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2 Sensible Car Misconceptions Debunked

Good old common sense. For the most part it works. It tells us that really hot things are best left untouched, that you shouldn’t jump in front of a fast car, or stepping off a cliff is a bad idea. However for more complicated things, you can’t always trust it. The reason for the technology that we see around us today is that common sense was rejected centuries ago in favor of the scientific method. The scientific method essentially says that your assertions must be tested first and be repeatable before they’re accepted. It’s the testing that matters, not common sense. In that vein, here are two car misconceptions that seem sensible on the surface but are actually false: Leaving Your Tailgate Open Improves Your Mileage This seems to make sense when you imagine air flowing across the top of your pickup and then down into the bed where it meets the vertical surface of your closed tailgate. Surely this must cause more drag when the airflo ... read more

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Car Misconceptions: The Myth of the American Made Car

Back in the 1960s, Ford, GM, and Chrysler (the big three) dominated car production in the United States. People who held manufacturing jobs with these companies were well paid, had great benefits, and lived the American dream. When the 1970s brought higher gasoline prices, small foreign-made cars became popular in this country because of their fuel efficiency. The big three lost their dominant share of the U.S. auto sales market and many American auto workers lost their jobs. Since then, there has been a lot of patriotic fervor for buying American made cars to support American jobs. Thanks to globalism, this is difficult to do because in fact, the American made car is a car-misconception, a myth. The sad fact is that buying American made today comes down to choosing a car that uses the highest percentage of American parts and labor. Is buying a Toyota Camry, buying American? Toyota is a Japanese auto maker that “makes” the Camry, a pop ... read more

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Three Car Misconceptions About Maintenance Checks

When it comes to car maintenance, three of the simplest (but important) checks are your tire pressures, oil level, and brake fluid level. Pretty simple, right? Make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure using a tire pressure gauge, check your oil dip stick and add more oil as necessary, and check your brake-fluid reservoir. Very simple and straightforward. Yet thanks to common car misconceptions, even these simplest of maintenance activities are sometimes done incorrectly, causing damage to the car’s tires and engine. Your Tire Pressure Should Be the Same as Shown on the Tire Sidewall People often inflate their tires to the pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire. However, that pressure is the tire’s maximum pressure rating. The correct pressure is given in your user’s man ... read more

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Christmas Travel Facts You Should Know

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but sometimes you have to get in your car to get there. If you’re planning on traveling around the Christmas holiday here are some figures you should keep in mind. Fact #1: 91 Percent of Holiday Travel is by Personal VehicleThat sounds like a lot of people on the roads, doesn’t it? If you’re worried about pile ups and traffic jams, though, it’s important to know that during the non-holiday periods 89 percent of travel is by personal vehicle. Fact #2: Travel Goes Up More During Thanksgiving Than Christmas Long-distance travel goes up by roughly 53 percent during the Thanksgiving holiday, but only about 23 percent during Christmas. It seems that if you have to choose, Turkey Day comes out as the winner. Fact #3: Holiday Travelers Are Younger Have you ever wondere ... read more

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3 Common Transmission Mistakes

Your vehicle depends on the transmission to run. Without it, your vehicle isn’t going to go anywhere. Sadly, vehicle owners often neglect their vehicles until something goes wrong and they have no other option. This could end up costing you far more in repairs than what it is worth. Many people have car misconceptions when it comes to their transmission. To get the most out of your transmission, you need to refrain from making one of the costly mistakes below. Neglecting to Get Your Transmission Serviced Your transmission needs proper tuning. In the same way that you go to the dentist or the doctor for a checkup, you should take your vehicle in for its checkup. Not getting your vehicle serviced properly will cause a bunch of contaminants to get into the system. Over the course of time, they will end up forming a sludge and causing major problems with your system. Continue ignoring the problem and you can expect your transmission to fail from not maintaining ... read more

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Self-Driving Car Misconceptions

It’s ten years from now and all cars are completely self driven by computers. There are no car accidents and no associated injuries or fatalities. Riding in a car has become safer than flying and even staying at home. Thanks to technology, the person riding in such a car can kick off his shoes, relax, and even take a nap until informed by the computer that he has reached his destination. The above is a condensed version of common misconceptions about cars that will be self-driven in the near future. They are the result of popular culture formed by Hollywood, science fiction, and lots of extrapolation from the capabilities of Google’s self driving car. Here are two myths that depart from the current realities of autonomous cars: Self Driving Cars Will Be Incapable of Errors The person believing that computers don’t make mistakes haven’t had much experience with a certain well-known computer operating system. While computers unerringly ( ... read more

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Car Misconceptions About Towing Services

Car misconceptions about towing services turn intelligent human beings into needless skeptics. The most common misconceptions are: Towing companies are money hungry scammers. This misconception stems from vehicles parking on illegal property. Company owners call tow services to impound the car. You must pay a fee before you receive the car. Towing because of breaking the law vs. towing due to vehicle damage are two different things. Don’t get this confused. Towing services are part of emergency roadside assistance. Those prices are reasonable versus paying because you broke the law. Tow truck drivers cannot break into your car just to tow it. The tow representative can enter your car. The tow representative cannot damage the vehicle. In conclusion, the rep can enter your car if it’s necessary to tow the vehicle. Towing companies aren’t open at night, so I have no choice but to wait until tom ... read more

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Electric Car Misconceptions That Don’t Hold

Many new technologies get off to a modest start when compared to the current status quo. For example, the first horseless carriages performed rather modestly compared to horses. Over time, a new technology can improve to the point where it becomes a viable competitor with and sometimes preferable to the more established technology. However, the public’s perception often fails to keep pace with this improvement. When this happens as in the case with electric cars, the old perceptions become nothing more than car misconceptions. Here are three of them: Electric Cars Can’t Compete with Gas Cars on Acceleration and Speed Electric motors give you an almost instant torque the moment you apply electrical power to them. The bigger the motor, the larger that instant torque becomes. Most electric cars on the market have decent sized motors (many have one for each wheel). Because gas-powered motors are slower at building up torque, electric cars can ou ... read more

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Road Rage, Long Trips, and Cell Phones

What do road rage, long road trips, and cell phone conversations have in common? Besides the fact that many people have done all of them, sometimes all at once, the answer is that a surprising number of people have misconceptions about each one of them. While these car misconceptions seem plausible on the surface, the law, statistics, and cognitive science say otherwise. Here are the misconceptions: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Are the Same Thing Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, the law sees them as two different things. One will get you fines and higher car insurance premiums, while the other can land you in jail. Aggressive driving is a series of traffic offenses that endanger the driver as well as others on the road. The person engaged in aggressive driving does it for reasons other than threatening another motorist. He may tail gate out of habit or as a way to indicate that he’d like you to speed up or move over ... read more

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Is Front Wheel Drive Enough for Winter Driving?

The temperatures are quickly dropping and many parts of the country will experience a white Christmas. Here in Delaware we can experience some icy road conditions in the winter, but how many people do you know that take the time to switch to winter tires for the season? When it comes to winter driving, there are many car misconceptions that can impact your safety. Many drivers think that as long as they have a front wheel drive vehicle they’ll weather the winter driving conditions just fine. Drivers with all-wheel drive may have even more confidence when it comes to their ability to manage the snow and ice. Certainly these features help, and anti-lock breaks are really helpful as well, but the safest way to navigate winter driving utilizes these features as well as winter tires. Winter tires feature specialized tread that grips the road better, and a recent test conducted by Automobile Magazine showed ... read more

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