Monday, July 15, 2024 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 have disproved them.

Busting persistent automotive myths  

1. If my tires have good tread they are okay to use.

Worn tire tread is a problem, but tires that look fine may be dangerously out of date. Tires have a life span and experts say tires, more than six years old, are no longer safe to operate. Rubber dry rots over time and bonding agents fail. Tires that are more than six years old, are not safe, no matter the tread remaining.

2. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

They design modern vehicles to isolate the driver from symptoms. For instance, spark plugs wear and we need more energy to jump the gap. The computer compensates by increasing the duty cycle on the coils. The vehicle runs the same, but the coils are over stressed, causing early failure. Follow manufacturers’ suggested maintenance to avoid problems without symptoms.

3. Adding injector cleaner to my tank will keep my vehicle running great.

Fuel injectors are self-cleaning and rarely need attention. Name brand fuels contain detergents that keep the engine clean. They often make injector cleaner of alcohol and adding it to fuel with ethanol may raise the content above the recommended level. Vehicles will not benefit from additives and some can cause damage.

4. If I buy my tires online I will save money.

The tires purchased through the internet may be less expensive, but may lack the service that local stores often include in the price of tires. For instance tire rotation, flat repairs and help when a problem develops will cost more than the savings from buying online. Buy tires from a reputable local vendor that can service them for you.

5. Using a torque wrench to tighten bolts is good, but not really necessary.

Modern vehicles use many torque-to-yield fasteners and precise tightening technique is NOT an option. Uneven lug nut torque can cause brake rotors to warp. Over tightening an oil drain plug may ruin the threads and require replacement. Always use the proper tightening technique with automotive fasteners.

6. Skipping maintenance saves money with an older car.

The reason for maintenance is that it lowers costs. For instance, properly servicing a transmission will lower the chance of failure, which cost far more than the service. Changing engine oil replenishes the additives that help preserve the engine. Proper maintenance will lower the costs of vehicle ownership.

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