When you hear anything about cars, innovation usually finds its way in the discussion at some point. Or how engineers devised cars from the early 1900’s with Model T’s to much more interesting creations like hybrid cars, SUVs, heavy-duty trucks and high-performance sports cars… to name a few. Higher gas mileage and slick amenities would soon become the norm rather than the exception and the future tech of automobiles has seemingly just begun.
Yet, with all that innovation and determination to craft the finest automobile along the road, there comes some curious myths and rumors along the way. Some are funny. Others are ridiculous. And there’s a select few that just make you scratch your head.
But whatever the case may be, there are plenty of myths to go around and all but confuse drivers on what to really believe. That’s why I went ahead and put together this short list of some of the most (in)famous myths out there today.
1. Car auctions give you a better deal: Don’t know where this one came about. Maybe it was from watching too much Antique Road Show or being fascinated with late-night ESPN clips of car shows. First of all, those road shows usually imply either one of two things: antique or exotic cars. Not your average car, but something that’s won by the highest bidder.
And what about police auctions? Sure you might be getting a good deal on a car, but there’s probably no CARFAX report conveniently inside nor do you know what the previous owner did to the car. And that’s the main thing to debunk this myth: there’s no assurance. None. Zip. Nada. You don’t have the luxury of knowing if the car’s been in a previous accident, and if you’re bidding on a high-end car, chances are it’s been restored in the past or the reliability of those old engine parts won’t hold up nearly as much as a Certified used car will.
2. Clothes pins can cool off the fuel: Ummm, yeah I don’t know where this one came from. Whoever thought it would be legit to “jimmy rig” the fuel line with clothes pins so that their fuel temperature would be under control might’ve been either really bored or watched too much Discovery Science channel.
3. Premium fuel for everybody!: I’ll admit, when I was a teenager I fell for this one because my mother told me so because she had been lied to by someone before that. The very popular myth that premium fuel is vital for the average car is a complete fabrication. Just because a Mercedes or a Maserati run on it doesn’t mean your 1979 Geo Prism is going to perform the same from it. Premium gas is for high-performance engines and is just a waste of money for every other regular engine. Next time, consult your vehicle owner’s manual.
4. Red cars get pulled over all the time: I borrowed this one from Discovery’s website on an article on the same topic and had to include it because it’s so strange. And they wouldn’t have written about it if there wasn’t some hysteria about it previously. Why some drivers feel their red car’s being targeted more than others is probably just some excuse they make because they have a lot of speeding tickets. Red, yellow, black, turquoise, teal, lime green… there’s no discrimination against the color of your vehicle. Maybe it’s just the fact that you have more of lead foot than the next person. Call me crazy.
5. Cold weather means you should warm your car up: I fell victim to this one also because I thought that since my car was a bit older in years that the engine needed that much more time to warm up and work properly. The truth of the matter is every car engine is built to function in the most extreme conditions. Just because it’s ten degrees outside and snowing doesn’t mean the engine is a frozen shell. Sure, the ignition might seem to click a bit slower than usual, but once it goes, the engine’s alive and ready to go. The more time a car spends idling to warm up, the more fuel you’re burning unnecessarily.
Many car myths are born because of people tinkering with things that don’t need tinkering with. If it worked 1 out of 10 times, then it most likely gets passed down to a friend, who tells their friends and so on. Before you know it, articles like this one are created to defy those myths.