Most of us tend to believe a lot of what we hear—  if it seems reasonable enough. Many folks gather bits of information and relay it to others without first checking their sources. In the world of cars, it’s no different. Over the decades, myths have bubbled up to the surface and stuck in many of our minds, passing themselves onto the next generations during learner’s permit car rides. The question is, are these myths at all true? Well, we’re going to get to the bottom of that now. Here are some automotive myth insights from your auto repair experts at Master Muffler Bountiful.  

1. The Emergency Brake Is Only for Emergencies

False. Each time we enter our cars we see that lever to our right by the gear selector. Perhaps some even ask themselves, why is such a prominent feature is so infrequently used? A lot of confusion stems from the name of this central lever— the emergency brake. Many drivers tend to think of this component as a mere failsafe in the event of brake failure or a safety feature only to be used when parked on a steep hill. In reality, the emergency brake has a more frequent intended use— one that is better expressed with the component’s alternative name, the parking brake. 

Each time your vehicle is parked, even on flat surfaces, the parking brake should be used. When in park, there is a heavy load placed on the vehicle’s transmission that can cause unnecessary stress over time. Activating the parking brake before exiting the vehicle is an effective way to relieve the transmission of some of this load, keeping the vehicle healthier for longer. 

2. Premium Gas Always Means Premium Performance

Sometimes. If your vehicle has certain fuel specifications, it is important to follow those guidelines. For some models, higher octane fuels can significantly reduce engine knock, extending the life of the vehicle over time. However, if your model has no such specification, it basically doesn’t make much of a difference. If this is the case with your vehicle, consider saving some money and going with the cheaper stuff. 

3. Oil Must Always Be Changed Every 3000 Miles

Sometimes. In the case of high-mileage vehicles, 3000 miles is often encouraged. However, depending on the oil and your vehicle’s mileage, a 5,000-mile lapse between oil changes is usually more appropriate. Some full-synthetic oils, though a bit more costly, will allow cars to travel up to 10,000 miles between changes. 

4. Accelerating to High RPMs Is Bad For the Engine

False. While it is damaging to glue your right foot to the car floor for too long, the needle’s occasional dip into the red isn’t harmful whatsoever. Cars are built to operate at high RPMs from time to time as long as it isn’t sustained. There is, however, an important distinction between high RPMs under load and high RPMs while idle. The latter is, in fact, quite damaging. Under load basically means while the vehicle is moving. Engine revving while at a standstill is never a good idea and does harm to the engine. 

5. Four Wheel Drive Helps Prevent All Snow-Related Accidents

Some drivers get a little too comfortable behind their 4WD vehicles in the snow. The fact of the matter is that four moving wheels have no impact at all on braking. A 4WD vehicle will slide just as much as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle when braking on ice. 4WD lends better control while steering and maneuvering but it is certainly not a failsafe. Whatever vehicle you are driving, make sure you are taking all necessary precautions when driving in winter conditions. 

Have Auto Care Needs? We Can Help With That

Whether it be random offhand car knowledge or an in-depth understanding of vehicle componentry and operation, our Bountiful mechanics know it all. When it comes to car repair, we take our responsibilities seriously, bringing vast expertise with us to the shop each morning. At Master Muffler Bountiful, your car is in trusted hands. 

If you are in need of auto care or maintenance, give us a call or visit us today!