There’s this exciting feeling that comes with the idea of owning a car for the first time. It’s a mixed feeling of joy and a sense of accomplishment that emanates from purchasing your own ride right out of your own pocket – even if you were given a loan since you are going to pay for it anyway. But for most of us, this excitement hits a dead end immediately when your car gets a dent, or it hits you that it lacks some essentials that you needed.
This is the point where most drivers start getting mischievous.
Repair costs of a vehicle can be quite costly, and the same case applies for essential equipment that you may need to add to the car. Most car owners who find themselves in costly situations resort to the use of “hacks” to get through the financial burden, but does it always work?
To be frank, not always. Most car hacks tend to make the car look worse than when “injured”, and better in stock than modded. To make matters worse, it dents the ego and social image of the car owner who went the extra mile to do just that.
So, in an effort to save you from the embarrassment that you and your car will get once you decide to go for a hack instead of a real fix, we’ve listed 15 DIY car hacks that are a complete waste of time. There are 10 others that most people don’t even expect to work, but they actually do, so if you happen not to know them, you’ll also find them here.
So read on.
25 Useless - Attaching Rubber Ducks as Sensors for Backup in Parking Lots
Most cars these days come with cameras and sensors that help to park with ease. The system simply notifies you of any obstruction or any possible collision. In that way, it reduces the risk of hitting any car. However, if you use an old model, you’d have to worry about installing cameras and sensors in your car, but those gadgets cost money.
The solution? If you can’t afford it, avoid it. According to Diply, using rubber ducks as sensors isn’t a bad idea, but it’s best to leave this out of your list of car hacks.
24 Useless - Using a Duct Tape to Hold Your Side Mirror in Place
Every car owner is aware of the importance of having a side mirror. It helps motorists view objects behind them on the road and use that judgment to drive safer.
It’s then obvious that this little piece of equipment is very important. And if it happens to get broken, it would cost you money to fix. But if you happen to be broke, don’t ever opt for duct tape to hold your side mirror in place. According to Midriva, it beats the logic of having your side mirror screwed in place, in the first place.
23 Useless - Replacing Your Side Mirror with a Hand Mirror as a Cheaper Option
The glass used for a side mirror is totally different from a hand mirror. This is partly the reason why they have different names. If you’re familiar with side mirrors, you’d observe that it has an inscription on it that states that “objects are closer than they actually are.”
This shows that the side mirrors are specifically for driving. With that said, replacing it with a hand mirror is more than a bad idea. According to Huffington, objects from a side mirror would never look like they should.
22 Useless - Using Wood to Replace Your Bumper
Losing the bumper of your car to an accident is normal. What isn’t normal is trying to do a DIY car hack and end up with a log of wood as a bumper with a chain holding it in place. The whole idea isn’t just unimaginable but far from creative.
In fact, this hack is a traffic hazard you shouldn’t try out at all because according to Huffington, a wooden bumper can’t hold up for long if you plan on using it for a long period.
21 Useless - Using a Plastic Bag to Replace the Hood of Your Car
Asides the thin hinged sheet contributing to the beauty of a car the hood protects the battery, engine, and other crucial parts of the car. It also allows direct access to these parts as well. Another function of the hood is to ensure that the design of the car is aerodynamically correct and air flows to the needed areas in the car.
With the few functions mentioned, it’s obvious that the plastic bag hack can’t do any of these. According to Huffington, it only covers the crucial part of the car but forgets about the rest that are equally as important.
20 Useless - Using an Umbrella to Replace the Roof of a Convertible
Using a convertible can be so much fun especially when it gets the attention of other motorists and gives you the opportunity to experience the weather.
However, when the rain comes pouring or the sun shines too bright, and you’re stuck in traffic then you may just start wishing that you have a roof over your head or opt for the “umbrella hack”, that involves using an umbrella to fill in the gap. Even though this hack looks genius, according to Diply, it’s best to park the car in the garage sometimes.
19 Useless - Replacing Headlights with Flashlights
When there’s low visibility, the headlight function is to illuminate the road. The illumination from the headlights helps facilitate safe and stress-free driving. Since the headlights carry out such vital functions, it’s important not to tamper with it except when you have official approval.
