Pimping your ride with these car DIY tips for struggling commuters

Use a tennis ball to help unlock your car if you've forgotten your keys inside. Photo by Hannah Greco | The Signal

I have sold my soul to I-85. For five days a week, I travel south in bumper-to-bumper traffic, spending up to an hour and a half on the highway. And going back home is no different. The highway has become my best, hated friend through the amount of quality time we have shared together.

Now, there are days when the commute doesn’t phase me, I just jam out to some solid tunes and make awkward eye contact with those around me, it’s quite fun. Then there are the other days, the days I find myself swearing an uncomfortable amount at the person taking five years to merge over or at my pandora for playing the same cycle of songs. Those days are rough. And when the traffic makes me late for class, my anger will obliviate everything in my path.

The thing is, however, I love driving. Ever since the DMV handed me that temporary driver’s license, featuring the gawky face of a girl ready to take on the open road, it’s always been my desired “me time.” Starting then I found any excuse to get in the car and drive. Groceries? On it. Bank? On it. Painful dentist appointment? On it. I had no limits.

And then I became a school commuter. I converted into the most uncomfortable practice one can be part of, for the butt and for the sanity. That being said, even the slightest joys within the confinement of that prison on wheels can make the trip that much better. So I have thought some quick and easy hacks to add to your car, that will make you not hate being in it as much anymore.

Clean Machine

Driving large amounts of minutes or hours in your car can be taxing, but when water bottles are rolling around under your feet or cupholders are filled to the absolute max with trash, driving can be a bit more uncomfortable. Then you add on the luming smell that you can’t pinpoint the source of, it’s not fun.

So here are some quick tips that you can add to your car to keep your car from becoming like that angry dude’s house from Halloweentown, Gort. No? Not a universal reference? Nevermind, just look it up.

  • Cereal killer of trash: Invest in a cereal canister to put in your car as an accessible trash can. Line it with a grocery bag, and it’s good to go.
  • Starbucks is life: Being that coffee is life, hold onto one of the many Starbucks cups filling up on the floor of your car and make it a tissue dispenser. Keep the top on and cut a slit, then add tissues inside and pull one through the slit. Put it in one cupholder, and now you have a savior when the ketchup spills out of your to-go burger.
  • Let it shine: If you want to make your super old volvo or jeep to look like 2017 was it’s birth year, then grab your hair conditioner from your shower and get to work. After washing your car, apply the conditioner and then rinse it off.
  • A dust must: Take a coffee filter and vegetable oil, and rack up all the nasty dust. The combo will wipe it off quickly and easily.
  • Let there be light: Your headlights can get really dingy and dull after a while, and if you have night classes like me, first of all bless your heart, then you need to have some quality light guiding your path. So to get this, take some toothpaste and an old tooth brush. Using the brush, scrub the toothpaste on the headlights and then rinse it off.
  • Drip Drop: Grab a clothespin, some tiny fuzzy balls (can be bought at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Walmart) and the essential oil of your choice. Glue the fuzzies onto the top of the clothespin, and once that is dry, add drops of the oil onto the fuzzies. This will make your car smell glories for up to a week, and when it’s faded, just add more!
  • Carpet-diem: Seize the clean! There are simple materials to add together that will clean up those car carpets to pristine conditions. Grab some hydrogen-peroxide, water and lemon essential oil, then add them together in a dark-colored bottle (clear bottles will break down hydrogen-peroxide). Then spray the mixture onto the carpet and wait a while, then use a scrubber to get to work.

Bonus: Don’t pay for a locksmith!

After this hack, I’ll be looking for edibles arrangements at my door, because I’m about to save all your butts.  Everyone has or will lock their keys in their car, it’s inevitable. However, I’m about to drop some sweet knowledge on you guys, and it’s the best way to not drop dollars for a locksmith.


  • Tennis Ball
  • Lighter
  • Key or screwdriver

What to do

  • Grab either the extra key or the screwdriver, then take the lighter and light the end of either until it is substantially hot. Be careful!
  • Once the tip is hot, start pushing and turning the tip onto the tennis ball forcefully, until you create a hole.
  • Take the ball and push it against the lock with the opening facing the keyhole.
  • Then, using both hands, press the ball against the car as hard as you can.
  • The air pressure will increase inside the ball, which will force the locking of the car to open.

You’re welcome.

1 Comment

  1. Although this way seems easy and good but can anyone sure that using such idea will be good for you and your property. Apart from that in case if these tips are working then I don’t think such way could use wrong way. So bottom line don’t risk your property. Take help from the locksmith in serious case. Like I do by making contact with locksmiths like “Las Vegas NV Locksmiths”.

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