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Four Vehicle Maintenance Myths

There are a lot of popular myths in all walks of life.  Myths can be fun to believe but they can be problematic, too. You can imagine how troubling car myths are. If you believe in a car myth, you could end up draining your bank account and wind up stranded along a roadside.

Here are four car maintenance myths, though we guarantee that there are many more out there. See if you’ve fallen for any of them.

CAR MYTH #1: Your car’s regular maintenance must be performed at your dealership – if you want to keep your factory warranty valid.

The truth: Your car’s regular maintenance does not have to be performed at the dealership. As long as you are on schedule and do the required maintenance services your warranty will remain intact. The key is to maintain accurate records of all of the work performed by the shop(s) that are performing the service. Look for a shop that maintains records on your vehicle if for some reason you cannot find all your paperwork.  You can take your car into the dealership for a problem in order to prove that you have been getting your regular maintenance done – but, no, you do not have to have your maintenance done there. Your dealership would like you to think so, however.

CAR MYTH #2: You get better gas at a big brand name gas station than a small independent.

The truth: While it is fine to get gas at a big-name brand like a Mobil, Shell or BP, you aren’t hurting your car if you go to a mom and pop gas station down the corner. As Business Insider recently pointed out, the big brand names may have extra engine-cleaning additives in their gas, but gas is gas, and going to a generic gas station doesn’t mean your car is getting fuel that will hurt the vehicle. There are all sorts of ways you can inadvertently damage your car, from not getting the oil changed to never putting air in your tires but getting cheap gas at an off-brand station is not one of them.

It’s the same deal with premium gas. If you think you’re getting better performance from premium gas than regular unleaded, you probably aren’t, according to Consumer Reports. If your car’s manual specifies premium gas, then, sure, get it. But otherwise, you’ll save money, and your car will be just fine, if you get regular unleaded.

CAR MYTH #3: You can use laundry detergent or dishwashing soap to wash your car.

The truth: What’s good for your clothes or skin, oddly, is not good for your car. Those soaps are harsher and more abrasive than the types of soap designed especially for car washing. If you take dishwasher soap, put it in a bucket and wash your car, maybe the first time, you’ll be okay. Maybe even the second time. But you can hurt your car’s paint and break down the wax. It also isn’t all that great for the rubber on your tires. Maintaining your car’s appearance often leads to greater diligence with the car’s maintenance schedule.  But leave the dishwashing soap and detergent inside your home and don’t bring it out to the driveway.

CAR MYTH #4: If you run over a nail, you should replace your tire.

The truth: A nail can really do some damage to your tire. But before you panic, know that you can often get a hole plugged or patched easily and cheaply. The location on the tire dictates a lot about whether it can be repaired or if the tire needs to be replaced.  Bring your car to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary and we’ll be happy to take a look.  We can’t promise that you won’t have to get your tire replaced, but often, a nail is not a death sentence for a tire. When you do have to replace a tire, you might get the recommendation to replace them in pairs. You want to have tires on the front or the back that have similar tread depth which means relatively the same circumference. This is important because you want the tires to have similar grip in case of an emergency stop.  You’ll want to talk to your Milex Complete Auto Care/ Mr. Transmission of Cary mechanic to know your options. That’s the thing about car maintenance myths. They aren’t always wrong, but they’re often not right, and if you fall for those myths, it can cost you.

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