Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Many people assume that you need to be some kind of auto mechanic (either literally or a hobbyist) to not only be as prepared as you need to be, but to keep your car in excellent working order. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Here are some simple tips, tricks, best practices and car hacks that will not only keep you safe wherever you go, but that can actually help improve the performance, the fuel efficiency and other attributes of your vehicle at the same time.

You do NOT need to be some type of car expert to make use of these tips - all you need is a little knowledge, some good, old- fashioned elbow grease and (often) the right product by your side.

1. Find Out if You Need New Tires the Easy Way

Find Out if You Need New Tires the Easy Way

One great trick that every car owner should know involves finding out how to tell if you need new tires - it'll only cost you a penny!

The next time you're curious about whether or not it's time for new tires, take a penny and insert it into your tire's tread groove. Make sure that Abe Lincoln's head is upside down and facing towards you at the time. If you can see all of Honest Abe's head, that means that your tread depth is less than the recommended 1/16 inches (1.6mm) - meaning that it's time to head to the store and pick up a new set of tires before you get yourself in some trouble.

2. De-Ice Your Windshield with Vinegar

De-Ice Your Windshield with Vinegar

If you live in an area that has particularly bad winters, one situation that is unfortunately all too common involves ice in the worst possible places. Sometimes you'll go out to your car in the morning and be greeted by a thick later of ice on your windshield that your defroster just can't seem to handle on its own. Other times that ice will be in the worst possible place - your locks. You may think that pouring hot water on it will instantly solve your problem, but that will only make it worse. Instead, use a vinegar and water mixture to melt ice the efficient way.

3. Keep a Roadside HERO in Your Car Recommended

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

If you've ever been involved in a serious car accident, you know just how traumatic it can be. In the United States alone nearly 40,000 people per year are killed in car accidents. That’s why it’s imperative that every American have the RoadSide Hero in their cars. It has 9-in-1 Multi-Function life saving tools. It can function as a belt/rope cutter, glass breaker, hammer, compass, mounting magnet, flashlight/strobe/emergency light, powerbank and solar panel. This is the ultimate tool that should be in every vehicle.


4. Know Which Side Your Gas Tank Is

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

If you're driving a new car in particular, you may have a hard time remembering which side your gas tank is on. You shouldn't, however - as that information is right on your dashboard! Just look at the fuel indicator and search for the little "gas" icon. Whichever side the arrow is pointing to is the side of your car that your tank is on! This trick is particularly helpful if you're ever driving a friend's car or happen to be in a rental for a few days.

5. How to Jump Start Your Car Battery Recommended

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Make no mistake: you should always know exactly how to jump start your car, no question. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, as dead batteries are very common during the cold winter months and hot summer months of the year especially.

But more than that, you should always have a tool that lets you jump start your car battery on your own - which is exactly what the Portable Car Battery Jump Starter and USB Power Bank with LED Flashlight was built for. You get a portable 12 volt, 12000 mah 400 A portable battery jump starter AND the ability to charge your mobile devices at the exact same time. Not only will this make sure that you're ready for anything, but it's also another example of something that is compact enough to keep in your glove box as well.


6. Use Toothpaste To Clean Headlights

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Clean headlights will help you maintain a much safer drive, but it is often expensive or time consuming to get the required chemicals to do this. However, with proper creativity, toothpaste can go from cleaning your teeth to cleaning your headlights.

Using a rag and some water to rinse of afterwards, simply scrub down your headlights with toothpaste and watch the grime come right off.

7. You Need an Emergency Roadside Kit Recommended

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Again - so much of being prepared involves making sure that you have the right tool by your side for any situation that you find yourself in. For that reason alone, you need an emergency roadside kit and you need one now.

