Everybody loves a life hack, don't they? Just the other day we saw someone wrap an elastic brand around a paint can so they could wipe the brush on that instead of letting paint accidentally drip down the side. Something so ingenious yet simple; we couldn't believe we didn't think of it before.
This got us all thinking, what hacks do we know for cars? What tricks, shortcuts and novelty ideas would actually make your life easier on a daily basis? Well, we have compiled a list of our favourite car hacks that have been generated by the team here at Evans Halshaw HQ. Some are so good we actually amazed ourselves.
Urm... which side?Have you ever pulled up to the petrol station in an unfamiliar car (whether it's new, borrowed, or hired) and not had a clue which side the fuel filler cap is on? If you ever wanted the definition of a first-world problem, then this is it.
No matter, because the vast majority of vehicles actually say on the dashboard which side the fuel filler cap is on. Next time you get in your car, have a look at the fuel gauge, it will have a petrol pump symbol that features a little arrow next to it, which points to the fuel filler side. This is a game changer if you didn't know already.
Go the distance!Your car's key fob can only lock the car from a certain distance, it's all basic science. However, holding your key fob next to your head and then pressing the unlock/key actually extends the range of the fob's signal. Please don't ask us how this works because we don't understand science stuff.
Don't believe us? Try it yourself. Next time you go to lock your car, keep taking steps away until it won't lock/unlock. Hold the key next to your head and now try again, it's MAGIC!
Heated seats are a giftIt goes without saying that everyone enjoys a heated seat during the winter months; unless you don't have heated seats, in which case you probably won't appreciate this car hack. Anyway, did you know you can make use of your car's heated seats all-year round?
Ask yourself, what's worse than getting home from your local takeaway and discovering your food has gone cold? We'll tell you; it's finding out you could have kept the food warm the whole time. Next time you collect your takeaway, place it on the passenger seat and turn the heat up. Voila, you're now a hero among your family and friends!
Forget your dirty laundryWe don't think we've met anyone who actually enjoys doing the laundry. The people that do usually put the milk in the bowl before the cereal, and are not to be trusted as a result. So, we've thought of a better use for that laundry basket.
Carrying your shopping into the house can be a chore when you've got multiple bags to ferry about; and the same can be an issue for large takeaways, where lots of little bits can soon become overly cumbersome. Next time you head out then, bring your laundry basket with you, it provides the perfect place to keep your shopping/takeaway while making it all very easy to manoeuvre.
Got any chewing gum?Let's not beat about the bush, loose change can be a hindrance to carry around, especially when you have to leave it rattling around in the various pockets and cup holders dotted around the interior of your car.
Here's a hack for you, get yourself one of those large chewing gum pots from the local supermarket (enjoy and share the contents) and then stick all your loose change in there. The little pot will sit nicely in the cup holder or glove box, too. If you're really fancy, you can line the inside of the pot with some fabric to stop the change rattling around and making an irritating noise.
Rubber gloved magicianThis one applies to enthusiastic dog owners who love nothing more than taking their hairy companions to the local woodland for a long walk. The only issue with taking your dog anywhere in the car - apart from the potential for wet and muddy seats - is the sheer amount of hair that gets left behind.
Any dog owner, especially ones with long-haired dogs, will be able to tell you how much of a pain it is to get dog hairs off car seats. However, combine a rubber washing up glove with some water and you will find yourself with a magnet for dog hair that seems to get it out the seats with ease! Just be sure not to use the gloves again for washing up... gross.
Side to side like ArianaThe winter months aren't the most enjoyable of times for plucky UK motorists, as they navigate icy roads and dark evenings until the light of Spring shows its face. Defrosting your windscreen is an ordeal in itself on a cold winter's morning, and of course the side mirrors would be frosted up too!
It doesn't need to be an ordeal though; get yourself a couple of sandwich bags and seal them around the side mirrors during the winter. Sure, it'll look a bit weird, but it makes the morning routine just that little bit easier during the colder months.
Pearly white... headlights?If you own a newer car, then chances are you've never had to deal with hazy headlights, which has been caused by the plastics oxidizing and ultimately going yellowy and just a bit minging, really. Some headlights can become so hazy that they will actually FAIL an MOT because they don't let enough light through.
Sure, a body shop can easily remedy them for you, but where's the fun in that? Grab your finest tube of Colgate (or Oral B, we don't discriminate) and scrub some into the headlights using an applicator pad. It'll take some elbow grease, but the end result will be some relatively clear headlights that now emit more light, they should also look pretty mint afterwards (sorry, couldn't resist). Just remember to get some UV protection on them afterwards; it's a cheap way of preventing the problem returning.
Being extra hygienic pays off!Following on the theme of winter, it is easy to find yourself in a bit of a pickle when the locks have literally frozen solid. Not such a problem for a lot of modern cars, but there are still a number of cars that don't actually feature remote central locking, leaving their owners frozen out of their car following a particularly frosty night.
Fear not, because the alcohol that is found in hand sanitiser helps to dissolve ice. So, next time you leave the house on a cold morning, remember to bring your hand sanitiser because it might just save you a headache.
Shout out to cat litterCondensation on the inside of your windscreen and side windows is a bit of a pain, to put it loosely. You're left there waiting for the car to warm up so you can blast some hot air onto the condensation and get rid of it.
If you don't have time to waste in the morning, then stick some cat litter inside a sock and leave it on the dashboard overnight. Ta da! You will find no condensation on the inside of the car. This is simply because the cat litter absorbs the moisture in the air. No moisture, no problem!
So, there you have it, our top 10 car hacks for use all-year round. We have a selection of other blogs for you to look at, with some excellent advice available free of charge! Alternatively, if there is something you want to know about, then drop us a message on our social media channels.