Car Myths That Just Won’t Go Away
As humans we strive to attach meaning to all the things in our environment. This allows us to interact with our physical world in consistent ways so we can survive and prosper. However, funny things can occur during this process and the generation of myths is a good example. In our need to understand things, even our cars get myths attached to them and they often last well past the time when "the real facts" prove them wrong. Here are several automotive myths that refuse to die:
Big cars are safe and small cars aren't
It's funny, many parents think that their teenager will only be safe in a big SUV (with average handling and a rollover-prone high center of gravity) than a sensible economy car. They forget that the safety of today's cars are hardly a function of just mass but involve lots of safety technology like high-strength steel, energy-absorbing crumple zones and multiple airbags. The myth continues, though, and probably accounts for a sizable amount of SUV purchases every year. No wonder as a nation that we consume so much petroleum; it's all these "safer" SUVs on the roads.
Model T Fords only came in black
This is a particularly persistent myth that has been dispelled by Ford Motor Company itself many times. The myth that the Model T only came in black probably comes from the reality that almost 12 million of the 15 million total Model Ts manufactured were black. But, the Model T was produced in many different colors, including blue, red, green and grey. Oddly, many these hues were so dark they were hardly discernible from black, probably another reason the myth lives on.
Change your oil every 3,000 miles
The 3K rule dates back to when engine oils were less refined than they are now and got dirty quicker than they do now. Regular car service, like an oil change, was a necessity back then to keep a car reliable. Today, engines are better, oils are better and few manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3000 miles. Just don't ask the guys down at Jiffy Lube for their opinion.
Overdrive makes you go a lot faster
We blame this one the Hollywood cliché of "kicking into overdrive". This generally means that we are really going to haul now. Funny thing is, this is a true myth because overdrive just puts a car into a higher gear. Basically, it's just for cruising and saving gas; as the engine RPMs settle down the car's fuel economy usually increases.
Red cars cost more to insure
This is a popular one too. Why are they more expensive to insure? As the myth goes, "Because red cars are involved in more accidents!" Well, have you ever bought insurance for a car? Was there any point where they asked what color the car was when you got a quote? Insurance agents love this one and get asked about it all the time. From an insurance point of view, car color makes no difference.
Premium gas gives you more power
Wrong! Premium gas is simply less volatile than ordinary gas so it the gas of choice in high compression engines. Using it in your lower compression automobile would be just a waste of money because it has no more power than ordinary gas.
Source: Adrenaline Off-Road and Performance