Caring for our cars and trucks can often be frustrating. There are so many myths and rumors that it’s difficult to know what is the right thing to do for your vehicle. While a specific problem may require the assistance of a mechanic, these five tips can help you keep your car in a healthier state for longer.
You Probably Don’t Need Premium Fuel
Most people go for the higher octane fuel when they gas up at the pump, because they think it’s better for their car. This is just another urban myth. Unless your owner’s manual specifies the need for a higher octane fuel, regular unleaded will be just as good.
You Don’t Need to Change All Four Tires at Once
This is another car care myth that has been passed down through generations, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to follow it. What you do need to do is ensure all four tires are of the same brand and model. Also, check to make sure you’re always using the right size tire.
Leaving Your Tailgate Down Does Nothing for Fuel Efficiency
In a research project, Popular Mechanics tested the effects of driving various pick-up trucks with the tailgate down. This was in response to a theory that driving with the tailgate down helped conserve gas. In truth, this had no effect on fuel efficiency. However, the study did find that removing the tailgate altogether did help conserve gas. This was true even when the tailgate was replaced with mesh netting.
An Oil Change Isn’t an Excuse to Change Coolant
Many mechanics recommend changing coolant fluid and air filters, during an oil change. While this certainly benefits the mechanic, it doesn’t necessarily do much for your vehicle. Instead of taking your mechanic’s word for it, consult the vehicle owner’s manual to find out exactly how long your vehicle can go without changing coolant fluid and air filters.
An Electric Car is a Fire Risk
There’s a rumor going around that the new electrically powered vehicles are more likely to catch fire. Some people actually avoid buying electric cars, because they fear a random electrical fire. According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, electric cars are no more likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles.
Since most people aren’t mechanics, it’s easy to come across a multitude of myths and rumors about proper car care. Before buying into anything that you hear, it’s a good idea to research the rumor for yourself. Often consulting your owner’s manual can help you settle questions or concerns you have about your vehicle.