Common Myths About Car Maintenance Debunked


Car maintenance is a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership, but it’s often shrouded in myths and misconceptions. In this article, we aim to debunk some of the most common myths about car maintenance, providing clarity and accurate information.

  1. Myth: Engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles.

Reality – Modern vehicles and high quality oils often allow for longer intervals between oil changes. Your owner’s manual will have a recommended schedule that you should follow as closely as possible.

  1. Myth: Premium gasoline boosts performance in all vehicles.

Reality – Unless your vehicle is specifically designed for premium gas, using it won’t enhance performance or efficiency. It will just cost you more money.

  1. Myth – Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire sidewall.

Reality – The correct tire pressure is usually found on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual, not on the side of the tire.

  1. Myth – You should warm up your car for several minutes before driving.

Reality – Modern engines don’t require extended idle time to warm up. A few seconds to a minute is usually sufficient. However, in very cold weather, it’s a good idea to drive slowly and carefully for the first few miles.

  1. Myth – Washing your car with dish soap is fine.

Reality – Dish soap can strip away the protective wax coating on your car. It’s a better idea to use a car specific wash product instead.

  1. Myth – If your brake fluid is low, just top it up.

Reality – Low brake fluid can indicate a leak or worn brake pads. It’s important to have the brake system checked by a professional rather than just adding more fluid.

  1. Myth – After a jump start, a short drive will fully recharge your battery.

Reality –  It often takes a much longer drive to fully recharge your battery, and sometimes a battery charger will be required.

  1. Myth – All mechanics are the same.

Reality – Experience, certifications, and expertise vary greatly. Choose a mechanic with good reviews and relevant credentials.

  1. Myth – Coolant doesn’t need to be changed.

Reality – Overtime, coolant loses its effectiveness and should be replaced according to the schedule in your owner’s manual.

  1. Myth – Air conditioning only affects comfort, not performance.

Reality – Using the A/C can affect your fuel efficiency and engine load, especially in smaller engines.

  1. Myth – You can easily diagnose car problems yourself.

Reality – Modern vehicles are complex. While some issues are apparent, many require diagnostic tools and professional expertise.

  1. Myth – Flush all fluids during every maintenance session.

Reality –  There are many fluids in your car and each one has a different lifespan. To have a clear understanding of when they should be replaced, check your owner’s manual.

  1. Myth – You don’t need to change the fuel filter.

Reality – A clogged fuel filter can lead to reduced fuel efficiency and engine performance. It should be replaced as recommended in your owner’s manual.

  1. Myth – Manual transmission don’t need as much maintenance as automatics.

Reality – While very different, both types of transmissions require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and performance.

  1. Myth – All aftermarket car parts will void your car’s warranty.

Reality – In many cases, aftermarket parts won’t void your warranty, but it’s important to confirm with your vehicle’s manufacturer before using them.

  1. Myth – Car batteries last for five years

Reality – The lifespan of the average battery varies between three to five years, influenced by driving habits and climate. It’s recommended to get your battery tested as it approaches the three-year mark.


These debunked myths highlight the importance of following the manufacturer’s guidelines in all issues related to your car. By staying informed and being proactive with your car care, you can save time, money, and unnecessary stress.

Who To Call?

For over 25 years, Tire Pirates in Calgary has provided top-quality tire and auto repair services at two locations in Calgary: Foothills and Chinook.  With a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, our skilled technicians offer a wide range of services including oil changes, tire installation, brake service, alignments, and many other automotive services including repairs. Our tire catalog covers all driving conditions and vehicle types, including construction, industrial, and agricultural equipment. We focus on delivering quick, efficient service, ensuring customer satisfaction and the best value for your money. Schedule your appointment now!