Monday, March 5, 2012
The Car Monster Wants Your Benjamins!
Taking your car to the shop is a pain in the ass. It always costs an arm, leg, and testicle, takes an inordinate amount of time, and you just end up having to take it back a few months later for something else.
Granted, in my case, a lot of the work I can (and at times DO) do myself. But if there's one thing you should know about me by now, it's this: I'm lazy. I'd rather pay and watch someone else do it.
But that said, there are a lot of things you may think you know about basic vehicle maintenance that are just plain bullsh*t. Furthermore, these supposed "facts" about keeping your car up-and-running are likely costing you hefty sums of money every year.
So, in an effort to clear up these misconceptions, I bring you 6 Car Myths (pulled from Cracked.com)
1) Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles
Believe it or not, we have a thing today called "science". What science does is help us to improve upon what we have and make it better. Back in the day, engine oil sucked. Since then, oil technology has advanced to the point where you can easily get away with 7,500 miles without changing your oil. Some synthetic oils even last up to 15,000 miles! Are you kidding me?! F*** this! I'm never changing my oil again!
2) Warm Up Your Engine Before You Drive
Letting your car sit in your driveway and idle is putting the same wear and tear on it as whenever it's running. It's really just a waste of time. Plus, and idling engine takes even LONGER to warm up. Back before fuel-injection this might have made sense, but not now. As long as you aren't breaking the sound barrier right out of the gate, getting right in and going in the winter/cold weather is the best thing for your car and your patience.
3) Fuel Additives Are Good for Your Engine
Screw You. This might make sense if gasoline manufacturers weren't already required by law to add detergents and additives before the gas ever gets to your car. And if your excuse for using additives is so that your gas lines "don't freeze", gas is safe from freezing in temperatures all the way down to -40°F. Try pulling your head out of the pool of snot it's resting in the next time you're in Chemistry class.
4) Get Regular Engine Tune-Ups
Were this the "olden days" before we had on-board computers that regularly tweak and adjust our engine timing on a microsecond-by-microsecond basis, this might be a good idea. Now, it's only smart to get the ol' "once over" every 50,000 miles or so to clean the dead squirrels out of you engine block.
5) Winterize Your Car
If you live in the Arctic Circle, sure. But as long as you live somewhere where plant life can survive, you're good. Your fluids are already rated to not freeze. Just throw on some snow tires and get out there, champ!
6) High-Octane Gasoline is Better for Your Engine
No. The only vehicles that need anything above 87-grade are those with high-compression engines. Hate to break it to you, but your '98 Civic with the "fancy spoiler" isn't one of them. Get a clue.
You might have noticed my patience ran thin toward the end there. That's because I'm actually guilty of thinking each one of these was true during at least one point in my life. Don't be a moron like me. Take these myths and shove them up your mechanic's colon the next time you see him. Just be sure to buy him dinner afterward.