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Top 5 Myths About Car Maintenance

Top 5 Myths About Car Maintenance

Top 5 Myths About Car Maintenance

If you're one of the many people who own a car, you know that car maintenance is important. However, with the wealth of information online or passed from friends and family, you may also know that not all of this advice is true. Following myths about car care can lead to expensive and sometimes unnecessary problems with car maintenance. You're better off avoiding these common myths about car maintenance to keep your vehicle in good shape.

1- You should warm your engine up in cold weather

Many people think that their car needs a few minutes to warm up when it's cold outside. While that was probably true with older vehicles, it's not true in today's cars. Letting your car idle for more than 30 seconds doesn't do anything for the engine and can increase tailpipe admissions. You should be especially careful to not leave your car idling in a closed space like a garage as this can be deadly. If your car is parked outside, you may want to let the engine warm so your heater and defroster are working well but this isn't necessary for cars today.

2- The pressure on the tire's sidewalls is the goal pressure

The figure on the sidewalls of your tire is actually the maximum pressure, not always the ideal pressure for your car's tires. It's recommended instead that you look at the vehicle's recommended pressure. This number is typically on the driver's doorjamb, located on a sticker. This is the pressure that the car manufacturer has determined in order to provide the best ride and handling for your vehicle. Inflating higher or lower than that pressure may result in uneven tire wearing and you may need to replace the tires more often.

Car Maintenance

3- Premium fuel is best for your car

Most cars are designed to run on regular-grade or 87 octane gasoline. While you should always check the specifics of your vehicle, premium fuel isn't necessarily better, especially if you don't need it. Filling up with a higher grade won't give you an advantage and is probably just a waste of money. It simply means that your engine is going to be more resistant to engine knocking or pinging. Use the octane grade recommended in the vehicle owner's manual for the best results.

4- Car tires don't need to be replaced until the tread reaches 2/32"

This is a myth. In fact, you may be putting yourself at risk if you wait this long until you replace your tires. Tire performance starts to decline in bad conditions such as rain when your tread depth reaches 4/32". This is why you should probably replace your tires when they reach this level and not wait any longer. Your tires play an essential role in keeping your vehicle connected to the road so waiting until they're worn past 4/32" means that you'll need extra stopping room and this could put you at higher risk for a crash. Having your tires checked on a bi-annual basis is a great way to know your current tread depth and allow you to plan ahead for when you need to have those tires replaced.

5- Diagnostic codes tell you what's wrong with the car

When the engine light turns on, the engine computer stores diagnostic codes in its memory at the same time. These codes can be retrieved by a mechanic. While these codes are a great tool for a mechanic, they don't always tell you what's wrong with the vehicle. Instead, they're a good place to start searching what's actually wrong with the vehicle. For example, if your car has the code P0131, this stands for low voltage with the oxygen sensor. This doesn't necessarily mean that the oxygen sensor is faulty and in need of replacement. Instead, it means that the sensor has remained below a certain threshold for too long. This could be a vacuum leak, faulty sensor, or a number of other problems. It's up to the mechanic to do a little more digging.


At Partsmax, we know that there are plenty of car maintenance myths but your car still needs expert advice and parts. At Partsmax, we sell aftermarket auto parts new. For anyone in the South Florida area, stop by and check out what we have to offer. With over 20 years of auto parts experience, we have a huge catalog and will make sure that you get the right part to keep your car running smoothly.