5 Car Maintenance Myths
By: StaffPublished August 27, 2021
- The 3000-Mile Oil Change – This car maintenance myth is so popular that the instant-lube companies across America must be using dollar bills to dry their hands after every oil change. Although you won’t harm your engine by changing its oil every 3,000 miles, most cars just don’t need oil replacement so often. 5,000 - 7,500 miles seems to be the magic number where most new cars will need an oil change, although some super oils and synthetic oils can enable a car to go 10,000 miles before an oil change is due. The best way to know for sure about your car’s oil change schedule is to check the owner’s manual.
- Filling up the Brake Fluid Reservoir Will Solve Brake Issues – Many people think that when their brake fluid is low in the reservoir under the hood, topping it off will solve any problem that is developing. Not so. As brake pads wear, this causes the fluid level to drop over time. When the brake fluid reaches the “low” mark on the reservoir, this means there’s either a leak in the brake lines or your brakes are in need of servicing very soon. Don’t wait – your brakes should be checked whenever you rotate your tires, which should be every 6,000 to 7,000 miles.
- Premium Gas Makes Your Car Run Better – While it’ nice to imagine that the addition of high-quality, premium gas will give your little car a magical boost of performance, the facts just don’t add up. Premium gas – gasoline with higher octane levels than regular gasoline – is designed for engines that utilize high compression or run hotter than most engines. Using this gas in “normal” cars is a myth; it won’t hurt the vehicle, but it won’t help either. And it will drain your wallet more quickly.
- Your Car Should Warm Up Several Minutes Before Being Driven – This was certainly the case with vintage cars, but with the modern technological innovations that have been made to engines and entire car systems, this is now an old car maintenance myth. In fact, today’s engines warm up better when they’re being driven. Just keep in mind that one should not rev the engine much during the first few miles of operation, as the oil still needs to heat-up and circulate.
- Coolant Flushes with Every Oil Change - Coolants for radiators and cooling systems today need to be changed only every 60,000 miles or so – certainly not with every oil change as the car maintenance myth goes. Keep your coolant in your vehicle longer and save money, without worrying about damaging your radiator. On the other hand, if your coolant seems to diminish quickly, it probably means you have a leak somewhere in your system.