Car Maintenance You Just Don’t Need
You’re no car expert, and your mechanic knows it. For some reason, many dealerships still insist on spreading myths about “essential” vehicle maintenance, and it often ends up costing you money you don’t need to spend. Here at Honest Car Dealer, we’ve got more than a few repair procedures you might want to think twice about before taking your vehicle in:
The 3,000-Mile Oil Change
This seriously needs to stop. While it’s true that older motor oils were much simpler and more susceptible to engine grime and did need to be changed frequently, modern motor oil technology has become so advanced that most enginemanufacturers will recommend you change your oil around 7,500 miles, and some even upwards of 15,000! Always check your manual, but anyone telling you they should see you in three months is pulling your leg.
This is another dinosaur-era procedure that really no longer applies. Back in the good old days, it was important to change your vehicle’s oil to a thinner grade so it would still run properly in the cold — but technology has solved this problem for good as modern oils can run smoothly even in the winter. Apart from snow tires and adjusting tire pressure, you car should be perfectly capable of handling the cold.
There are a lot of complex components going on under the hood that need to work in concert for your vehicle to run properly. It used to be components needed to be inspected by a knowledgeable mechanic to make sure they were still working together properly — but nowadays you have that knowledgeable mechanic in your vehicle everywhere you go: it’s called your engine computer. Going in to randomly check if your engine is off-key is pretty unnecessary these days, and the most a mechanic will do is change your oil filter or spark plugs. Listen to your vehicle; an illuminated “Check Engine” light is when you should take your car in.
Premium Gasoline is Always Better
This isn’t a maintenance problem, but it is a myth too common not to mention. The assumption is that Premium equals better, and therefore all cars should use it if the driver can afford it. The fact is, the only vehicles that should use premium are those that need it — and there aren’t many. Some superpowered engines compress the air and gasoline more violently than other engines, which can actually cause low-octane fuel to ignite prematurely causing “engine knocking”. Chances are your vehicle doesn’t have a powerful enough engine to have this happen, but check your manual to be sure; if it doesn’t recommend Premium gasoline, using it is just throwing money away.
September 23, 2012 by Jamie Rettig