Debunking Some Popular Car Care Myths

Car maintenance tips

Most motorists understand the importance of taking care of their vehicle. Routine maintenance will help to ensure that their vehicle lasts for as long as possible. However, poor automotive advice tends to cloud the judgment of some car owners. Here are a few car care myths that need to be put to rest.

Myth: Your oil needs to be changed every 3000 miles
This myth is simply a marketing ploy that is being circulated by the oil industry. Although there is no harm in changing the motor oil every 3000 miles, it doesn’t offer the engine any extra protection. The best approach to changing the oil is to stick to the oil change interval that is recommended by the automaker.

Myth: Warming up your vehicle is a good idea
Contrary to popular opinion, warming up the engine before driving a car is actually counter-effective. Modern fuel-injected vehicles are engineered to be driven after a very short warm-up period. Instead of allowing the vehicle to idle for several minutes, the best way to warm the engine will be to gently drive the vehicle until it reaches the optimum engine temperature.

Myth: Fuel additives work
There’s no conclusive evidence that over-the-counter fuel additives actually work. The government mandates that all gasoline contain additives that prevent carbon deposits. If there is a problem with carbon buildup, the best approach is to have the fuel system cleaned by a professional mechanic at a Greenville auto repair shop. Most fuel-related engine problems can actually be prevented by purchasing fuel from a reputable gas station.

Myth: Premium gas equates to a better performance
The average car won’t benefit from using premium gas. However, there are some high-performance vehicles that need premium gas to deliver the best performance. If your car needs premium gas, the gas flap or instrument panel will usually state “premium fuel only”. If a normal vehicle starts to run poorly on regular gas, the spark plugs and ignition wires may need to be replaced.

Myth: A check engine light means that expensive repair work is needed
In most instances, the presence of an illuminated check engine light stems from a relatively simple issue. The key is to find out the root cause of the problem as soon as possible. Ignoring the check engine light could certainly lead to expensive repairs in the long run.


About the author: Zander Chance



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One Comment

  • Premium gas does usually equate to better fuel economy, but the price difference is likely to wash any MPG gains. Just FYI.

    The most common check engine light issues are for sensor issues (sometimes one-off, sometimes for fault). In a higher mileage car, it’s probably going to be the mass air flow sensor (MAF), which just requires that you remove and clean it. Oxygen (O2) sensors are also a common issue and are usually easy to replace as well. On most vehicles, you can follow directions that will be given in your owner’s manual to retrieve the error codes without a diagnostics tool. Many auto parts stores will retrieve codes free of charge as well.

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