Fact or Fiction: Myths About Your Car

[toggle title=”Myth: I was told that you can take a battery cable off while the car is running to see if your alternator is charging.”]

Fact
This is a good way to spend several thousand dollars for blown computer components! When you take the cable loose the alternator can go into an uncontrolled charge and put out 19 or 20 volts. Guess what this will do to a system designed to run on 12 to 13 volts. In the “good old days” this was true, but we did not have electronic systems for every blasted thing on the car, all we had was a generator, battery, voltage regulator and starter.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: I was told by my Dad (Grandfather, Uncle, the drunk on the next bar stool) that if my transmission is slipping or leaking I can add a little brake fluid to it and that will fix it.”]

Fact
I wish this was true! I would repackage brake fluid, call it “Mechanic In A Can” and make a fortune selling it on late night TV. The rubber and synthetic seals inside your transmission are not designed to be compatible with brake fluid. Brake fluid will cause them to swell and loose their elasticity. Many years ago someone got just the right amount of brake fluid into a transmission to swell the seals up enough to get his heap home and a legend was born. The car wouldn’t move the next day.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: There is this gizmo that will give me a 15% (or 30%or 50% increase in fuel mileage just by putting it in my air filter, (PCV hose, crankcase, glove box)”] Fact
The auto makers are under very strict requirement for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) and spend millions of dollars to make a car more aerodynamic, lighter and more fuel efficient. If there was a gizmo they could hook up for a few bucks they would jump on it. Then they could make cars bigger and add more neat stuff, like a Jacuzzi tub or tanning bed. (God knows we have everything else on them now!)[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: Premium gas will make my car run better.”] Fact
You may notice an improvement in performance when you first run a tank of premium gas. The computer will soon adjust to the higher octane and performance will return to about what it was. When you put regular back in it the computer will again have to adjust and the performance will be less than you are used to until it does.
If your car calls for regular gas and you have to run premium to make it run right something is wrong with your car, not the gas.

[toggle title=”Myth: Computers on cars “learn” so I can run regular gas in my “Premium Only” model.”] Fact
NOT! If your car calls for premium you better use it unless you want to buy pistons and rings and valves and a trip to Disney World for your mechanic. If it calls for premium it probably cost over $50,000. If you can afford that why are you scrimping on the pennies, to make the insurance payment?[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: If I break a fan belt on the road I can cut off the top of a pair of pantyhose, roll them up and use that for a fan belt.”] Fact
This was thought up by a teenage boy for reasons that had nothing to do with any kind of automotive logic. Who knows it might have worked.

[toggle title=”Myth: I don’t run my A/C on “max” so it won’t have to work so hard.”] Fact
The A/C system on your car works the same no matter what air conditioning setting you choose. Max only changes the air flow through the car, re-circulating 80% already cooled air from inside the car tesla model 3 price and mixing it with 20% fresh air. This setting actually will remove more moisture from the air inside the car and bring the temperature down several more degrees.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: I was taught to turn off everything before I try to start the car.”] Fact
This is not necessary, everything not needed to start the car is automatically disabled while you are cranking the car. However, this is not a bad idea. If there is a problem with the engine you have a better chance of hearing it during the few quiet moments before the radio and A/C blower kick in.[/toggle] [toggle title=”Myth: Stop leak will fix the leak in my cooling system.”] Fact
Two chances, slim and none! In the “good old days” this could work. We had brass and cooper radiators and cast iron engines and cylinder heads. Today the radiators are plastic, the heads aluminum and many of the gaskets are plastic compositions. Leak sealers have little chance of stopping a leak with all of these dissimilar materials. Combine that with the much higher system pressures and temperatures and the odds go down more. Try one application if you need to, but no more than that, excessive amounts of stop leak can clog up the passages. [/toggle]

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