•  An odour-eating pair

Deodorize the interior of your car by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda over everything but the electronic equipment. Take a soft-bristled brush and work the bicarbonate of soda in well. Close the car up for an hour or so and then thoroughly vacuum the interior. To keep the car smelling fresh and clean, place a small open container filled with freshly ground coffee beans where it won’t get knocked over. The grounds will absorb any strong odours that you bring into the car.

  •  No butts about bicarbonate of soda

Make good use of the ashtrays in your car by placing about 2cm bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of each one. If you smoke, it will keep cigarettes from smoldering and stinking up the car even after you’ve put them out. If you’re a nonsmoker, the bicarbonate of soda will also absorb other stale smells.

  •  Baby-wipe your dash

If your car dashboard gets sticky from spilled drinks or greasy hands, clean it with baby wipes. Once it’s clean, you can bring a shine to the dashboard with a little baby oil.

  •  Sweeten bad smells with vinegar

To remove the odour left when someone is carsick, wipe down vinyl upholstery (all of it) with a cloth soaked in a 50:50 solution of white vinegar and water. Then place a bowl of vinegar on the car floor and keep the car closed up tight overnight. In the morning, wipe everything down with a damp cloth.

  •  Hold taping sessions

Carry a roll of tape in your glove box and use it for the following jobs, among others:

  1.  Tape your garage door opener to the under-side of the visor on the driver’s side of the car. It will be handy, yet out of the way, and it won’t fall into your lap as you drive.
  2.  Tape a pen to the dashboard just in case you need one; taping it will keep it from rolling around and getting lost.
  3.  Whenever you park in a busy supermarket car park, temporarily tape a distinctive paper or cloth flag to the top of your car’s antenna. When you come out laden with bags, you should be able to spot the car without going on a lengthy hunt.
  •  Magic carpet cleaner

No matter how meticulous you are, somehow or other greasy stains seem to always appear on car carpet. Luckily, they’re not hard to fix. Mix equal parts salt and bicarbonate of soda and sprinkle the mixture over the grease spot. Use a stiff brush to work the mixture into the spot and let it sit for 4-5 hours. Vacuum it up and the stain should be gone.

  •  Prevent a flat battery with a tennis ball

If for some reason you need to keep a car door open for a while — and the internal light is one of those that you can’t switch off — turn to a tennis ball. Just wedge the ball between the door and the switch. The switch will stay off, your battery will stay charged and your jump leads will stay where they belong — in the boot. If you don’t have a tennis ball, substitute any soft-surfaced small object, such as a triangular wedge of scrap wood padded with rags.

  •  Bag a steering wheel

 If you have to park in the sun on a really hot summer’s day, tear a 30-cm strip from one side of a large paper bag and slip it over the top of the steering wheel, securing it with a piece of tape if necessary. When you return to the car, the wheel should still be cool enough to touch.

  •  Adjust air temperature with tape

 If you have difficulty keeping your car’s heating or air conditioning from blowing directly into your face, cover the part of the air vent that’s directed at you with gaffer tape. Just be careful not to cover the entire vent.