Maneuvering through motoring myths
humans are a clever and resourceful lot, adept at mastering
all sorts of complex technologies, from burning CDs to programming
TiVo to downloading rock anthems that ring from our cell phones.
But we don't know Jack about cars.
What's worse, what we do know about
them is largely based on hearsay, bad advice, wishful thinking
and outright nonsense passed down from equally clueless elders,
well-meaning cohorts, and some guy named Vern who once pulled
our Civic out of a snow bank in Dubuque.
technology pulls farther ahead of our capacity to keep
up, we nonmechanics tend to rely more on the totemic power
of car myths to trim our vehicular costs. We look to these
familiar truisms to deliver us from motoring misfortune or
provide some diagnosis, however daffy, when faced with a mechanic's
To separate car fact from fiction, Bankrate.com
enlisted the help of two car experts -- national auto writer
Paul Duchene, who's based in Portland, Ore., and Gary Martin,
owner of Martin Motorsports in Alexandria, Va. -- to give
us the lowdown on 10 common car tales that have many miles
on them. Some turned out to be patently false, others quite
accurate and a couple … well, even our casehardened gearheads
couldn't quite agree on fact or fiction.
Buckle up as we set out to separate motoring
myths from maxims:
Jay MacDonald is a contributing
editor based in Mississippi.
Illustrations by Brandy Kesl.