Since the automobile is such a big part of our everyday lives for so long, it is totally understandable that over the years, numerous myths and misconceptions had emerged. Some of them are funny and totally ridiculous like “jet fuel will make my car faster,” but there is the whole bunch of those that sound plausible but are not valid. We are sure that even if you are not a car enthusiast, you`ve heard or also believe in some of them. So, today, we are going to bust some of the most common car myths.
1. Warming a car before you go on cold mornings
This one is an old myth, common with older drivers. Indeed, you shouldn’t rev your engine or drive aggressively when the car is cold, but you shouldn’t idle in your driveway for 20 minutes, either. Warming your car can do more harm than good since the cold engine will get less lubrication standing still than moving. It is best to slowly go and warm your engine during driving than to idle for minutes and risk damaging your piston rings.
2. Buying a new car will save you money on fuel and insurance
We really don’t know who started this myth or why people believe in it since it is so easy to prove it wrong. Buying a new car will not save you any money on fuel and insurance. Simply, the fuel consumption of the brand new and 3-year old vehicle is the same, and insurance only can go down if you are the second owner and you are buying an ordinary used car. Myths like this are easily destroyed with just a simple Google search and a bit of common sense.
3. “They don’t build them like they used to.”
Yes, that is true; cars are not being built like before, which is a good thing, really. Cars of yesterday may have style, looks, and charm but modern vehicles are far better in everything. From sheer performance, fuel economy, ergonomics, equipment, and most importantly, safety. With capable electronic systems, multiple airbags, climate controls, and comfortable interiors, modern cars are dependable and well-sorted machines. Just watch crash test between 1959 Chevrolet Impala and 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and you will realize how far the industry has come. Even the most sought-after supercars of the `80s and early `90s have 0 to 60 mph time slower than latest hot hatches.
4. Shooting a petrol tank will cause an explosion
Regardless of what have you seen in the movies, a bullet in your petrol tank will not cause your car to explode spectacularly. Just look at it logically. When a bullet penetrates a petrol tank, it will only let the fuel out of the vehicle and cause it to spill on the ground. In order to light the car on fire, fuel needs to have some spark and bullet made out lead cannot cause a spark. Of course, fuel can ignite in contact with a live wire, fires or some other source of heat but you cannot produce an explosion with just one bullet, no matter how dedicated and well-trained shooter you might be.
5. Automatics are slow
This myth dates from the times when automatic transmissions were big, bulky, and slow-shifting units designed for luxury cars. However, in the last decade or so, modern technology transformed automatic from choice of lazy drivers to only available option if you want to go fast. Modern computer-controlled and dual-clutch automatics are so fast that can shift gears in milliseconds, which is something that wasn’t humanly possible with a manual. That is why the automatic is only transmission choice on the latest sports and supercars.
6. You should take your car for a tune-up
No, you don’t. Back in the time when cars were analog, tune-ups were needed to adjust the engine`s components and make sure that everything is running smoothly. However, modern vehicles have computers and sensors and are able to tune itself, adjusting ignition timing, fuel and air mixture, and so on. So, if your mechanics suggest you should “tune-up” your car, start looking for another since you don’t need a tune-up. That being said, do not mix tune-ups with oil changes. You do need regular oil changes according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
7. Using your mobile phone while pumping petrol will cause an explosion
We have all seen disturbing surveillance videos of people pumping petrol while talking on their cell phones and all of a sudden, car catches on fire, causing chaos. Although this happened several times and everybody thought it has something to do with the cell phone signal and fuel vapors, fortunately, this myth is busted. After thorough research by several oil companies and government agencies, it is confirmed that there is no connection between cell phones and fires so you can calmly chat with your friends while filling up your car.