Each of us have our own little hacks we've learned over the years that help make our lives a bit easier, and you've probably heard your fair share as well. But which tricks of the trade actually work?
Car Leasing Concierge has compiled a list of tips for drivers that not only will work if you find yourself in a bind, but will let you leave all your worries behind, and enjoy the open road!
That's Entertainment - Get Creative!
So you didn't purchase the full entertainment system package with your new vehicle? No problem! Hang your iPad from the sun visor to use as a makeshift TV monitor. Kids will love being able to watch their favorite shows, and you'll drive happy knowing that they're happy!
Rapid Cooling 101
Here's a simple solution to cooling down your car on those extra warm days. When opening your car after it has been left in the parking lot, open one window (for example, the driver's side window). Then get out and walk over to the opposite side of your vehicle (front passenger side.) Open and close the door five times. This will force the hot air out of the vehicle through the open window, and will quickly cool the entire vehicle without waiting for the A/C to kick in.
Don't Get Lost in a Fog!
Many times we get to our car on a humid day, and the windows are completely fogged up. Usually you'll turn on the dashboard heat, hit the defog button, and sit back and wait... and wait... and wait. But there's a much quicker way to do this!
First, turn your heat up to max. This will help eliminate the moisture in the air. Next, turn on your air conditioner. Sure, this sounds counter-intuitive, but it also will make the air inside the car drier. Once you've done both, switch off the air recirculating so you bring only the cold outside air coming into your car as you're running the heat.
Finally, roll down your windows so more cold air comes into your car as you run the heat. As you dry the air that comes directly inside the car, the heater will defog the windshield, making the process much quicker.
Use Your Head (Literally)
Are you one of those drivers who walk away from your car, but can't remember if you locked it? Too tired to walk back? No need to worry. If you're far from your vehicle and want to increase the coverage and strength of your remote key, simply place it under your chin and open your mouth as you press the buttons. As strange as this may sound, it uses your skull as a satellite transmitter, and will amplify the distance of the signal. And no, this is not dangerous and completely safe!
MacGyver Phone Holder
So you want to use your phone's GPS in a new city so you don't get lost, but you don't have a phone mount? Never fear - MacGyver is here! Just as the famed tv character could fashion an escape plan using chewing gum and a paper clip, might we suggest using a rubber band or hair tie?
Simply loop the rubber band through your air vents, so it will be safely secured, and easy for you to read for navigation instructions! Another option is using a binder clip and rubber band to create your own version of a DIY smart phone GPS holder.
Running on Empty
Ever get bombarded on an Interstate exit that lists 6 gas stations? Most of the time you don't even know if you should turn left or right, let alone which will have the best prices! Our suggestion? Download GasBuddy - it will find the cheapest gas along your route (and you will have your trusty rubber band GPS holder already installed above, so you can be sure which way to turn to hit paydirt!
The race to charge your phone shouldn't be "The Hunger Games," or "Last Man Standing." A better solution and way to keep all parties happy is buy a five-port car charger. This way you, your husband, your teen and tween can be sure to get the power they need for lengthy trips.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. Download the SitOrSquat app, which helps you find clean, safe and reliable public restrooms when you're on the road. Parents will absolutely love its convenience, and use as a life preserver in those cases Johnny just can't wait anymore!
Makeshift Trash Can
One of the great things of being on the road is getting a to-go order. One of the bad results is cars don't have much in the way of garbage cans. A quick fix? Take a cereal Tupperware container, add a trash can liner, and eureka, you've got a perfect car-sized Do-It-Yourself trash bin. A lot better than a plastic bag on the floor leaking all over the place, and your dog just got into when you weren't looking!
Car seats aren't just for kids
Traveling with a furry best friend? Remember, they're just as vulnerable as your children! Consider a safety seat with a rear-facing design. Not only will you rest easy they are riding safe, but the extra cushion will help them get some zzz's in while you're concentrating on the road ahead. Visit In the Company of Dogs to learn more.
Human Laps Make Terrible Tables
Ever try to eat a Big Mac, fries, hold a BBQ dipping sauce packet for chicken nuggets AND soft drink in your lap after going through the drive-thru? Not only are you almost guaranteed to get a stomach ache, but you'll soon discover you're no match for gravity coupled with an accelerating vehicle slamming on the brakes!
Knowing you'll also not be a fan of the cleanup afterwards, why not get a great dinner tray that's portable, secure, and convenient?
Drivers, take note - this doesn't give you the go ahead to ever eat while driving, but it's great to use when parked, and your passengers will thank you as they enjoy their meal on the go without it being all over their clothes!
