Drivers’ unusual automotive tips and tricks

Necessary for some while a pleasure for others, driving enables us to carry out a wide range of day to day activities. It may be nerve-wracking taking your test and driving solo for the first few times but the benefits of driving soon come into their own.

A lot of driving shortcuts exist which you may be missing out on to make driving and running a car a lot easier. AA Cars presents some of the handy (and some of the more bizarre!) tricks drivers use to address their everyday driving dilemmas.

1. Instantly Locate Your Car

When driving and parking your car in an unfamiliar area it can be hard to find it again if you haven’t managed to park right outside where you’re visiting, especially when it gets dark. Simply drop a pin on your phone’s map when you get out of your vehicle and you’ll easily be able to find it again.

2. Find the Fuel Cap Side

Being behind the wheel of a rented or friend’s car can be annoying when you have to fill up with fuel and don’t know which side to stop at a fuel pump. Look at the fuel gauge. The little picture of a pump should have an arrow next to it, which points to the side the fuel cap is on.

3. Fix Scratches with Nail Varnish

For the smallest of scratches on your car they can be quickly and cheaply covered up with a few dabs of nail varnish. It comes in thousands of colours so you should be able to find one matching your car. Extremely handy when doing up used cars with minor paintwork blemishes.

4. Rubber Band Phone Holder

Keeping your phone secure while it’s playing your music or being used as a satnav can be done efficiently with a rubber band. Thread it through the air conditioning/heater vents and place the device through the rubber band and it should stay in place.

5. Cool Your Car in a Minute

At the height of summer it can seem impossible to cool down a hot car, even with the air conditioning on full for 5 minutes. Instead, roll down one window all the way before opening and closing the door on the opposite side 5 to 10 times. This wafts the hot air out and circulates the cooler air, dropping temperatures by up to 10°C in under a minute.

6. Lighten Your Keyring

The interior of keyed ignitions are delicate, so constantly putting a lot of pressure on them due to a heavy keyring pulling it down can cause serious problems. Keep your car key separate from others and avoid attaching heavy additions which can cause damage.

7. Clean Cloudy Headlights with Toothpaste

Unlike the myth that applying toothpaste to your face gets rid of spots, wiping cloudy headlights with the substance does clean cloudy headlights. Apply it only to the plastic lens with a cloth, rinse and dry. There’s no need to use a toothbrush.

8. Keep Special Passengers Hot with Heated Seats

Heated seats are becoming more common, even found in some of the latest used cars and are excellent on a cold morning for warming up drivers and passengers. They also have another great use; turn them on and keep any takeaway food warm as you transport it home. Say goodbye to those cold pizzas!

9. Pool Noodle Protectors

If you constantly bash your car door against the inside of your garage or against another fence or wall where you park your car at home, then buy a couple of those long foam pool noodles. Cut them in half and bolt onto the wall at the same height as your car door so it brushes against this instead. For added protection hang a tennis ball on a string at the rear of your garage as a parking guide so you don’t go into the back either.

10. De-Ice Locks with Hand Sanitizers

Keyed door locks can be a nightmare in winter due to moisture inside them freezing. Use an alcohol based hand sanitiser on the lock, as the alcohol content will break down the ice a lot better. Spray ones are best as you won’t have to remove your gloves.

Have you got any more driving tricks and life hacks? Share them with us!


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