There is more to a vehicle than knowing the basic components and driving it around. And while many drivers are curious about their machines, they might as well follow the standard guidelines not from any rulebook, but by word of mouth and experience. It may often turn out to be not so true even, and science backs it all up. Yes, we are talking about the typical car related myths.
You may be concerned about one thing or the other at least once in your driver’s life-span and it could be anything varying from the relativity of the engine power and its size, or maybe the safety of your vehicle type.
Motor vehicles have been around for a while now, and people are still figuring their way around, except of course geniuses and engineers. Most of us just follow what we hear, not sure of the consequences. So here we are answering some common myths, and what we found out will surprise you.
15. SUVs Are Safer Than Small Cars
This myth is not absolutely right, or wrong either. SUV drivers are safer in cases of front crashes, or even back, but they bring damage to the opposing vehicle’s driver being lighter in weight to SUVs. Further, they have a higher chance of rolling over, which automakers seek to resolve with enhanced features.
14. Bigger Engine Means More Power
Big engines are capable of producing more power but are less efficient in terms of consumption and long time performance. They require maintenance. Smaller engines use less fuel and are as powerful. One such example is Ford’s 1.0-liter A4 paper size engine as good as a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine.
13. Muscle Cars Can’t Turn
Muscle cars are American versions of power cars, and it is believed that they are rigid when it comes to taking corners, and risk flipping over. It is all relative at speed and structure. Designed for broader American roads or NASCAR's left turns, dropping the speed will help achieve you the corner.
12. Electric Cars Are More Likely To Catch Fire
This myth has been proven wrong with research on Tesla models, and we are now aware that gas cars are more likely to catch fire. Only five Tesla cars in a billion miles reportedly exploded as compared to 55 gas cars in a billion miles rate because electric batteries take time to ignite and combust.
11. All SUVs Are Good Off-Road
While all SUVs are designed for all kinds of terrain, not all of them are good performers off-road or on rougher terrains. SUVs have the tendency to roll-over due to a weaker gravity point, and to top it off, entry level SUVs have fake underbody crash protection, and are FWD – ideal for casualties.
10. 4WD Is Better Than Snow Tires In Winter
Winter tires are made of softer rubber that is specifically developed to hold better grip on the ground. Having been tested against the all-season 4WDs, winter tires obviously perform better in areas with frequent snow, since they do not become hard and also provide traction on slippery ground.
9. Korean Cars Are Bad
Until recently, Korean cars were deemed comparatively bad compared to Japanese cars, because they saved on comfort and performance and only focused on luxury, while Japanese cars gave comfort and safety over all. However, now Korean cars such as Kia and Hyundai have gained recognition for due research and improvement.
8. Convertibles Are Unsafe In A Crash
Convertibles are considered unsafe in cases of crash owing to the open roof, but they have low chances of casualty. They are designed to be fast and eventually safe. They possess minimum risk of roll-over, thanks to lower center of gravity and stability control tech. Some cars also have overhead protection bars in cases of roll-over.
7. You Should Change Oil Every 3,000 Miles
Not entirely true if you are driving a new car that is capable of driving farther before the oil change. Changing it before the required time will neither harm or advantage the car, but will just be expensive in terms of resources and time. You may change the oil in 10,000 miles if synthetic oil is used, but it’s more expensive.
6. Performance Chips Increase Power
It is not easy to upgrade your car’s software without an expert’s intervention, which otherwise results in a burned out engine from over performance. Reprogrammed chips tend to use extra fuel and waste it also as turbo pressure exceeds off-limits, and your engine now leaves more carbon.
5. Premium Fuel Will Clean Your Engine
This is just a myth since your regular gas contains the same detergent additives as premium, unless your car requires premium fuel. Having less energy and more consumption ratio, premium fuel can also eventually result in engine damage, including audible knocking or pinging. Edmunds put together two helpful lists of vehicles where Premium fuel is recommended and required on their website.
4. Manual Cars Are More Fuel-Efficient Than Automatic
Here’s one we’ve all probably heard before. Manual cars are considered efficient because the motor does not work hard to shift between gears, does not need much energy, and it does not consume much fuel. However automatic cars use Continuously Variable Transmissions which vary gear ratios for max fuel economy and are better.
3. Using Your Phone While Pumping Gas Can Lead To An Explosion
There is no documented case of fires from cell phones at fuel station, neither resulted in research. But it is still better to not use it just in case of static charges from the body catch loose gas and ignite fire, eventually causing the cell phone to combust, hence caution is prescribed.
2. Driving With Your Tailgate Down For Fuel Efficiency
It is believed that with less wind resistance and weight displacement, gas mileage goes up. When the tailgate is shut, it redirects the airflow and prevents added drag to the vehicle. In cases of the opposite, air is pulled back to the bed, and acts adversely to motion by using more fuel to keep up.
1. Turning On The Engine Uses More Fuel Than Letting It Idle
It is safe to turn off the engine for better fuel economy unless you drive an old car with a carburetor. It also prevents much carbon emission, unless you intend to let it sit idle for 10 secs or less, such as on traffic stops. Newer cars are better at restarting because they are laden with fuel-efficient tech already.