You Are Here
Kids will never stop asking the dreaded "Are we there yet?" so be prepared for the inevitable question with a laminated travel map. Kids can follow along the route with a Sharpie and cross of landmarks as you go. Let little navigators be their own explorer as they travel along.
Do It Yourself Seatbelt Pillow
Is your seatbelt giving you a stiff neck, or worse - fabric burn? Fashion your own DIY seatbelt pillow for one of the comfiest naps ever. The extra padding and plushness will make even the longest road trips ones to look forward to!
Snacks On The Go
Empty coffee creamer bottles make fantastic spill-proof snack containers. Great to fend off hungry kids who keep asking to stop for fast food. Better for your health and your wallet!
Everyone knows vinegar is a great glass clearner, but did you know it also can be used to remove fabric stains? Troublesome ink and grease can easily be removed immediately by dabbing a small amount on the stain. Gently blot, then lift with a vacuum or damp cloth. And don't worry - the smell of vinegar fades quickly, and the stain will go away just as quickly.
Gently clean leather seats and interiors with laundry detergent. A gentle soap that's meant for dark colors (like Woolite or other color protection soaps) can clean leather without stripping it of its natural oil conditioners. Use a clean cloth and apply a small amount of detergent to the surface in circles as if you were waxing your car. Quickly remove with a damp cloth or sponge. The dirt in the wrinkles and creases of the seats will lift, and the color will be kept safe.
Everyone knows Coca-Cola can clean a toilet, but did you know a single can of soda can be great for other hacks, too? For one, you can pour soda on battery terminals that have begun corroding. After the carbonation stops bubbling, simply use a wire brush to scrub away the buildup. Keeping your battery strong during the summer when high temperatures weaken it will guarantee you still get a solid engine start in the winter.
Soda can also be used on glass to fizz away tough and sticky debris like tree sap. Protect your paint and vents first before pouring soda on your windscreen. Then use a wet cloth to wipe away any excess. You'll find this especially usefujl when you're parked under pollen-filled trees or birds with a vendetta!
WD-40 is a wonder product that can unstick just about anything. Along with warm temps, summer also brings a lot of debris - mud, road tar, bugs - that get stuck to your car. Simply spray WD-40 directly onto the grill, bumper and frame of your car to easily remove tacky debris, bugs and bumper sticker residue.
** Buyer Beware - although you can use WD-40 on paint to remove gunk and smooth scratches, it's not recommended. If you must, make sure to rinse with soap and water immediately afterwards.
Sure it may not be a perfect Pantone match, but nail polish is a great emergency cover up for paint scratches. Matching your car's color shouldn't be too difficult, since the full color spectrum is reflected in most drugstores! Of course this is not a permanent solution by any means, but it will work in preventing the damage from getting worse until you find a permanent solution. Clear nail polish can also be applied to fabric seat tears or frays. Once dry, the polish will also serve as a barrier to stop tears from getting worse.
Cat Litter Dehumidifier
Cat litter is not only the best way to keep Mittens feeling fresh, but its superior ability to absorb moisture will help eliminate fogged up windows in the morning. We recommend placing some in a sock, paper bag, or breathable container, and place it close to your problem area. When you get in one morning, you'll see the results manifest themselves in more ways than one!
Behold the cleaning power and refreshing scent of lemony fresh citrus!
Mix a little lemon juice with oil while at home. Oil-based soaps like Murphy's or olive oil can be used. A ratio of 1:10 citrus to oil ratio is a good starting point. Run on a clean dashboard with a microfiber cloth. It will leave a healthy-looking shine and as an added bonus, make your car smell fantastic!
Use Your Sun Visor As a Dash Cam
Hey, move that iPad entertainment system to the side! You've just become an award-winning photographer on your summer vacation. Strap your point-and-shoot, or smartphone, to the sun visor and you'll not only have the best view of your summer road trip, but your photos will come out razor sharp. Who needs to spend hundreds on a GoPro?
Forgot Where You Parked?
Let's be honest. Everyone does it - just not as often as you! If you're the type who tends to forget where you are parked, let your phone be your memory bank! iParkedHere is a great app that allows you to input where your car is in an indoor or outdoor parking lot. It even uses a GPS, image capture, and notes if necessary.
The best Hack of all when you're in the market to Buy or Lease any new car, truck or SUV.
Unlike going to a car dealer - which often leaves you with an uneasy feeling inside - more buyers are trusting the ease and transparency of Car Leasing Concierge's QUICK and EASY process that shows you how to buy or lease a new car, truck or SUV without having to go to a dealership. We'll provide you with all the requirements you'll need to obtain the best pricing and expert advice that's second to none. The end result is a smooth, stress-free experience that saves you valuable time and money.
Get the deal you want, your way today!
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