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11 Genius Car Hacks

11 Genius Car Hacks

There are a lot of car problems that can be solved with a little elbow grease and some ingenuity. From removing small dents to saving loads on cleaning, here are 11 of the best DIY ‘car hacks’ collected from across online that all drivers need to know about.

Each is relatively easy & cost between $5-50 or use standard household goods but save hundreds in potential repairs or cleaning. Today we’re going to go over these inexpensive and helpful small “hacks”:

  • Remove Dents
  • Polish Cloudy headlights
  • Make Your Car Self Clean
  • Remove Rust
  • Free Frozen Locks
  • Shine the Body
  • Polish Dashboard
  • Remove Stickers
  • Fix Scratches
  • Restore Rims
  • Fresh Up Upholstery

1. Remove Small Dents with a Plunger

Time to Do: 1-2 minutes
Cost DIY: $0 – Assuming you have a toilet plunger?
Cost Professional: $75-$400
Savings: $60-350

Those annoying small dents don’t only look bad they can amount to hundreds of dollars to fix.

But a simple hack that works for most small dents is to use a toilet plunger by placing it over the area of the dent and getting the air pressure tight and giving it a nice little tug. Works for small and medium-sized dents most of the time!

Do note that this won’t work for heavy damage and only applies to smaller dents.

Tip: The plastic can be stiff. Solve this issue by boiling some water in a pot and splashing it on the plunger and dent first.

2. Polish Cloudy Headlights With Regular Toothpaste

Time to Do: 10 minutes
Cost DIY: $2
Cost Professional: $50
Savings: $45

Modern vehicles are plagued by unsightly, clouded and yellowing headlight lenses. Not only are they ugly, they’re also unsafe.

This tip is really easy but requires a little arm strength. Use some toothpaste and rub it all over the plastic cover over your headlights. Let it sit for a bit then rinse with clean water and dry. Your lights will shine brighter than ever before.

Tip: If you want to keep them that way, polish with car wax to keep them clean.

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3. Make Your Car “Self Cleaning” by using a Ceramic Coating

Time to Do: 1-2 hours
Cost DIY: $50-100
Cost Professional: $750+
Savings: $500+

You want your vehicle to look as good as it did the day you bought it. But despite your constant washing, swirl marks, chips, and stains start to populate on your vehicle’s exterior. Not only that, water spots, dirt, and grime start clinging to your car the day after you give it a thorough wash.

The answer is ceramic coatings.

Armor Shield IX DIY Kit

Armor Shield IX is a highly durable protective coat.

$69.99

Once, it was only available via high-end detailers and cost an outstanding $500-2000 to apply, it’s recently become available in consumer form with relatively simple DIY kits.

Applied by hand, the ceramic coating forms a microscopic glass like ‘sacrificial’ layer over your car, meaning that mud and grime don’t stick to your vehicle’s paint, water just beads off, and overall washing is 10x simpler.

Tip: Coat your windshield & headlights too. You can see a guide on how to do it here.

More Reading:

4. Remove Rust Using Coca-Cola

Time to Do: 15 minutes
Cost DIY: $2
Cost Professional: $250+
Savings: $200

Rust can be a serious problem and can spread like a rash. Besides being a real eye-sore it weakens the structure around it.

One of the best ways to get the rust out of anything – a car, a metal bar, a suspension bridge – is to spray regular cola on it, and then simply wipe it off.

This is due to the fact that cola has a whole lot of acid in it which is great for breaking down rust. All you need to do it spray it, wait, and wipe it off of the rusty part of your car.

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5. Free Frozen Locks With Hand Sanitizer

Time to Do: 30 Seconds
Cost DIY: $3

Even if it’s only parked out front, getting from the front door to your car in the middle of a harsh winter can be pretty miserable. It’s worse if you get there only to find the door locks are frozen shut. Hand sanitizer is your key to getting inside.

