5 Car Myths Debunked

December 28th, 2017 by

Even after a few years (or decades) of licensed driving, many adults still don’t know everything about their vehicles. And in truth, that’s totally okay. You don’t need to know everything about how a vehicle works in order to drive it. But when it comes to the myths I’ve outlined in this blog, there are things today’s drivers should know. Believing these myths can cost drivers money and cause their vehicles harm. 

So, here are five vehicle myths and the truth behind them. 

Is Warming Up Your Car a Myth?

5 Car Myths DebunkedWhile this may surprise any Minnesotan driver out there, the idea of letting your vehicle warm up for the sake of your engine is false. In truth, allowing your vehicle to warm up for an extended period of time can actually negatively affect the engine’s lifespan.

There is one exception to this rule: carbureted engines. Up until the 1980s, many vehicles had carburated engines, and those vehicles did need to be warmed up before being driven in the winter. So, this myth about allowing your engine to warm up in the winter used to be true, but it isn’t necessary with today’s vehicles. 

Do Vehicles with Manual Transmissions get Better Gas Mileage? 

This myth about manual transmissions having better fuel economy than automatics used to be true. Remember, the first automatic transmissions in automobiles were back in the 1950s and 1960s. In those early years, the technology was still new, so automatic transmissions weren’t as fuel efficient as manual ones. As you might imagine, automotive technology has come a long way since then, and today’s automatic transmissions and manual transmissions have equivalent fuel economies. 

Do I Need to Change My Oil Every 3,000 Miles? 

Even though most oil change providers give you a little sticker or reminder to come back in 3,000 miles for your next oil change, that might be sooner than what your vehicle needs. Nowadays, the majority of vehicles are capable of safely going 7,500 miles (or more) between oil changes. You can check what mileage interval is right for your specific vehicle by checking your owner’s manual. Although getting your oil changed more often than needed isn’t going to hurt your engine, it can get expensive. 

Does Using A/C Give Better or Worse Fuel Economy? 

Many drivers have wondered if it’s better for fuel economy to use the air conditioning or to keep the windows down. The argument is that using A/C uses additional fuel, but keeping the windows down increases the vehicle’s drag. Since both options use up fuel in different ways, which method is best? 

While many individuals claim the jury is still out on this one, there are three popular sources that all seem to agree: driving with the windows down consumes less fuel than using a vehicle’s A/C. What are these sources? 

Does Generic Gasoline Hurt My Engine? 

There’s an idea circulating that generic gasoline can be harmful to your vehicle’s engine, but that idea is false. Whether gasoline comes from a well-known brand or from a generic gas station, it still has to meet the same standards and regulations.

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