automotive technicianPeople’s knowledge of the world comes from a variety of places, and for as long as cars have been on the road, there have been tall tales about everything from when to change your oil to how to save money on gas to the rise of self-driving cars. There are a lot of car maintenance myths and old truths about driving that haven’t aged well. Some of it is misguided and some of it is just leftover from when vehicles were made in a different way to completely different regulations.

Leaving your tailgate down saves on gas.

The majority of people assume that driving with the tailgate down will save them money on gas. The fact that the tailgate is closed (up) forms an invisible wall against which the air impacts, creating drag, is a typical argument. If you’re not aware with how drag works, it can reduce the gas mileage of your truck, or any vehicle for that matter. Whether you’re a quick driver or like to cruise at a leisurely pace, drag is always present. The usual explanation for individuals who swear by driving with the tailgate down for improved gas mileage is that the air flows more efficiently, reducing drag on the car. While it may appear plausible in principle, the consequences will astound you.

Please hold your breath…

the best way to save money on petrol with a pickup truck is to keep the tailgate closed (up). That’s right; everyone who told you that driving with the tailgate down would save you money was guilty of car maintenance myths.
When the tailgate is closed, it creates a distinct sort of airflow within the truck bed known as a separated bubble. The bubble of slow-moving air deflects the wind over the lifted tailgate while the truck is traveling. A vortex effect is created when the surrounding air is steered over and across the truck’s bed. This swirling effect precludes any further drag. The bubble effect is severely harmed by driving with the tailgate open, therefore neutralizing any good wind effect. Instead of deflecting the wind, the air is drawn toward the truck bed, causing extra drag. That’s all there is to it.

It’s important to change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever is first.

While some cars use conventional motor oil and require oil changes every 3,000 miles or three months, many newer cars have far longer maintenance periods. If your car requires synthetic oil, you should be able to travel 5,000 miles or more between oil changes. Take out that dusty black book called an owner’s manual from your glove compartment. The maintenance table will show you how frequently you should replace the oil.

Red cars are more expensive to insure.

What car enthusiast hasn’t fantasized of owning a sultry candy apple red vehicle? We’ve always heard that red automobiles are more expensive to insure, happy to say this isn’t true! Furthermore, red cars do not receive more speeding penalties than other colors. However, if the manufacturer charges a premium for “specialty” colors, some red cars may be more expensive to purchase. For example; The 2022 Toyota CHR costs $425 more in regular red than most other colors

You don’t need to use the e-brake or parking brake when you park.

You may not live in a city with steep hills, but using your parking brake has two advantages. First, if the transmission park gear fails, the car could roll away if the parking brake is not applied. Second, applying the parking brake and then shifting to park relieves additional stress on the transmission. This extends its life and preventing costly repairs. Alternatively, don’t activate your parking brake if you are not driving your vehicle for an extended length of time. Doing so can lead to your parking brake seizing or your brake pads rusting to your rotors.

Your tires should be inflated to the number listed on each tire’s sidewall

Drivers may face a predicament while filling their tires for the first time, regardless of the sort of vehicle they are driving. You’re aware that the tires should be inflated to a specific psi (pounds per square inch), but the figure varies by vehicle. In most cases, drivers will be presented with two alternative tire psi numbers. The first figure will be on the tire wall, and the second will be on a label inside the vehicle’s door and/or in the owner’s handbook. When these two variables don’t match, it can lead to a lot of confusion and, in the worst-case scenario, car difficulty.
Underinflating your tires can be devastating and increase your need for roadside help. There is a difference between the two psi values found on your tire and vehicle, but it is relatively easy to tell the two apart. The maximum pressure at which the tire can safely support its maximum load rating is indicated on the tire wall in psi. As a result, this pressure should be considered the maximum inflation limit of the tire.

Here’s a Hint

Pay attention to the psi amount mentioned on the car’s label inside the door jamb or in the owners manual. This is the psi the manufacturer recommends for that specific vehicle in order to get the best fuel mileage and tire wear. This recommended psi is usually lower than the maximum psi indicated on the tire wall. Because every vehicle is different, weighs differently, and carries weight loads differently, car and truck manufacturers make sure to define the tire psi that will work best for each vehicle.
With your car, both values are safe to utilize. However, using the tire’s maximum inflation pressure may cause the tire to wear faster, your car to handle differently, and your gas mileage to suffer. When it comes to inflating your tires, it’s usually best to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Flats, excessive friction, and blowouts can result from over- or underinflating your tires. This can be inconvenient at best and dangerous for you and others at worst.

A car under warranty needs to be serviced at the dealer or the warranty is voided.

