20 Things About Cars We Think Are True (But Are Actually False)

A car is way more than a car; it's the means to an end. It's a machine that does serious jobs that are different every day. It's the way a family goes on that summer vacation road trip, gets the kids to school, and it allows mom and dad to get to work. Cars are part of the family, and they need to be taken care of and maintained like anything else. If you've ever been without a car, you understand how important they really are.

Because of all the things that a car has to do, it needs to be well taken care of and well maintained. It's necessary that a car owner understands how to properly take care of the car and treat the car so that it'll last for years to come. He also needs to understand the type of car that's suited to his lifestyle and the things he needs to take into account when he's looking to buy a new one.

There are a lot of different myths out there about cars. There are car myths about everything from maintenance to everyday care. Some of them have merit, and some of them are so far-fetched that they leave one to wonder where they come from. Here's a fact-filled list of 20 car myths that drivers and owners need to realize just aren't true.

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20 Premium Gas Is Better.

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Gas is a something that every household has to account for in their daily, weekly, and monthly budget. Premium gas is the most expensive, but don't worry; it's not a necessity. According to the Advanced Technology Institute, premium gas isn't required in your car if your car isn't built for it.

Premium gas is designed for cars that are built for performance because the engines in these cars are meant to burn this type of fuel. Motors in your average, everyday car cannot handle the amount of octane that's in premium gas.

If the manual doesn't call for premium, it's just a waste of money.

19 If 1 Tire Needs To Be Replaced, They All Do.

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If your tires are fairly new and one of them is punctured or damaged, you can do with replacing just the damaged one as long as the new tire matches the rest. Cars.com says that if the tread isn't worn down more than 3/32 or 4/32, you can just replace the one. This may not apply in the case of all-wheel-drive vehicles because the varying wheel diameters, regardless how small, can cause the all-wheel-drive system to engage at inappropriate times. This can cause damage to this system.

18 Get The Coolant And Air Filter Changed When You Get An Oil Change.

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An oil change is an important maintenance appointment for every car, but an oil change is an oil change.

According to Cars.com, Ford, VW, and Porsche, for example, recommend oil changes every 10,000 miles, and BMW recommends 15,000 miles. Many manufacturers recommend air filters be changed between 30,000 and 45,000 miles, according to the type of driving that you do.

It's recommended that owners test the Ph of their coolant every 50,000 miles to make sure that it's maintaining the chemical makeup. There's no way that they're going to need to be changed at the same time when the manual will tell you a different amount of time for each one.

17 Electric Vehicles Are More Likely To Catch Fire.

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According to a study conducted by the Battelle for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reported on by www.money.cnn.com, "The propensity and severity of fires and explosions from . . . ion lithium battery systems are anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels." So, that's a no. Cars can be dangerous, and it has nothing to do with being electric or running on conventional gas.

16 You Have To Change The Oil Every 3,000 miles.

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It was said earlier, according to Cars.com, that many car manufacturers recommend that oil be changed at about every 10,000 miles. Every 3,000 miles is something that's said by those people and shops that are going to benefit from that. It's a way to keep people coming in to get work done on their car but it's definitely not necessary. Older cars may need to be changed more often, but new cars don't need to be in the shop every few months for an oil change, so save your money and read the manual of your car.

15 You Have To Warm Up A Car Before You Drive In Cold Weather.

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In the old days of carbureted vehicles, this was true because a cold carburetor would stall out, but this isn't the case anymore.

According to Popular Mechanics, the sensors in the new fuel-injected vehicles account for the cold. These sensors will adjust the gas/air mixture that's going into the engine to compensate for the weather, and then, it'll readjust again when the car warms up.

Allowing your car to sit and idle will strip the oil away from engine parts, thus doing damage to the inner workings of the motor.

14 Manual Transmissions Get Better Gas Mileage Than Automatics.

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This is another case where technology has leveled the playing field, according to www.autotraining.com. In older cars, automatic transmissions utilized torque converters, and they weren't always 100% efficient in shifting while in motion. Now, automatic transmissions are coupled with lock-up converters that are far more efficient. Now, transmissions will get the same gas mileage, and it's all about preference. Some people say manual transmissions are more fun to drive, but they're not more fuel efficient because of technological advances in transmission engineering.

13 Fuel Additives

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Geico reports that fuels, since 1995, have been required to incorporate a certain number of fuel detergents into their formulations. Fuel additives are only going to work in very specific cases when you understand the motor, the problem, the ingredients in the additives, and the solution on an in-depth level. You're better off taking care of the motor in the way that the owner's manual suggests because its instructions will allow you to take care of the motor successfully. Fuel additives are just not a necessity.

12 Cars Need To Get A Tune-Up Every 6 Months.

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Tune up can include a wide range of work, including changing spark plugs, oil, air filter, and a variety of other parts. We said earlier that oil should be changed every 10,000 miles, depending on the car; air filters and coolant go a lot longer.

Testingautos.com says that older cars need it every 30,000 to 45,000 miles, and newer cars can go a lot longer. When a mechanic tells you that you should bring in your car every six months, this is just blatantly not true.

New cars can go for 50,000 miles or more before they need a complete tune-up, and the things that are going to be done in a tune-up are going to depend on the last service of the car and what was done to it. Every 6 months is excessive, to say the least.

