When you think of a myth, you probably don’t equate it with car care. You may have heard stories in the days since getting your driver’s license on the do’s and don’ts on how to take care of your car. But are you sure they’re true? We’re here to dispel five of the most popular myths synonymous with car care.
- Filling up your gas tank in the morning will save you money.
This belief comes from the perception that since gas is a liquid, and that since all liquids expand when heated, you will get more fuel per gallon as the liquid will be denser in the cooler morning hours. While it is somewhat cooler in the morning in Arizona (even if it is 100 degrees), fuel is stored underground. Fuel tanks are buried deep enough in the ground that they are unaffected by outdoor temperatures. The best time to refuel is when your gas gauge indicates ¼ tank, regardless of the time of day.
- If you can’t see or hear anything wrong, your car is fine.
There are many items on a vehicle that would go unnoticed if we relied on visual or sound queues from the vehicle to tell us when something was wrong. Items you won’t hear if there is something wrong include poor tire tread depth, incorrect (over or under inflated) tire air pressure, dysfunctional alternator, low fluid levels, or dirty air filters. Similarly, you wouldn’t be able to visually identify a noisy wheel bearing, transmission trouble, drive axle issues, clogged radiator, or a troubled thermostat.
- You have to warm up your car for several minutes before driving.
When you start your car, the oil immediately begins to circulate throughout the engine. This lubricates all the vital components with oil to protect them. While it’s beneficial to allow the vehicle to run for at least a minute or so before taking off, more than that doesn’t make much difference, as the oil circulates through the engine rather quickly. Note: avoid revving the engine when you first turn it on to give it time to lubricate all components. Revving before it is able to do so, can cause damage to the vehicle.
- It’s okay to drive on a spare tire for as long as you want.
Unless you are one of the lucky vehicle owners equipped with a full size spare tire, your spare is just a spare. The spare tire is not designed to be a fully functional tire and should not be used as one. Most spares have little to no tread and are only designed to let you get to a tire center to have the original repaired or replaced. Once the spare tire is on the vehicle, limit speeds to under 50 MPH and avoid driving more than 70 miles. Note: Full size spares may be regularly rotated into usage on the vehicle, otherwise should only be used as a spare.
- You need to replace all tires not just one alone.
An all-wheel drive vehicle should have all tires the same diameter but, normally replacing all four tires at once is not necessary. If you have a tire go flat and it is irreparable, replace just the one. However, if your current tires are in poor condition or they have many miles on them, replace them all at that time. Most tire sellers recommend at least buying tires in pairs, although it is not required. Be aware, however, that having one good tire and one bad tire, as a pair, can cause steering and stopping issues.
Don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to your car unless you hear it from an expert. False data or ideas can lead you in the wrong direction or cost you money, unnecessarily. Instead, rely on the advice from the experts at Sun Devil Auto! We’re here to answer any of your car care questions, big or small. We welcome all kinds of questions and are here for you. Contact any of our service centers to speak with a knowledgeable and responsive service consultant. We’re available to take your questions Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM.