Common car myths

There are so many car myths out there and Vicki Butler-Henderson is here to bust four common driving myths in our video.

We're also dispelling some of those common car maintenance misconceptions to prevent you paying for unnecessary car maintenance and repair services.

Car maintenance myths

You must change oil every 3,000 miles

Whilst this may have been a good recommendation years ago, most modern cars driven under normal conditions can go 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. You should always go by the recommended oil-change schedule in your owner’s manual.

You need to let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving

Whilst it’s true that the sooner the engine warms up, the sooner it will deliver the best fuel economy and performance, it’s also true that most modern engines warm up significantly quicker when they are being driven as opposed to being idle. The transmission and wheel bearings also require motion to warm up fully, meaning you can feel at ease to set off immediately. It will take around 10-15 minutes for your car to fully warm up, so it’s best to take it easy during this period.

You need a new tyre if you have a puncture

Unless a puncture has damaged the sidewall or is over a quarter of an inch in diameter, the tyre shouldn’t need to be replaced. Your mechanic will be able to plug or patch this puncture to restore the tyre's airtight seal.

The appropriate tyre inflation pressure is printed on the tyre

On the sidewall you will see a pounds-per-square-inch (psi) number. As psi is used to measure tyre pressure, many people think the number printed on the tyre is the ideal tyre pressure level, when in fact it is the maximum pressure the tyre can hold. Overinflated tyres can make the car harder to control and make journeys feel more bumpy.

The ideal tyre pressure will be listed in the car manual and on the inner door. The optimum tyre pressure differs from car to car, so always follow the manufacturer's guidelines. It’s important to check both axels as the recommended tyre pressure can be different for the front and the rear.

Dishwasher liquid is safe for washing your car

Washing your car with dishwasher liquid once or twice isn’t likely to cause major issues, but if used often this could harm the paint. Dishwasher soap accelerates the oxidisation process, which is very similar to how too much soap on your hands can dry the skin. Using the correct car-friendly suds will not only improve how your car looks but will also increase the time your car can go between washes.

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