Dodge D100 Series: Debunking Common Car Maintenance Myths
There are a lot of theories about auto upkeep, and some of them have turned into a common practice over the years. Although some vehicle owners follow them as part of regular car maintenance, some of them are already outdated, especially with today's modern car systems and technologies. Here are some of the car maintenance myths:
- Is premium-grade fuel always better for the vehicle?
If your vehicle manual says that you should use regular fuel, then stick to this advice. The vehicle can run just as smoothly using the regular type of fuel. Premium-grade fuel doesn't always mean better performance or more power. While premium-grade fuel won't cause harm, this won't do much for the vehicle. This type of fuel is recommended for higher-compression engines, which naturally run hotter. Higher-octane fuel is needed to prevent detonation. If you switch to premium even if it's not required, then this will only cost you more money.
- Should engine oil be changed every 3,000 miles?
While some may consider this the standard, this oil change schedule isn't the requirement. Instead of changing oil every 3,000 miles, you'll do better heeding the advice of the manufacturer, found in your vehicle manual. Some vehicles can go for more than 3,000 miles without needing an oil change. Oil changes may happen every 7,500 miles. This actually varies depending on the car model and make and the type of motor oil used. More frequent oil changes, however, should be done if the vehicle is driven on a stop-and-go city traffic, when the vehicle tows a trailer, or when it travels through dusty or mountainous roads. If you want to be sure, then check your oil regularly.
- Should the tire pressure be the same as the figures shown on the tire's sidewall?
Contrary to misguided beliefs, the psi on the tire's sidewall isn't the recommended pressure but the maximum pressure that the tire can hold safely. The preferred tire pressure can usually be found on the driver side door jamb, the fuel filler door, or the glove box. For increased tire life, better fuel mileage, and improved traction, the tires should be properly inflated. Don't allow them to be under- or over-inflated as this can affect handling and can lead to uneven tire wear.
- Is it true that coolant should be flushed every time oil is changed?
It's good practice to check your coolant regularly to prevent problems with engine cooling. However, flushing the coolant during oil change isn't always necessary. The vehicle manual should serve as your guide. It'll help if you'll monitor the coolant level to catch any sign of leak.
Some of the stuff we've learned from other vehicle owners are already outdated such as warming up the vehicle for several minutes prior to driving. This is no longer necessary for newer vehicles with modern engines. And while some usually wash their cars using dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent, there are good reasons not to do this. This can effectively remove dirt, but apparently, this isn't gentle on the car's finish, which can be stripped off after some time.