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Most car owners have heard of tips on how to keep their car in the best shape. These tips may have come from friends, family members, or television, but they seep into your consciousness. And, as the responsible car owner, you’re careful to follow through with all of them. But, what you may not realize is that there are a lot of common car maintenance myths out there that may actually be costing you money and damaging your car. We’re here to clear the air with the top seven car maintenance myths you should stop believing today, so you can stop creating unnecessary auto repairs.
Myth One: Your Engine Oil Needs to Be Changed Every 3,000 Miles
Changing your oil regularly, and when it needs it, is one of the key elements to a healthy car. Additionally, not keeping up with oil changes can make your car’s warranty void! There’s a common saying that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles or every three months. However, this is an old tip that is likely still being circulated by the oil companies and quick-repair shops. Most cars today can go much longer without oil repair. Changing your oil too often won’t damage your vehicle, but it is unnecessary money and time going down the drain.
We recommend you check out your owner’s manual for information that is specific to your vehicle. Today, many cars can travel up to 7,500 miles (in normal driving conditions) before needing an oil change. That means if you stick to the 3,000-mile rule, you might be changing your oil more than twice the amount you need to!
However, we should note that if you travel through mountains or dusty areas, do a lot of stop-and-go driving, or trailer-towing, you may be closer to the 3,000-mile mark after all. If you are typically taking part in driving that is strenuous on your vehicle, book regular check-ups and repair appointments.
Myth Two: Flush Your Coolant with Every Oil Change
So, along with wasting oil, you may be wasting coolant too if you believe this myth. There is no need to flush your coolant with every single oil change. Most vehicles recommend you change the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles. When you go in for an auto repair appointment, have the mechanic check your coolant to see if it needs flushing.
One important thing to keep an eye out for is a coolant leak. If you continually top your coolant off, but it maintains a low reservoir, you need to take it in for inspection.
Myth Three: You Need to Warm Up Your Car
This myth comes straight from our childhoods. Most of us remember our parents starting the car and letting it run for several minutes to “warm up the engine.” And, a lot of us have carried this practice into our own adult lives.
However, with modern engines, the car warms up best when you start to drive it. And, the sooner it warms up, the faster it delivers optimal performance and mileage. Stop warming your car up, wasting time and money, and just get in and drive!
Myth Four: Wash Your Car With Dishwashing Soap or Detergent
Some people think that if they use dishwashing soap or laundry detergent on their car, it will have extra shine. Or, they want to save some money and use the soap they have on hand. Whatever the reason, we assure you that this isn’t the route to go. Detergents have chemicals in them that can strip off a car’s wax. Stick to the car-wash liquid for a safe, sparkly clean to your car that doesn’t cause any damage and force you to make an extra auto repair appointment.
Myth Five: My Car Deserves the Best Fuel
If you love your car, you might think it deserves premium fuel even though its a vehicle that can operate on regular-grade fuel. We don’t recommend doing this. While premium fuel definitely won’t hurt your car, it won’t improve its performance in any way. A higher grade fuel will only make your vehicle slightly more resistant to engine knocking for a much higher cost.
Read your owner’s manual for the type of fuel your car requires and stick to that suggestion.
Myth Six: Dealerships Must Perform Work to Keep Warranties Valid
Many people that have a factory warranty on their car believe they must stick to all auto repair work with a dealership. This isn’t true at all. Your owner’s manual will specify what maintenance items need to be done and at what schedule. You can get this work done at any auto repair shop and just need to keep records of the work. The only time you have to take your vehicle to the dealership is when you require recall work.
This is an important tip to know as most auto repair shops offer significantly lower prices than dealerships.
Myth Seven: Replace Tires at the Minimum Tread Depth
So far, the trend on this list has been that many auto repairs and maintenance checks can be less frequent than you think. However, when it comes to your tires, the tip is to take action sooner rather than later.
Many individuals think they don’t need to worry about replacing their tires until they’re down to the minimum tread depth. That is true, your tires don’t need to be replaced until you’re at the minimum depth of 2/32 inches (in most areas). But, what most people get wrong is waiting until they’re already at the depth to take action. Driving around at a depth of 2/32 inches is putting yourself at risk on the road. Your tire won’t have much of a wet grip or snow traction, making the possibility of hydroplaning and slipping very high.
Start shopping for new tires before your tires reach their limit. We recommend you start looking for replacement tires when your depth is at 4/32 inch.
Auto Repair with Import Car Center
Import Car Center has been serving the residents of Southlake, TX, for several years now. We have become an integral part of the Southlake, TX community, offering quality auto repair for premier import cars. We believe in delivering the best work to our customers, so they remain safe on the road. If you need any services done on your vehicle, book an appointment with us today.