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10 Car Myths That Make No Sense (And 10 That Are Actually True)

You've probably heard some car myths that made you so annoyed that you could have sworn if you were Dr. Bruce Banner, you could have turned into The Hulk. It was probably something like the speedometer tells you the maximum speed of your car. If you somehow manage to turn into the Hulk, you would probably run a rampage on anybody who believes that popular myth. Well, it is not so serious.

People nowadays just throw anything that flies around. You can't really blame them. After all, it is the era of fake news. Well, you can't deny some of them are blatantly funny and ridiculous. Like people who drive Miata have flamboyant hairstyles. It could be true or false! The only way to find out is to track down a few Mazda Miata convertibles and see you for yourself. Don't get your hopes high yet, you could end up disappointed. Or maybe you want something to be true that you actually believe it. Or is that you were disappointed that you created your own myth to make yourself feel better? Like that time you were just driving following all the rules and a BMW cut you off with no apologies. Since then, you have decided that BMW drivers are the most annoying people on the road.

Eventually, you learn people are judged by the type of cars they drive. Is it a stereotype or just an observation with some truth in it? But one thing you can't stand is embarrassing yourself by stating a myth as fact or a fact as a myth while you're having a few drinks at the bar with your friends or acquaintances. Let's get to it while we're at it, shall we?

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20 You can start a car fire by putting a wet squeegee on the battery – True

via YouTube

There is an episode in Breaking Bad where Walter White blows up somebody's car after feeling disrespected by the guy stealing his parking space. In the episode, Walter White takes a wet squeegee, opens up the car's hood and attaches both metal ends of the squeegee to the battery before the car catches fire and blows up a few seconds later. Although Breaking Bad exaggerated a little bit, the car would not necessarily blow up but a wet squeegee would be enough to start a car fire. The metal parts of the squeegee will intensify the currency flowing enough to start a fire. Even if the battery will not catch fire, the battery will run out. In fact, it is not a must for the squeegee to be wet, as long as both ends are metallic. A perfect way to mess up with a douchebag you hate but if you get caught, you're on your own.

19 There is a car engine that runs on water for fuel - False

via gas2.org
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You have all heard the conspiracy theory that there is a technology that makes car engines run solely on water. Hush! Don't talk about it too loud, the government doesn't want people to find out and they will probably assassinate you if you go too far. What rubbish! Did you actually believe that?

Even if you design a car engine that runs on water, it will still need an external source of energy to split the water into energy sources.

For instance, you will require electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis and then the hydrogen will be used as fuel. But still, in that process, electricity is the original source of fuel. Furthermore, water is a very stable molecule and the energy used to separate the atoms will be more or equal to the energy you get back. It just doesn't add up! If the myth of a car engine running only on water as fuel is true, the rules of thermodynamics would have to be completely revised.

18 Jet fuel will make your car go faster – False

via jalopnik.com

If you had a dollar for every time you heard somebody say jet fuel will make your car go faster, you would be rich. Woe to you if you believe this myth and actually pump jet fuel into your car. Yes, jets are very fast but that does not mean they run on a magical serum that makes them super-fast.

The speed of a jet comes from the engine and body design rather than the fuel.

If you didn't know, jet fuel is basically kerosene. In fact, filling your tank with jet fuel will only make you sorry for your car. Just hope you're not in the middle of nowhere when your car engine fails and you're left stranded. If you want a faster car, just get yourself a new car that is built for speed and stop comforting yourself with a silly myth. Anybody that is telling you otherwise is a liar!

17 You can drive a long distance on empty - True

via autoguide.com
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On a long enough timeline, there will be a moment when you're driving while that little pointer is aiming at ‘E' but you can't seem to find any petrol station nearby. The good news is that you can drive a long distance while your car is telling you the tank is empty. The bad news? Not every car can travel a long distance while showing fuel gauge is reading empty. In fact, the distance the car will travel depends on the model of your car. For instance, Ford F-150 can travel between 35 to 80 miles with the fuel warning light on. On the other hand, a Subaru Forester can clock up to 60 Miles and even further with the fuel gauge on the low end. Technically, when that pointer is on Empty, the fuel tank is not really empty. There is usually 1, 2 or 3 gallons left to spare.

