You would think that parking your car in your garage would be easy. After all, you have a lot more room to maneuver than you often do in crowded parking garages and parking lots! Unfortunately, sliding your car into the perfect space in the garage isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If you use your garage for storage, you may find that space disappears fast, leaving you with a thin margin of error. Suddenly, you’re trying to slide your car into precisely the right spot every time–and before you know it, both your car and your garage are picking up dings as you struggle to hit the perfect balance. These brilliant suggestions from drivers who have experienced the frustration of failing to protect their cars and their property will help you prevent driving accidents in the garage.
1. Try a Ping-Pong Ball
Park your car in its ideal spot in the garage. Make sure that you have room to walk around the car anywhere you need to and that it’s positioned far enough in that the garage door won’t hit anything on the way down. Then, attach a ping-pong ball (a tennis ball will also work) to a piece of string and hang it from the garage ceiling so that it just touches the windshield. If it’s hung properly, then every time you pull into the garage, pull the car forward until it just taps the ball. Perfect parking, every time!
2. Install Pool Noodle Bumpers
Where is it that you’re the most likely to have trouble with your car? Is it at the front as you’re pulling in, when you inevitably bump the shelves items in front of the car? Do you struggle to pull forward far enough because you’re too worried about hitting what’s in front of you, then end up sacrificing the back of the car and your garage door instead? A simple pool noodle bumper installed where you need it most will keep your car safe from dents and dings. Simply cut a slice down the center of the pool noodle, then hang it wherever your car most needs the protection. If you’re wrestling with a two-car garage and doors that end up opening too far, try placing the noodle on a broom handle or other appropriately sized item between the two cars.
3. Put a Block in the Way
When you pull into a spot in many parking lots, a raised block lets you know that you’ve pulled forward as far as you need to be. Placing a block of wood in front of your car’s wheels will let you know when you need to stop. The goal is to roll forward until your wheels just tap the block, then resist the urge to back up. You can also place a stick or reflective marker on top of the block that sticks up high enough that it can be viewed from inside the car, allowing you to see exactly where your car needs to stop each time.
4. Attach a Mirror
Take a page out of the book of many large trucks and other vehicles: attach a mirror to your garage to give you more visibility. Using a friend’s assistance, position a mirror in the garage so that you can see when your car is positioned in the best possible spot. Then, when you pull into the garage, you’ll be able to see exactly how far your car is from the wall. This will give you the confidence to pull as far forward as you need to while keeping you from crashing into the wall.
5. Turn Your Headlights On
If you don’t have time to install something in your garage that will stand in your path and you’re concerned about pulling into the garage now, try turning your headlights on. The beams will reflect off of the back wall, giving you a clearer look at how far away it is and letting you know when you get too close. Thanks to this method, you’ll at least reduce your odds of colliding with the back wall of the garage.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
The more comfortable you are with your vehicle, the easier it will be to pull in and out of your garage without a problem. Take the time to practice! It may be helpful to ease forward at approximately five miles per hour until you gently tap the back wall of the garage. The goal is to move slowly enough that you’re in no danger of creating dings or dents. Take it slow. Once you know exactly where that point is, you’ll be less likely to hit it again in the future.
7. Use Good Safety Practices Every Time
It’s easy to get into a rush when you’re pulling into the garage. You’re finally home after a long day; you’re just dashing into the house for a minute so that you can grab something; you’re in a hurry to deal with fussing kids in the back seat. Sound familiar? Rushing into the garage, however, can lead to expensive repairs–and that’s a great way to ruin your entire day. Instead, remind yourself to use good safety practices every time. Wait for the garage door to raise completely before you pull into the garage. Take it slow to avoid collisions. Never leave your car running in a closed garage, even in the dead of winter, because carbon monoxide can build up quickly. It may take a little more time–or lead to a chillier start–but the safety you gain is well worth it!
If you’ve struggled with damaging your garage or your car every time you pull in, you don’t have to struggle anymore! These simple hacks will make it easier to make the most of your driving experience, park your car exactly where it needs to be, and ensure that you don’t pick up any more scrapes and scratches on any of your property. And if you do damage your garage, we can help you repair your garage.