a fortune by believing in the Loch Ness Monster or the Abominable Snowman? Cryptozoology enthusiasts who have spent their fortunes attempting to prove the existence of these fabled creatures are not required to respond to that question. However, there is one type of myth that can cost you a lot of money if you don’t properly educate yourself: the car repair myth. Here’s a quick rundown of the top five car repair myths that could have you reaching for your emergency credit card.
Myth #1: You have to change your oil every 3,000 miles
Before you cancel your oil change appointment, make sure you’re aware that the 3,000-mile requirement is gradually fading into myth as time passes and newer, more efficient cars hit the market. If you’re driving a ’67 Mustang, you’ll want to stick to the 3,000-mile rule. However, if you own a late-model car manufactured after 2007 (that is, 2008 and later), oil changes are only required every 7,000 miles or so, depending on driving conditions (normal vs. severe). Under normal driving conditions, advances in engine and oil technology necessitate fewer oil changes. Follow the advice given in your vehicle owner’s manual. The frequency of oil changes is increased even further for vehicles with diesel engines that use manufacturer-recommended oil.
Myth #2: Dark oil indicates it’s time to get an oil change
Many people determine when it’s time for an oil change by removing the dipstick indicator and inspecting the color of the oil. For a long time, the vast majority of drivers were led to believe that the darker the oil, the more in need of a change you are. However, even if you’ve only driven a thousand miles since your last oil change, there are additives in oil that can darken the color. Instead of guessing when to change your engine oil, keep track of the mileage and stick to a regular schedule: every 3,000 miles for older cars and every 7,000 miles for 2010 models and newer.
Myth #3: Air filters should be replaced regularly
Replacing an air filter is actually part of vehicle maintenance (not a repair), but it is worthy of inclusion on the list of car repair myths. Generally, when you take your car to a mechanic for an oil change, they will advise you to change the air filter as well. Although you will need to replace air filters at some point in your vehicle’s life to keep it running smoothly, it is not necessary to do so every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Sometimes all your air filter needs is a good cleaning. Inquire with your mechanic about this the next time you bring your car in for an oil change. It may help you avoid some unnecessary expenses.
Myth #4: Regular warranty maintenance work has to be done at the dealership
Certain warranties are attached to all vehicles. Engine warranties require that you have your oil changed and your engine serviced on a regular basis to avoid voiding the warranty. However, many people mistakenly believe that the work must be done at a dealership in order for the warranty to be valid. The truth is that as long as you keep receipts and records to prove that you’ve kept up with your car’s maintenance, it doesn’t matter who does it – you can even do it yourself. Knowing this could save you a few hundred dollars, especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer.
Myth #5: Using a penny is the best way to measure your remaining tire tread
Tires should be replaced when they reach 2/32 of an inch in depth. Since very few of us own tire depth gauges, we usually rely on what we’re told about how to determine such a small measurement. For years, people have been using the Lincoln penny method: by inserting the tip of a penny into the tread between your tires, you can tell when it’s time to replace your tires if you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head. Unfortunately this isn’t always accurate. Tires can wear unevenly, especially if your vehicle’s alignment is off, and the condition of the tire’s sidewall as well as the tire’s age should also be taken into consideration – not just the depth of tread left. To be on the safe side, always ask a qualified mechanic to look at your tires to tell you if they need replacing.
Are You Looking for an Independent Auto Repair Shop You Can Trust?
If you’re considering making a change to an independent auto repair mechanic trusted by thousands of happy customers, look no further than autoTECH Blackhawk. Why? We differ from other automotive repair stops because we are a relationship shop. This means that the more of your car repair needs we support you with, the better able we are to customize our recommendations based on your driving habits and needs. Whether you want to keep the daily driver in ‘good enough’ condition, style your new car so that it’s customized just for you, maintain your favorite car in ‘like new’ condition, or even train your whole family to be more knowledgeable about cars – we partner with you to ensure that your cars meet your needs. We also offer an industry-leading 3-Year/36,000-mile warranty, so we only use Original Equipment and manufacturer-recommended products. Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.