There are endless lists explaining how to best maintain your vehicle. Most of these tips are valid, but some of them not so much. We debunk five of the most common car maintenance myths.
Car maintenance myths debunked
If you’re a diligent car owner, you want your vehicle to be in perfect condition. But if you follow all the car maintenance advice out there, you might get pretty confused! Here we debunk the five most common car maintenance myths to help you save time, money and effort.
Myth 1: Warm up your car by letting the engine idle for several minutes
This one is outdated. While this was certainly recommended for most vehicles built before 1995, modern engines warm up and cool down a lot quicker. With modern engines, the fastest (and best) way to warm up is to start driving. Just make sure not to rev the engine for the first few minutes.
Myth 2: Engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles
When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, it’s always better to check out the owner’s manual rather than listening to the self-serving please of auto-mechanics or oil companies. Under normal driving conditions, most modern vehicles can easily go 7500 miles between oil changes. The outdated practice is only advised to those who do a lot of stop-and-go driving, trailer-towing or drive in severe road conditions.
Myth 3: Premium fuel can increase performance of my engine
Most cars are made to run on regular grade fuel. But if you think you can extract a little extra performance out of your car by filling it with up with premium gas, you are mistaken. Premium fuel is designed for hotter and higher compression engines, such as turbocharged or high-performance units. While it might not harm your car, it could certainly hurt your wallet unnecessarily.
Myth 4: Inflate the tyre pressure to the PSI figure written on the sidewall
When inflating vehicle tires, many of us think that the number on the tyre’s sidewall is the recommended air pressure. In reality, however, that psi figure is the maximum pressure the tire will be able to hold safely. Make sure to check the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle. It’s usually on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb, in the glove box, or on the fuel-filler door. A wrongly inflated tyre can significantly affect handling, braking, and overall tire wear.
Myth 5: You can wash your car with dishwashing or laundry detergent.
Using dishwashing or laundry detergent can end up stripping the car’s paint. Detergents are designed to flush the grease off utensils and clothes. Do not use it on your car if you don’t want to strip off the protective wax or the clear coat on the vehicle. Stick with car washing liquids even if you have to pay extra.
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