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Eleven stupid car myths

By Marion Jenkins,2014-09-07 18:32
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Eleven stupid car myths

?ê Ìâ: Eleven stupid car myths

    ??ÐÅÕ?: The unknown SPACE (Sun Aug 6 11:56:16 2000), תÐÅ

This one is from CarPoint, quite interesting.

    Auto shop gossip grows like algae, and it's given rise to many a myth about car repair. Before you go taking anyone's auto advice as gospel, read through the list below and see how many of these gossipy ? and potentially damaging ? myths you've heard:

    1.Using more expensive, higher-octane gasoline in a car will make it run better.

    This one had to be started by people who sell gasoline. Always use the gasoline recommended in your owner's handbook. In computer-controlled automobiles, using a higher octane than recommended actually could cause problems! And if you use lower octane than recommended, trying to cut down on expenses, you'll end up using more gas because of inefficient operation.

    2.Lower the air pressure in your tires to get better traction in the snow.

    This piece of gossip is as old as the hills! It's also incorrect! Keep the tire's air pressure at the recommended level because low tire pressure will cause uneven tire wear and tear, and the car will be less safe to handle.

    3.If driving in fog, use your bright lights to provide maximum visibility.

    Actually, the opposite is true. Bright lights in fog reflect the moisture in the air and cause glare that decreases visibility. Use low beams, or orange fog lights, if your car comes equipped with them.

    4.Standard (manual) transmissions are cheaper to repair and have fewer problems than automatic ones.

    You'll hear this from a lot of old-timers,because once upon a time it was true . But that was many, many moons

    ago. Today, both automatic and standard transmissions have their share of big problem potential, and each one requires parts and labor that cost plenty of bucks. So the next time you're in the market for a new car, don't let anyone's gossip about high repair bills talk you into a standard transmission if you'd rather drive an automatic.

    5.Don't use your parking brake in the winter, because it will freeze.

    Actually, there is only the slightest chance of this actually happening. In fact, lack of use can result in rust and corrosion and that will most definitely make the parking brake inoperable. Get in the habit of using it every time you park your car.

    6.Six-cylinder cars are not as powerful as eight-cylinder cars. You'll

    hear a lot of self-proclaimed car experts trying to spread this myth, but don't buy into it. With the development of great fuel injection systems, some of the most powerful engines are six cylinders.

    7.Fast driving is hard on a car and causes wear and tear.

Untrue! Once the

    car is moving and in high gear, there actually is very little wear and tear taking place. It's the low speed stop-and-start driving (the kind that usually takes place in the city) that really takes its toll on a car. This is not an invitation to speed, by the way; it's a reminder to occasionally split up your short trips with some highway driving (observing the speed limit, of course).

    8.It's okay to drive through water as long as it doesn't get the engine wet.

    This myth is kept alive by the young cowboy driver who thinks it's cool to drive through a giant puddle and watch the water spray. Wrong! Many of the car's electronic controls are located in wheel wells, under the seats, etc. If these get waterlogged, the intricate electronic systems of the car will never be repaired to full operation. In fact, insurance companies usually total any car that has had water damage to the computers or other controls.

    9.A car that's idling doesn't use as much gas because it isn't moving.

    Again, wrong! Idling uses a richer fuel mix and therefore guzzles gasoline. Don't let kids who want to listen to the car radio while you run into the grocery store persuade you! This one is a budget-buster.

    10.It's a good idea to occasionally steam-clean an engine, or hose it off, to keep it clean.

Here's the case where you're washing your car in

    the driveway and some well-intentioned but misinformed neighbor comes over to "help." He is always the one who drags out the hose and insists it will be good for the engine to get a little squirt. Here's my advice: Just say No! Stop! Don't do it! On electronically controlled cars, that is, most cars built since the late 1980's, splashing water on computers or other electronic components can cause extensive damage. If you want to keep the engine free of grease (which does make the engine run hotter and therefore less efficiently), then do it with a dry cloth and a degreaser cleaner. (I like Formula 409.)

    11.When looking for a used car, let low mileage be the determining factor.

    Don't buy into this myth! Many times, a well-maintained high mileage car, where most of the miles are from highway driving, can be a better buy than the low-mileage vehicle driven by the proverbial little old lady who only took the car out to church on Sunday. It's the short-trip-stop-and-start driving ? where the engine never gets to heat up to optimum temperatures ? that wreaks havoc in cars. It's the general condition of a car, and not the mileage, that should make your decision. In the end, a higher-mileage car that was well maintained and used mainly for highway driving would be a better buy.

    Gossip, however juicy it may sound, isn't good for you, or for your car, and I hope this helps stop some of the auto-gossips in their tracks!

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