What Car Hacks Were You Surprised Were A Success?

Are there any surprisingly successful car hacks you think more people need to know?

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Everyone wants to improve their car in one way or another, what’s the best hack you’ve found to do this?
Everyone wants to improve their car in one way or another, what’s the best hack you’ve found to do this?
Photo: DPA (Getty Images)

We all want to make our cars a little more enjoyable, more comfortable, or in some cases, just plain actually work. And because the car community has been chasing these improvements for years, there are a host of hacks that people try out on their prized (and not-so-prized) vehicles. Today, we want to uncover some of the best.

For instance, on a cold winter night years ago, in a questionable part of Detroit, our Managing Editor, Lalita, was nearly left stranded on the highway with several former coworkers. Being the only car savant in the group, she peeked underneath to find the exhaust and muffler barely hanging on. So while everyone remained cozy inside the minivan, she was on the icy ground fashioning her own shoelace along with a wire hanger found in the rear to reconnect everything so they could make the hour and 20 minute drive home. It worked and apparently, they still consider her a hero for that save.

Aside from fixes, even the slightest of tweaks can make your day on the road more enjoyable or simplified, like transforming a spare shoe into a cup-holder or simply parking your car facing the sun on a winter’s day to melt off any snow.

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Here in the office, our resident tool aficionado Mercedes Streeter will also advocate for the creative use of steak knives when it comes to fixing your power steering. Apparently cutlery can make a great alternative if you’re missing the right kind of saw, pincers or clippers to cut a leaky cable.

On the other hand, Jason Torchinsky can wax lyrically about the 12V cigarette lighter and the endless possibilities it brings for car improvement. For example, did you know that this simple socket spawned everything from electric shavers to in-car waffle irons, coffee makers and microwaves?

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So today, we want to collect what are the more surprising hacks you have made on your car that came as a shock when they turned out successful. Let us know your best ones in the comment section below.