Instructables

Step 3: Garage Penetration Indicator

Picture of Garage Penetration Indicator
Sometimes it can be difficult to pull into one's garage without crashing into the back wall. Even with daily practice, pulling into the garage can be a nerve-wracking experience. Sure, it's not landing an F-16 on the deck of an aircraft carrier, but it can be a tricky maneuver. Particularly for guest drivers. Or teens. Or anyone else who is secondary on your insurance forms.

To keep those fragile boxes full of Christmas decorations and 6th grade soccer participation trophies safe, why not dangle a tennis ball from your garage ceiling to mark where you should stop?

Here's a way to do it*:
  • Hang a string from where you think it will hit the center of your windshield or the spot right in front of the driver.
  • Park better than you ever have before.
  • Using a stick, laser pointer, friend, or your eyeballs, determine where you should hang your tennis ball.
  • Put a screw into your sweet spot, then tie on the string.
  • Attach the string to the tennis ball.
Then just remember to stop when you hit the tennis ball as you drive into your garage.


*You could also make a dowel/tape/nail contraption to stick the string to the ceiling all in one go. Or just send a lanky friend onto the roof of your car. Or tie a string to a spear gun. There are other options, is all I'm trying to say.
If you hang the line from the garage door itself to a hook on the ceiling, the ball will go up as you close the garage door. If you ask, I can add pics.
Really sorry didn't see the post under mine :P
JTMLB262 years ago
I hang a plastic golf ball in my garage in stead and didn't think other people did that until about a year ago my friend down the street had one . . . works great and thanks!
We've had one hanging in the garage for ages!
nisoe2 years ago
what if your guest that is gonna park in the garage have a bigger car?
wilgubeast (author)  nisoe2 years ago
Then that guest will have to park on the street. The garage is a privilege, not a right. Perhaps if they had the common decency to have the same chassis length and windshield pitch, they wouldn't need to walk to the front door/buy a Club®.
dexterford3 years ago
On using hanging TBs as a parking aid:

Just had a brainstrom/squall/fart.

To make the tennis balls disappear when you don't need them, rig them with string to the top of your (automatic) garage door. Lead the string through eyelets directly above where they should hang. When the garage door goes up, the balls come down automatically—then disappear up toward the ceiling when the garage door goes back down.

Might be tough to get the heights exactly right. A knot or other obstruction on the string, just upstream of the ceiling eyelet, would limit travel and get the hood-height just right.
If you are that good at judging distances, you will not need this device.
Brilliant! I've been using a tennis ball on a string for years, and I have occasionally bumped into it, and once even caught it in the door of the car. A "retractable" indicator is a nice improvement on the concept.
fat elvis3 years ago
Love the sanding idea-5 stars~

Here is a way to rig the ball to the garage door opener so that it moves out of the way - http://www.instructables.com/id/Automatic-garage-parking-aid/
ecricirce3 years ago
this is what my grandparents used.
mformain3 years ago
We always back into our very narrow and tough-to-navigate detacted garage - safer than backing out b/c you can survey the kid/dog/neighbor traffic upon approach, which you prob wont do when in a rush to leave. Had the ball hanging for 20 yrs now. Just line up the top center interior light on SUV with the ball as guidance. So the aircraft carrier 'call the ball' analogy fits.

We also forced our teenage daughters to back into the garage every time while learning to drive. They HATED doing it, but you know what? My now-18 and 20 yrs old chicks can out parallel park you (and probably me). I had a plumber at the house once and he witnessed then-16 daughter #1 whip it into the garage and said "Man, I wish the guys at my shop could drive like that." Makes a Dad proud.
gcervi3 years ago
maybe its a better idea to use a mirror on top corner. maybe.
sockless3 years ago
Funnily enough, I've been doing this for like a year now!
dexterford3 years ago
Ooops.

Bremus is way ahead (actually half an hour) ahead of me.

But the adjustment via a stopper on the string may help in lower-ceiling situations. Ad make it easier to fine-tune the system.
bremus3 years ago
Best way to do this is to use an EYE screw. You run the string through the eye and tie it to the top of your garage door. The other end goes to the tennis ball. This way the tennis ball is only down when the garage door is up. Lower the garage door and the tennis ball raises up out of the way.
Epimetheus3 years ago
F-16s don't land on aircraft carriers =P.

But that being said I guess it would increase the difficulty of your example to impossible !
dammit, I was gonna point that out and was beaten to it! Nerds unite!
Sovereignty3 years ago
I was finding the humor annoying at first, but I 'bout wet myself with that final note.
ladylissa3 years ago
My Grandpa did this years ago, it works great!!!