16 Big SUVs are safe, Small cars are dangerous – False

via Car Throttle

There are a lot of parents out there who think their teenage kids are safer in SUVs. Perhaps it was the salesperson who did their job well to sell that lie. What's even worse are those teenagers driving recklessly thinking in case of an accident they will get out with just a scratch. Well, you have seen the same script again and you know how it ends. The rest of us can only hope you will be alive to find out if the myth is true or false. Does it have to be spelled out for you? Big SUVs are not safer than small cars genius! As a matter of fact, there are small cars which are way safer than that cushy SUV you keep bragging about. Can't really blame you. It's easy to get carried away when you're driving and most cars you see are too low to the ground they would probably go underneath your SUV and come out on the other side. But don't let that give you a false sense of security.

15 Leonardo Da Vinci designed the first car - True

via leonardodavincisinventions.com
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Leonardo Da Vinci was the jack of all the trades and a master of almost every field from painting, anatomy, botany, music, mathematics to engineering. An incredible genius so ahead of his time that he drew sketches of the first self-propelled automobile in history. Mind you, that was more than 500 years ago in the 15th century. Although the design did not include passenger seats, it was still a well-designed machine. In fact, the steering column that features a rack and pinion systems sketched by Leonardo is still used to engineer almost all cars made today. Being the curious inventor that he was, Leonardo went further and designed blueprints for an armored car that could best be used for fighting a war. Sounds familiar? An armored tank you say? Yes, Leonardo sketched that too! Add in a parachute, flying machine and a helicopter to the collection to get an idea of what Leonardo was all about. You can only wonder if Leonardo could see the future or was it just pure genius.

14 1 horse is equal to 1 horsepower- False

via pinterest

Admit it! Most of you have thought that 1 horsepower is equal to the strength of a full grown horse. Why else would they call it horsepower?

Legend has it that when James Watt was selling his steam engine, one of Watt's customers approached him and said he would only buy his invention if only it matched the strength and agility of a horse.

The only way to prove it was to put a horse to test against the steam engine. However, the customer was determined to upset Watt by bringing the strongest horse he could find. Little did he know that Watt was aware of that trick, hence he made a steam engine that was stronger than the horse presented by the client. Afterward, the term ‘horsepower' was coined to calculate work done over time. In case you're wondering, a horse during its peak time is equal to around 14 horsepower. But of course, you have to consider the breed and type of the horse. Additionally, 1 horsepower is equivalent to 746 Watts on an electric vehicle.

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13 Modern Formula 1 cars can drive upside down at 120 mph - True

via bleacherreport.com
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There is a scene in Men in Black where agent Kay drives a MIB Ford LTD Crown Victoria upside down through a tunnel. Well, it is a movie about aliens, what did you expect? But what if somebody told you it is possible to drive a car upside down in a tunnel like in the movies? You would probably dismiss it as just another ridiculous myth. But it's not a myth! It is possible to drive a car upside down through a tunnel! Of course, not any car is capable of pulling such a stunt but a modern Formula 1 car can! As referenced on the Formula 1 website, an F1 car can drive upside down thanks to its 3.5g lateral cornering force. In layman's terms, an F1 produces a force equivalent to its weight necessary to defy gravity. However, the F1 car needs to move at a speed of 120 mph or more to maneuver upside down. Unfortunately, nobody has put the theory to test the yet.

12 Manual transmission leads to distracted driving - False

via autobytel.com

There are those who are misled to believe manual transmission causes a driver to be distracted. In fact, they believe the manual transmission is dangerous and outdated; hence it should be banned to make the roads safer. Quite the contrary, manual transmission reduces distracted driving. If your teenage kid is driving a car with a stick shift, there will be very little room to text or snapchat since both hands will likely be occupied. Think about it, when are you likely to text or talk on your phone when driving? Probably when you are waiting for a red light or when you don't have to think about a stick gear on an automatic car. With distracted driving being one of the major causes of accidents among teenagers, a manual transmission car could be what makes your kid a better driver. Don't be mad you can't eat a cheeseburger while driving a manual car; you aren't even supposed to eat while driving.

