When parking a car in a garage, it can be difficult to tell where to stop the car so it clears the garage door. Here’s how to make a garage parking gauge that raises up out of the way when the garage door closes and lowers when the door opens.

Garage Parking Gauge

  1. Attach a screw eye hook to the ceiling so that it is plumb with the desired stopping location for the front of the car.
  2. With the garage door open, attach a second eye hook between the first hook and the garage door.
  3. Punch or drill a hole through a tennis ball, run a piece of string through the hole, and tie a knot below the tennis ball.
  4. Thread the string through both eye hooks and attach it to the open garage door so the tennis ball is level with the front of the car when the garage door is open.
Garage parking gauge attached to garage ceiling with screw eye hooks.
Garage parking gauge attached to garage ceiling with screw eye hooks.

When the garage door closes, the tennis ball will be pull up and out of the way.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: Whenever you park in a garage, you have to play a guessing game of knowing how far in to pull the car so the door can close behind you.

You may have seen this trick before where you hang a tennis ball from the ceiling, then you pull forward just far enough so that the car hits the tennis ball. Then you know you’re in the proper distance.

So we’ve upgraded this tip and improved it by running a string up and across the ceiling, through a couple of screw hooks, then tied off the opposite end of the string to the garage door.

Now, depending on the depth of your garage and the size of your car, you may have to adjust the height of the ball. So leave a lot of extra string hanging, then just tie it off where you need it, so it just contacts the car.

And now when you close the garage door, as the door goes down, the string and the ball move up and out of the way.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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