Posted on: Jan. 03, 2017 in Auto Maintenance, Cars

Everyone loves to give people advice, but it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not. Sure, the internet makes it easier to check things out, still, can you really be sure? And what about the things you hear from people who maybe don’t know as much about newer vehicles? Can you trust their suggestions? Here are some things you may have heard about cars… and then the real deal.


Q. Do I have to get my oil changed every 3,000 miles?

A. Not necessarily.  Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. Most likely, you can wait longer than the 3-month/3,000-mile rule. This is because car engines and engine oils are made to last longer. If you are doing difficult driving such as a lot of stop-and-go driving, towing, or mountainous or dusty terrains, you may need to change the oil that frequently. Under normal driving conditions, you can probably push those visits to the quick lube joint off a bit.

Q. Is it worth it to spend extra on premium gas?

A. Probably not. Regular-grade gasoline, 87 octane, is what most cars were designed to run on. Again, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual. While buying a higher octane gas won’t hurt your car, it won’t improve its performance so you’re basically just burning your money.

Q. If it’s cold outside, should I let my car warm up before I drive it?

A. If your car is old, yes. And by old, we mean from the 70s. Vehicles with carburetors need to be warmed up because they’ll stall otherwise. Most vehicles haven’t had a carbureted engine in about 30 years, so this is a very outdated practice.

Q. Must I go to a dealership to have them perform maintenance on my car?

A. Nope. Many believe they must go to a car dealership or they’ll void their warranty. This simply isn’t true. You have the right to have routine maintenance performed on your vehicle anywhere you like. If you’re having work done that should be covered under the warranty and you don’t want to pay out of pocket, then it’s likely you’ll have to go to a specific service center, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. But having a local shop perform routine maintenance will not void your warranty.

Q. After a jump-start, will my car’s battery recharge itself?

A. Maybe. A popular misconception is that a battery will recharge itself after you drive it around for a bit. However, you’ll likely need to drive around for a few hours to recharge. There are so many things in the modern car that draw power from the battery (especially in the winter; think heated seats), that this is more outdated advice. If you need to have your car jumped, you should have your battery tested to see if it can still hold a charge at all.

Separating fact from fiction can make all the difference when it comes to vehicle maintenance!

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