Though the dealership business tactics are the best, this one is a little more complicated. First and foremost, a dealership’s service department exists to offer needed warranty repairs for that dealership. The service department, on the other hand, became an open-door service and repair facility because it couldn’t exist only on warranty fixes. While some dealerships may try to convince you that you must get your car repaired there in order to keep your warranty, this is clearly wrong. Services can be performed at any shop, but you must execute the maintenance recommended in the owner’s manual or your warranty claim may be denied due to neglect. As a car owner, your best first line of defense is to keep all receipts in case of a warranty issue.

Using Your Air Conditioning Drains Your Gas Tank

As a general rule, operating the air conditioner reduces gas mileage, according to a Consumer Reports research. As a result, here are some pointers to help you strike a balance between fuel economy and comfort. Using the air conditioner consumes a lot of gas, so use it judiciously. Running the vent does not consume any additional fuel.
Also, does turning off the air conditioning save gas? The answer is that it relies on a variety of things, including how you drive your vehicle. Depending on the driving circumstances, turning on or off your air conditioner might assist reduce or boost your fuel efficiency. During modest speeds, they choose to travel with the air conditioning turned off and the windows down.
Similarly, does running the air conditioner use more gas than leaving the windows open? When driving less than 50 miles per hour, the air conditioner burns more fuel than open windows. When the temperature is a little cooler and you’re driving within the city, it’s preferable to leave the windows down. At such speed, the drag will be negligible, hence the engine will spend very little fuel.

Is it true that turning off the air conditioning makes your automobile go faster?

Yes, it does, and no you won’t. It increases power while causing no harm to the vehicle. Automotive engineers got smart and realized this a few years ago and invented a button to turn off the air conditioning automatically when the engine required all of its power.

Always Buy Gas Early in the Day

You should, after all, only buy gas when you need it. Another typical gas pump conundrum is when is the best time to buy gas. The logic goes like this: gas expands in the tank as it gets hotter, so if you buy early in the day, you’ll get more bang for your buck. However, adapting your gas-buying habits to this concept isn’t really practical; the hotter the day, the more gas will evaporate when you put it in the car. It doesn’t make much of a difference to the individual customer if your car is nice and cool because there is less evaporation as you put it into the car. It’s so insignificant, like a tenth of a percent [of gas] per year. Gas is normally the same temperature no matter what time of day you buy it because it is stored in underground tanks and does not alter in temperature.

You Must Use the Cars Recommend Grade of Gas

It all starts with this: if your car can handle a lower grade, go for it and save money! The truth is that fuel recommendations from manufacturers are based on the engine’s performance capabilities. Even when it advises to use premium fuel in current cars, mid-grade or normal fuel will suffice. It will lower your performance, but you don’t need 100 percent of the power if you’re not carrying a trailer or racing. It’s simple to try it out and find what works best for you. You should be fine as long as you don’t hear a knocking sound. You are free to switch back and forth as needed. However, If you hear some pinging, don’t panic, just return to a higher grade at your next fill up.
No matter what gasoline grade you use, a high-performance vehicle in a neighborhood with a speed restriction of 25 to 45 mph, won’t make a difference. Simply review your driving miles and habits and modify your fuel grade as necessary. You can also try switching between one tank low and one tank high to see how it goes.

Having a Clean Air Filter = Better Gas Mileage

More car maintenance myths! Let’s change that; instead, focus on your tires rather than your air filters. There are a number of factors that might effect your fuel economy, like the weight of your vehicle (get rid of those roof racks, people! ), but a dirty air filter isn’t one of them. The lesson is to understand that every automobile built after 1997 has an engine that automatically compensates for a filthy air filter. It’s not a good idea to completely disregard the air filter; it’s inexpensive, and it wouldn’t hurt to replace it every 20 to 30 thousand miles. Excessive idling, as well as under-inflated tires, can have a significant impact on fuel consumption. Here is a fun fact, the vehicle burns the same amount of fuel as driving one mile for every two minutes of idle time.

The Internet Recommended This Awesome Fuel Additives

Fuel economy gadgets and potions are a waste of time right off the bat! Don’t buy any additive or gizmo that claims to boost gas mileage, no matter what you see in the back advertising of your favorite Mechanics magazine! With just one sentence, I’ll make it very clear: None of them work! For anything that promises to improve fuel economy, the EPA has a thorough testing method. No single manufacturer has ever successfully completed that methodology and been able to scientifically establish that it works, based on my 38 years in the car industry. As much as we all want to believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny, you can’t buy them on the shelf at the auto parts store. Honesty and value swirls within the breath of the offender, your feelings are not a choice, your behavior is.