The Ultimate Auto Emergency Kit, for example, includes everything you need to stay as safe as possible on your next road trip. You not only get everything you need for first aid and general car maintenance in one compact, resealable and waterproof storage bag, but you get ALL of the following items: Tow Rope - 10 ft., Car Battery Jumper Cables, Reflective Triangle, Tire Puncture Seal, Oil Funnel, Compact Multi-Function Shovel, Reflective Safety Vest, Bungee cords, Roll of Duct Tape, Tire Pressure Gauge, Pair of Leather Palm Work Gloves, Three AAA Batteries

The included 37-piece portable bandage kit and pocket tissue pack ALONE is more than worth the price for most people, let alone all of the other incredibly valuable items that are also included!


8. New Uses For Your Floor Mats

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Thick, rubber floor mats are a great way to prevent your car from getting too dirty in the winter - but they're also a great way to get yourself out of a jam, as well! If you're ever stuck in the snow (or in the mud during the summer), take the floor mats out of your car and put them underneath your tires. This will help give you the traction you need to get out of even the stickiest situations.

9. Fix Cracked and Chipped Window with Nail Polish

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

If a flying rock takes a large chip out of your windshield, the initial damage may be minimal. Soon, however, that chip can lead to long cracks that stretch across the entire surface. Professional windshield repair can be costly. Those looking for a do-it-yourself windshield sealant will find a temporary solution in the cosmetics aisle. Fingernail polish serves as an adhesive that can be used to help prevent cracks from spreading.

10. Don't Forget About Your Tire Pressure

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Another important thing that you're going to want to know involves exactly how to check your tire pressure. Again, this is something that will vary not only depending on the model of car you drive but also the specific type of tires you own. If you're still driving around on the factory tires that came with your car, this information will be in your manual. If you upgraded to a newer set, you'll want to Google the specific type of tires you own for more accurate information.

The next time you pull into a gas station, head on over to the "Air" machine and take a look at the nozzle. One end lets you inflate your tires, while the other end is usually a pressure gauge. Not only will keeping an eye on your tire pressure help significantly in terms of fuel efficiency, but it'll also increase the general performance of your car as well.


11. Clean Air Vents with a Foam Brush

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

The air vents in your car can get pretty dusty and dirty. Cleaning them out is easy though. Head to your local craft store, pick up a foam brush (almost always for less than a dollar) and then use it to clan out all of that hard to reach gunk with ease. Click here to buy 20 foam brushes for under $10

12. Shine Up Your Leather with Olive Oil

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Believe it or not the fix is in your kitchen cabinet; olive oil. Rub in VERY SMALL amounts with a microfiber cloth and polish in circular motions. Doing this about once every two or three months is enough, otherwise you can end up with a sticky build up.

13. De-ice frozen car doors, locks, and handles

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Rubbing your key or door handle with a squirt of hand sanitizer will have the same effect. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer will melt the ice and shortly allow you to unlock your car

14. Figure Out Where Your Spare Tire Is

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

No matter how safe you drive or how expensive your tires were, everyone will experience a flat at some point. Because of this, one of the most important things that ever car owner needs to know involves exactly where their spare tire is, or even if they have one in the first place. Again, this information is going to be in your manual - some keep the spare tire in the trunk, others have them located underneath the car and still others put them on the back hatch (this is common in SUVs).

If your car has a spare you need to not only find it but know how to remove it from its housing and know how to swap it out for your flat should the need arise.

15. Check Your Fluid Levels - ALL of Them

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

One of the most important things that any car owner should know - even if you don't consider yourself a "gear head" - involves how to change your fluids. Not just your windshield washer fluid, because everyone knows how to find the clearly labeled container that is usually right under the hood of your car. No, you need to know how to change ALL of your fluids - because there's nothing worse than getting stuck on the side of the road somewhere because of a problem that you should have been able to easily fix yourself.

Take a look at the manual that came with your car (remember that?) or look online to find out the appropriate locations and levels of your oil, your coolant, your power steering fluid and your brake fluid. You don't have to know how to tear a car apart and put it back together again, but you should at least know how to check and change these fluids if the going gets tough. The locations will vary depending on the model of car you drive, which is why it's always important to learn specifically based on the vehicle you're actually driving. When the going gets tough - and rest assured, it occasionally will - you'll be very glad you did.

