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Tag: diy

Here is an easy-to-make organizer to keep the backseat from lapsing into chaos on the road. This will hold snacks, toys, books, and necessities like sunglasses or umbrellas.

Here are the steps to make it:

1. Buy a hanging shoe caddy with cubby slots. These are typically long, so you’ll want to clip it to size. Binder clips should be sufficient here.

2. Thread a ribbon or string through the holes at the top. Make the loop fairly small, so that it’ll hold it right up to the top of the seat. Put it around the base of the headrest holder, then put the headrest on after.

3. Put your kids’ necessities in the organizer and hit the road!

*Pro-tip* If the organizer moves too much, you can hook the clips to the base of the seat with small Command Hooks.

See more kid-friendly road trip hacks on our blog.


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This card game is not only simple, but it’s engaging for all members of the car, including the adults. They are durable and spill-proof for the inevitable backseat messiness and chaos.

Here are the steps to making this fun addition to your road trip:

1. Print questions

Find “Would-You-Rather?” questions on the web. Some have different tones than others – make sure you’re getting child-friendly questions. If your kids are older, you might find some that get a little more difficult.

Put these on a piece of paper divided by 6 squares. You can write them by hand or copy and paste them onto a document to print out. Double-sided allows you to pack more questions into your card stack.

2. Cut and laminate

Cut out the squares, then place them on a sheet of laminate (get the self-laminating sheets if you don’t have access to a laminating machine). Follow the directions to laminate, then cut the squares out again, leaving a border of laminate around the edges of the cards to keep them sealed in.

3. Hole punch and loop

Hole punch the top left corner of your cards and put them all on a binder ring. Clasp the ring shut and you have a compact card game that’ll entertain the car for hours.

See more kid-friendly road trip hacks on our blog.


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A toyota SUV sits in a campground
Family road trips are fun but also complicated. Make it a little easier with these hacks for the kids.

Road trips are hard. There’s so much prep for a long excursion, and keeping the kids entertained isn’t the most of your worries. We’ve put together a few “life-hacks” for keeping the kids organized and entertained on the road.

Read more for how-to’s and details.

1. Shoe organizer for toys

a pair of hands puts an umbrella, a cat toy and a rainbow pencil pouch in a hanging shoe organizer hanging in the backseat.
Use a shoe caddy to organize your child’s toys and road trip necessities.

Your kids use a lot of toys and accessories when it comes to a road trip, which can end up all over the backseat (and under the seat). This organization caddy allows for easy access to your kids’ stuff, which is not only easier, but safer when it comes to you reaching into the backseat to grab something they need.

Most shoe organizers are quite long (meant to hang the length of a door), so you’ll need to either cut it to size or (what we prefer) clip the excess back. Then, use a ribbon to hang it on the headrest of the front seat. Next step: Fill with toys, books, sunglasses, water bottles, snacks and more.

Here’s our video on how to make it.

2. Road trip bingo

A traffic-themed bingo card
Use a laminated bingo card to entertain your children

This game is easy to play for kids of all ages and simple enough that you only need one sheet and a marker.

You can make your own using online design tools, or you can buy one ready on Etsy, like this one from Rainbows and Rainboots. Keep your bingo card neat and erasable with a laminate sheet.

Give your kid a dry-erase marker to cross off squares, and they’ll easily be able to wipe it clean and start over again. Washable markers work in a pinch, but don’t stay on the laminate well.

3. Question card game

a stack of laminated question cards sits on a purple clipboard on a white surface
These question cards will keep your kids entertained with zero mess.

For school-age kids, they may enjoy a fun game of “Would-You-Rather?” These cards are on a binder ring for safe keeping, and double-sided cards allow for a lot of questions for discussion.

For this, print out questions, double-sided, on equal-sized squares. Cut them out. Then, line them up on a laminating sheet and seal them. Cut them out again (cutting them the first time allows more edges for the laminate to stay together) and hole-punch the top corner. Loop them on a binder ring, and you’ve got a compact, durable game for hours of fun.

See our how-to video to make them here.

4. Washable window markers

A hand draws flowers and designs on a car window with colored markers
The car window is a big canvas for kids to draw.

Is your kid an artist in the making? Pack along some washable markers for them to draw on the window. Don’t worry – they wash off easily, and if your kids need a fresh canvas, they can wipe it clean and start over.

