1 It’s commonly accepted that oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, but most cars can travel up to 7,500 miles between oil changes under normal driving conditions. Changing oil more often can be better for an engine but it won’t be as kind to your wallet. Be sure to check the vehicle’s user manual for the recommended maintenance schedule.
2 Warming up a car before driving is outdated advice. Driving the car is the fastest way to warm an engine up and the sooner it warms up, the better it performs.
3 Jump-starting a car battery doesn’t charge it up right away; it can take hours to give it a full charge, especially in cold temperatures.
4 Spare tires are short-term solutions; they aren’t meant to be used over long distances. Use a spare to get the vehicle to a shop where it can be replaced.
5 Speaking of tires, a puncture isn’t the end of the world. Most reputable tire shops will repair leaks and punctures rather than selling you a new set of tires.
6 Is premium gas better than regular? Most cars now have sensors to prevent misfires or mistimings that were common in vintage vehicles and lower-quality gas. However, it is still good practice to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
7 A warranty is not voided if maintenance is done outside a dealership. Not performing routine maintenance, however, will.
8 A highly debated maintenance issue is when to conduct a transmission flush. Mechanics say transmission fluids need to be changed every 50,000 miles but some manufacturers say that can be done every 100,000 or even 150,000 miles. When in doubt, consult the owner’s manual.
9 Just because you can’t see, feel or hear a problem with your car doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Many issues can go undetected by the driver, so it’s best to play it safe and take it to a mechanic for inspection.
10 Many drivers mistake the maximum PSI, which is listed on a tire’s sidewall, for the recommended PSI, which is actually listed on the doorjamb sticker and in the owner’s manual.
11 Opening your windows instead of using your air conditioner doesn’t necessarily save gas. Open windows create wind resistance, which forces a car to work harder. Studies have shown that open windows use the same amount of gas as running the air conditioner.
12 Replacing coolant fluid and air filters are common suggestions during an oil change. But they aren’t related to engine oil and don’t require regular replacement. See the owner’s manual for recommended replacement timing.