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New ride won’t fit your garage? There might be a hack for that

New ride won’t fit your garage? There might be a hack for that
Autos
You’d be surprised at the number of consumers who find out after purchasing a new (or new-to-them) vehicle that it won’t quite fit in their home garage. This is always a good reason to take a potential purchase to your home during a road-test to check its fit.

But there are a few ways to improve garage space and modify your ride to avoid the pitfalls of a vehicle that won’t quite fit.

The old tennis-ball-hanging-from-the-garage-ceiling is a timeless and worthwhile hack. It can make parking an ease by identifying exactly how far forward you can pull in by means of a strategically suspended tennis ball that makes contact with the windshield when the correct entry distance has been reached.

Moving or altering any home entry steps at the front of a garage can also give you some more room, but be aware of local building regulations. If you are a renter or if you plan on selling your home in the future, you may want to be able to refit the original steps (assuming they were installed to code) to avoid any charges from your landlord or purchaser.

One of the biggest headaches that many consumers overlook is the space required to fully extend a car’s lift-gate or rear hatch to its open position. For manually operated gates, you can fit the potential contact surfaces with foam pool noodles to avoid scratches or dents; or you can limit the gate’s travel by means of a strap.

Simply cut a nylon strap to length and fasten it to the rear cargo floor on one end; and the lift-gate on the other. Use self-adhesive Velcro strips or glue-on snaps. Unfortunately this trick won’t work on most electrically operated gates, as their system will simply reverse their direction and close if the gate can’t open to its full extension.

Buying a new car? A pre-delivery inspection of your own won’t hurt

Roof rack crossbars will usually sit higher than the rails they’re attached to, and keeping them off when not in use will serve two purposes: avoiding collisions with low-hanging garage ceiling fixtures and eliminating annoying wind-noises.

If you’re stuck with your ill-fitting auto and cost isn’t a barrier, you can always consider a roll-away platform. It’s a low profile drive-on metal platform fitted with low-friction dolly wheels. Once your vehicle is on deck it can be easily maneuvered by hand into its spot. This is pretty much a custom option that won’t come cheap, but it’s probably less expensive than expanding your garage.
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