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12 Common Car Myths Busted

common car myths debunked

Here are 12 things you’ve heard about cars that are totally bogus

Car care tips are a dime a dozen . But what if I told you that much of the “advice” you’ve received over the years is about as useful as an old wives tale? In this article, we’re bringing the truth to light and debunking 12 of the most common car myths! Read on to discover which car myths are wasting your time and money

Change your oil every 3,000 miles.

Change your oil yourself at home and save money

Not necessary these days. Simply follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and you should be good. Most cars driven under normal conditions can last 5000-7500 miles between oil changes.

Nitrogen is better for your tires.

Not always. It really depends on what kind of car owner you are. The advantage of nitrogen in tires is that it leaks out more slowly over time compared to regular compressed air. However, as long as you’re regularly checking your tire pressure, you shouldn’t need to pay extra for nitrogen. But, if you don’t check your tires regularly (or ever…), nitrogen may be better for you because properly inflated tires are safer, last longer, and provide the best ride and fuel economy.

If the tire pressure light isn’t on, you have enough air in your tires.

Just because your tire pressure light isn’t on doesn’t mean you’re good. It comes on when tires are 25% lower than recommended pressure. If you wait that long, you could be putting yourself in danger. Underinflated tires are harder to handle and reduce gas mileage. You should have your tire air pressure checked every 5,000 – 10,000 miles (when rotations are done).

Inflating your tires to maximum PSI will cause a blowout.

slime air pump has built-in digital pressure gauge

Most manufacturers recommend PSI below the maximum for better traction and absorption of bumps on the road. But even if you inflate your tires to maximum PSI, you’ll probably be okay, just pay attention to how it’s handling in rain and potholes. Max tire pressure could lead to uneven tire wear and a rougher ride.

Low-mileage used cars are always good.

If you’re looking at a used car with super low mileage, make sure it hasn’t just been sitting – especially if it’s from an area like NYC where people don’t rely on their cars as their primary form of transportation. A good engine is one that’s been used regularly. To avoid a lemon, thoroughly inspect the vehicle (including under the hood) and know its history.

Pick-ups are good in snow.

Even if they have 4WD, trucks are some of the worst snow vehicles due to the lack of weight over the rear tires resulting in reduced traction. Your back tires will be sliding all over the road. If you’re expecting snow this winter, stick with a front-wheel drive vehicle and snow tires.

Premium grade fuel is better.

Only use the grade fuel suggested for your vehicle. Using premium fuel on a car that requires regular isn’t helpful and costs you more.

You don’t have to replace brake fluid.

Brakes are potentially the most important safety feature of your vehicle. Get your brake fluid changed every 2-3 years, or whenever it is recommended by your manufacturer.

Let your engine warm up before driving.

lady in passenger's seat looking very excited and happy

Not necessary with modern-day vehicles. Get in, start it up, and drive.

A dealership has to do your car’s maintenance to keep your factory warranty valid.

As long as you follow your car’s maintenance schedule and keep track of the paperwork, you can have it serviced at any reputable independent repair shop.

There are special things you need to do to “winterize” your car.

While these tried-and-true winterization tips certainly won’t hurt when gearing up for ice and snow, you don’t really need to do anything out of the ordinary when seasons change — as long as you’re following your maintenance schedule. Can’t remember what’s due when? No worries. Use FIXD to keep track of everything for you!

Buy “lifetime” fluids.

Windshield washer reservoir

Follow the manufacturer recommended schedule for changing fluids rather than relying on “lifetime” products that are more hype than helpful. While engine and transmission fluid can be marketed as “lifetime” fluids, which seems like they’d save you hundreds in the long run, the truth is that these fluids will last their lifetime, not the lifetime of your vehicle. So don’t think “lifetime” transmission fluid means you never have to get it changed again.

The Only Real Secret to Keeping Your Car Going

While it’s easy to get caught up in the latest car myths and fads, the only guaranteed way to get your car to 100,000, 200,000, and even a million miles is by properly maintaining it, which includes following the manufacturer recommended service intervals. But life has a way of getting busy, and car care inevitably falls by the wayside. Fortunately, FIXD is here to make car care simple for drivers of all ages and skill levels. Learn more about the FIXD Sensor and app that not only helps you diagnose car problems, but also helps you stay on the road longer with automated maintenance alerts.


Wife, mom, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter at FIXD. From the garage to the gym, I love helping people learn and grow. Dream car: ‘69 Acapulco Blue Mustang.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

Kate McKnight

Kate McKnight

Wife, mom, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter at FIXD. From the garage to the gym, I love helping people learn and grow. Dream car: ‘69 Acapulco Blue Mustang.

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