The alcohol in hand sanitizer will melt ice very well and getting a bottle lets you spray it directly into the keyhole for the lock as well as the key itself. The alcohol works to thaw the ice, so you can hop in and get the heater turned on high.

Tip: Keep hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse – this will mean it’s already warm.

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6. Shine Your Body With a Clay Bar

Time to Do: 45 minutes
Cost DIY: $20
Cost Professional: $150
Savings: $130

Constantly cleaning your car but never quite getting it to shine?

If you want that showroom finish and shine but without the showroom prices for that shine, a great way to “cheap out” but get that same exact look is by using a clay bar on your car’s body paint. This is due to the fact that the clay picks up the left over gunk on your car’s body while leaving a clean, shiny finish.

It’s what the pro’s use.

Tip: Add a ceramic coating layer on top to make the shine last for years.

More Reading:

7. Polish Your Dashboard using Olive Oil

Time to Do: 20 minutes
Cost DIY: $5
Cost Professional: $35
Savings: $30

Your dashboard accumulates all sorts of gunk and dust. The sun shines directly on it and plastics crack and fades over time if they’re not cared for.

Keep your dashboard looking shiny and new with a little olive oil. Rubbing it into your dash will keep it looking nice and it will help keep some moisture in the material. That way, over time, it’s less likely to crack.

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8. Remove Stickers Using a Razor

Time to Do: 20 minutes
Cost DIY: $0
Cost Professional: $50
Savings: $50

Use a razor blade to remove old stickers from your car. Hold the blade (carefully!) at an angle, and gently push it under the edge of the sticker. Keep pushing until you’ve removed a section, then repeat until the whole sticker is gone.

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9. Hide Small Scratches Using Only WD-40 Spray

Time to Do: 10 minutes
Cost DIY: $12
Cost Professional: $100
Savings: $88

Quick fix for those nasty parking fender bender scratches. Just spray the WD-40 spray and wipe up nicely with a dry towel and the scratches dispensary almost completely. It’s worth noting, that it doesn’t actually remove the scratches, just hides it to the blind eye, until you wash it thoroughly again.

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10. Get Your Rims Looking Brand New And Remove Brake Dust

Time to Do: 10 minutes
Cost DIY: $0
Cost Professional: $25
Savings: $25

A simple piece of plastic can make your life a whole lot easier. Just soak the rims good as you clean them letting the brake dust soak up a bit. Then just rub the plastic on the dirty areas and voila, the hardened impossible to clean dirt just comes right off.

More Reading:

11. Freshen Up Upholstery with Vinegar and Water (or Linseed Oil)

Time to Do: 20 minutes
Cost DIY: $5
Cost Professional: $25
Savings: $20

Make a solution of 50/50 vinegar and linseed oil and use this for car cleaning leather sets. It keeps them clean, well moisturized and protects them from cracking.

More Reading:

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love AvalonKing’s automotive care products for Do-It-Yourselfers. We create “No B.S products” for an affordable price. And the best part, we treat our customers like family, so if you have any questions or just looking to chat about cars, we’re only an email or call away. Check out our homepage here.

David Hall

David is one of the Co-Founders of AvalonKing, more than often you'll find him working on creative ideas for the future, while making sure our customers are heard. When he's not drawing on whiteboards, he loves a cold pint with friends and spending time with his family.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Great hacks to keep your car clean, thanks tip

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These are our recommended quantities for the respective type of vehicle. The Volume Savings can be seen besides/below.

Type of VehicleRecommended QuantityVolume Savings
motorcycle   Motorcycle1 bottle*
small car   Small car1 bottle*
sedan   Sedan2 bottles*Save $35 (25%)
pick-up truck   Pick-up2 bottles*Save $35 (25%)
jeep   Jeep2 bottles*Save $35 (25%)
suv   SUV3 bottles*Save $70 (33%)
van   VAN3 bottles*Save $70 (33%)
boat   Boat4 bottles+*Save $110 (39%)

*Please note that it may be a good idea getting an extra bottle, ensuring you don’t run out when doing an application.