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Test Your Knowledge of Car Misconceptions With This Short True or False Quiz

Do we really know all there is to know about car misconceptions? Listed below are six statements. Are they true or false? A police officer has the right to pull you over and if necessary book you for driving to slow. TRUE: If the officer believes that your slow driving is a risk to other drivers he has the right to pull you over and book you if need be. Premium fuel is better than regular fuel. FALSE: Government regulations state that all grades of fuel contain additives & detergents meant to decrease carbon deposits. It’s ok to talk on the phone while driving if I use a hands-free headset. FALSE: One fourth of all police-reported accidents are caused by driver distraction and engaging in conversation, especially on a cellphone, is the number one reason drivers are distracted. The right lane, not the middle lane is the safest lane to drive in. TRUE: The middle lane is ... read more

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Two Misconceptions That Make Getting Unstuck Harder than It Should Be

With freshly fallen snow, one sound you will almost always hear in your neighborhood is the spinning wheels of motorists trying to get unstuck from the snow. There are two basic car misconceptions that cause people to continually spin their wheels, sometimes for hours, when they’re stuck in either snow or mud. These are: If the Wheels Slip, Apply More Power The car is a magnificent piece of mechanical technology that places hundreds of horsepower at your command. Surely that raw power will get you out of your fix, right? Wrong. It won’t help much when there’s little traction between your wheel and the snow. The harder you press the accelerator, the more torque the engine applies to the wheels. More torque on the wheels means you need more traction to get the car moving, and snow simply doesn’t have enough of it. The trick is doing the opposite: apply as little power as possible. This will transmit ve ... read more

Car Misconceptions: Can You Power a Car with Water?

If you’ve had an email address for any length of time, you’ve probably deleted plenty of spam emails trying to sell you a kit that makes your car run off of water. A kit that does this means that a lot of money can be saved since water is far cheaper and more available than gasoline or diesel fuel. If what the spam emails claim is true, why hasn’t someone become a billionaire by starting a company around the concept? The idea has been around in different forms for a long time and should have shut down by now, most of the viable energy industries such as coal, oil, nuclear, and solar power. Is there a conspiracy to suppress this technology so that the power industries can force us to pay higher energy prices? No. The truth is that, yes, you can make a car (with the right engine) run off of water but you will have to supply the energy to make it happen because it won’t come from ... read more

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Three Car Misconceptions about 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 ove ... read more

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Three Dangerous Car Misconceptions about Safety

Your safety is not only affected by what you do, but also by what you believe. Making decisions and taking actions on false beliefs can cause serious injury or worse. Read the following car misconceptions about safety. Which of these do you believe in? My Air Bags Will Protect Me in Any Accident Your airbags are just one of several safety components in your car that reduce your risk of serious injury. They don’t reduce the risk to zero. They only work when using your seat-belts because they won’t restrain and keep you where you belong: sitting upright on your seat. If you’re in a small car and collide head-on with a vehicle that’s several times your weight, the air bag may protect your face but won’t do much for the rest of your body if the driver or passenger areas are heavily damaged. It’s a law of physics that when two bodies collide, the smaller body undergoes more violent velocity changes than the larger one. My Big ... read more

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Four Misconceptions About Saving Money on Gas

The most important tip you can learn about gas savings is this: don’t be too quick about believing every tip you hear or read. The odds are good that some of them are myths which will either do nothing, waste your time, or make your gas mileage worse. Over the long term, these myths are among the most costly of car misconceptions because of the enormous amount of gasoline we use during our lifetimes. Warming Your Car Up Before Driving Saves Gas Cars today use fuel-injection which maintain the proper fuel to air ratio regardless of the engine’s temperature. This means you can start driving almost immediately. Most manufacturers recommend waiting 30 seconds and then driving gently at first. Engines do run more efficiently after warming up, but driving your car will warm the engine faster than idling in the driveway. Buy Gas during the Coolest Time of the Day The idea behind this tip is that gas is denser at lower t ... read more

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Don’t Fall for These 3 Common Winter Driving Misconceptions

Fall just started and, technically, it lasts 3 months. But everyone on the East Coast knows that it will be a lot less time than that before our difficult winter takes over. Before it starts, let’s clear up some common misconceptions about driving in the WinterFour-wheel drive prevents your car from slipping or skidding. Absolutely not. While cars with four-wheel drive help you maximize traction by shifting power, when it’s time to stop the car in slippery conditions, they don’t have much more stopping power than cars without four-wheel drive. Brakes, speed, tires and road conditions are the most important factors in determining if a car slips or skids, not four-wheel drive. If you start skidding, you should pump the brakes. This doesn’t apply in the case of cars with an ABS braking system, which is most cars on the road. ABS automates the action that drivers had to take in the past if they started skidding. If you hav ... read more

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Crazy Car Fact or Urban Legend? Separating the Truths From the Myths

It’s tough to tell, sometimes, what’s true and what’s not when it comes to car misconceptions. Here are some crazy car facts that are actually true. The Lamborghini Veneno (Italian for “venom”) sells at 4.5 million U.S. dollars, it is the most expensive car ever made. It can accelerate to 62 mph in 2.9 sec and produce a top speed of 220.5 mph. Car thieves are more likely to steal the 1994 Honda Accord, the 1995 Honda Civic and the 1991 Toyota Camry more than any other vehicle ever made. They are not only easy to steal, but the parts sold separately are worth more than the car itself. The first windshield wipers were hand-operated. South Africa’s carjacking rate is 18x higher than the U.S. Their were only 4 automobiles registered in the United States in 1895. The first speeding ticket wasn’t issued until 1902. Cars are no stranger to urban legend, of course, these are simply that, Urban Legends. Greedy gas s ... read more

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Car Misconceptions about Accident Survival That Cost Lives

Between opinions freely shared on the Internet and Hollywood, there is no shortage of car misconceptions out there that amaze, confuse, and ultimately cause people to make bad decisions. Here are three of them: Over Drive Gives You a Surge of Speed The phrase “over drive” causes confusion among many people. It sounds like something that ought to give your car an extra burst of speed. When you’re passing a car on a highway and it looks like you won’t quite make it before the passing lane ends, rumor has it that you should kick your car into over drive to shoot by. How this myth got started isn’t clear but the truth is that over drive is just a high gear ratio designed to improve gas mileage at a high speed. That is, it’s a gear for fuel-efficient high-speed cruising. A high gear ratio by itself doesn’t give your car extra power or acceleration. Bigger Tires Make Your Car Go Faster Our association of big wheels wit ... read more

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Three Car Theft Misconceptions That Will Leave You without a Car

Car theft usually happens when you least expect it. You may be walking to your car after a hard day at the job only to find an empty spot where you thought you left it. As you walk through the parking lot, hoping against hope that you may have parked it in another spot, the awful feeling finally sinks home: your car was stolen. Unfortunately, this all too common experience happens to many people because they weren’t prepared. They thought it couldn’t happen to them because they acted on common car misconceptions about theft that left them without a car. Here are three of them: No One Will Steal My Car Because It’s an Old Clunker There are at least two reasons why this is a myth. First, old cars are easier to steal because they lack the latest anti-theft technology of the newest cars. While it’s true that smart thieves do find ways of defeating state of the art anti-theft devices, there are fewer of them around. It’s basically a bell-shaped-c ... read more

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