Although most people know the basics of car care, many also buy into myths about vehicle maintenance that are not completely true. With a little research and some debunking, you can leave your car in a better state than you had before without wasting your time and energy on frivolous activities.
Reading a car care blog will give you some valuable insight into what other car lovers do to keep their vehicles in shape. However, you should be aware of these 4 common car care mistakes so you can avoid them in the future.
1. Overfilling Tires
One of the most common mistakes people make is filling their tires to the pressure that is displayed on the tire’s sidewall. Although it is not necessarily detrimental to do this, the pressure that is given on the tires is the maximum suggested pressure.
When looking for the optimal pressure it is best to find it under the vehicle manufacturer’s information. This can be found with a quick search online. The recommended pressure is also posted on a sticker inside your door. If you have trouble finding this information, another place to try is the owner’s manual.
2. Letting Your Engine “Warm Up”
Although there was probably a time when your engine needed a little kickstart to get going, those days are far behind us. Modern engines are designed to be ready to go when you start the car.
Once started, the engine will reach its optimal temperature whether you are driving it or not. For some cars it is detrimental to let them sit idle and run. Leaving your car running before driving is also an easy way to tank your fuel performance and waste gas. Warming up your engine is never as efficient as you think.
3. Premium Gas vs Regular
This is a pretty common myth, but you will still find people buying the highest grade possible for their car. Although the quality of the gas is a higher level, and some cars are rated to use the best fuel on the market, odds are yours is not. The majority of cars will never require you to purchase a higher level of octane. This is not to say that the higher quality will not be more efficient; it’s just that premium gas is not a necessity.
If you are concerned that your car may run on premium-grade gas, then you can find this information on the fuel door. There are specifications listed there. If that is the case, you should see a “premium gasoline required” notice. If there are no specifications displayed, consult the owner’s manual.
4. Use Water In Your Radiator During Summer
This is one of the most damaging mistakes people make. Believed to be a more effective way of cooling the radiator during the hottest months of the year, this myth has caused countless rust and oxidizing issues among radiators. The engine coolant that is available in any car shop or store is designed to last and be just as effective during the summer months. Additionally, most coolant is a water solution, providing you with the cooling power you need without compromising your engine with rust.
Many of these myths are easily avoidable. If you have fallen victim to misinformation, then have no fear; most of these mistakes only cause damage over long periods of time. Simply changing how you treat your car now will give you many more miles of use out of it. In extreme cases of damage, it is best to seek out professional maintenance to get you back on the road safely.