Cars can seem mysterious at times, and maybe that is why myths are believed. We have come a long way since the “iron horse” was introduced, and cars have become way more complicated. When cars were first on the road they came with tool kits many repairs could be made on the spot.
Now there are computer systems on board cars and even changing the oil can get complicated. Street Automotive would like you to know the truth about your vehicles. Perhaps that is why it is easy to accept pearls of wisdom that sound good and have some logic to them. If something is good, more will be better right? So with that in mind, here are four myths about your car that many people accept as truth.
Oil change every 3,000 miles.
This myth as been around for years, and it may have been sound advice at one time. Today auto owners manuals recommend changing the oil every 7,000 to even 10,000 miles in average driving conditions. That means on the highway and not in extreme weather. If you drive on a lot of dusty roads in very hot or very cold weather, more often is a good idea.
Changing the oil is the most important think you can do to properly maintain your car, so it seems reasonable to think it should be done often. Changing your oil as often as you want will never hurt your car, but you can save oil and money by not doing it that often. There are also synthetic oils that last even longer.
Higher octane gas
Another myth based on the idea that more is better is the higher octane gas myth. Most cars run on “regular” gas, which has an octane rating of 87. There are higher octane gases available, such as 89 or 92, and those are made for higher performance engines. It seems logical to think something good for a high performance sports car would also be good for your family sedan. It is also reasonable to think a stronger gas would also be good.
The truth is, your engine was made to run on a certain octane – or strength – of gasoline. Most engines run best with an 87 octane. While it might be reasonable to think otherwise, your car will not run better or faster with a higher octane.
Warming up your car
If it is really cold out, you need to let your engine idle to warm the engine up, right? No, not really. While it is true that oil and other lubricants need to be a certain temperature to operate best, driving at normal speed will raise those temperatures just as well as sitting still.
Getting in, starting the engine, and driving at normal speed is the best way to drive your car, according to automotive experts. Of course you may want the inside of your car warm before you drive away, but that is a matter of personal comfort and does not affect your car. When you are idling, the engine is running but it is not moving. Might as well get it moving while its running.
Getting regular tuneups
There was a time when there were a lot of parts on your engine and they were in a precarious balance. Things like spark plugs, timing belts and points all had to be in sync, and you needed tuneups to keep it that way. Today cars have computers and the computer takes care of many of those balances. It can even make adjustments as the weather changes while you are driving down the highway. Some of those parts do not even exist today with fuel injection systems and the on board computer that keeps it all flowing well.
It is a good idea to have a trained auto technician take a look at your car once or twice a year, or if it starts running poorly. They can hook their computer up to your car’s computer and spot any issues with amazing precision and accuracy. Even so the idea of needing a regular schedule to organize all the pieces – or a tune up – is really a myth today with modern automobiles.