I was speaking with a friend of mine and we got into talking about cars and doing research before a new (to us) car is bought, we both agreed that was must. And she add, "Consumer reports is my bible, I don't do anything until I've checked it out with them." I would have to agree. But not only for purchasing but also for general tips as well.
Recently I got updated on car care myths vs reality from them and I learned something new as well. I won't go over what they said about them, you can read that, but I did check to make sure I was doing things correct.
I live with someone who subscribes to this idea and the manuals that I have for the cars say every 3k as well. However, I am not going freak out if the car goes 3500 miles or more before an oil change.
Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall.
I used to go by this as well until one day I needed to fill up the tire and it was too muddy to read and lo and behold there was information on the inside of the driver side door. Since then I have used that for the pressure info. Except in one case where I had gotten a bigger tire for vehicle, then I used the average between the car door info and the tire. Never had trouble with blown tires yet.
Myth: If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better.
Now I have never used the premium fuel on a car but I have dropped down to the lower grade and heard the difference from the engine and have not made that mistake again. One thing that still confuses me is that here in Colorado we have 87/89/91 octane and back in Iowa there was 87/88-90/91 and I have read that the lower octane in the higher altitude is just like the mid octane at sea level -ish, but since my car was "born and raised" here then it would still need the mid octane amount I would presume. Oh well, I will go by what the manual says.
Myth: After a jump-start, your car will soon recharge the battery.
I have never heard of this, I always figured that if the battery needed a jump start you had better get it into shop to get it checked out so it doesn't die on you again, especially in the cold months!
Myth: Let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving.
This is one that confuses me as well. What I have read is that this is useful for older cars, but at what year is that considered an 'older car' as opposed to a newer car? I have a 99 Saturn and a 95 crown vic - I don't warm up the Saturn, instead I led it glide to the first stop sign (about 200 yards) and then gently add gas I move beyond that. I rarely drive the crown vic in the winter.
Myth: A dealership must perform regular maintenance to keep your car’s factory warranty valid.
I have never bought a brand new car so I'm indifferent to this myth and as a frugal person why would I want to spend so much more on car repair or general maintenance by going to a dealership. I figure once you've found a decent shop that works well, stay there and bring your coupons.