The Biggest Cars are the Safest Cars in a Crash

Larger trucks and SUVs are preferred by the majority of drivers because they provide a sense of security. Because bigger cars are more prone to tip in a crash, it’s a misconception to believe that a bigger car is always safer. True, if your car stays on all four wheels, you’ll be less damaged than if you’re in a smaller vehicle, but the possibilities of rolling in a truck or SUV are higher, not to mention a harsher impact owing to the vehicle’s massive weight. It’s nice to feel secure, but are you truly secure? Stay sharp by examining your driving behaviors and returning to the basics of respecting speed limits and driving less distractedly.

Don’t use your cell phone while pumping gas you could blow things up

On this one, we’ll defer to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) conclusion: there’s no proof that these stories are true. While a spark from a cell phone battery may hypothetically ignite gas vapor, the FCC considers the risk is negligible. Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, on the other hand, might be able to shed some more insight on the problem!

Warm up your car before you drive

Many individuals believe this, particularly in colder climates. Yes, allowing the car’s engine to warm up before driving away is beneficial. The theory is that the oil and moving elements of the engine will warm up to the right temperature and perform better than if they were started cold. While there was a grain of truth to this story in the past, the situation is now radically different. Engines can run well from a cold start, even on extremely cold days, thanks to modern technology, engineering, and materials. Not to mention the money you’ll save on gas by not running your engine for 10 minutes or more to warm up.
After a cold start, it’s a good idea to wait at least 90 seconds before driving to allow all of the engine components to get lubricated and the computer monitoring system to prepare for your trip. To put it into perspective, compare it to running. It’s always a good idea to stretch before going for a run to avoid any potential injuries.

If you don’t report an accident, your insurance rates won’t change

Some drivers may be tempted not to notify their insurance provider after being involved in a car accident, believing that the accident will go unnoticed. If you get a ticket, it will appear on your driving record, where it will not be hidden for long. It is standard practice for an insurer to evaluate your driving record when you renew a policy to determine whether anything has changed. Furthermore, the other party may contact your insurance provider without alerting you to pursue a claim for losses you may have caused. The sooner you call your insurance company, the better equipped they will be to assist you in navigating the aftermath of an accident.

Don’t run your gas tank empty

If you’re a millennial or a member of Generation X, you were probably taught that running your gas tank empty would block your pump and impair the life of your engine components. We’ve heard this a lot, and it makes sense. However, since fuel pump replacement isn’t a cheap fix, the real question is if that opinion still holds true today. A fuel pump is positioned deep inside the fuel tank of nearly every car on the road. The premise and design behind this is that the fuel around the submerged fuel pump will keep it cool and prevent it from overheating. When the fuel tank is nearly empty, the fuel pump begins to overheat, and allowing it to overheat on a regular basis by running the fuel at a quarter tank will prematurely destroy your fuel pump. As a general rule, don’t let it get below half a tank.

I need new tires, do I have to buy OE tires

You don’t have to. However, if you’re currently driving on OE tires and are satisfied with their performance, you may wish to replace them. Keep in mind that OE tires are generally designed to maximize your vehicle’s performance. Before you buy your new pair of tires, it’s also a good idea to audit your annual driving mileage. Why would you buy a 70,000-mile tread tire if you only drive 8,000 miles a year? They’ll dry rot before the wear mileage is reached. If 70 percent of your driving is on city streets at speeds of 35-45 mph, buy tires based on functionality rather than hyped-up sale prices or claimed performance.

Synthetic motor oil is the best oil for my car

This isn’t always the case, however. Simply said, when your vehicle was brand new and sitting in that dealership’s showroom, it had oil in it, which the auto manufacturer put in. Whatever oil it was, it was, and continues to be, the best motor oil for your vehicle. The engineers did not cut any shortcuts when it came to assuring the car’s performance and longevity. You should use the oil that came with it if it has a traditional motor. Going synthetic will not extend the life of your engine or make it more powerful. The key to your answer is to replace your oil when it’s supposed to be changed regardless of the grade of oil. If your car is designed to run on synthetic, though, it’s a no-brainer.

Human nature thrives on making up car maintenance myths

However many of them are founded on incorrect information. The worst part about all of these car maintenance myths is that believing them and applying them to car ownership will affect your wallet and cause you to lose your peace of mind. These tidbits of knowledge will aid you in realizing the reality and assisting you in being a better car owner.
It’s vital to know the difference between advice and opinion. Advice is founded on information and experience, whereas an opinion is founded purely on a person’s beliefs and not on their expertise. It is my responsibility to present you with sound guidance that will yield outstanding outcomes.
I can lecture you by informing you that baby carrots are sprayed with chlorine to retain their orange color and crisp texture. Or, I can empower you by teaching you that consuming chlorine on a regular basis is harmful to your health. It is entirely up to you to make a decision. You don’t have to agree with me to embrace empowerment.

It makes no difference how you obtained the information; what matters is that you comprehended the correct information.