7 Automotive Maintenance Myths & Facts

Automotive Maintenance can be a very tricky subject. If you ask anyone about how you should properly maintain your car, they will probably have an answer for you based on past experiences or stories that they have heard from someone else. Here are 7 car maintenance myths that you may have heard, but are not always entirely true.

Myth 1: Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 Miles.

Follow the information that is listed in your owner’s manual and ignore the self-serving pleas from oil companies. Under average driving conditions, most vehicles can travel 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Unless your driving style is very stop-and-go, you typically travel while trailer towing or traveling through mountainous terrain, an oil change every 3,000 miles maybe overdoing it.

Myth 2: Flush the coolant with every oil change.

Most owners’ manuals recommend changing the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles. Always check for leaks if the coolant reservoir is low despite repeatedly topping it off.

Myth 3: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewalls.

The psi figure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure the tire will hold safely. If you’re looking for the automaker’s recommended pressure that balances braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort, it’s usually on a sticker on the side of the doorjamb or the fuel filler door.

Myth 4: Premium fuel is better than regular.

Most vehicles run normally while using regular fuel grade. Fueling cars with premium fuel will not cause damage or improve performance. High octane fuels are less likely to create pre-ignition problems so they are usually used in hotter running, high compressed engines.

Myth 5: Warm up your car for several minutes before driving.

This is an outdated suggestion, driving your car is the fastest way to warm up a modern engine. And the sooner the car is warmed up, the sooner it delivers the best mileage and performance.

Myth 6: Wash your car with dishwashing or laundry detergent.

Detergents strip off a car’s wax finish, pay a little extra and stick with the car wash liquid, which cleans the car without removing the wax.

Myth 7: A battery will recharge after a jumpstart in only a few minutes of driving.

Not at all, it can take several hours to give the battery a full charge, especially in the winter months. Heated seats, music systems, and other accessories draw so much power that the alternator has little left to recharge the battery. You can check to see if the battery will still hold a charge by having a load test at a gas station.

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