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Common Car Myths That Drive Everyone Crazy

Common Car Myths That Drive Everyone Crazy

There's a lot of misinformation out there about cars. You may have heard plenty of "advice" that would actually do more harm than good. How do these common car myths keep going? Sometimes they're about something that used to be true several years ago and is outdated now, and other times they're full of facts that have been twisted beyond the point of recognition. Here are a few common car myths that we'd like to bust once and for all: 

 

ENGINE / MAINTENANCE

You need to warm up your car

This was true when carburetors needed time to heat up. Now, leaving the car running for 10 minutes might warm the interior, but it won’t help your engine.

They make cars so you can’t service them yourself

While modern cars do have a lot more technology that can stump an amateur, most repairs that you can do yourself haven’t changed. 

You need an oil change every 3000 miles

This was true years ago, but modern engine oil can effectively lubricate your engine for 10,000 or more miles, depending on how often you drive. It’s usually safe to go roughly 6,000 miles between changes. Find out how to change your own oil here.

After a jump-start, your car will soon recharge the battery

Due to power going to accessories like heated seats and AC, it could take hours for your battery to reach a full charge after a jump.

If the brake fluid is low, topping it off will fix the problem

The fluid helps you monitor brake wear. If it’s low it means your brakes are worn out or fluid is leaking. Either way, it’s time to get them checked. 

 

SAFETY

Cars used to be much sturdier

The old “tanks” were sturdy, but modern crumple zones absorb the impact so you don’t have to.

A tire can explode if you exceed the "max pressure" number

"Max pressure" means load-carrying capability, not burst pressure. You should also check your manual for the proper inflation level, as it will differ from the max pressure.

 

DRIVING

Driving manual is hard

It may take a little while to learn, but if most of the driving world uses it, it can’t be that difficult.

AWD > Snow Tires

Even AWD won’t keep you from slipping if you have bad tires. Snow tires make a huge difference in rough conditions.

Higher numbers on the speedometer means a faster car

Some cars, like the ‘85 Camaro, show the speedometer only going up to 85mph, but of course the car could go much faster than that.

 

GENERAL

A car brand that wasn’t very good 10 years ago must still not be very good

Just because a car company made a bad car in the past doesn’t mean they didn’t improve.

The ideal weight distribution is 50/50

The location of the center of gravity and polar moment of inertia is more important that weight distribution.

 

GAS

Premium fuel is better for any car

If your car is designed for regular-grade fuel, using premium won’t make a difference.

Idling saves gas

Idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.

For fuel economy, the AC is better than opening the windows

This can vary due to speed and resistance, but generally speaking, AC uses more fuel than driving with the windows down. However, the difference is very small.

Getting fuel in the morning saves you money

When temperatures are cool, gasoline is denser. However, it’s stored underground and doesn’t change temperature enough to make a difference.

A dirty car is more fuel efficient

Mud and dirt on your car doesn’t act like dimples on a golf ball. Instead, the drag can decrease efficiency by up to 10%. 

Have any more myths that drive you crazy? Let us know in the comments! 

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