Car-care fact vs. fiction

Hello all you folks out in Internet land. Welcome to everyone’s favorite game show: “Rubbish or Reality?” This is the no-stakes competition in which you win zero prizes, but gain valuable automotive knowledge that could save you big bucks or help you avoid an accident or other mishap.

“Rubbish or Reality?” is brought to you by your fine friends at Auto Lab, providers of automotive excellence to Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Mundelein, Gurnee and Lake Bluff for two generations.

You remember how to play, right? We offer up a statement and you tell us whether it’s “Rubbish” or… “Reality.”

But first: When’s the last time you had your oil changed? Don’t delay getting this inexpensive, but essential, car-care item conducted, make an appointment with your Auto Lab automotive-service experts today. There will be a quiz on this one coming up.

Let’s get started. (CUE APPLAUSE.)

Statement: Warming up your car each and every morning is absolutely essential. In fact, one should let it sit idling and slurping gas for a good 10 minutes. Plus, if a car is parked for more than four hours, it should be warmed up for a five-minute minimum.
Response: Rubbish! That statement contains about as much baloney as a butcher shop’s case. Back in the day (and we mean the day when TVs were black-and-white), a car might’ve needed to sit idling for a bit on a cold winter morning. No more. Start ‘er up, sit for about 30 seconds to let oil circulate through the engine and go. Anything longer is just wasting gas.

Statement: Premium gas (fuel rated at 93 octane or more) will really perk up your performance. Even if the manufacturer recommends only 87 octane for your car, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on premium. You’ll really notice the difference.

Response: Malarkey! About the only difference you’ll notice is less money in your bank account. Certain vehicles, sports cars among them, require a premium fuel to avoid “knock.” But if the manufacturer doesn’t recommend premium, it’s simply throwing away money to put higher-octane fuel in your tank. It won’t boost power.

Statement: Open windows waste fuel.
Response: Bunk! The theory behind this one sounds credible enough: Rolling down windows to enjoy a good gust at 55 mph and faster impedes impacts a vehicle’s aerodynamics. The problem? Tests don’t support the theory.

Statement: A yellow seashell or red Pegasus on a gas-station sign guarantees top-quality fuel. Anything else is substandard and a risky proposition for your car’s components.
Response: Poppycock! Major players such as Shell, Mobil and BP don’t enjoy a monopoly on good gas. That’s just fuel fiction. The lowdown: Independent filling stations buy petroleum from name-brand oil companies, so their fuel doesn’t differ from that sold by their more expensive competitors. The biggies might put engine-cleaning additives in their gas, but experts say their absence won’t impact most cars.

Thanks for playing “Rubbish or Reality?” We hope you learned a thing or two about motor myths. Heard something about cars lately and not sure whether it’s a whopper or wisdom? Contact us at Auto Lab and we’ll run it through our reality checker.

See you next time.

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