Watch out for these automotive myths

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) -- While we've said it before, we can never stress enough the importance of vehicle maintenance.

This especially applies to preventive maintenance and how it should be done on a regular basis. The boom in vehicle repair shops, along with an overload of data on the Internet, allows even not-so-car-savvy individuals to perform simple yet much-needed checks.

Yet this information overload can sometimes cause problems. That's because not everything you read about vehicle maintenance is true. 

Just like anything out there, myths and urban legends tend to surface and cloud our judgment. So which information is considered as automotive mythology, you ask?

One common misconception is on oil changes, specifically the need to change oil every 5,000 kilometers. Sure, this may have been true in the olden days when this was the standard. 

Nowadays, however, modern engines and motor oils are designed to last longer and have longer oil change intervals. Some manufacturers even recommend that you change oil every 10,000 kilometers. Check your owner's manual and service booklet to see which one applies to your vehicle.

When it comes to tire maintenance, some have said one should inflate the tires using the tire pressure listed on the tire's sidewall. This is not exactly true, as this figure is the maximum amount of air the tire can take. In short, this would cause your tires to be overinflated. 

Rather, use the tire pressure rating listed on the driver's side door jam and/or inside of the fuel filler door. This is the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure.

Still on the subject of tires, there is this school of thought that says filling your tires with pure nitrogen will save you money by improving gas mileage and increasing tire longevity. The truth is that there isn't enough evidence to prove this. 

Your best bet would be to simply fill up with pressurized air as 80 percent of it is already made up of nitrogen. It's cheaper and easier to source.

And probably the most common myth we've heard is that one should warm up one's vehicle before driving off. Sure, if you use an older vehicle with older tech under the hood. 

Modern cars, however, tend to warm up faster while on the move. So yes, it's okay to drive off slowly upon starting a cold engine. Of course, you should still take it easy, not revving your engine. Just drive in a manner that will allow the oil to circulate properly and the engine to reach optimum operating temperature and efficiency.

So there you have it. Just a few tips to keep you well informed and hopefully, not fall for those automotive urban legends.

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