Driving Smart: Debunking common car myths

From alligators in the sewer to tooth-dissolving Coca-Cola to Walt Disney’s cryogenically preserved head, some urban legends just refuse to die.

Unfortunately for motorists, there’s no shortage of automotive myths out there that steer us in the wrong direction with regard to maintenance and safety.

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Putting nitrogen in your tires improves fuel economy. While studies have shown that this can stabilize your tires’ air pressure, the benefit is so marginal that what you’re really doing is deflating your wallet.
  • You must change your oil every 3,000 miles. This is a slick marketing move by quick-lube chains, but it won’t make your car run better or longer. Go by the schedule prescribed by the automaker - usually 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
  • Red cars get more speeding tickets. NOPE! Justice is colorblind where your paint job is concerned. That officer now in your rearview is concerned with the mph he clocked you at, and the only one seeing red is you.
  • Wearing a seatbelt isn’t important if you’re in the backseat. Uhh, yeah...that, like, totally makes … sense.
  • If your car calls for regular gas, why not perk it up with a tank of premium every once in a while?! Use what the manufacturer recommends, and save your cash for something useful. Anyone who tells you to fill up with pricier gas is...well...full of it.

KREM


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