long day at work can be a real pain.

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Newer vehicles today have built-in garage door openers, but with some professional help, your old car can have this modern upgrade, too. It’ll make your life easier as you’ll never struggle to find the opener again. But this trick is a job for professionals only!

40. Save of the Day

As we are at the end, we want to share a golden tip with you which can save you from the frustration of getting stuck on the road. As every car comes with an electric lock nowadays, the battery can drain out at any time.

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Due to this, manufacturers include manual locks on the cars, which can save the day if the battery cell runs out. To find the manual lock, remove the plastic on the door handle, and you will find the lock there, waiting to be opened.

41. Camping trip-ready

Simply looking at this photo fills us with a sense of wanderlust. There is nothing we would cherish more at this very moment than a trip to a scenic location that’s quiet and the cares of the world seem so far away.

To get this kind of setup, all you need is a campervan. Even without an RV, you can still enjoy a trip with all the benefits. As you can see, the van has a huge bed, is fitted with a battery for power, and also has a sink, cooking equipment, and other essentials.