11 Cruise control was invented by a blind guy – True

via eBay
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Who would have guessed the device that makes you avoid a speeding ticket was invented by a blind man? Ralph Teetor is the name to thank for the invention. A shopping accident that made him blind at the age of 5 did not stop him from pursuing his dreams to go to college and become a mechanical engineer. Apparently, during the 2nd world war, the U.S government set the speed limit at 35 mph to save gas and tires and avoid supply shortage. But of course, some people cannot just drive below 35 mph even if they had a gun to their head. One of those people was Teetor's lawyer who had a tendency to drive fast while listening and reduce speed while listening. After getting carsick and annoyed by his lawyer's driving, Teetor decided to invent a device that would solve the problem. A few years later, the cruise control premiered in 1958 Chrysler models.

10 Police cars are secretly superfast-False

via jalopnik.com

Ever watched a movie and wondered how police cars are catching up to the supercars being driven by the bad guys? Nevermind that the bad guy or whoever is probably driving the fastest car in the city. Then somebody came up with a perfect way to explain that observation. Probably some kid who asked his/her dad why are police cars super fast? And the dad answered, "it's because they have installed a microchip that makes it fast." The kid then grows up believing police cars are secretly super-fast due to that  microchip inside their system. Let's face it, almost everybody in high school believed this myth. Whoever came up with this myth did a really good job to convince people. In reality, police cars don't have a speed microchip and they're not super fast. Unless of course you're in Dubai and the police are patrolling the streets with a Bugatti Veyron.

9 Holding your key close to your head doubles its signal range - True

via youtube
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It sounds ridiculous when somebody tells you for the first time that if you put your car remote closer to your head, you can double its signal range to unlock your car. You don't believe it until you try it to find out that it's actually true.

For a more effective result, you have to put the car remote under your chin, open your mouth and press it. Works like a charm!

For those who are curious about the science behind it, you basically turn your head into an antenna. Additionally, the fluid present in your brain amplifies the signal. The same trick can be replicated with a jug filled with water. Anybody with a little knowledge of physics will tell you water is a good receptor to electromagnetic radiation hence it amplifies the signal. But don't worry, there is no brain damage even for a long period since the remote key signals don't have enough energy to damage brain cells.

8 You need an oil change after 3,000 miles – False

via carfromjapan.com

Changing the oil after every 3,000 miles might have been necessary a few decades ago but not anymore. However, most modern cars nowadays don't require having the oil changed after 3,000 miles. In fact, most modern cars only need to have their oil changed after 7,500 miles. If you're driving the latest BMW or Jaguar you can even go 15,000 miles without changing the oil. The 3,000-mile myth has been so common in the United States that in California an initiative was launched to curb the myth. But there is a lot of work yet to be done since half of U.S drivers change their oil after every 3,000 miles despite numerous education campaigns. If you're not sure when you should change your oil, you can check the suggested oil change mileage interval recommended by auto manufacturers. You will not only save your money but avoid leaving a bad impact on the environment.

7 Topping off the gas will damage your tank - True

via johnsautocare.net
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Have you ever been at the gas station filling up your tank but the gas pump stops automatically when your tank is full? But you pull the handle a few more times just to make sure the tank is as full as possible. If you have done that, then you're guilty of topping off the gas. It is like filling a Coke soda bottle to the very top leaving no air gap in between.

Once the tank is overfilled, the excess fuel will eventually spill into the charcoal canister.

Gradually, the charcoal canister will fail and it can cost you up to $1500 to fix it. But that's not all, you will also be paying for fuel that is going back into the station's storage tank. Most modern stations have vapor recovery system that detects when your car gas tank is full and pumps back the excessive fuel back into the storage tank. Just a waste of money!

6 A car is trash past 100,000 Mileage - False

via motor1.com

You've probably heard it before so many times that you lost count. If your car has traveled past 100,000 miles, you risk going to an early grave with 9 toes on your feet! Those spreading the rumors will then tell you even if you service your car perfectly, it will just be trash after 100,000 miles. There is no other shortcut around it, you have to buy a new car. Really? It is 2018, not 1918! If you think deeper about it, that myth must have originated from the secret fake news department of automakers to convince you to buy a new car after a few years. Of course, they will deny it! On a serious note, your car should be able to do at least 250,000 miles without any major engine or transmission issues. As long as you maintain your car with passion and dedication, it won't give you sleepless nights.

