Rock Talk

Winter Car Myths Exposed!

Last updated on February 12, 2019 at 03:16 pm

Did you hear that? Myths. Hearsay. Rumors. Lurking right around the corner, just out of earshot, usually following a sentence like, “You know what I just read?” or “A friend told me…” The winter hasn’t put a freeze on these conversation starters either; they’re sneaking into your water cooler talk and joining you for dinner. This past Thanksgiving, do you remember hearing Aunt Ruth yell, “Don’t eat too much turkey, it’ll make you fall asleep!”?

The charm of the mythology that we create for ourselves is that it sounds practical. These myths can even make Aunt Ruth sound logical! Soon enough you’re telling your friends about your “Tryptophan Coma.

This winter, it’s time you protect yourself— your car— tabloid “facts.” Maybe it’s time to let Plymouth Rock do the fact checking for you.

Here are some common myths we’d like to dispel before you drive away:

  • Oil Is Thicker Than Water – Drivers like to be pampered, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, our cars don’t actually need to be. The truth about the modern vehicle is that it doesn’t need to be warmed up. Vehicles only need a few seconds, think less than 10, to mix the oil in their tanks, and after that their engines actually warm quicker in drive.
  • Idle Vans Are The Winter’s Playthings – Leaving your car in idle will not protect your engine life, nor will it save you on gas. Instead you’re just leaving your car running outside of your local coffee shop…which could be a liability, and you might even be endangering those around you.
  • Deflate That Tired Idea – Letting the air out of your tires may give you more traction in the snow. However, it’s not making that great of a difference, and it’s certainly not going to help driving in slush or rain. So unless you’re completely out of options and know what you’re doing, deflating your tires might not be the best idea. Even then, if it’s traction you’re looking for, try using your car’s floor mats and just buy new mats when you get home safe!
  • More Is NOT Always The Merrier – This might be one of the biggest myths. Four-wheel drive can help you start moving on snow covered ground better than 2-wheeled drive vehicles can, but four-wheel drive doesn’t mean four-wheel stopping power. In fact, there is no added benefit from 4wd when braking or cornering. Hubris in unsafe driving conditions can be more dangerous than the snow itself.

This winter, try not to listen to advice you hear at the Christmas party or from Aunt Ruth. In fact, if you’re going to listen to any advice, we hope it’s this: the next time it snows or road conditions are less than ideal, simply stay inside! Happy holidays!

What myths have you heard? Which ones have you been retelling?

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One thought on “Winter Car Myths Exposed!

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