This is the story of a new driver with her first license, a new car, a one car wide garage entrance, and a dad. I’m sure many of you are familiar with what happens next. After I got my license, my Dad helped me get a new car. Now the car fit easily enough into the garage – at least it did if I didn’t have to consider those darn mirrors.
Two days later while pulling into the garage, I smashed the passenger side mirror into the side of the garage, destroying the mirror and damaging the entrance way. With over $300 worth of damage, we had a situation on our hands. Dad said we had to figure out a way of guiding me into the garage. We went to the auto supply stores and found plenty of products to help us figure out how far to pull up once the car was in the garage. Unfortunately there was nothing that protected us from going too far to the right or left as we entered. We went back home and searched the internet high and low. We asked Mr. Google, but he couldn’t find anything.
So that’s when I asked Dad, can’t we build something? We went to Home Depot, not exactly sure what to get. But we knew the guide had to be something that if hit wouldn’t cause damage the car. What we came up with cost under $10, and my dad, who is not very handy, managed to get it installed in less than an hour. It’s now five years later, and there have been no more accidents (at least pulling into the garage). Our only regret is not thinking of this earlier!
Step 1: Materials & Tools
4 zip ties
6' length of Foam Pipe Insulation 1/2"- 3/4" interior diameter
1 box cutter or Exacto knife to cut foam insulation
1 power drill
We used 5/16" drill bit for starter hole.
Step 2: Cut Insulation
Use box cutter to cut foam insulation into two approximately equal lengths.
Step 3: Install Hook Into Garage Frame
Pull the car into the garage slightly so that the driver’s side mirror is as close to side entrance as is tolerable. We left a couple of inches extra clearance.
Line up one hook so that it is parallel to and at the same height as the top of the car hood. It is best to insert the hook in the frame of the garage door or in the outer wall.
Drill a guide hole to make it easier to screw in the hook.
Screw in hook making sure that it is perpendicular to outer wall and parallel to ground.
Step 4: Attach Foam Insulation
Loosely attach foam insulation to the hook with two zip ties. You will have to adjust the foam insulation, so do not pull twist ties tight yet.
Align car so that windshield is even with the hook and foam insulation.
Pull the insulation towards the car so that it just touches the hood in front of the mirror.
Tighten the zip ties to fasten the foam in place.
Step 5: Repeat for Side 2
Repeat above steps for other side of car.
In our case, there were some items inside the garage so we had to make sure there was enough room once the car was inside. Also, we found we had to cut the foam insulation into a shorter piece, as there was a wall that interfered.
Make sure you align the vehicle with the other side just as you aligned it with the first side.
Step 6: Drive Into Garage With Full Knowledge That Mirrors Are Safe!
When driving into the garage it is imperative to drive straight in. Entering at an angle could result in a catastrophe!
The car should drive in between the guides. If the hood of the car hits either of the guides before the windshield reaches the guide then you are too far over. The guides should touch the car just about at the windshield. As you drive forward the mirrors will hit the guides. After you pass through them, the guides will snap back (see intro video).
When pulling out, just go straight back. Do not turn the wheel. Leave the way you came in and all will be fine!