You Should Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles
Everyone remembers getting their first car. The first rule of car maintenance has always been that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles and you will save money on gas and repairs. This logic made sense back when cars first hit the roads, but with synthetic oil technology advancing to the place that it is today, it is likely that you should not need to change your oil so frequently. To be sure, you should check the label on your motor oil, but most contemporary synthetic oils can last upwards of 7,500 if not 10,000 miles between changes.
So why does this myth persist. You can likely blame it on your mechanic for insisting on the more frequent change. They certainly have something to gain from the increase in checkups.
A Big Car is Less Costly and Safer in a Collision
Now this one is a bit complicated. If you think back to tenth grade physics class, you will remember that object with more mass carry more force; therefore, if an eighteen-wheeler and a Toyota Prius get into a head-on collision, we all know that the Prius is going to be decimated while the truck will feel as though it just ran over a large pebble. This means that you will end up paying more in repairs if you drive a small car.
With that said, barring extreme circumstances like the previously mentioned collision, the sedans of today have comparable safety ratings to larger cars such as SUV’s and pickup trucks. Again, this is one of those myths that was likely truer back in the day, but nowadays, modern safety features have made this somewhat of a myth.
You Can Sell Your Old Car for Parts
This myth is almost common sense. An integral part of your car gives out. The cost of repairs isn’t worth it, and you see a whole car filled with working parts that could find a home somewhere else, leaving you with some free space in your garage and some extra money in your pocket. But not so fast.
Selling your car for parts is neither as easy or safe as it may sound. Sure, some parts of a car can be removed without hassle, but remember, between all the fluids, coolants, fumes, and metals that compose the elaborate beast that is the modern automobile, there is a lot of room for you to make a mistake, one that either damages remaining parts or exposes you to something toxic.
Additionally, you would have to be extraordinarily lucky and patient to end up selling off all the parts in your car. More than likely, you’ll end up with a half hollowed out husk of a car. Instead of breaking it up piece by piece, look to a service that will pay cash to take the whole darn thing off your hands.
Not All Gas is Created Equal
Especially now that gas often costs upwards of $3.50 a gallon (depending on where you live), you might be wondering if sticking with the cheap gas is wreaking havoc on your car’s engine. However, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in the quality of commercial gasolines.
Granted, some purveyors of gasoline chose to put in additional additives, but these are for the most part negligible. The EPA requires that all gasoline meet a certain level of detergent. Some companies choose to add more, but the point stands. Name brand or off brand, it will work with your car the same. So next time Ole Pops gives you heck for pumping up your car at the Kwik Stop, tell him that all gas is (more or less) created equally.
Warm Your Engine Before Driving
We’ve all heard this one: let your car idle a bit before driving, especially for those of us who live in colder parts of the country. The theory operates on the very true belief that engines run less efficiently when they are cold, albeit only slightly less, and a more efficient car saves gas. So, the myth goes, it would make sense to warm your engine before driving. Right?
Wrong! The problem with this theory is that engines warm up faster when the car is driving. Experts recommend that you idle your car for no more than thirty seconds before taking off on the road.
Manual Transmission is More Efficient Than Automatic
Once again, we have a myth that was true in a certain time. When automatic transmission first came onto the scene, it wasn’t quite as efficient as manual. But nowadays, with automatic transmission making leaps and bounds in technology, it often proves even more efficient than manual.