11 You Have To Winterize Your Vehicle.

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It's true that winter can be really tough on a vehicle, but vehicles are equipped to handle it. Modern cars don't require any special winter considerations like different oil or fresh coolant, as stated by www.money.cnn.com. Oil, coolant, and all other parts of a car are engineered to handle all the conditions that they're going to be driven in. For example, the oil that you're putting in your car is engineered to handle the extreme hot and cold of the various seasons. Aside from making sure that you have good snow tires, it's not necessary to do a bunch of work to your car before winter hits.

10 Leather Is Better.

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Leather interior looks great in a car or truck. Leather interior is indicative of the price and luxury that the vehicle is trying to achieve for the driver, but it's not necessarily better. Thrillist.com created a great list of reasons why leather isn't necessarily better than cloth interior. These reasons include: it's a lot of work to maintain, it's either too hot or too cold during the winter and summer, and it's easy to slide around in these seats, which can make driving difficult. Cloth is just as comfortable, you don't slide around, and it's easier to take care of. It's all about the owner and what it is he or she is looking for, but it's not better.

9 Powerful Engines Are Stronger Than Their Brakes.

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Road and Track did a full workup on all the parts of a new Bugatti, including the brakes. These cars come with carbon-ceramic brakes, and they stop just fine. They're one of the most powerful vehicles on the road, and they have great stopping ability. Brakes aren't going to be overpowered by the motor. The faster you're going, the more time you're going to need to come to a full stop. This is just as true with a Toyota Camry as it is with a Bugatti. There may be better brakes out there that allow for better stopping power, but the engine isn't going to outdo the brakes.

8 SUVs Are Safer Than Cars.

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It can be the most stressful situation for anyone when they get into an accident. They worry about themselves and the people in the car, and they wonder what they're going to do about their damaged car. Crash safety is one of the things that shoppers look at when they're out looking for a new vehicle. According to Mycarconnection.com, it's so hard to compare SUVs to cars. They're held to different standards, and they're rated by class type. It's been seen, though, that cars have a propensity to hold up better than SUVs. It's not been proven that SUVs are safer.

7 It's Ok To Sit In Your Car While You're Fueling Up.

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We've all heard the rumors about how cell phones are dangerous to use at the pumps. There's another myth that it's ok to sit in your car while you're fueling up your vehicle, but it's not. The same static that gets created that will shock you when you touch your car is the same static that can ignite the gas fumes and cause an explosion. This is something that all drivers need to be aware of, and new drivers need to be taught from the very beginning. It might be cold outside, but just stick it out because it can be dangerous.

6 Convertibles Are More Dangerous Than Hardtops.

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There are a lot of people who have a convertible in the garage for their weekend fun and cruising. Some people shy away from convertibles because they think that they're more dangerous to drive than hardtop vehicles.

The IIHS reports that overall death rates and accident incidents aren't higher in convertibles than hardtops.

They may pose a risk in certain crashes, but they don't cause more accidents. Especially with all of the safety advancements in the engineering of vehicles, they're just as safe as any other car.

5 Increasing The Speed Limit Increases The Number Of Accidents.

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Mycarconnector.com said it really well: speed is a factor in accidents when it's coupled with reckless driving and other factors, but speed alone isn't a cause of accidents. Drivers are going to drive in a way that they feel safest. It's more likely to cause an accident when you're going more than 10 miles per hour under the speed limit than over. Speed limits on roads are increased to reflect the regular driving speeds that this road sees on a daily basis. A safe, experienced driver can drive at heightened speeds without the fear he's going to cause an accident.

4 All-Wheel Drive Is The Best For Driving In The Snow.

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Consumerreports.org explains that the purpose of all-wheel drive is to improve the way a car gets going from a dead stop. It doesn't, in any way, help with handling, traction, or stopping. It's far more important to have a great set of snow tires than it is to have all-wheel drive.


For people who live in areas that see a lot of snow, front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive is better in the snow than all-wheel drive.

Make sure you do your research when shopping for a new car to make sure that the car is going to be conducive to the driving conditions that it'll see.

3 Trucks Are Better Than Cars In The Snow.

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Many people think that they need to buy a truck in order to be able to drive in bad weather, but this isn't necessarily the case. Many of your average pickup trucks are rear-wheel drive, and Auto Trader discusses a variety of reasons why rear-wheel drive isn't great for the snow. In a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the rear wheels are the ones that spin to propel the vehicle. In bad weather, this can be a detriment because much of the weight of a vehicle is located in the front. The lack of weight over the rear wheels in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle contributes to fishtailing and getting stuck a lot easier because of the lack of traction the rear wheels get.

2 Wider Tires Offer Better Performance For Your Vehicle.

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People opt for wider tires because they think that they're more aesthetically pleasing and because they think they'll provide better performance for their vehicle. Mycarconnector.com offers great reasons why wider tires should only be on cars that are built to have wider tires. Wider tires are much heavier and can reduce the gas mileage your vehicle will get. They also have smaller sidewalls so that they can maintain the necessary tire diameter and, because of this, they're more likely to puncture and be damaged by regular driving conditions.

1  Jet Fuel Will Make A Car Faster.

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People love to drive a car that has the ability to go faster than other cars on the road. Some people have even thought about putting jet fuel in their vehicles to get them to go faster, but this is a bad idea. Business Insider discusses that fact that gasoline engines won't run at all with jet fuel. This fuel is kerosene-based, and average vehicles aren't capable of burning this type of fuel, not to mention the fact that if you put this fuel in your car, there's a good chance that you're going to have to buy a new one.

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