16. Escape A Sinking Car

Escape A Sinking Car

A sinking car is one of the most frightening situations you can find yourself in. Staying calm and following these simple steps, however, can make all the difference in the world. First, you will want to quickly roll down at least one window before the car is completely submerged so that you can climb out or open a door. Secondly, you want to make sure that you can quickly access your seat belt release so you can free yourself easily. If you’re not able to roll down a window, you can use the RoadSide Hero or The Emergency Window Breaker as a hammer to break the nearest window so you can climb out. Make sure to hit the corner of the window rather than the center. You will hopefully never have to do this, but it is always better to be prepared.


17. All About Engine Temperature

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Another essential tip that every car owner should know involves your engine temperature - meaning its current status and what temperature it SHOULD be operating at. Never assume that the fuel temperature warning light is going to save you in the event of an emergency, as usually by the time it pops on you've already got a major problem on your hands.

Knowing what your optimal engine temperature is will not only help guarantee the best possible performance out of your vehicle at all times, but it can also help immediately clue you into small problems before they become much bigger and more expensive ones down the road (pun absolutely intended).

18. You Should Be Keeping a Maintenance Log

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

If you're not already keeping a maintenance log for your vehicle, now would be an excellent time to start. This is a great way to view the health and history of your car in one easy-to-access document. You should never have to wonder when the last time you changed your tires was, or when you last checked your coolant and other fluids. You should know beyond the shadow of a doubt and keeping a regular and accurate maintenance log is the perfect way to do just that.

19. Use a Plunger To Remove Dents

Tiny dents can also be a problem, attracting dirt, dust and debris and also often encourage rust growth. Often times you can remove tiny dings and dents with a plunger. When pulled back, the suction of the plunger also pulls the dented part of the panel forward and back into place.

20. Remove Paint Scratches on Cars with Nail Polish

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Some people may only know nail polish as something women put on their nails as a form of an accessory. However, nail polish has a lot of uses, and one of these uses includes being a great scratch remover. As you can tell with the other DIY fixes, you will need to buff and sand. However, with nail polish, you will just need to clean the area before applying it.

21. Renew and Refresh Your Windshield Wipers with Alcohol

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

No, we’re not suggesting that your wipers take shots, but clean windshield wipers are a must to avoid streaks and scratches on your windshield. Cleaning your wipers with a little rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth is a cheap, but effective way to keep them in great shape.

22. Your Glove Box is For More Than Just Your Manual

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

One of the most important tips that every car owner needs to know involves exactly what to keep in your glove box. Most people tend to keep their manual and other documentation inside, but it really does serve a much more important purpose. Items like the Roadside HERO and Ultimate Auto Emergency Kit are compact, in part, so that they can fit directly into the glove box on your vehicle. This helps to make sure that the items you need are well within arm's reach at all times.

The Stealth Angel Survival Compact Survival Kit is another great example of something that you should keep in your glove box. In one compact, waterproof, rugged and easy-to-carry case you get all of the following items: A Professional Tact Flashlight - 350 Lumen XML Q5, A Heavy-Duty Tact-Pen with Carbide Tip, An 11-in-1 Multi-Function Pocket Survival Card, A Dual Chamber Aluminum High Frequency Pealess Whistle, A Large Ferrocerium Rod/Flint with Striker, A Lightweight Compass With Dual Scale Ruler, An Ultra-Bright 2-Mode Keychain LED Flashlight, The case itself, which is compact, durable, waterproof AND shockproof

With over 1000 combined uses between them, it's easy to see why this is one product that is worth keeping by your side.


23. Clean Crumbs, Lint and Dust with Slime

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Because of the slime’s natural malleability, it can clean otherwise hard to reach crevices and crannies without making a mess.

24. Get Rid of Nasty Odors Using Baking Soda

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

If your car smells bad, it ruins the whole driving experience, plus it’s embarrassing when you’re giving someone a lift. Use the baking soda to absorb and neutralize the nasty smells and be proud of your fresh-smelling vehicle again.

