Life hacks are popular for many reasons. They are useful (mostly). Also, they provide you with a shortcut for doing things while making you look cool. It’s no surprise then that we all love scrolling down a long list of creative solutions to those small yet nagging everyday problems. There is a caveat, however. With every great life hack out there, there are a few more that are decidedly unsafe, unethical, and in a few tragic cases, even fatal. In this case, we are talking about many car hacks that are downright a bad idea. Some go as far as causing irreversible damage to your car.

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Car Hacks You Should Never Try

Let’s take a look at 7 popular car shortcuts that actually do more harm than good. We’ll also share what you can do instead.

1. Fake Hack: Add Sugar To The Gas Tank In Freezing Temperatures

image depicting putting sugar in gas tank of car

This claim stands on the premise that since sugar burns at a lower temperature compared to gasoline, the combustion will help your car start faster, particularly on days when the temperatures are below zero. The truth is that gasoline does not dissolve the sugar as easily as water does. So when you add sugar to gasoline, it simply sinks to the tank bottom and takes up space. There are more problems waiting for you if the sugar granules are trapped in the fuel filter.

What to do instead: Be patient with your car’s engine. Just start it up and simply let it warm up for a few minutes.

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2. Fake Hack: To Prevent Brake Fluid From Freezing, Add Antifreeze

Brake fluid should only be mixed with brake fluid. No other fluid should be added to it. Antifreeze contains water, which could lead to corrosion and rusting. Over time, this could damage the seals, causing leaks. As a result, brakes are likely to fail. To fix this mistake, the lines must be flushed completely if they can still be helped. If the lines are severely damaged, they will have to be replaced.

What to do instead: Remember that brake fluid does not freeze in cold weather. It could thicken in very low temperatures but as long as it does not leak or is not contaminated with other fluids, it is not likely to cause any problems. If you are unsure, ask a professional.

3. Fake Hack: Remove Ice Quickly By Adding Oil To Wiper Fluid

image of windshield wiper fluid of a car

Windex is not oil-based and there’s a good reason why. Oil does not make a good window cleaner. If you add any type of oil to your wiper fluid, it will smear your windshield and make it difficult to clean. Plus, your wiper jets could become clogged.

What to do instead: Use your car’s defrost function and some elbow grease with your trusty windshield scraper.

4. Fake Hack: Use That Handy Slot At The Bottom Of Your CD Player To Charge Your Smartphone

If you are too young to recognize a tape or cassette player, then you probably would not recognize them in older cars. If you do find yourself riding in one that has one such player, do not use it to charge your phone with.

What to do instead: Bring your trusty phone charger, borrow some vintage funk mix from your dad or grandma, and pop it into the cassette player instead.

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5. Fake Hack: To Get Rid Of Frost That Forms Over Your Windshield With A Wet Towel Overnight

image of a frozen windshield

If you do this, you will be wrestling with a frozen towel stuck to the windshield. If you could peel it off, the towel will likely leave some towel fuzz on the windshield that will make it difficult for you to see through. Worse, the windshield could crack when you try to remove the towel.

What to do instead: Scrape off the frost or just use a legitimate windshield cover for snow and frost.

6. Fake Hack: Remove Frost And Ice From Your Windshield With Sandpaper

Do this if you want a heartbreak. Sandpaper does work well to smooth things out but it only works with rough surfaces. The car windshield is smooth glass. Once the sandpaper smooths out the frost and ice, it will scratch off the surface of that glass.

What to do instead: Always check that your windshield is in good condition. Do not use sandpaper. It is better to either scrape off the ice gradually or allow it to melt by turning on the defrost function of your car.

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7. Fake Hack: Use Boiling Water On Your Windshield To Melt Ice Instantly

hot water to remove ice

A temperature change is great for when you want to peel off the shell from hard-boiled eggs or want your Jell-o too. However, it does not work when you want to de-ice your windshield. It could crack and shatter with a sudden temperature change.

What to do instead: Use a traditional ice scraper, your car’s defrost function, and give yourself plenty of time.

Here Are Some Car Hacks That Won’t Cause Damage To Your Car


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