5. Marker and art supply storage

A child sits and draws on a window with a marker, and a clear shower caddy holds a colorful array of markers
Store your kids’ markers in a handy shower caddy.

Worried about losing all those washable markers? Get a little shower caddy for the window. These cheap little caddies will keep your kids’ markers in one place.

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With AAA and other emergency roadside services, it may feel unnecessary to know how to change your own tire. But especially on road trips, knowing how to change a flat can save you hours of waiting and worry. Here is your guide to changing a tire, from blowout to back on the road.

Graphics of jack, lug wrench, spare tire, and owner's manual.
To change a flat tire, you’ll need a jack, lug wrench, a spare tire, and your owner’s manual.

Items you’ll need

(Your vehicle should already come with these items check your trunk for them before you go out and buy anything.)

Stop the car

When you realize your tire is flat, do not abruptly brake or make sharp turns. Instead, slow your vehicle and try to pull over to a safe location away from heavy traffic.

Try to find a flat space to park. Do not try to change your tire on an incline. The level ground keeps your car from rolling while you change your tire.

Hazard lights and E-brake

A big red button in the middle of the dash.
Your hazard lights should be a prominent red button on the dash, with a white triangle in the middle.

Once you realize you have a flat, turn on your hazard lights. Especially if you’re in fast-moving traffic, four-ways let others know you’re not moving normal speed and they might need to slow down or go around you. Leave them on while you’re changing the tire if you’re parked near moving traffic.

When you park, apply your parking brake. This will minimize the risk of your car rolling away while you’re trying to change your tire.

Wheel Wedges

A rubber wedge set under a car tire.
Place a wedge or something heavy behind your wheels to keep your car from rolling while you change the tire.

Place a heavy object like a brick, wheel wedge or wheel chocks in the front of, or behind, the tires to further ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll while you fix the flat.

If you’re changing a rear tire, put these in front of the front tires. If you’re changing a front tire place them behind the rear tires.

Remove hubcap or wheel cover

If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, it will be easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with a jack.

You can use a screwdriver to pry the hubcap off. Just insert the point of the tool where the edge of the cover meets the wheel and apply a little force. The hubcap should pop off.

This works for most cars, but if it does not for yours, refer to your owner’s manual for the specific tool you should be using. You can also take it off with your bare hands if you need to.

Loosen the lug nuts

A person in jeans and white work gloves works to loosen the lug nuts on a black vehicle.
Loosen the lug nuts using a lug wrench.

Using the lug wrench, find which measurement fits the lug nuts on your car. Once you’ve gotten the wrench onto a lug nut, use your weight to turn the wrench counter-clockwise.

Do not take the nut all the way off; you’ll want them just loose enough that you can take them off with your hands after you jack the tire.

Jack up the vehicle

A jack lifts up a silver car with a flat back tire.
Lift your car using a jack.

Place the jack securely under the car. The correct spot on each vehicle may vary, so consult your owner’s manual for the exact spot to place the jack.

Once you have the jack properly placed, pump the jack up and down. Your car should start to lift, giving you the opportunity to change the tire.

Removing the tire

Completely remove the lug nuts by hand and put them in a safe place. Grab each side of the tire and pull it straight toward you until it completely slides off. Place the tire on its side so it doesn’t roll away.

Placing the spare tire

A red car with a small donut spare tire on the back wheel-bed.
This is a donut spare. It’s usually small and not meant for high speeds; if you’re driving with a donut, take care to drive slowly and safely.

Pick up the new tire (it may be heavy), line it up with the rim and place it on the car. Grab the lug nuts and place each one back on, tighten them as much as you can by hand.

Lower your vehicle

Use the jack to lower the vehicle so that the spare tire is resting on the ground, but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t on the tire. Take the lug wrench and tighten all the lug nuts as much as you can going clockwise. Put all your body weight into tightening the nuts.

After all the lug nuts are as tight as possible you can remove the jack.

Replace the hubcap (optional)

If your spare tire is a full-sized tire (instead of a donut), you can go ahead and put the hubcap on. Put the hubcap in place the same way you removed it initially. If you have a donut spare, it probably won’t fit, or be worth messing with until you get your permanent tire.

Drive cautiously

Donut spare tires aren’t made to drive long distances, or at high speeds, so drive cautiously until you’re able to get a new tire replacement.

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