Top 10 Car Myths that Drivers Still Believe

January 6th, 2020 by

exterior closeup shot of a old luxury car grille parked on a busy downtown street

False Car and Automotive Rumors Debunked

Some common beliefs about cars and the automotive industry are wrong, but so many people still believe them. These wrong beliefs can sometimes cause drivers to make bad decisions concerning their vehicles that can cost them quite a lot of money or even endanger themselves and their passengers. Therefore, we’re here to clear up some misconceptions. Here are the ‘Top 10’ car myths that we want to debunk, today!

Bad Car Smells and What They Mean

1. Dirty Vehicles are More Fuel-Efficient

The idea here is that dirt, dust, and such work their way into vehicle cracks and crevices to reduce drag. 

However, testing this hypothesis out showed that a very dirty car actually reduces fuel economy by a significant measure, up to a negative effect of 10%! This is probably due to the added weight, the clogging up and slowing down of certain functions, and filth material being much less aerodynamic than car surfaces and therefore working against the wind to actually increase drag. 

2. Premium Fuel = Better Performance

Premium fuel is necessary for certain types of high-end sports cars and luxury models. However, premium fuel will not in any way improve your engine performance or responsiveness outside of those specific models. Unless your vehicle requires premium fuel, it’s a complete waste of money. 

3. Filling Up Your Tank in the Morning Gets You Better Fuel

Some people think that the colder air of the morning makes gasoline denser, meaning you get more fuel than you normally would by filling up your tank early in the day. 

Colder weather does make gasoline denser. However, gasoline is stored in underground, temperature-controlled tanks. Therefore, you’re getting the exact same quality of gas no matter when you visit a gas station. 

4. Cell Phone Use at the Pump can Trigger an Explosion

Back when cell phones, and then smartphones, were brand-new, some people had the idea that wireless signals could spark and ignite fuel vapors, resulting in an explosion at the pump. However, all scientific testing has shown this to be false and there have been absolutely no recorded incidents where this type of accident has occurred. 

5. Electric Cars Are More Likely to Catch Fire During a Crash

The reputation of Tesla vehicle mishaps and news stories surely isn’t helping this rumor at all, but that seems to very much be a singular company problem. Plenty of other automotive makers produce electric vehicles, and from them, we can learn the truth. 

By and large, electric vehicles as a whole, such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, and many more, pose no greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. Fires can happen to both electric-powered and gasoline-powered models under the right, or rather wrong, conditions.

6. Hybrid Cars Are Slower

The first hybrid models produced were much slower than your standard sedan or compact. However, technology has improved a great deal concerning hybrid models, and now electric models, over the past decade. Most hybrid powertrains are just as powerful as their counterparts in gas-powered cars while being incredibly more fuelefficient and lighter to also help reduce vehicle weight. 

7. You Need to Warm Up Your Engine in Cold Weather

Engines do need to be warmed up, but most people think the best way to do this is to let their vehicle run idle for several minutes. However, a cold car running idle is operating at its lowest power and therefore is barely generating any heat. The best way to warm up your car is to start driving right away. 

8. Air Conditioning is More Fuel Efficient than Opening Windows

The myth here is that air conditioning is better than rolled down windows because rolled down windows hurts fuel economy more due to drag. This probably sounds nice for people who enjoy A/C, but air conditioning does use up more gas than rolled down windows. However, if you’re absolutely miserable in your car due to heat, we’d still recommend using your A/C to keep comfortable and alert. 

9. Manual Transmissions are More Fuel Efficient than Automatic Transmissions

This is a myth that used to be true. Back when automatic transmissions were new, manual transmissions provided better fuel economy (if you knew how to operate one correctly). Nowadays, automatic transmissions are just as fuel-efficient as manual transmissions. In fact, depending on the modelautomatic transmissions can be more fuel-efficient than manual transmissions. 

10. Larger Vehicles are Safer in Crashes than Small Vehicles

This myth is a mixed bag, which very much depends on the type of accident. 

Most people assume larger vehicles are safer in crashes due to vehicle weight, larger front and back bumpers, and thicker side plating/paneling. 

However, many smaller vehicles are much smaller targets, have better safety features, have fewer blind spots, and have a much smaller risk of rollover than bigger vehicles.

Road Rules for Horse-Riding

For more vehicle tips and tricks, continue to read our blog and contact the Carl Black Hiram Auto Superstore! Our staff can be reached online, by phone, or with a visit to our dealership located in Hiram, Georgia within Paulding County and serving the surrounding cities of Rockmart, Dallas, Marietta, Atlanta, and more, with pre-owned vehicle sales and automotive service!