Car maintenance myths can cause big problems for inexperienced or first-time car owners.
And if you’re constantly getting a lot of car maintenance “tips” from friends or relatives, it can be hard to determine truth from fiction.
Here are five maintenance myths that you must never buy into.
CAR MAINTENANCE MYTH #1: THE OIL CHANGE CAN WAIT!
You may have heard friends or colleagues tell you, “Ai ya, oil change no need to soon one. Can wait another 1000km after the interval, still okay!”
While it is true that your car can continue to run, you must never ever put off an oil change.
Your car manufacturer has already determined the optimal oil change intervals based on driving conditions. Follow it religiously.
If not, you’re putting yourself at risk of costly engine damage down the road.
CAR MAINTENANCE MYTH #2: REDLINE YOUR ENGINE TO CLEAR CARBON!
This one is only partially true. Redlining your engine can help. But only a little bit.
Many of us who have driven to Malaysia will say that our car “feels faster” especially after redlining the engine several times.
However, if there is significant carbon buildup, especially on the intake valves, redlining the engine may not help much, especially if the layer of carbon is too thick.
This blocks air and can cause valves to “stick” instead of being able to open and close seamlessly.
At this point, it is better to send your car to a mechanic or authorised dealer and have them clean out the carbon.
Repeatedly redlining your engine only wastes fuel. And let’s be honest, you might be caught speeding, too.
CAR MAINTENANCE MYTH #3: HIGH-OCTANE FUEL THE ALWAYS THE BEST
Well, if your manual recommends RON 98, you should definitely fill up only will RON 98.
But if your owner’s manual says RON 92 or RON 95, filling up with anything more expensive is just a waste of money.
High-performance engines with higher compression ratios need high-octane fuel to maximise their outputs.
But if you’re driving a regular runabout like most Singaporeans, you don’t need high-octane petrol.
CAR MAINTENANCE MYTH #4: IT’S OKAY TO DRIVE ON BALD TYRES
If your tyres are botak like the one in the above image, you are endangering your life and that of other road users!
A bald tyre has less grip compared to a fresh one. And the shallow drainage channels mean even less grip and stopping power in wet weather.
Do not listen to anyone who insists that it’s okay “if you just drive slower”. He or she is also putting your life at risk.
CAR MAINTENANCE MYTH #5: WIPER BLADES ARE NOT IMPORTANT
On the contrary, wiper blades are very important. Your visibility in rainy weather depends on them.
The average car here in Singapore will need its wiper blades replaced annually.
How can you tell if they need replacing? Well, if you have cleaned your windscreen and wiper blades but still see smearing when you activate them, change them now!
Wiper blades don’t just get worn out by friction. They experience wear just by sitting on your windscreen, which in our weather, is always scorching hot!