With that said, it’s not a good idea to replace your headlights with flashlights because according to Midriva, this car hack could mislead other motorists – which could result in accidents. Thus, this car hack is a waste of time.
18 Useless - Using a Rubber Band as a Phone Holder
There’s practically nothing wrong with adding some features that would go a long way to make life easier in your car and add you some much-needed convenience. However, using a rubber band as a phone holder is simply creativity gone wrong, according to Diply.
No doubt, this hack could work for you but you also have to consider the fact it could destroy your phone if it slips off from the rubber. In summary, it costs nothing to use this hack but costs much more to fix the damage your phone may face.
17 Useless - Using an Umbrella to Replace Broken Side Window
It could be quite a challenge to have a broken side window. In fact, having a broken window is more troublesome when you are in an area where you have to deal with rain daily. It costs significant cash to fix a broken window depending on the car model you use. And according to Midriva, using an umbrella is nowhere close to the best solution to this problem.
The reason for this is quite obvious – you won’t be able to have a good view of that side thanks to the umbrella that’s rather opaque if you didn’t notice.
16 Useless - Replacing a Broken Fan Belt with Pantyhose
It’s devastating to embark on a journey after you’ve made sure that nothing is wrong with your car only to end up facing issues in the middle of the way. And after you find out that your fan belt is broken, out of confusion, you decide to be your own mechanic and use a pantyhose to fix it.
I understand that this situation can leave anyone broken especially if it’s impossible at that point to get any professional to fix the issue. But according to Diply, it’s a bad idea and a waste of time to use a pantyhose to make up for the broken fan belt because the success rate isn’t that high.
15 Useless - Using Your Sneakers as a Cup Holder
Sometimes, you may just choose to have a coffee, or a tea while driving. This scenario was actually foreseen by most auto manufacturers, that’s why they put cup holders in their vehicles. Now, if you bought a car from a rather inexperienced manufacturer, you may have a problem handling your drink as you drive.
But that doesn’t mean you end up using your sneakers as a cup holder. It simply doesn’t work, and you’d not want to guess the taste that drink would have.
14 Useless - Using Pennies to Modify the Bodywork of the Car
So many people have tried all they can to do something to the bodywork of their cars for two major reasons. First is to catch the attention of other motorists and at the same time save money while at it.
According to Diply, this hack doesn’t do anything to the bodywork of your car other than waste precious time, if what you’ve used is cheap and tacky. Also, if the aim is to save money, it’s certainly not a good idea to waste the resource on something that doesn’t give a positive result.
13 Useless - Replacing a Broken Door Handle with an L-shaped Metal Bit
When you’re faced with a small issue like a broken door handle, it’s actually bigger than you think. For starters, a door handle protects you from unwelcomed guests trying to get into your car.
So, if the door handle contributes to your security, it’s best to avoid replacing it with a rubber and a piece of metal. According to Diply, this hack doesn’t last for a long time – wasn’t that the aim in the first instance?
12 Useless - Using a Wire to Fasten Your Car Exhaust Pipe
A car’s exhaust pipe helps guide exhaust gases away after getting burnt in the engine. And when the pipe gets broken and you keep driving your car, it would end up damaging surrounding components. It could also cause a fire when fumes leak from a cracked pipe.
Granted, to avoid any of these issues mentioned, you can hold up your exhaust pipe with a wire to get to your mechanic. According to Diply, using this hack for long is a waste of time because it works temporarily.
11 Useless - Holding Up Your Rear-View Mirror with Tape
Once again, this is yet another DIY car hack that involves the use of tape and still doesn’t work. A rear-view mirror is specifically designed to enable a driver to see behind properly. It’s usually located at the top of the windshield, and it has a double-swivel mount that makes it easy for the viewing angle and height to be adjusted.
With the way a rear-view mirror functions, it’s not advised to use duct tape on it. It doesn’t just look cheap to opt for this car hack, but according to Midriva, duct tape makes it difficult for the driver to adjust the mirror when needed.
10 Works - Using a Razor Blade to Clean Your Windshield
Have you ever had to deal with stubborn debris on the windshield of your car? If yes, then the solution lies on the weirdest hack out there. According to Weblog DIY Life, you can use a basic razor blade you find in your house to do the trick.
