Oh, we're not talking about tricks and tips for oil changes and tire rotations. We mean the clever, crafty stuff that makes you go, "Cool – I never would have thought of that!"
Here are 10 of our favorites:
Cool a hot car fastRoll down one window all the way. Then walk to the other side of the car and open and close the door quickly about 10 times. The circulating air flow and fan effect of the door can drop the temp much faster than opening the windows alone.
Lighten up that heavy keychainGranted, for cars with keyless ignition, this isn't an issue. But for older cars that take traditional keys, the added weight of your house key, office key, mailbox key, etc., on your keychain can damage your car's ignition switch over time.
Need directions? Ask a pizza delivery driverIf GPS has led you astray and you need serious help getting back on track, pull into a pizza restaurant and ask for directions. The pizza guy will know where you're going.
And speaking of pizza .... Use your car's seat warmer to keep a takeout pizza toasty on the way home. Genius!
Stuck in mud or snow? Sacrifice your floor matsPlaced under your tires, they may give you the traction you need to get moving again. (Another favorite: Carry a bag of nonclumping cat litter in the trunk.)
Eeww. What's that smell?If you open your car door and catch a wicked whiff of last night's takeout, run back in the house and grab a box of dryer sheets. They make a quick air freshener.
Replace your wastebasket with a plastic cereal containerIf it tips over, your trash won't scatter across the floor, thanks to the smaller opening.
Park with your car facing east for faster windshield deicingEven wimpy winter sun can help cut through a layer of frost. Just remember to scrape the rest of the windows clear, even if the sun's done the work for you in front.
Hang a tennis ball from the garage ceiling to help guide you when parkingIf your garage doesn't leave an inch to spare, a tennis ball positioned so it just touches the windshield when you've pulled far enough forward can save you some frustrating jockeying.
Easily find which side the gas tank is on in most rental carsLook for a little arrow symbol pointing left or right next to the gas gauge. (Betcha never noticed it before!)
Have a hack you'd like to share? Let us know, and we'll consider it for a future issue!