10 Biggest Automotive Myths


There are a number of automobile myths that baffle consumers.

The first one is the squeaking of brakes is caused by brake dust. This is not true since this substance is the result of the brake pad rubbing against the rotor or drum. It is the fine shavings from the brad pad and rotor.

The second myth involves emission testing and the requirements for a catalytic converter. These units are mandated by Federal Law. Any car that had a catalytic converter as part of the original equipment is required to still have one. T his unit is used to burn off any leftovers from the combustion of air and gasoline in the internal chambers of the engine. It not only keeps prevents further air pollution, but also provides diagnostic information to the onboard computer.

The next myth involves the reliability of the modern car, and consumers who don’t think that the necessary maintenance schedule has to be followed. The major idea behind this premise is that manufacturers know that a failing component can ruin an entire system or other parts as well. It is cheaper and easier to fix a small part rather than an entire system on the car. Of course these typically fail at the worst times.

The fourth myth regards gasoline and the octane rating because people think that the latter influences the former. It is really important to follow manufacturer’s recommendations in this case. Higher octane does not necessarily mean better gasoline. Higher performance motors have a need for higher octane gasoline because of their internal make up, not just because they are built better. The typical lower performing engine will not be enhanced with a higher octane fuel because it wasn’t designed for this. Unless there is a performance issue with the engine during a need for increased acceleration, the normal octane rating should be used.

The fifth myth is the a warranty is voided unless the car is service at the dealership. This is untrue since the law states a qualified mechanic can perform the needed maintenance. As long as the proper intervals are followed for service, drivers can safely choose the mechanic to perform the needed service.

The next myth has to do with performance mufflers. Performance mufflers are not just for kids, they can improve many aspects of a car. These include power and the gas mileage a car gets. By letting an engine work easier with a larger exhaust pipe and performance muffler, overall performance is acquired. Decreased engine temperatures are also a side benefit. Of course there is also a louder sound as well.

The seventh myth states that the engine can be kept clean with gasoline additives. This is only partially true since the additives can’t perform this service on their own. Gasoline has a minute amount in each gallon. But a professional cleaning is necessary — especially with the newer, fuel injected engines that have been manufactured.

Starting the engine a second time instead of just letting it idle uses more fuel is the next myth. This is totally wrong. In fact the newer motors actually can shut down the engine when stopped. This fallacy was only true when carburetors were used to blend the fuel mixture.

People also believe that oil never really wears out. This myth is also untrue, since all fluids tend to breakdown over time. This is also true of oil since its secondary function is to capture dirt in the engine. These are then grabbed by the oil filter. The synthetic oil has additives which help a motor, but also break down. This is what causes the dark color of used oil. The best thing to do for extended engine life is to get the oil and filter changed on a regular basis.

On cold days, it is a good practice to let the engine warm up. This myth is widely believed. In point of fact, it will run best at the ideal temperature. It won’t matter what the temperature is of the surrounding environment.

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