5 Car Myths Debunked

December 23, 2019

What are some common car myths that should be debunked?

  1. You waste more gas by turning your car on than by idling
  2. Using your phone while refueling can cause an explosion
  3. Cold engines need to warm-up
  4. Coolant and air filters need to be changed with the oil
  5. Oil changes need to happen every 5,000 kilometers


There are many pieces of information that can help a person take better care of their automobile. However, there are many prevalent beliefs regarding car maintenance that are simply outdated or untrue. This is to say that common car myths are still widespread and they can potentially be detrimental to your car’s life.

To help you take better care of your car and update your knowledge of cars and their maintenance, here are five popular car myths debunked.


You waste more gas by turning your car on than by idling

The age-old debate of which burns more gas, idling or turning your car on and off, finally has a definitive answer. Idling burns more gas when compared to turning off your engine then turning it back on.

This myth isn’t necessarily a myth per se because it used to be true back in the day when most of the cars depended on carburetors to blend fuel and air to start the engine. However, modern fuel injection has since replaced carburetors on most modern cars.

Fuel injection allows ignition to occur without using more fuel than necessary. Idling while in heavy traffic or while waiting for someone ends up wasting more gas in the long run. Consider turning off your engine if you are not going to be in motion for more than a minute. If you’re trying to be as fuel-efficient as possible, you can cut that minute in half.


Using your phone while refueling can cause an explosion

Women use mobile phone , image of car refueling on petrol station

You’ve probably seen this particular sign in your local gas station. There is this belief that using your phone while getting gas can cause a fire or explosion. Here’s the truth behind it: using your cellphone has not been proven to cause any sort of combustion or explosion while at a gas station.

One reason as to why this belief started is due to static. Static electricity can and has been proven to start fires regardless of where it comes into contact with flammable substances. It is possible to charge up static electricity in your body by coming into contact with the rug in your car, but that can only happen if you go in and out of your car while you are in the process of refueling.

Hopefully, this can make you feel safer when you use your phone at a gas station. Avoid putting shag rugs in your car if you want to stay on the safe side.


Cold engines need to warm-up

Just like using your mobile phone at a gas station, the need to let an engine ‘warm-up’ before driving is also not true. As stated above, letting your car idle is not fuel-efficient. On top of that, an engine warms up naturally while you use it, so letting it stay idle is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve. If you want to do any sort of waiting, 30 seconds will be enough to get the engine warm.

Even in cold environments, this is not applicable. Sure, engines are less efficient when they are cold, but letting warm-up while idling does little to help because it generates the least amount of heat. If you want your engine to warm-up as soon as possible, simply drive it.


Coolant and air filters need to be changed with the oil

You might hear this from your local mechanic when you get an oil change, but changing the coolant and air filters along with your oil is not necessary. You must be aware that they are almost always trying to get you to spend more money than what is needed. If you are pressed for funds, then the fewer expenses the better.

If you are really concerned with your coolant and air filter, remember to check your car’s manual to see the proper replacement timing.


Oil changes need to happen every 5,000 kilometers

Motor oil pouring to car engine.

If you interact with many seasoned drivers, then you might have heard from them that you need to change your oil every 5,000 kilometers. This is a case of outdated knowledge rather than a completely incorrect belief because 5,000 kilometers used to be the standard for older car models and oil products. In reality, most modern cars can go as far as 15,000 kilometers without even needing a single oil change.

There is nothing wrong with frequent oil changes, but they don’t necessarily give you added benefits. New oil formulations and better engine manufacturing have made it so that you can go longer and farther before your engine is at risk of damage due to old oil. If you are not convinced, then feel free to check your car owner’s manual which indicates the best time to get an oil change.


Key Takeaway

Now that you know the true story behind some of these common car myths, you are better prepared to take care of your precious car. Do your part in perpetuating factual information by passing the knowledge to someone you know who may still believe some of the myths debunked above.

For your other maintenance questions and needs, click here to contact All Fast Cars.

Share with: