Every car owner always reads about best practices for keeping the vehicle in good shape and we all know that car maintenance is important. A few tips provide money-saving options or performance-enhancing practices. Yet, not everything passed along to car owners is necessarily true. Here are 5 car maintenance myths that are actually false:
1. Premium fuel is better for your vehicle
If your car has a high-compression and performance engine that runs hotter than most others, regular gasoline works normally. Higher octane gas involves cleaners and protectants to keep turbo-charged engines in better shape — think sports car types — and is more resistant to engine knocking.
Actually, vehicles that require more expensive, premium gas cost more to purchase themselves. Regular gas should fit the average-priced vehicle.
2. Warm up your car’s engine before driving during the winter
Of course, the engine needs to warm up to operate fully, but modern engines warm up faster while you’re actually driving. Moreover, your wheel bearings and transmission need movement to completely warm up. Running your vehicle before driving in colder weather has no benefit other than heating you up inside the car. Idling the car in your driveway uses gas to go nowhere — essentially wasting your money and fuel.
3. You should replace all four tires at the same time
Change individual tires as needed so long as they’re the same brand, model, and size as the rest of the tires. You can switch them out whenever you want. At first, make sure to have them rotated at every other oil change to maximize their life.
Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new tire if you puncture one. If the puncture damaged the sidewall or is greater than a quarter-inch in diameter, a car mechanic can usually plug the hole.
4. Wash your car with dish or laundry soap
While this may sound like an effective way to save money, washing your car with dish soap in fact damages the car’s wax finish. Instead of contributing to paint chipping off and rust marks, pay a little more for special car-wash liquid or take your car for a waterless car wash. It’s designed to not strip away the protective wax.
5. A battery will recharge following a jump start after a short period of driving
It needs hours of driving to bring a battery that had to be jump-started back to full charge — specifically in colder temperatures. Vehicle accessories like heated seats, the radio, etc. pull a lot of power from the alternator.
It’s better to drive around for several hours to bring your car’s battery back to a full charge. Moreover, you can have it load tested at a gas station if need be.
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