Virginia Auto Service

Getting to the Bottom of Car Care Myths

When it comes to your automobile, knowledge may be power, but you need to use it wisely. Take some time, our Arizona driving friends, to weed through the myths and uncover the truths so you can save money and extend your vehicle life.


Here are myths we’ve uncovered, and dispelled, for you:

• Vehicle Myth 1: You always have to take your car to the dealer for warranty-work. Shop around because there are independent auto repair shops licensed to do warranty work. The key to not voiding your warranty is to make certain that car care items are performed on schedule. If you go to an independent repair shop, keep receipts of all work performed so that you have documentation. If you have the talent, you can do the work yourself, making sure you keep accurate records and your receipts in the event a warranty issue comes up.

• Vehicle Myth 2: All oil filters are created equal. There are significant differences in models of oil filters which can affect not only longevity but filtration efficiency. The vehicle oil filter is your engine’s first line of defense against premature wear and abrasion. The more dirt and contaminants the filter traps and holds, the better your car will perform.

• Vehicle Myth 3: Tire inflation should be what’s shown on your tire. There are so many tires on the market today and each comes with its own inflation recommendations. Inflating the tires to the PSI number shown on the tire may not be ideal for your specific car. Your owner’s manual should be referred to when seeking recommendations on tire pressure. Inflation amounts vary, also depending on the climate in which you drive. In addition to the PSI number being listed in your manual, it is also found on a sticker in the glove box or fuel door on older model cars and on the doorjamb sticker on newer models.

• Vehicle Myth 4: Idling is good for my car’s engine. It’s common in the cooler months for drivers to turn on the car and let the engine “warm up.” The truth is your vehicle will warm up more quickly when you’re driving it. Your car needs less than a 30-second warm up to allow thick oil to warm up and begin circulating – this helps protect your vehicle from engine damage.

Vehicle Myth 5: Washing your car with dish-washing detergent is all right. Using dish washing detergent on your car can damage the finish as they are designed to remove animal and vegetable fats and as such, they will target the wax on your car. Opt for car washing products that are specifically designed for use on automobiles.


Common sense, reading your owner’s manual so you have a basic understanding of your car and having a good relationship with a trusted auto mechanic are keys to keeping your car running smoothly.