Know these 5 car maintenance myths

Maintenance is an integral part of owning a car. It’s no point investing so much in a car if you don’t follow a regular maintenance schedule. While most car owners do follow this, there are some who are apprehensive as these car maintenance myths confuse them. This is why this is an attempt at demystifying these car maintenance myths.

No.1: Cars should be serviced at the dealer’s service station.

Nothing backs this claim. The myth developed due to the false sense of security developed thinking that the dealer whom you had bought the car from will give the best service. Just remember that your warranty remains valid as long as it goes through a recognized service center.

It’s better to try out a few service centers to find out which offers the best service for your car. Check the owner’s manual to know what specific service your car requires. Maintain accurate records and receipts so that you can back up claims if your warranty comes under dispute.

No.2: Brake fluid is the best remedy.

This is not true. While its level does reduce a bit when the brake pads wear out, don’t just blindly top up the brake fluid. Brake fluid should be topped up if its level drops below the low mark. Moreover, worn brake pads can induce spongy brakes. This is why you need to maintain a check on the braking system.

No.3: Tires should be inflated to the side wall

This isn’t true as the figure molded on the side wall is the tire’s maximum inflation pressure. You need to follow the inflation pressure recommendations mentioned in your car owner’s manual or placard usually found on the door post or fuel-filler flap. Maintain a monthly pressure check when tires are cold or if the car hasn’t been used for a couple of weeks.

No.4: The coolant has to be flushed out.

There’s no connection between changing the engine oil and flushing the coolant as both have different life cycles. So don’t believe your mechanic if they advise you to change the coolant while changing the engine oil.

The coolant should not be flushed before three years or the recommended time cycle. It’s only if it’s extremely hot or the coolant tank has a leak should it be flushed out. While it’s possible to top the coolant during its life cycle, if its color changes to brown, it should be replaced immediately.

No.5: Higher octane fuels are better.

This isn’t true as vehicles run quite well on regular-grade (87 octane) fuel. While using premium in cars doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t improve its performance. Higher octane fuels only mean the fuel is not prone to pre-ignition problems. That’s why it’s indicated for use in hotter running, high compression engines. There’s no point wasting money on premium fuel if your car is designed for 87-octane fuel.