Tuesday, January 26, 2021 Detailed Auto Topics
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Many persistent myths about vehicles continue to circulate.  Some are harmless though without merit.  Other falsehoods continue to cause harm even decades after they were first introduced.

busting persistent automotive myths

  When a vehicle uses oil, a thicker oil may help.                   

Oil of the wrong viscosity will never help with oil consumption and often makes things worse.  Using oil other than the specified grade and viscosity may also void any potential warranty.  The oil recommended by the manufacturer of the vehicle is the best choice for the life of the vehicle.  Thicker oil offers no benefit and may cause harm.

This is an old car, I cannot afford original equipment parts.  

The reason for using an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part, is they are far less expensive than the other options.  Cheap parts not only fail, they often do not work, right out of the box and can cause other extensive damage.  A vehicle’s value is based far more on the replacement cost, than the age.  Having to replace a vehicle, which fails from lack of care,  cost far more than proper repair.

Towing a vehicle is very expensive, I should try to drive it to the shop to save money.

A wrecker is not cheap, but it is the only option when safety is concerned.  Operating a vehicle, with a brake or suspension problem, makes no sense.  It is also far less expensive than causing additional damage to the vehicle.  For example, a small leak may cause a slipping transmission.  Driving the vehicle will damage the transmission extensively.  When in doubt, always call for a tow.

  Professional diagnosis is very expensive.

The price of a professional diagnosis is a fraction of the costs of changing parts and hoping to fix something.  True professionals only charge the client for the time they spend.  A quality diagnosis will quickly eliminate many possibilities and arrive at the actual problem without wasted part replacement.

  Taking my new car to the dealership helps preserve my warranty.

They include the cost of the warranty on a new vehicle in the purchase price.  Only take work, covered by the warranty, to the dealership.  You or any qualified shop may do any maintenance or other work.  A better plan is to have maintenance performed by a trusted independent shop, which can provide advice on things covered by warranty.

  A check engine light that comes and goes is not a problem.

The engine management system checks more than 2,000 items on the vehicle.  The computer does not run every tests, on each drive cycle.  When they do not run a failed test, the light may go off, until the test is run.  Many things, which turn on the check engine light, will not show symptoms.  Such items may protect other expensive components and the light is a warning.  A bad oxygen sensor may show no symptom, yet cause a catalytic converter to fail.

Myths can be very expensive,  Get the facts and save money.


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