5 Car Care Myths

Myths are defined as widely held but false belief or data. Myths often include stories we were told as children such as old wives tales and other such urban legends but little data is provided to confirm their validity. There are even myths when it comes to taking care of your car. You may believe certain things are good for your car, when in fact, you could be causing damage or spending money unnecessarily. We’ve dispelled the five most common myths when it comes to car care:

  1. Premium fuel is a better option than regular unleaded fuel.

False! While premium fuel is ideal for vehicles that require it based on the manufacturer’s recommendation, in other vehicles, it’s simply unnecessary. Using higher octane on vehicles that do not require it, does not increase performance or fuel efficiency. Save your money by using the correct fuel for your vehicle but purchase top tier, name-brand gasolines.

  1. Tire pressure should be inflated to the pressure embossed on the tire’s sidewalls.

False! The number on the sidewall is the absolute maximum pressure and should be adjusted to meet the extra load the vehicle is carrying. Check your tire pressure when the tires are “cold,” meaning, they have not been in motion for three or more hours or have been driven less than 1 mile. While in motion, the air (moisture) within the tire heats up and expands which could result in a false reading.

If a tire is overinflated the following can occur:

    • The center of the tire will contact the road more and cause the tread to wear sooner.
    • Handling features change making tires less flexible.
    • The sidewall of the tire will not be as flexible resulting in a harsh ride.
    • Can affect braking quality as the tires are too hard for maximum traction.
    • Increased tire wear.
    • Reduced traction.

In contrast, having the tires underinflated will result in:

    • The outer edges of the tire make contact with the road, causing premature tread wear.
    • Handling features change and tires become more flexible.
    • The sidewall of the tires flex too much causing excess heat in the tire. Excessive flexing could cause a reduction in braking.

Correct pressure indicator can be found on a sticker on the driver’s side door or located in the owner’s manual. When tires are inflated to the correct PSI, you benefit from the optimum life and performance as designed.

  1. Only car dealerships can perform your car’s regular maintenance and warranty work.

False!  Sun Auto Service is the dealership alternative able to perform the same quality work at a competitive price. We can perform all regular maintenance including:

    • Fluid flushes
    • Oil Changes
    • Tire rotations
    • Tune-ups

Though factory warranty repairs must be performed by the dealer, we honor most after-market warranties. Our friendly staff will handle all the paperwork by contacting the warranty company and making any rental car arrangements. No more hassle for you means better peace of mind!

  1. Every time you change the oil, the coolant should be flushed.

False! Coolant flushes should be performed every 30,000 miles, however, coolant and other fluids should be checked when servicing the engine. Refer to your manual for manufacturer recommended service intervals or speak with a trusted mechanic to determine the appropriate schedule for your vehicle.

  1. You can wash your car with laundry or dishwashing detergent.

False! Laundry and dishwashing soap are not formulated for use on a vehicle and may strip off the protective wax. These kinds of soaps are abrasive and can damage the vehicle’s clear coat resulting in very fine scratches and over time, the paint will become dull due to acceleration of the oxidation process. Instead, use a designated car-wash product, designed specifically for use on an automotive. Use a large, soft natural sponge, a microfiber towel, or lambswool mitt. Use a separate sponge to clean the wheels and tires, which may be coated with sand, dirt, brake dust, or other debris that could scratch the car’s finish. A dedicated wheel cleaner may be required. Look for cleaners compatible with the type of finish (paint, clear-coat, or chrome) used on the wheels. Some heavy-duty cleansers could damage the clear coat on wheels.

Car care can be an overwhelming endeavor but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking for someone to answer your car care questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sun Auto Service. We welcome all kinds of questions; from a simple question to a complicated inquiry, we’re here for you! Our friendly staff are available to take your questions Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Don’t assume a myth that you’ve heard, when it comes to your car, is true. Get the answers from a company you can trust that’s been in the business for over 40 years, that’s Sun Auto Service!