Top 10 Car Myths that Just Aren’t True
Over the years, you may have heard random myths, theories or “tricks” for enhancing your car’s performance or fuel efficiency. Many of these “tips and tricks” have never actually been proven, and some may be counterproductive.
As a car owner, do your best to decipher facts from myths. You (and your wallet) may be better off for it.
1. The bigger the car, the safer it is
Some drivers are led to believe that if they drive a larger vehicle like a truck or SUV that they will be much safer in the event of an accident. While some trucks can have higher safety ratings compared to sedans, they are also top heavy, which makes them more vulnerable to a rollover crash.
2. Filling your tank with premium fuel will enhance performance
High-end luxury vehicles and sports cars often require premium fuel in order to operate properly. However, if your car only needs unleaded gasoline, paying for premium is simply a waste of money. Unless you are driving a sports car that requires it, premium fuel will not enhance a car’s performance or responsiveness.
3. You should always warm up your car’s engine in the winter
While it is true that engines do need to warm up, that doesn’t mean you need to leave your car running idle for several minutes before you drive it. When you let it idle while you make your coffee in the morning, the car operates at its lowest power (which doesn’t generate as much heat). The best way to “warm up” your engine is to drive it.
4. Using your cell phone at the gas pump could trigger an explosion
This myth dates back to when mobile phones began to grow in popularity when some believed that wireless signals could spark and ignite fuel vapors. There is no scientific evidence or recorded incidents that point to the validity of this myth.
5. Running your air conditioning conserves fuel versus rolling down your windows
Have you ever been low on gas and panicked because it’s too hot to roll the windows down? Despite the weather, it is always better to shut off your car’s air conditioner and roll down the windows in that scenario. The myth that open windows hurt your fuel economy due to drag is not true. While drag does exist and may have a small effect on fuel efficiency, the air conditioning will always use more fuel than driving with the windows down.
6. Boost your car’s power by installing a performance chip
Drivers who are looking to “pimp their ride” might turn to aftermarket parts like performance chips to improve the quality of their vehicle. Although performance chips are marketed by manufacturers as a way to give your car more juice, they don’t actually make your vehicle more powerful.
These chips primarily just manipulate your vehicle’s computer-controlled components to make them perform differently. Some of the safeguards or limits that a performance chips override might have important purposes, which means using a chip could have adverse consequences for your engine.
7. You can charge your car battery just by jumpstarting it
There is nothing worse than realizing you have a dead battery right before you have to go to work or make it to an appointment. When this happens, you can either have the battery jumpstarted or you can buy a new car battery. Keep in mind that jumpstarting a car battery is only a temporary fix — the battery will still need to be replaced (and soon).
8. A car’s safety and technology features will compensate for bad driving habits
Features like driver assistance and backup cameras can give drivers more tools, visibility and warning signs to reduce the risk of accidents, but they can’t fix bad driving. Safety features like blind spot warning and adaptive cruise control are designed to increase accident-avoidance. At the end of the day, a driver can ignore all safety features and continue with their bad driving habits.
9. Hybrid vehicles are much slower
When hybrid vehicles first hit the market, they typically accelerated at a slower rate compared to an average vehicle. Over the last 10 years, manufacturers have improved hybrid models and equipped them to be more fuel-efficient and lighter in weight — both of which allow the hybrid powertrains to operate at an equal power as a regular sedan.
10. Manual transmissions are more fuel efficient compared to automatic transmissions
Remember there haven’t always been automatic transmissions. When they first hit the market, drivers realized they could get better fuel economy with a manual transmission. Of course, automatic transmissions have come a long way since then — some even providing a more fuel-efficient option when compared to manual transmissions.
Find Your Next Used Car at Easterns Automotive
If you live in the Maryland, Virginia or the Greater D.C. area, Easterns Automotive is your source for exceptional pre-owned vehicles. We’ve been serving D.C. and Baltimore car shoppers for more than 30 years and are committed to quality, affordability and flexible financing.
Give Easterns a call at 877-867-0641 or visit one of our eight dealerships today for more information.