Complex machinery is always a hotbed of mythology and truisms and just plain bunk. Usually there's a little kernel of truth nestled in the middle of a big ol' ball of wrong. We hear it all in the car business, and we'd like to set the record straight on a few things.
Here are five car myths you should stop believing.
Dirty Cars are More Fuel Efficient
That's the myth, anyway. Never made a lot of sense to us, but there is this idea out there that the mud caked on the surfaces of your car act like the dimples of a golf ball, allowing it to move through the air with less effort. Well, they've studied this, and it isn't just not true, it's the opposite of true. A dirty car increases drag, and can cost your fuel mileage by as much as 10 percent, depending on how much mud you've got caked on there.
Premium Fuel is Good Fuel
What's in a name? Everything. Premium fuel costs more than regular fuel, so people who sell gasoline like to sell it as much as they can. So, rather than just calling it "93 octane," which is what it is, they call it "Premium," hoping the connotation will convince consumers premium gas is better. But "better" has nothing to do with it. Compression ratios and ignition temperatures do. The explanation is a little dry and a little scientific, so we'll spare you, but the big takeaway is that unless your vehicle specifically indicates it is supposed to run on premium gas, putting premium in your tank will do absolutely nothing for your car. It won't clean the engine, it won't give you more power, it won't increase fuel economy, it won't burn cleaner. Nothing.
You Never Need to Change Your Oil
By now, you've probably learned that the 3,000-mile oil change was an invention of -- you guessed it -- oil manufacturers, not car manufacturers. The destruction of this myth has led to another one, which is: You never actually need to change your oil at all. We can't explain why people would believe that, but if you never change your oil, here's what will eventually happen: It will get extremely dirty, stop lubricating, and your engine will blow up.
Red Cars Get Pulled Over
Supposedly red cars get pulled over than cars of any other color because red is bright and it represents danger and therefore are more likely to get noticed by police. Turns out, this isn't true. A study published by Forbes indicated make and model did have an effect on pull overs, but color did not.
You Get More For Your Money If You Fill Up in the Morning
This bit of hogwash comes from a poor understanding of chemistry. The thought is that since gasoline is so, you know, gassy, that it's denser when it's cold, like in the morning, than in the afternoon warmth. Consumer Reports tested this, and it turns out gasoline is stored so far underground that the temperature barely changes at all. It's coming out at the same temperature, and at the same rate, regardless of when you fill up.
Do you know of any myths we didn't mention? Come see us in the service department
at Honda of Clear Lake, and let us handle all your vehicular needs.