7 Car Hacks to Save You Time and Money

Posted by:

Photo by Sara Garnica

Aloha Hawaiʻi! We can all use a few tips to help us make life a little bit easier. Here’s seven cheap car tricks to help you keep your car clean and save time.


Photo by Wade Lambert

Fix a Slow Seat Belt Recoil

Having a seat belt that recoils slowly can be maddening, especially when it gets caught in the car door. Before you replace the whole assembly, take some polisher or spray lubricant, which you can pick up at your closest gas station. Look at the the part where the belt recoils into, above the shoulder of your chair. Lift up the belt so you can see the metal or plastic part it slides over, spray it with a small amount, then rub it in. Now your belt should recoil much more quickly!


Photo by Hassan Ouajbir

How to Clean a Foggy Instrument Cluster Panel

Many a well-meaning car owner has washed their car’s instrument panel window with the wrong product and slowly witnessed a “fog” appear over their interface in the following days. The plastic used for this panel can be quite sensitive to the wrong chemicals, and using an ammonia based cleaner, such as your typical glass cleaner, can cause scratches and the “fog” to appear. The fog will seem to vanish when cleaned and then return in a few minutes. This is because the fog is actually lots of tiny scratches in the plastic, and is temporarily filled in with water, which soon evaporates. Dab a very small amount of an oil-based product onto a soft cloth, such as petroleum jelly, spray lubricant, or even olive oil, and carefully wipe across the entire plastic panel. The fog will vanish and your interface will once again become crystal clear.


Photo by Latrach Med Jamil

How to Clear Up a Cloudy Headlight

A yellowed and cloudy headlight is caused by all the chemicals and dust your car encounters over time. The good news is it’s not caused by abrasions, so it can be cleaned with a baking soda based cleaner, such as toothpaste. If you’re feeling extra industrious, mix up a paste of baking soda and water yourself, but toothpaste should do fine. Carefully scrub the paste into the headlight, using a toothbrush or a cloth. If the fogging wasn’t too serious, your headlight should clear up after 15 minutes of scrubbing. Don’t forget to rinse it clean with water afterwards.


Photo by Andrew Neel

How to Keep a Windshield from Fogging

If the interior of your windshield fogs up with moisture all the time, there’s a few things you can do to prevent this. The first step is to clean it thoroughly. A dust-covered windshield will collect moisture much more efficiently than a clean one. Be sure to use a glass cleaner specially made for car interior glass, because this is another situation where ammonia-based cleaners can cause issues (not always though). After you’ve wiped the interior glass down, there’s one more preventative step to take. You want something that will attract moisture and keep it off your windshield. The best option is to find some cat litter crystals, and keep them on or near your dashboard. Don’t just pour them out loosely of course, fill a small cloth bag to keep the crystals in. In a pinch you can even use a sock, and tie it off. Keep it on the dashboard, and enjoy your nice clear windshield!


Photo by Pedro Sandrini

How to Clean AC Vents

Most folks when wiping down their car discover the annoyance of the air vents and how impossible it is to dust them properly. Put away that microfiber cloth and pay a visit to the nearest craft or hardware store. In the paint section you can find cheap foam wipers with wooden handles in several different sizes–the small ones are perfect for dusting between vent panels. The foam is usually slightly larger than the vent opening and it will squish to fit, pulling off all that unsightly dust along with it.


Photo by Mel Baylon

Use Carabiners to Carry Groceries

We’ve all wished for the ability to carry groceries inside in one trip. Sometimes it’s not about the weight, it’s the volume. Solve this problem by picking up a cheap carabiner, preferably with a soft rubber grip so you don’t hurt your hands. Keep it close by and handy, like in your trunk or on the headrest bars. Clip all the grocery bags into the carabiner, and suddenly you can carry everything inside with one trip! Carabiners are also handy when attached to your headrest, where you can clip bags on for easy organization, and to keep things off the floor of the vehicle.


Photo by Malte Lu

Remember Which Side Your Gas Tank is on

If you’ve ever forgotten which side of the car your gas tank is on, then you’re also faced with the anxiety of not knowing which side of the gas station pump to pull into. This problem is compounded when you’re traveling and renting cars. Just remember this trick: Look at the gas symbol on your dashboard, there should be a small triangle close to it, and this points to the side of your car the gas tank is on. Problem solved!

Mahalo for reading and aloha, a hui hou!


About the Author:

Julie is Big Island Energy's Social Media and SEO Specialist.
  Related Posts

You must be logged in to post a comment.