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Old 12-02-2011, 04:48 PM
whunter's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 17,357
Automotive mythology #101

The biggest MYTH of all!

Mythology: #1. Buy a "hot" car, and the chicks will be all over you.
Fact: Sorry guys. If you're a big, fat, obnoxious, ugly, rude, nasty excuse of a human being, the biggest, baddest super-car in the world is only going to make the salesman grin..
Women are motivated first and foremost by looks and assertiveness.
Sorry guys, reality sucks...

Mythology: #2. After a jump-start, the car will quickly recharge the battery.
Depending upon vehicle year, make model, many new cars either will NOT re-charge a dead battery or can take hours of driving to restore full charge.
Warning: Mercedes Benz technical service information clearly warns owners of newer vehicles to NEVER jump start the car, and to disconnect the battery from the car BEFORE charging, or electrical system damage will result.

Mythology: #3. A small engine is always more efficient.
Depending on the type of vehicle, plus passengers/cargo, and how you drive. A small engine can have worse real world MPG than a larger engine, because the smaller engine must work harder. Example: A Prius hybrid carrying four 400 LB passengers while towing a 4'x6' 1100 LB utility trailer, versus a mini van with a four cylinder or V6 engine. The Prius will function with the massive overload for a while, but the extreme repair/maintenance cost when it fails will be catastrophic. A mini van with a four-cylinder will struggle with the load, and get lousy MPG; but if it is equipped with a V-6 engine (normal repair/maintenance) you will get many years of service with good MPG.

Mythology: #4. It's okay to follow the maximum recommended oil change service interval advertised by the manufacturer of your car.
Read the fine print; the higher mileage/time interval assumes "normal" driving - which doesn't include the stop-and-go city/urban driving, which is considered "hard usage" in most cases, and drastically shortens the recommended oil change interval.

Mythology: #5. Aftermarket oil additives are a good way to increase engine life.
Using name-brand oil of the correct type and viscosity (see your owner's manual) along with regular maintenance is the best guarantee of long engine life. Good quality oil already has the necessary additive packages to keep the internal parts of the engine free of build-up, etc; pouring a can of "motor honey" into the crankcase is little better than tossing money out the window.

Mythology: #6. After market parts meet or exceed vehicle manufacturer specifications, and fit as well as OEM parts.
Nobody knows your vehicle specifications/cost better than the manufacturer who designed and assembled it. "The top Aftermarket BRAND name parts companies generally have a very good R&D department and/or licensed data from the OEM = they build parts with a durability/quality between 2/3 and 1/2 of OEM. Most third world aftermarket parts are reverse engineered from a few samples, with little or no design, metallurgy, testing, and rushed to market = lousy fit/function and unknown durability. Beware of after market parts that claim they meet/exceed factory specifications with different designs, and/or are produced with superior and different materials, especially at lower cost..

Mythology: #7. It is more economical to replace an older car with a brand-new one.
While the new car may be nicer, few old cars cost as much to keep going as a monthly payment, insurance and taxes on a new vehicle plus they don't depreciate.

Mythology: #8. Let your engine warm up to operating temperature, before driving.
Good advice for 1928 and earlier vehicles. Modern drive-train's are ready to go as soon as the idle stabilizes, and the engines warm up fast. Please note that only a suicidal person will fail to fully clear fogging or scrape the windows clear of snow/ice Before driving.

Mythology: #9. Flush the coolant at each oil change.
Antifreeze doesn't need to be replaced very often, refer to the owners manual. If you want to indulge in extreme service levels, flush the coolant every three years or 60,000 miles; "which ever comes first".
If the coolant tank level is chronically low, check for a leak and have the system pressure tested as soon as possible.

Mythology: #10. If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better.
Most vehicles run just fine on regular-grade fuel, and while using premium won't hurt, it will NOT improve performance.
If your car is engineered/designed for 87-octane fuel, don't waste money on premium.

MythBusters Episode 15:
* Sugar in the gasoline tank will plug up the fuel filter or require the gas tank be pulled and cleaned, but will NOT destroy the engine.
* If a bullet is shot through the fuel tank of a car, it makes a leak and potential fire hazard, but will NOT make it explode.
* Plugging the tailpipe of a car with objects will NOT destroy the engine, though it may damage the exhaust system.
* A car can protect you from bullets in a shoot out, only very small caliber (think light ammo 0.22 pistol), even 0.22 magnum rounds penetrate car doors most of the time, the average more powerful Magnum will shoot through a V8 engine at close range.


Last edited by whunter; 09-07-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:59 PM
whunter's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 17,357

for new members
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:09 PM
Dubyagee's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SE
Posts: 4,886
Myth 1 doesnt apply to boats.
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