Anyone who has ever owned a car in their lifetime has either heard or given some advice on how to maintain it. From your uncle to you grandfather we have all heard things like “ you have to change your oil every 3,000 miles”, “I always use premium gas in my car”. Well, many years ago some of these things may have been true. Fortunately for us, not anymore. Here are some common myths of car maintenance that no longer hold true.
3,000 mile oil changes. Unless you drive your vehicle under severe conditions and induce excessive amounts of strain on your engine, you can get away with not changing your engine’s oil every 3,000 miles. Most drivers will be fine just going by what their owners manual says or their oil life monitors. If you use your car under normal conditions, changing your oil every 3,000 miles is probably wasting your money.
Overinflating tires gives you better gas mileage. Over inflating tires does close to nothing when it comes to gas mileage. Tires should be inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications according to the sticker on the driver’s door jam. Tires that are under or over inflated affect handling, braking and cause abnormal wear to your tire’s tread, eventually costing a lot more than than ½ mpg you gained.
Premium gas is better. This is also not the case. If your car’s engine is designed to burn regular fuel (87 octane), dumping premium in the tank will not help you gain much. Although, it will not hurt your engine, you are just wasting money. Premium fuels are typically used in engines with high compression and more performance than our typical daily drivers. Just follow what the manufacturer recommends and you’ll be fine.
The royal flush. I’m sure you’ve all been asked or pressured into performing some kind of fluid flush when visiting a service center. In reality flushes are typically not required for a long time if at all on some modern cars. Unless you drive in severe conditions, you will be just fine going by what your owner’s manual recommends.
Warming up your car. The best way to warm up your car and reach peak efficiency is by driving it. Now that doesn’t mean starting in -20 degrees and redlining the engine. Just take it easy until it’s at operating temperature. Manufacturers typically advise against extended periods of idling anyway.
So there you have it. 5 myths of car maintenance, I’m sure all of us are guilty of at some point in time. The best way to get the right information is just inside your car’s glove compartment. Its that big book no one ever likes to read through, the dreaded owner’s manual. Skimming through your owner’s manual before agreeing to pay 200 dollars for some flush might be your best bet on saving money and maintaining your car.