Common Car Care Myths and Misconceptions (Part Two)


Diagnosing faults on VW GolfIn the first entry of this series, we looked at fallacies regarding engine oil changes, screenwash solutions and more, in the process putting to bed some of the most repeated ‘facts’ that cause mechanics to pull their hair out.

Not content with just one piece covering misgivings about car care, we’re back again with more commonly held beliefs drivers hold that are not necessarily true.

Without further delay, here are more common car care facts that are actually false.

New tyres must always be fitted to the front of your car

This is a relic from the days when it was recommended to rotate your tyres for even wear. This is no longer industry standard or even considered good practice. Most cars have different tyre pressure recommendations for front and rear tyres, leading to different rates of wear. With this in mind, rotating tyres from the rear of the vehicle to the front is potentially dangerous.

No tyre manufacturer recommends rotation. All DO recommend that the ‘best’ tyres on the car should always be placed on the rear axle. This will give better grip in corners as well as better control in emergency braking situations and in wet conditions.

This means that if you have one tyre replaced, it should be fitted on the rear of the vehicle with the tyre with the deepest tread paired with it.

Of course, if the front and rear tyres of your car are intended to be different sizes by the manufacturer, follow the instructions in the car’s manual.

A cracked tyre needs replacing immediately

Tyres are surprisingly complex feats of engineering that incorporate layers of fabric, metal and rubber, each working to retain the tyre’s shape and ensure the maximum amount of grip possible, provided you have inflated them to the correct PSI, of course.

Most manufacturers give their tyres an average lifespan of ten years, although this fluctuates depending on the amount of usage they get, the driving style of the car’s owner (aggressive driving with a lot of sharp braking will inevitably lead to worn tyres quicker than a more relaxed approach) and where the vehicle is parked.

Cracks in tyreRubber is a perishable material, so over time it will dry out and start to crack. This is a fact. Unfortunately, unscrupulous garages often identify tiny hairline cracks in tyres as needing urgent replacement.

If you can see fabric or metal through the cracks in your car’s tyres, then, yes- get it to a garage sharpish and get some road-legal tyres put on before you endanger yourself (and everyone else on the road) any longer.

If you have a number of tiny cracks in the wall of one your tyres, keep an eye on it and don’t go entering any endurance races unless you have a set of spares, but it should be fine until the tread wears down.

Cars steadily lose fuel efficiency as they age

Not if you take good care of them, have them serviced regularly and drive sensibly. With the recommended tyre pressure for the load you are carrying.

Yes, wear on the engine is a factor; valves and pistons will weaken with age, but regular maintenance will lessen that effect.

If you are slapdash with the care of your vehicle or decide to miss giving it a service this year to save some cash, then the chances are the fuel efficiency will decrease, due to the extra wear and tear you will inevitably put it through.

Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you.

The dealership you bought your car must do all repairs while under warranty

Before 2003, car owners risked voiding their warranty if they did not take their car to a dealership-approved (or owned) garage for repairs and servicing.

Since 2003, European Union ordered Block Exemption Regulations mean that drivers with vehicles that are under warranty can have work done at any regulated garage or workshop without the fear of effecting their warranty.

Do you have a feeling your dealership-approved garage is overcharging? Now you can shop around for a cheaper quote without fear of repercussions.

Want to learn more about what Block Exemption Regulations mean? Click here.

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