There are beliefs about cars that have been handed down from generation to generation. With the power of the internet, some of these beliefs have become even more common. You’ve probably heard of these myths, and you might even believe in some of them. Here, I’ll break them down so you’ll be fooled no longer.
1. Overdrive Will Boost Your Car
You’ve probably seen this one in the movies. When the main character starts screaming for the car to go into overdrive before flying off a ramp in clouds of dust and grime. The thing is, that’s not how that little button on the gear of your car works. In the automotive world, to go into overdrive means your gear ratio goes higher than 1:1.
While you may think that it gives you the power of a Bugatti Veyron, it only means that your car’s speed can be maintained with a minimum engine effort and wear after a certain speed. It’s similar to adding another gear to your car. So if you were to go into overdrive, you would actually be maintaining your speed, or getting your engine to relax a little. Not pumping it up for overtaking. So it might sound a little silly when you exclaim that you’re going into overdrive, expecting your car to fly forward.
2. Cell Phones at Petrol Stations Will Cause Fire
We’ve always been taught to believe that even pulling out our cell phones in a petrol station will cause everything to go up in a massive ball of flame. This myth has been passed around through emails and internet articles since ago. It’s often followed with a news piece where someone gets burned by using a cell phone while refuelling. The common story is that cell phones are able to send electromagnetic waves strong enough to set the fuel vapour around petrol stations in fire. It’s become a common enough story that petrol stations in Malaysia have warning stickers that tell you to turn off your phone while refuelling.
However, the fact is there is nothing to prove that cell phones can cause a fire. There have been no detail where using a cell phone has set off a fire, as mentioned by Snopes.com. When the fire did break out at petrol stations, they were more likely to be caused by other environmental factors, including static electricity.
3. Crashing Your Car Will Cause It to Explode
In every action movie, you know what’s going to happen when you crash into something at high speeds. That’s right. Explosions. The hero slams into his accelerator, revving his car up at the target, and jumping out at the right moment. He walks away coolly from the explosion, without ever looking back. Because cool guys don’t look at explosions.
In all seriousness though, a crashing car doesn’t really explode, even when falling off a cliff. While the crash may be hard enough to fatally crush you, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t be dying in an explosion. It turns out that a car doesn’t explode easily, even after falling off a cliff and found that the car would only explode if the gas tank was crushed directly without the car body, and exposed to sparks. Cars do sometimes catch fire when there’s a spark, and leakage of fuel. But if your car’s in tip top condition when you crash, you’d only need to worry about being crushed between large chunks of metal.
4. Premium Fuel Saves Fuel
We often believe the finer things in life come with a higher price tag. In the same way, most of us believe that the more expensive the fuel, the better the quality of fuel you’ll get for your car. However, that is not the case. Unless your car specifically requires a high octane fuel to run, you’ll do just fine with your regular, lower octane fuel. Premium fuel (Ron97 in Malaysia) is more expensive because it contains a higher percentage of octane. In simple terms, it means that it can be compressed to a higher degree without self-igniting. In high performance engines, this is important as the temperature is likely to rise quickly. The higher temperatures may lead to the gas igniting in the pistons before the spark plug fires.
5. Your Car Needs A Warm Up
In Malaysia, people prefer to let their car stay idle for a while, to warm it up. However, did you even know that it’s a waste of time.
While we humans need a little time to get our engines going, the modern car doesn’t really need a warm up. Through modern fuel injections, your car is ready to go as soon as you start it up. No need to wait for it to reach an optimum temperature. In fact, you can take it out for a drive to warm it up, instead of leaving it in an inefficient, fuel consuming idle mode.
Some car myths are pretty believable, but some are just plain misleading. With the truth exposed behind these myths, you can now correct your friends when they tell you a myth about your car. Want to learn more about the world of automotives? Follow Carsome.my, where you can search for tips, facts and more on everything about cars.