Virginia Auto Service

6 Auto Maintenance Myths Busted

We always stress how important regular and proper maintenance is to the safety and longevity of your vehicle. However, over time, vehicle technologies have changed creating many myths and misconceptions about what this care should be.


Here are six common auto maintenance myths:

Myth 1: You can use dish soap or laundry detergent to wash your vehicle.

Fact: You should use soaps that are specifically designed to wash cars or bring your vehicle to a professional car wash. Household cleaning soaps will strip away your wax finish and cause your paint to fade or crack and peel.

Myth 2: Instead of using the AC, roll your windows down for optimal fuel efficiency.

Fact: Using the AC does cause your vehicle to use fuel faster than not using the AC. However, rolling down your windows isn’t really any better. When the windows are rolled down it increases wind resistance, counteracting the aerodynamic design of your vehicle. While overcoming this additional resistance, your vehicle will consume additional fuel that is almost the same as if your AC were on.

Myth 3: All vehicle’s need an oil change every 3,000 miles.

Fact: Older vehicles did require more frequent oil changes, usually at around every 3,000 miles. However, as engine technology has changed, this is no longer the rule. Some newer vehicles can go as long as 5,000 to 7,500 miles before an oil change is necessary. While you won’t harm your vehicle with more frequent changes, you can save yourself time and money if you are able to go longer between changes. The mileage recommendations for your specific vehicle model can be found in your owner’s manual.

Myth 4: Your tire pressure needs to match the PSI recommendation on its sidewall.

Fact: You should not fill your tire to the PSI number that is on the tire. This number is the maximum pressure that the tire can hold for safe driving. It is not the recommended number for best handling, fuel efficiency, or comfort. Usually, the ideal PSI for your vehicle can be found in your glove box, on a doorjamb sticker, or on the fuel-filler door. It can also be found in your owner’s manual. Underinflated or overinflated tires can cause damage to your tire, shortening its life dramatically. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month. When you check, make sure the tires are cool and have not recently driven.

Myth 5: Using premium fuel in any vehicle will improve how it operates.

Fact: If your vehicle’s owner’s manual doesn’t specifically state that you should be using premium fuel, then doing so won’t make a difference in how your vehicle performs. Using premium fuel in a vehicle that is designed for standard isn’t harmful, but why waste the extra money if it’s not necessary to do so? Remember, if your manual explicitly states that you need to use high-octane gas, then that is what you will have to do. Using standard fuel in a car that requires premium fuel can cause damage to the engine.

Myth 6: To keep your warranty active, maintenance must be performed at the dealership.

Fact: For your warranty to remain active you need to follow the maintenance schedule laid out in your owner’s manual. This maintenance can be done by your favorite local auto shop, it does not have to be performed at the dealership.

When it comes to the care of your vehicle you want the best. That is why you should call on the experts at Virginia Auto Service. Call us at 602-266-0200 or schedule your next appointment online.

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