4 Common Car Maintenance Myths

Everybody loves giving advice. The very act of suggesting a clever hack or narrating an anecdote that others can ‘learn’ from gives a lot of people a high. This has never been truer than with cars. All car owners would have experienced this at some time or the other – the unsolicited advice that promises better mileage or superior performance or engine longevity.

Some of these tips are indeed helpful; others were helpful at some point of time but have been rendered redundant by improvements in technology; and yet others are nothing more than urban myths. Those last ones might even sound logical when you hear them, but they are fallacies. Let’s burst some bubbles!

MYTH – PREMIUM FUEL IS BEST FOR YOUR CAR

Many a wise man has made the declaration that when it comes to fuel, the higher the octane rating, the better it is for your car. Some might even swear by this, claiming efficiency and performance improvements that can drop jaws. However, in reality, if your car doesn’t need higher octane fuel, then it’s not going to do much good and hence, makes no sense to fuel up with this type of fuel. Most everyday cars – defined as non-performance vehicles – are designed to run just fine on regular, non-premium fuel. Their powertrains are engineered to perform optimally on such fuel. As such, to extract the best mileage, performance, and longevity from your car, you would be better off consulting the owner’s manual or the sticker in the fuel filler cap to check which fuel the manufacturer recommends and roll with that.

MYTH – CHANGE THE ENGINE OIL EVERY 5000 KM

To be fair, this advice is not incorrect, it’s simply outdated!

There was a time when engine oil should ideally have been changed every 5000 km or so because back then, engine oil simply wasn’t robust enough to maintain its integrity for long. Fast forward to today and advances in materials – engineering have given us robust, longer-lasting engine oils that are good for anywhere from 10,000 km to 12,000 km. Once again, your manufacturer will tell you which engine oil to use and how frequently it should be changed. There is great wisdom in your owner’s manual; use it. Ford owners have it even simpler – they can use the FordPass™ app for real-time updates on their vehicle’s oil health and receive alerts when it needs to be changed.

MYTH – REPLACE ALL TYRES AT THE SAME TIME

If you notice that one of your tyres is either damaged or excessively worn, you should replace it. Some of you might, unfortunately, be advised that if you decide to replace one tyre, you should also toss the other three and just get a whole new set. The word ‘safety’ might play a recurring role in that conversation. This tip is yet another automotive myth with no grounding in science. Your four tyres work towards the same goal but do so exclusive of each other. Tyre 1 will do its job just fine even if Tyre 2 is not holding up so well. Such a situation might not be great for your car, but it serves to make the argument that all tyres don’t need to be changed at the same time.

And having some relevant knowledge about your vehicle’s tyres that can sometimes help you decide the course of action to undertake, never hurt anyone. Checkout the video on Ford India’s YouTube channel to know more about your car tyres and how to decipher the markings on them!

MYTH – TURN OFF THE AC FOR BETTER MILEAGE

Fuel efficiency aficionados have long hated automotive air-conditioning systems, frequently calling them out as the number one culprit behind plummeting efficiency. However, the inverse relationship between aircon usage and fuel efficiency is only conditionally true. While driving at a slow pace, such as crawling through city traffic, with the vehicle facing minimal air resistance, keeping the aircon off and rolling the windows down might indeed improve mileage. However, while driving at speed, such as when cruising on a highway, rolled-down windows will essentially convert your (non-convertible) car into a parachute, trapping air and creating a large amount of drag. The engine will have to work harder to overcome this drag and will, in the process, consume more fuel. If fuel efficiency is your goal, we can sum it up thusly: slow speed – no aircon and windows down; high speed – yes aircon and windows up.

CONCLUSION

The issue with advice is that it requires you to put faith in the giver. If you are a Ford customer and you need some advice, you should Dial-A-Ford for the most reliable, transparent, and helpful tips and tricks to get the best out of your car in terms of performance, mileage, and longevity. Dial-A-Ford also allows you to schedule services that come with Ford’s Service Price Promise.

Additionally, Ford customers can use the FordPass™ app to keep tabs on their cars. The FordPass™ app sends you alerts on oil health and other vehicle parameters, monitors and displays your car’s tyre pressures, gives you digital access to the owner’s manual, and informs you about your service history as well as the availability and cost of genuine Ford parts.

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.