Modern Car Care Myths

Our vehicles can be costly, and for that reason, we all want to take good care of them and make sure we can get as much life out of them as possible. In this, most of us want to know what we should do to help our vehicles along but we also want to know what not to do, so that we arent wasting our money.

So what are some of the basic car care myths professionals have identified?

1. Myth #1 Tune-ups How often should you have your vehicle tuned up? Do you know? Most engines are computer monitored and controlled the good news with this is, they dont need tune-ups as often as a traditional engine. There was a time that with a standard tune-up, it often called for new ignition parts such as a distributor cap, spark plugs, and points and rotors. Besides spark plugs, which usually don’t have to be changed until 100,000 miles, today’s cars aren’t built with points and rotors, and many engines don’t have distributor caps that need replacement as often.

2. Myth #2 Having Your Car Lubricated In the old days, cars had chassis that needed lubrication. All that metal, potential rust you name it, the car needed to be greased. But now, cars are a combination of metal and plastic and therefore need little additional lubrication.

3. Myth #3 Flushing Your Radiator Annually – Manufacturers have made significant advancements in engine cooling systems during the past few years with closed systems that recirculate coolant. These new systems don’t lose coolant as often, and coolant manufacturers have also made advancements in their products’ chemical components with synthetic materials, making the seasonal radiator flush almost extinct. It is still important to check fluid levels periodically–especially before long trips–and use the manufacturer-recommended coolant. You should change your coolant about every four years. Coolant chemicals last longer than they used to, and newer engines aren’t going to be damaged by leaving it in long.

When changing your coolant, try a premixed formulation rather than adding tap water, which contains minerals that can cause trouble.

Some coolants will need to be mixed with water, in this case use only distilled water which doesnt have the hard minerals in it.

For those who live in extreme climates, hot or cold, then you should be paying much more attention to your coolant than others.

4. Myth #4 – Wheel Alignment We all want to keep our car in balance and were taught growing up to make sure our vehicle had the tires rotated frequently so that it stayed in alignment. Although it’s important to keep tires properly maintained and inflated, it’s not always necessary to have them aligned every time they are rotated. A majority of manufacturers recommend a wheel alignment and wheel balance only if there is a major issue with the car pulling to one side or another.

5. Myth #5: Winterize Your Car Many grew up with the notion that before winter came, you had to winterize your car. Your cars maintenance doesn’t have to be tied to the seasons. Todays modern cars dont require the same amount of attention. Professionals say, other than possibly changing to winter tires, modern cars don’t require special attention at this time of year the way that your parents’ car might have.

What can you do for your car before winter? During colder months, it is advisable for you to keep more gas in your car’s tank. Why this is due to the fact air carries moisture and water, which can freeze and crystallize. The more gas in the tank, the less air – and less chance of ice forming inside where it could get into fuel lines and cause trouble, he says.

So, dont spend unnecessarily, in these times, we all want to be a bit wiser about where our dollar goes. And enjoy your car for as long as you have it.