25. Use a Coffee Filter To Dust The Interior

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

The lint free material of the coffee filter is perfect for wiping car dashboards, the center console and other parts. Coffee Filters are cheap, and you can buy huge packages of them at the dollar store. Even if you don't brew drip, you can use them for other things, like keeping the interior of your car clean and free of lint, splatters, and stains.

26. Know What Your Car Is Trying to Tell You

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

The “Check Engine” light is probably one of the most important warning indicators in your car. There is a multitude of reasons why the check engine light can come on. While many of these reasons can be rather harmless, you can risk serious damage to your engine if you continue driving not knowing what it is for. A new device has been creating a lot of buzz for consumers that can actually give you an insight as to why the light is on, potentially saving you thousands in repairs. It’s called FIXD and it is available for most cars manufactured after 1996. This device has the ability to tell you exactly why the “Check Engine” light is on, saving you the trouble of relying on a mechanic’s word, which often times can be dishonest and lead to unnecessary and costly repairs. Why waste your hard earned money if you don’t have to? Give the FIXD a try and see why hundreds of thousands of consumers like you are getting smart about repairs.


27. Learn How to Change Your Filter

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Another important tip that every car owner needs to know involves not only where your filter is located, but how exactly you need to change it. Once again (this will be a running theme throughout most of these tips), this information will vary slightly depending on which car you drive. But knowing how to both locate and change your filter is a great way to improve the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle, as when your filter has to work too hard it pulls in more gasoline - dramatically cutting down on your average miles per gallon as a result.

28. Use Your Smartphone as a Heads Up Display

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

Huddy is a dash mount for cars that uses your phone to display navigation info in your line of view without obstructing your view. Having a transparent digital display glass, that will display the navigation information from your smartphone and transforms your car into a somewhat jetfighter cockpit. It can displays details such as the current speed, navigation direction, traffic conditions and so much more. It all depends on what app you are using on your phone.


29. Transforms Your Bulky Keychain Into A Handy Tool

Transforms Your Bulky Keychain Into A Handy Tool

Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat worrying about how bulky and unsightly your keychain is? Of course not. But when something as cool as this key organizer comes along, it makes you stop and take a second look at your bulky, leg-poking, annoyingly archaic keychain. I mean, there’s gotta be something better, right? Well, there is!


30. Know Which Accessories to Keep

Car Tips and Hacks All Car Owners Should Know

You should also know exactly what accessories that you should keep in your car to help make sure you're ready for anything. During the spring and fall in particular, sudden rainy days are incredibly common. One minute it's bright and sunny and the next minute the streets and sidewalks are slippery and incredibly dangerous. Having a pair of waterproof, anti-slip shoe covers in your car at all times is a perfect way to help make sure that you never fall and hurt yourself.

These are just a few of the many, many tips, tricks and hacks that every car owner needs to know. The importance of being as prepared as possible for whatever life happens to throw at you is something that cannot be overstated enough - especially if you find yourself behind the wheel of a car at the time. All of the items on this list will go a long, long way towards helping to guarantee exactly that.


31. Get A Car Seat Organizer

Get A Car Seat Organizer

The backseat multi-pocket organizer, storage, cooler and tablet holder is perfect for every car owner. With multiple compartment, organization becomes pain free. It is equipped with a built in cooler that can keep beverages or food items cold during a road trip or around town, making it the ideal accessory for any car.

It detaches very easily as well so you can take it with you anywhere you go. The transparent compartment also makes it easy for children and passengers to stay entertained without having to slouch their necks. With so many build in features, this is the perfect addition to any vehicle.


32. Increase Car Remote Range

Increase Car Remote Range

Did you know? Putting your car remote under your chin will increase its range! The trick turns your head into an antenna and extend the key’s wireless range by a few car lengths.

Conclusion & Top 3 Recommendations

Most of these tricks are super simple to do with everyday items that you may have around the house. Below is the list of our top 3 recommended products.

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1 comment

  • Great suggestions and products, folks. I’m going to try several in my car and around the house and start thinking about the products I REALLY need.

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