I've read somewhere that the 3,000-mile oil change is now a car maintenance myth that must be laid to rest. Is there any truth to that? If so, how often should I now do oil changes in my new Hyundai Veloster?
Yes, that's true because engine technology and oil chemistry have largely evolved in the recent years, and time intervals for oil change now depends on several mitigating factors. Today's engine oils are more robust than before, and they are now formulated in such a way that they protect the engine while ensuring better fuel economy and low emissions. Also, majority of automakers nowadays use synthetic oil, which generally stretches oil change intervals. Modern engines also have tighter tolerances, which reduce their lubrication requirements. The best that you can do to be sure of your oil change intervals is to find time to check your manual and stick to the recommendations written in there.
If your Veloster is equipped with the oil life monitoring system, just be mindful of the notifications that it gives out as to when an oil change is needed. Recommendations in the said system are more reliable as they are usually based on the way you drive your car and the various driving conditions it encounters.
Even after cleaning the cabin of my Veloster, it still smells a bit musty. Can you suggest some eco-friendly ways that could help me totally get rid of that unpleasant odor?
Given that your car's interior is already clean and your concern is just the musty smell, you can try sprinkling baking soda on your upholstery and floor mats, leave it there overnight, and vacuum it up. To add fragrance, you can sprinkle aromatic dried herbs along with the baking soda. You can also try laying fresh herbs like basil on a piece of paper and placing it in the backseat of the car. Leave your windows rolled up for a couple of hours or overnight to dry the leaves and to allow them to suck up the bad odor. A few drops of eucalypts oil on the mats can leave the interior with a sweet smell that can last for a few weeks.
I know both driving practices aren't good for the brakes, but my curious mind just wants to know: which is more detrimental on the brakes: frequent low-speed brake application during stop-and-go city driving or heavy braking from high speeds at interstate highways?
Although low-speed city driving requires frequent brake applications because of the volume of the cars on the road and the stop-and-go traffic behavior, it is less detrimental on the brakes compared to the effects of heavy braking from high speed. The latter type of driving greatly contributes to warping of the rotors, which leads to brake judder and other braking system issues. But this doesn't mean that stop-and-go city driving is good for your brakes. Frequent brake applications even at low speeds and keeping your foot on the brake pedal still shed some service life off your pads and rotors, so if possible, avoid both driving habits.