Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Savings July 19, 2018

10 Life Hacks for Your Car

Hacks for your car.

At Virginia Tire & Auto, it’s no secret that our biggest “hack” for your car is regular maintenance. But, we also understand that not all car “hacks” involve oil changes and wheel alignments.

We spend a lot of time in our cars. Things can get messy, broken, and even dangerous if you don’t have your car well-organized and maintained. That’s why we compiled a list of 10 interesting car hacks that can help you stay sane and safe on the road.

10 Life Hacks for Your Car

1. Stay clean with a cereal box.

Garbage can accumulate quickly, especially for those of us who have kids or take long road trips. Wrappers, crumbs, grocery bags, and much more can end up covering our floor mats if we’re not careful.

Keep a plastic cereal container in an accessible area of your vehicle and use it as the designated garbage can. That way, all you have to do is dump it out when it gets full rather than pick up individual pieces of trash.

2. Check your treads with a penny.

Penny to check tire treads.

Although this hack is a little more technical, it definitely comes in handy. At Virginia Tire & Auto, we recommend replacing your tires when your treads are 4/32 of an inch or lower.  Once they reach this point, they can present major safety issues.

Not sure if your tires make the cut? Snag a penny and stick it in one of your treads with Lincoln’s head first. If you can still see his head, that means your treads are too low and you need to replace your tires. If his forehead is still covered, your treads are safe.

Read: How to Tell if You Need New Tires

3. Keep the pizza warm.

If your car has seat warmers, you’ll never arrive home with a cold pizza.

Your go-to winter warmup strategy doubles as a food warmer. Just put your food in the passenger seat (if you don’t have a passenger), and turn on your seat warmer.

3. Manage clutter with a shower caddy.

If you have kids, taking long road trips can be a hassle if they’re not occupied. Snag a shower caddy, like this hanging one, or this universal backseat car organizer if you’re looking for something fancier.

This way, backseat riders have a safe and accessible place to put toys, books, snacks, and electronics.

Read: Road Trip Tips for a Stress-Free Adventure

4. Clean your headlights with toothpaste.

When your vehicle’s headlights become oxidized, they can cause major visibility issues. If your headlights aren’t helping in darkness or fog and you don’t need to replace the bulbs, snag a tube of toothpaste and a rag.

Squirt a little bit of toothpaste on an old rag and wipe off each of your headlights. If you have any water handy, wet the clean part of the rag and wipe it down again. You should be able to see all the grime on your rag after you’re done.

6. Leverage the pool noodle.

Pool noodle garage trick.
Image by Megan from TwoFeetFirst


We’ve all been there. You’re in a rush to get home, so you pull in your garage, open your door, and boom…you just scratched your car door on the garage again. 

A simple pool noodle can help you out here. Just cut it in half and bolt it to the wall of your garage where your door opens. Make sure you position the bolts so that they’re far away from where your car door opens.

7. Save your garage with a tennis ball.

Tennis ball car hack.

Similar to the car door scratching fiasco above, sometimes drivers don’t know how far to pull into their garage. Yet another recreational object can help you pull into your garage safely.

First, you’ll have to successfully park in the correct location. Once you get there, get out and observe where your vehicle’s windshield is in relation to the rest of the garage and create a visual marker. Once you have it, pull out of the garage and screw a tennis ball hanging from a string in that location (near the driver’s side of the vehicle). Once your windshield bumps the tennis ball, you’ll know you’ve parked your car correctly.

8. Freshen up your car with dryer sheets. 

Some of the most popular car fresheners are either an eye-sore or obstruct your view. Opt for a cheaper and less visible version and place a few dryer sheets in little pockets, nooks, and crannies in your vehicle.

9. Repair window cracks with nail polish.

Until you can get a window crack professionally fixed, there’s a way to avoid making it worse.

Make sure any dirt is cleaned off, then fill the cracked area and the area slightly outside the crack with clear acrylic nail polish. When it dries, it helps seal the area to prevent it from spreading until you can get it professionally repaired.

10. Use a rubber band to hold your phone.

Rubber band car hack.

Looking at your phone while driving is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. However, if you need to glance at directions and you don’t have a smartphone mount, you can thread a rubber band through your air conditioning vent.

Insert the rubber band through the top of the vent and pull the other half through the bottom. Arrange your phone so that the top of the rubber band is holding the top of your phone, and the bottom of the rubber band is holding the bottom.

Need help with your car?

Sometimes, problems with your vehicle can’t be fixed or addressed with a simple hack. Bring your car into Virginia Tire & Auto and our expert technicians can diagnose and repair any issues. Schedule an appointment at one of our locations today!


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