5 75 percent of all cars ever made by Rolls-Royce are still on the road - True

via classiccars.com
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For those that believed the myth that a car is trash past 100,000 mileage, did you know 75 percent of all Rolls-Royce cars ever made are still on the road? Makes you wonder how many of those Rolls-Royce cars have been driven for more than 100,000 miles but are still on the road working just fine. Perhaps it is because compared to other car models, not many Rolls-Royce cars are out there making them a unique luxury model. For a car that costs nothing less than $200,000, it is obvious those that can afford it have a garage full of other toys they can play with and probably change cars like clothes. Okay, enough with the excuses, Rolls-Royce cars are top notch and the fact that 75 percent are still on the road says a lot about the quality. No ‘but' or ‘if', just simple facts.

4 Electric cars are slow- False

via autofuture.com

When most people think of electric cars, they think of the G Wiz. There is no doubt the G Wiz is an ugly looking type of car and quite honestly, it's really slow. But it would be unfair to judge electric cars based on a few ugly looking and slow models.

What most people don't know is that electric cars can go as fast as combustion cars.

Take for instance, the NIO EP9 that broke the Nürburgring lap record beating cars such as the Lamborghini Huracan, Aventador, and Dodge SRT Viper. There are other fast electric cars on the market such as the Tesla S and Fisker Karma that are among the fastest cars in the world.   Tesla models not being left behind, Elon Musk revealed that the Tesla Roadster scheduled to be released in 2020 will not just be the fastest electric car ever made but the fastest production car ever made. Of course the oil industry will not tell you that!

3 Electric cars are less likely to catch fire - True

via pod-point.com
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It goes without saying that any car that stores energy whether it is electric or gasoline powered is capable of catching fire. However, the difference is usually how easy various cars can combust. In comparison, electric cars are less likely to catch a fire compared to gasoline cars.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas-powered automobiles are 5 times more likely to catch on fire than an electric car.

That doesn't mean electric cars are fireproof. There has been news of electric cars catching fire like the Tesla Model S but don't forget out of 20,000 such models on the road, only 3 have been affected. In fact, none of the Tesla incidents was attributed to battery malfunction as the main cause but the cars colliding with hard solid objects on the highway. Even if the numbers of electric cars on the road are less than gasoline-powered cars, you will very likely get the same statistics if the numbers were the same.

2 You don't need snow tires if you have 4WD - False

via easirent.com

It is really astonishing that there are people who actually believe they don't need winter tires as long they drive a 4-wheel drive. It is only after they travel to regions with heavy snow that they debunk their own myth. It is probably the same people that will slam their 4WD brakes on slippery ice and hit the next big object nearby. Just hope you don't come across a slippery steep corner on top of a hill and your only option is to step on the brakes suddenly. Although AWD will help with the acceleration, driving in a mountain of snow is more about braking safely and steering with control. Remember you won't get the same traction with all seasons or summer tires compared to winter tires. Don't let anybody who is not Jon Snow tell you otherwise!

1 The Ford GT broke the crushing machine during its crash test - True

via mecum.com
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The Ford GT is one beast of a machine. Apparently, the rumor that 2005/2006 GT models broke the crashing machine during its safety test is true. Although during that particular crash test, it was the roof that was unable to break. Regardless, the Ford GT is solid as a rock when it comes to safety. Come to think about it, that particular crush test debunks the myth that big SUVs are safer than small cars. In fact, big cars have a larger chance of rolling over compared to smaller cars. But what makes the Ford GT super hard like it came from Krypton? Nothing much really except the 35 aluminum extrusions, 2 semisolid castings, aluminum panels infused with superplastic components and 7 complex castings. Of course, you have to credit the engineering team for their secret cutting-edge technology. Maybe they did put a few diamond rocks on the rooftop material for that particular crash test.

Sources: jalopnik.com, boredomtherapy.com, carkeys.com

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