A car is essential for most of us to move around and get from one place to another. While owning a vehicle brings many benefits, it carries specific responsibilities, one of the biggest being regular maintenance or servicing. Unfortunately, some misconceptions about car maintenance have been spread over the years, leaving people needing clarification about what can and cannot be done. Maintenance done right should save money. However, there are a lot of myths out there about what type of maintenance must be done and when, as well as how to care for and drive the vehicle daily. Unfortunately, much of it ends up being a money waster rather than a money saver. In this blog post, we’ll explore six common maintenance myths about car maintenance, so car owner should know exactly how best to take care of their vehicle.
“You should always change your oil every 3,000 miles.”
Older vehicles did require more frequent oil changes, usually at around every 3,000 miles. However, as engine technology has changed, this is no longer the rule. Many people believe you should change your oil every 3,000 miles for your vehicle to operate correctly. This notion can be traced back to a longstanding car maintenance myth that has significantly outdated oil technology available today. Check the owner’s manual to see exactly what the manufacturer recommends, but most cars will do fine with 5000-7500 miles or more between oil changes. It’s best to check with the vehicle manual before blindly following this supposedly routine auto maintenance procedure. You may discover that you don’t need to do it at all and can save time and money while ensuring your vehicle runs without issue long into the future.
“Premium gasoline is always necessary for high-performance cars.”
The idea that premium gasoline is always necessary for high-performance cars is an unfortunate car maintenance myth. While it may be true that certain manufacturers recommend their vehicles to use only Premium 91, in most cases, that higher octane level is only necessary if the engine running conditions manifest pre-ignition or detonation. In general, however, opting to use a lower octane gas like regular 87 won’t adversely affect modern car engines, as they are designed not to knock and run on a much lower octane than most people think. Studies have shown that substituting high-quality regular fuel instead of premium can have no significant impact on overall engine performance. Drivers should consult their auto manual before using any fuel grade to keep their cars operating optimally. Most modern cars run smoothly with regular quality fuel. Replacing it with premium-grade fuel will not harm the car but it won’t contribute to an improvement in performance.
“New cars don’t need regular maintenance.”
Contrary to popular belief, new cars do require regular maintenance. The truth is, with timely and routine servicing such as oil changes, filter replacements, tire rotations and brake inspections, the entire life span of a vehicle can be significantly improved regardless of age. Simply put, with regular maintenance, efficiency and reliability can be improved, whereas, with frequent problems like low fluid levels and frayed belts, it is only a matter of time before major – and expensive – repairs are needed. So when it comes to keeping your car running for the long haul, there is no replacement for good maintenance habits.
Genesis Autoworks is debunking the myth that new cars don’t need regular maintenance. Genesis Autoworks offers services for both new and old cars, such as oil changes, tire rotations and changes, brake repairs, air filter replacements, tailpipe repairs and more. Genesis Autoworks staff is committed to creating long-lasting customer relationships and helping them safely navigate the roads ahead.
“The more often you wash your car, the better it will look.”
While washing your car may be a routine exercise for some, the number of times you choose to wash your vehicle will not directly affect how it looks. In other words, a myth exists in car maintenance that says, “the more often you wash your car, the better it will look”. However, frequent washing can cause damage to the paint and interior of a car if not done correctly. Another myth is you can use dish soap or laundry detergent to wash your vehicle. Unfortunately, dish soap works too well on your car — it can strip off the wax coating on your car’s finish. Over time, this could lead to paint chipping and even rust marks. If you can, you may want to buy soap specifically designed for cars and for helping to preserve the protective wax finish. It is important to remember that using specialised cleaning formulas designed for certain parts of a vehicle is just as crucial as adequately drying them before taking the car out again into harsh environments or conditions. Washing a car correctly or knowing when to take it in for waxing may be time-consuming, but an invaluable part of maximising its shape and life span.
“You should let your car warm up for several minutes before driving.”
It’s a popular misconception that you should let your car warm up for several minutes before driving. New cars today don’t require warming up; the engine warms itself in just a few seconds due to modern advances like electronic fuel injection. For older cars, letting them idle for 30 seconds can get things going without any long-term damage. Of course, if it’s a freezing day, idling a bit longer cannot harm either – but don’t wait too long, as it will waste gas and increase emissions! As you may have heard, let your car warm up for minutes is no longer necessary. A few short bursts before taking off are vastly better for your wallet and the environment!
“Synthetic oil is always better than conventional oil.”
Despite what some might believe, synthetic oil is only sometimes objectively better than conventional oil. Synthetic oil has more benefits and a longer lifespan, but these benefits may outweigh the cost of such oils for only some car owners. Depending on the age of your car, usage frequency and climate, you may enjoy better results using conventional oil over synthetic. Ultimately, the decision should be based on research and recommendations from your trusted mechanic. Changing engine oil more frequently than necessary would not do any extra good to your engine’s performance. Suppose your car is driven in city stop-and-go traffic excessively, used as a towing trailer or on hilly roads and dusty conditions. In that case, you should consider an early oil replacement Stay informed about your vehicle’s maintenance needs to keep its engine running smoothly!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I get an oil change?
Getting an oil change is one of the essential maintenance tasks you can perform on your car. The frequency usually depends on the type of oil used, the miles driven, and your driving habits. It’s best to get the oil changed every 3000 miles. This alone could almost double your unneeded car maintenance spending. Check the owner’s manual to see exactly what the manufacturer recommends, but most cars will do fine with 5000-7500 miles or more between oil changes. If synthetic oil is in your engine, however, it typically lasts longer – up to 15,000 miles in some cases. Regardless of the kind of oil used, note any changes in the colour or viscosity between oil changes, as this could indicate a problem with your vehicle and require more frequent maintenance.
2. Is it wrong to let my car idle?
Letting your car idle is something other than what you should do regularly. You can wait a few minutes before starting a long journey to ensure that your engine warms up correctly; however, leaving it running for extended periods pumps unnecessary toxic fumes into the air and needlessly consumes fuel. In addition, cars are more prone to breakdowns when sitting idle for too long. So, although it is sometimes necessary to let your vehicle idle, use your discretion to keep the duration short – ideally less than two minutes.
3. Does the colour of my car’s antifreeze matter?
Although there is an array of colours to choose from when it comes to antifreeze, colour is not the be-all and end-all of whether you’ve purchased the correct type. What truly counts is the composition. It’s essential to get a product that suits your vehicle’s make and model to function as it should, whatever colour it may be. Mixing and matching different kinds of fluids can be a recipe for disaster for your car in the long run. To ensure you get the most out of your antifreeze, focus on the label specification and always consult with a professional before switching brands or types.
4. Do I need to rotate my tires?
Rotating your tires is critical to ensure your car runs smoothly and safely. According to experts, you should rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or when you take your vehicle in for one of its regular service visits. Doing so will help keep the treads even on all four tires and ensure that the wear is distributed evenly. It also prevents more serious issues like tire blowouts by providing wear isn’t limited to certain areas of the tire. Plus, rotation helps improve the overall performance of your vehicle, as well as extend its lifespan!
Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a new tire if you puncture one. We recommend you check your tire pressure once a month. If the tire does need replacing, as long as the tires are the same brand, model, and size, it’s OK to replace one at a time. Just be sure to have the tires rotated at every oil change.
Performing proper maintenance helps preserve and protect the life of a car. Since a car helps us get to work, school and other important destinations, it’s critical to take care of a vehicle to extend its useful life. Remember that your car needs regular health checkups the same way you do. A consistent maintenance schedule can help keep your car running at its best.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader, featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought-after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.