It’s frustrating when you accidentally pick up false information in life, especially if this false information alters how you approach problems. Car maintenance is a tricky and sometimes daunting field for anyone who doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing – and let’s face it, that applies to most of us who aren’t qualified mechanics.
You may have picked up a few false ideas about your car over the years, and if that’s the case, these might be affecting how you handle your vehicle. Get your facts straight by reading the below myths we’re going to challenge.
1) Oil Needs To Be Changed Every 3000 Miles
This might once have been the case, but remember that car technology is improving all the time, and now, the idea that you need to change your oil this regularly is a little misguided. As car engines have improved, they have started to give better performance. At the same time, synthetic oil manufacturers have made improvements to their process. As both sides of the equation have improved, so has the car’s performance, so you should be doing oil changes at the frequency suggested by your car’s manual.
2) You Need To Spoil Your Car With Premium Fuel
Many people think that because premium fuel is an option, their car will benefit from it. This makes sense – after all, why would the stuff exist if it didn’t do anyone any good? The simple explanation is that it’s designed to help keep high-performance engines in the best possible shape. If you haven’t got that kind of engine, you’re more than likely wasting your money.
3) Using An Independent Repair Shop Voids The Car’s Warranty
This is a myth which many car dealerships like to spread about – because it keeps customers returning to them for expensive repairs, rather than going to their local (and frequently cheaper) mechanic. However, it’s absolutely not the case. Your car’s warranty lasts until the expiry date, regardless of where you get your car serviced.
4) You Should Warm The Engine Before Driving On A Cold Day
Again, a lot of people think that unless their car’s engine is warm, they shouldn’t drive it in cold weather. They believe that an engine that hasn’t reached its optimum temperature won’t work efficiently, so it’s best to let your car warm up before driving – and that might once have been the case. Remember, though, that technology has improved, and modern engines both warm up faster and don’t need to be at the optimum temperature to run well on the road.
5) All Four Tires Must Be Replaced At Once
This is another common and expensive myth; you really don’t have to replace all four tires just because one needs replacing. All that really matters is that your tires are all the same size and model. They should also be in roughly the same state of wear, which is probably where this myth came from in the first place, but if you need to replace one tire for some reason, you don’t automatically need to change all of them.
6) It’s Okay To Use Dish Soap Or Laundry Soap For Washing Your Car
This might seem a really convenient idea, but it isn’t a great one. Using the wrong kind of soap on your car will make the paint dull over time, and may affect the shine. Your car has a protective wax on it, and the wrong kinds of soaps can strip this off. You should always use a specially designed soap to get your vehicle sparkling and bright!
7) If You Jump Start Your Car, Driving It A Bit Will Recharge The Battery
It actually takes a long time to recharge a battery that has gone completely flat, and just a quick run after a jump start will not do the trick. You will need to drive a considerable distance to have any chance of recharging the battery and avoid using accessories like the car’s radio or internal lights, as these can drain surprising amounts of power. Your safest approach to a dead car battery is to use a proper electrical charger, otherwise, you could end up stuck wherever you’ve driven to with your battery still flat.
8) You Need To Change The Transmission Fluid Every 50 000 Miles
Once again, technological advancements have outstripped this myth, and it no longer holds true for modern vehicles. Many of today’s cars will manage 100 000 miles before they require the transmission fluid to be flushed, although it is always advisable to consult your manual and follow the guidance it offers.
9) Rolling Down The Windows Rather Than Using The Air Conditioner Saves Fuel
While the air con might use some fuel up, rolling down the windows isn’t necessarily the solution. Having the windows down increases the drag on the car, also causing an increase in fuel consumption. There’s probably very little difference between the two, so you may as well prioritize comfort!
10) Morning Fueling Saves You Money
Another popular myth is that fueling your car in the morning gets you more gas. Why? Gas expands when hot, so the theory is that in the cool morning, you get cooler fuel and more of it. However, since gas is stored underground, it’s not really affected by the air temperature, and so the time of day you choose to fuel up at isn’t going to make a difference. You get what you put in, regardless of the time or the temperature!
Hopefully, you feel a little wiser about your car now. It’s important to realize how technological advancements alter common car facts, and how other facts were never really facts at all – just myths that have been perpetuated over time because they sound plausible and there hasn’t been much reason to disbelieve them. Now, armed with better information, you can handle your vehicle maintenance effectively, and avoid the inconvenience of myths that are supposed to save money, but actually alter your behavior for no good reason!
Michael Dehoyos is a professional auto mechanic and editor at Thesis Help and Academic Bbrits. He assists companies in their marketing strategy concepts, and contributes to numerous sites and publications. Also, he is a writer at PhD Kingdom.
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