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DWYM: Debunking these dated car-maintenance tips

DWYM: Debunking dated car-maintenance ideas
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 19:30:20-04

Some common car care myths that our parents taught us -- like when to get an oil change, and when to change your tires – are no longer true with today's newer vehicles.

Consumer reporter John Matarese shows us what many people get wrong, so you don’t waste your money.

As we head out on summer vacations, most of us check over the car before we go.

But some car maintenance tips we've assumed for years turn out to be just myths.

Susan Wenger and Kathy Gordon are fans of frequent oil changes.

"I drive a Subaru Forester, and I have the oil changed every 3,000 miles," Wenger said.

Tony Edwards knows the importance of rotating the tires.

"You get the tires rotated? Every time I get the oil changed," Edwards said.

But some longtime car-care tips are no longer accurate. According to a new AAA report, "Debunking common myths about car maintenance."

#1: The 3,000-mile oil change.

"With today's newer vehicles, that is not true. You can go 5,000 to 7,000 miles," said Russ Zolnowski, who manages an AAA Auto Center.

#2: Car batteries last five years.

Not with all of today's electronics.

"They're good for 3 to 5 (years), depending on the weather," Zolnowski said.

Myth #3: You must get oil changes at the dealer or you void your warranty. Not true!

"As long as you have information and proof you have had the work done, they can't hold that against you," he said.

Myth #4: When do you need to replace tires?

One of the biggest misconceptions concerns when your tires are worn out.

Some say a lot of people still go by grandpa's suggestion to use a coin in the tread. But not anymore.

"If it's at 2/32nds, you are really starting to lose all the traction," Zolnowski said.

He says use the built-in tread wear bars and not a penny.

But remember to keep rotating them regularly.

And finally, myth number 5: that you no longer need to change brake fluid or coolant in newer cars.

You do, so you don't waste your money.