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Car Myths: Busted

When you have an industry as large as the car industry, facts come flowing from all corners. Combine the size of the industry with the amount of cars on the road, and you have got a ripe ground for plenty of rumors and misinformation to spread.

As is inevitable, more than a few car myths have emerged over the past 100 or so years. You would think that as more and more people became owners, these myths would die out, leaving a populace of well-educated car owners who knew the truth about these vehicles. You would think, anyway – unfortunately, that’s not the case. Too many car owners still believe one of the many myths about car ownership; so let’s get a few of them brushed off and dismissed right now.

MYTH: If Shot In The Gas Tank, The Car Will Explode

It’s happened in countless (often terrible) action movies. The bad guys are getting away, so the good guys shoot their car in the gas tank. The result? A huge fireball.

It seems to make a certain sense to us. We associate bullets with huge destruction, and we know that gas is flammable so… our brains connect the rest of the dots.

Well, don’t trust your brain: it won’t happen. For an explosion, you need a spark, which a bullet does not and cannot provide. The bullet will just cruise right through the tank, causing an annoying slow leak, but not a huge fireball.

Admittedly this isn’t one you usually have to think about on your commute to work, but it’s worth knowing!

MYTH: Automatic Car Washes Are Effective

It’s not so much a myth as a generally-accepted truth; if it wasn’t, why would anyone use them?

The problem with automatic car washes in that they don’t get into the deep layers of dirt. Often, by the time a car looks dirty, it’s got several layers of gunk that has been baked into the metal. Sure, it will look better if you spin it through a car wash, but it’s a very superficial clean that won’t last long. There’s a reason services like are still the gold standard when it comes to getting a proper clean.

MYTH: Diesel Is Better For The Environment Than Petrol

There was a time when diesel was hailed as the answer to the environmental risk that cars cause, to the point where some world governments incentivized diesel ownership. Well: oops! It turns out diesel is actually worse for the environment, as documents.

MYTH: Using Your Phone At A Gas Station Will Cause An Explosion

You may even have been chastened by petrol station attendants who believe this one, but it’s total nonsense. As with the bullet example, the missing element is a spark. This is an urban legend that has no documented history to it, so feel free to use your phone as you fuel if you see fit. Now petrol station owners just need to catch on to it.

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