The old tale about powering your vehicle with the ethanol from a bottle of liquor is generally known as a myth. Surely, there are other commonly known myths that get passed around without any real vetting. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Premium Fuel is Always Better

What does a BMW X7, a Lexus LS, and a Bugatti Chiron all have in common? They need premium fuel to run. These are just a few examples of luxury vehicles that require gas of a higher octane rating in order to reduce the amount of “knocking” that occurs in the engine. 

This stands to reason, then, that premium fuel offers better performance for all vehicles. Not so! If your car doesn’t have an engine that specifically requires premium gas, then the benefits won’t be seen or felt at all.

Idle Cars Equal Warm Engines

Perhaps you’ve heard how engines need to be warmed up in cold weather before going out on the road. If you ignore this crucial step, you will invite your car to stall while you’re driving, which will cause an accident.

The truth is, warming up the engine was mostly important back when carburetors were used to inject fuel mixtures into the engine. If they were ice cold, the mixture wouldn’t be perfect which could conceivably cause issues in the exhaust system, leading to an unplanned trip to the closest West Jordan car repair technician. 

Today, many people let their car run idle in the driveway for a few minutes before heading out, even though their car likely doesn’t even rely on a carburetor anymore. Despite that, there’s a problem with this method: idle cars run on the bare minimum amount of power, which doesn’t actually generate any significant amount of heat for the engine. Your best bet is to just start driving like normal and the engine will heat up naturally.

Air Conditioning Improves Fuel Economy

This myth, like many of the others, sounds entirely plausible: cars that drive with the windows down create unnecessary drag that pulls on the car, making the engine work harder. Therefore more fuel is spent getting somewhere slower.

The fact of the matter is that A/C uses up more gas, rather than less when compared to driving with the windows down. This has been contested when the car is traveling at highway speeds (usually 65+ miles per hour), but the question of A/C vs windows really comes down to a matter of preference.

Larger Vehicles are Safer

As with all questions regarding accident safety, much depends on the driver and the nature of the crash. A big, gas-guzzling road-beast certainly looks imposing and certainly makes people feel safe when they’re inside, but big cars are also bigger targets when craziness ensues on the road. Remember, the people on the Titanic felt safe too.

Big cars make crucial trades for their sturdy chassis and big tires — trades like a bigger blind spot and a higher threat of rolling over. 

Dirty Cars Create Better Fuel Economy

As you can see, many car-related myths have to do with improving the efficiency of the vehicle. A more efficient car means longer intervals between trips to a car repair shop like Master Muffler and shorter travel times on car trips. This theory states that dirt on a car will cover up cracks and gashes in the chassis that would otherwise cause drag.

As you might expect, this is completely wrong. In many cases, the contours of dirt and mud on a car actually create drag. Scientists have discovered that fuel efficiency actually decreases for dirty cars to the tune of nearly 10%. 

The best way to make sure your car is running at peak efficiency, always, is to consult a professional. The technicians at our West Jordan car repair center are the best at what they do and they will make sure that you won’t need to rely on tall tales and faux wisdom to get the best mileage out of your vehicle.