10 car hacks you never knew you needed

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5 min read

Cars…you can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em. From Miami to LA, there are so many cities where it’s tough to get around without a ride. But no matter how much you love cruising around on four wheels, there are a million little things about car ownership that are guaranteed to drive you crazy. (See what we did there?)

But hey! For every little problem, there’s a solution. We’ve found 10 awesome car hacks to solve the everyday woes of car drivers. So take a deep breath, sit back…and enjoy these hacks.

1. Clear the air with a DIY freshener

Here’s how to get your car smelling sweet-as in no time. Grab a mason jar, chuck in your favorite scented candle and punch some holes in the lid. Slot the jar somewhere secure, like the cup holder, and when the car warms up, the wax will soften and release fragrant aroma. You can achieve the same effect by filling a mason jar with baking powder and adding some drops of an essential oil.

2. Turn it up with a bluetooth receiver

Got an old car with an even older soundsystem? Then you’ve probably already spent far too much time fumbling around with an aux cable. If you want a cheap way to give your car a tech upgrade then a bluetooth receiver is the perfect touch. There are loads to choose from, and cost as little as $9.99. Just plug it into the aux socket and you’re ready to rock.

3. A manicure for your car?

Even your car deserves some beauty treatment now and again. And nail polish is the perfect paint to touch up those annoying scratches and dings on the surface before they rust up. A couple of layers should do the trick. The great thing about nail polish is that there’s always a ton of colors to choose from, which means you can usually find a match.

4. DIY car mats

Car mats can get pretty messy over the years—mud, crumbs, spilt coffee. If you want a quick upgrade, carpet scraps are the perfect solution. Perhaps you’ve got some carpet leftover from a DIY project. You can sometimes grab some free offcuts from carpet retailers. Once you’ve got your scraps, just cut to size and slot them in. You could even brighten the place up a bit with some funky patterns… A word of warning though—if you’re replacing a mat on the driver’s side, make sure there’s a grippy surface on the underside of the carpet. You don’t want it to slip while driving.

5. De-ice, ice, baby

If you’re all out of de-icer (or just don’t want to buy any) there’s a quick way to rustle up a formula that will keep your windshields ice-free for the morning. Mix up a solution of three parts vinegar and one part water, or two parts rubbing alcohol to one part water and spray onto your car windows at the end of the day. These solutions have a much lower freezing point than water, so it will have to get really, REALLY cold, before you have to whip out that scraper.

6. Get a trash can for your car

This is so simple we can’t believe we’d never thought of this before. But seriously—get a mini trash can for your car and finally you can say goodbye to that rising tide of snack wrappers and drink cartons. A plastic cereal container can be the perfect size and shape to stick in the back between the seats. Unfortunately we don’t have a hack to decide who takes the trash out (but if you have children, we highly suggest delegating this “special job” over to them).

7. Organize your trunk

No one likes a messy trunk. But did you ever think of actually organizing it? Just a simple laundry crate (or two) can be the perfect way to keep things sorted and less crazy. Bonus tip: you know those shoe organizers that hang on wardrobe doors? Stick those on the back of the front seats and your passengers have a neat spot to stash their mags, snacks, and gadgets. (A necessary, no-brainer for road trips!)

8. The penny test

Lincoln knows best! You don’t need to be a car expert to figure out if your tires are worn down. Just grab a penny and place it upside down into one of the tread grooves. If you can see Abe’s head, you’ve got a shallow tread!

9. Scrub up your headlights

Foggy headlights? Toothpaste is what you need. Yep, seriously. Just rub some onto your car lights with a damp cloth (a toothbrush is great for this too—but maybe ask before you borrow one!). Keep rubbing in small circles and soon your lights will be sparkling.

10. Selling your car with Peddle

Looking for car selling tips? Don’t want to deal with dodgy dealers, haggling, and hassle? Well Peddle really is the car-sell hack of the century. Just tell us the deets—the brand, model, how old it is, the mileage—and we’ll set you up with an instant offer in minutes. If you like our offer (we expect you will!) we’ll get someone down right away to collect your car and hand you a check.