Automobiles are a massive part of North American culture. If we’re not driving car, trucks, vans, and SUVs, we’re seeing them on TV, hearing them on the radio, and checking out the newest vehicles on automotive websites. And since automobiles are such a big part of our lives, there also happen to be a lot of misinformation going around.
Here are five automotive myths that have been debunked:
While “overdrive” sounds as if it’s technology borrowed from the Star Trek Enterprise and makes your vehicle drive at lightspeed, that’s really not the case. Overdrive, essentially, puts your car into a higher gear when you’re cruising on the highway for long periods of time. Putting your vehicle into a higher gear allows your engine to work a little easier.
This isn’t a myth but it’s not exactly cut-and-dry either. The bigger the wheel the more power or energy it will take to move that wheel, especially when you’re just starting to move. Still, if a bigger wheel is rotating at the same RPMs as a smaller wheel, the bigger wheel will go faster than the smaller one. Got all that?
For a long time, this definitely was the case, but automatic vehicles have come a long way in the past 15 years. Not only are manual vehicles becoming increasingly rare, but automatic transmissions have become incredibly efficient to the point where they tend to beat manual transmissions in most fuel efficiency studies.
Believe it or not, there have been quite a few studies that compare the fuel efficiency of a car using it’s A/C to a car with its windows down in order to keep the driver and passengers cool. In the end, although it is close, Consumer Reports explains the car with the A/C saw a "slight decrease in fuel economy," but they went on to recommend using A/C regardless because “using the A/C helps keep the driver alert and more comfortable, which is safer for everyone on the road.”
For some reason, us humans connect the colour red with going fast. It’s a common belief that red vehicles are more expensive to insure, and few people argue this myth because red = fast. Well, we have good news, buy any colour vehicle you like because it won’t affect your insurance rate.
A few years ago the Globe and Mail interviewed Henry Blumenthal, vice-president and chief underwriter at TD Insurance at the time. He explained, "Most people may not know it, but the insurance industry is colour-blind. It doesn't matter if your car is blue, red, striped or chequered, your insurance rate for that make, model, and age of the vehicle will be the same.”
Do you know of any other popular automotive myths that have been debunked? Contact us and let us know, we may even share your tip in a future blog post.