A razor blade comes in handy when you are faced with problems with the windshield squeegees. All you need to do is to gently scrape the affected part of the windshield with the razor blade, after which you use a dry cloth to wipe the surface. Then your windshield will come back to its original state.
9 Works - Using a Hand Sanitizer to De-Ice a Lock
During winter, a lot of motorists are faced with car lock troubles thanks to ice that makes it nearly impossible to unlock the car. In such a situation, a small amount of water-less hand sanitizer will come in handy.
The hand sanitizer contains a high alcohol content which aids in breaking the ice down to a liquid state. And who thought that would work? Thanks to the sanitizer, you don’t have to brace the cold for hours trying to break the lock free from ice.
8 Works - Using Toothpaste to Clean Foggy Headlights
This hack is one tip that works like magic! With white toothpaste, you can give that foggy headlight of yours a brand new look. All you need to do is apply the toothpaste on the foggy headlight you choose to clean and then rub the substance all over the plastic lens.
When you’re done applying the toothpaste, then you can allow it stay for about one to two minutes before you rinse it with clean water thoroughly. Once you are done, your headlights will have a brand new look.
7 Works - Using a Plastic Cereal Container for Keeping Trash
These days, our cars are quick to become an annex refuse dump because we leave tons of food and paper wrappers in our vehicles without even giving it a thought. When we consistently litter our car, sooner or later, the car becomes a large dump.
However, we can curb all that by doing what is right, using cereals. If you can’t get a trash bin, then you can use a plastic cereal container and channel trash in your car to the right place.
6 Works - Using Moveable Tinted Plastic Sheets to Block Sun Rays
It’s annoying and frustrating to be disturbed by sun rays whenever you are driving into dusk or dawn. The worst part is that the sun rays can be detrimental to your road visibility depending on your sight power.
The fact is that you can’t do anything naturally to curb it, but you can technically solve your issue without spending so much money. One super hack you can use is to make use of moveable tinted plastic sheets. These sheets are the perfect option for you – just ask any pilot.
5 Works - Using a Mesh Bungie to Add Extra Storage
Of course, there is no car, at least for now, that comes with space designed to store your coat when you are on the road behind the wheel. But who says you can’t have a special storage in your car, where you can keep your coat and other personal stuff, from a DIY hack?
All you need to do is install a mesh bungee net in your vehicle. The space from the mesh bungee can come in handy when you need to store a lot of personal items.
4 Works - Using Nail Polish to Fix Minor Scratches and Cracks
Seeing this hack may make you really think hard, but this is a real hack that works like magic. Who says that a nail polish is only useful in a beauty salon? The nail polish can perform a ton of functions, and one of it is to fix minor cracks and scratches on your car.
Surprisingly, a nail polish can aid in reducing a crack on your car window or windshield before you eventually replace it with a new one. It’s also a good anti-rust agent. Most importantly, you can touch up your paint job in small areas with it. All you have to do is get a nail polish that blends perfectly with your car’s paint, and you’d be good to go.
3 Works - Using a Plunger to Sort out Small Dents
Using a plunger to help remove dents from a car is a pretty old and very useful hack that has worked for many motorists in the past. The plunger is not only good in your bathroom, but it is a good option for people that want to solve a small dent issue without visiting the mechanic quickly.
The process is very basic. All you need to do is use the plunger in the desired areas where the car was dented. However, it’s important to note that this hack won’t work if the dent on the car is large.
2 Works - Using a Laundry Basket in Your Trunk
Most times, the trunk of our cars are jam-packed with our belongings, especially if you are an engineer who carries work tools around from one site to another. Good news is you can solve the drama by using this hack.
Get a Laundry basket, especially one with a lot of pockets. Place all the stuff in the laundry basket, arranging all your things orderly. That way, your trunk will look more organized and well-packaged visually.
1 Works - Using Wet Newspaper to Take Out a Registration Sticker
Have you ever stuck your registration sticker to your car body or windshield and found it hard to remove? If your answer is yes, then this hack is the holy grail you have been looking for.
Matter of fact, this trick can work in less than ten minutes. The answer is “wet newspaper.” Simply dampen the old newspaper in warm water and place it on the sticker. Wait ten minutes for the best results. The work is done - like magic!
Sources: Diply, Huffingtonpos, Midriva