List of car myths and false claims

Apparently the one about how newer car engines are made out of softer metal and don’t last as long as older engines from the 60s or 70s is still going around after decades. A look at any odometer will tell you this isn’t true.

The I survived a high speed crash tails are still being told. The people don’t understand that if they’re going 80 MPH and hit a parked car of equal weight, that it’s actually the equivalent to hitting a wall at 40 MPH. The same applies to two cars hitting head on. The closing speed may be 80 MPH, but if the cars are equal, then it’s the same as 40 MPH in to a wall.

I mentioned the 5 MPH no damage bumpers on an older car, and a mechanic said actually up to 30 MPH without damage!

Using premium gasoline in a vehicle that is not designed to use it will improve performance. This is false!

Using sythetic oil can ruin your engine! This is mostly false! But there is a little truth to it. Putting a high detergent synthetic oil in an abused sludged up engine can clean it out too quickly and clog the oil filter.

Newer cars use newer technology paint so you don’t have to worry about them rusting out in the salt anymore! That may have been true in the 90s when compared to the 70s. What about a 2005 F-150 that is getting an after market weld on frame repair due to rust in 2019?

The myth that drunk drivers are more likely to survive crashes while killing the other driver because their body is more relaxed needs to be refuted! Aside from drunk drivers often driving trucks and SUVs, the real reason is that when the drunk enters the wrong lane and hits someone head on, the not at fault driver usually tries to steer away from the at fault driver. This results in the non at fault vehicle being hit at a bit of an angle, somewhat like a small overlap crash, which is much more severe. The driver is thrown to the left and will often pass by the airbag on the left. The NHTSA does an oblique crash test to simulate this kind of crash. If they would steer in to the drunk then the drunk would lose their advantage.

If you stop somewhere for a minute you should leave your engine running, because if you restart your engine your car will use more fuel than it would have used just running for a minute after it restarts. I don’t think this is even true below 5 seconds.

Does anyone have any more to share? I may edit them in to this list if I think they’re true or you can convince me.

We are having enough trouble anyway. I think it would be wise to not bring up more issues that some may not agree with.


You can’t do it unless the number is 2! … lol …


I am with Mr. Bing @TheWonderful90s . It might be best if you stop trying to stir things up with your theories that cause rock throwing discusions .


You have already tried to bait me in to talking about forbidden topics and use personal attacks on the forum to try to get me banned. Fortunately the moderator of the forum is following the rules that allow automotive discussions to take place, even if a group of about 5 members find the topic matter controversial and resort to any means to try to suppress it. It didn’t work so just give it up.

Car makers are cheating by designing cars to the to do well on specific crash tests which makes them worse in some other kinds of real world crashes and I’m going to stop talking about it just because the five of you don’t like it.

Well just to be clear I haven’t flagged anyone, any discussion, or tried to block anyone. I do respond though on comments of obvious bias and misinformation, for which I am quickly flagged and removed. I don’t do it for the folks whose mind will not be moved, but for the people that may come here and may never hear the other side. I’m a firm believer in the constitution and the wisdom of the framers but can’t be quiet when these subjects come up. I just think there is no point in discussing these issues here.

I liked the first oil change at 500 miles to get the remaining metal shavings out of the oil pan.
There was a corvette that the owner died in during an accident. It was fixed but could not be sold because they couldn’t get the smell out. That was a good one. If it was a Gremlin they would have crushed it.
Mazdas have rotary engines so don’t buy one.
In Latin, Saturn means ugly Olds.

That corpse Corvette story has been a myth for a long, long time. The Mythbusters TV show actually sort of debunked it… w dead pigs in the car stored in a Conex. They sold the car, sans interior and cleaned afterwards.

Remember the surplus WW2 Jeeps still in the crate for $100 story?

I thought it would be fun to have one of those jeeps. Must have been about 1960, popular mechanics had an ad for brand new Clinton small go cart engines for $5. I thought it was a fake and couldn’t risk the money. My friend though ordered one and dang if it wasn’t true. Mounted it on his mini bike and ran well. No muffler though. Trust but verify I guess.

Those surplus Jeep ads were in Popular Science magazines for $50 or $100 well into the '60s.

When I was in college during the '60s,that myth had morphed into WW II surplus Harley-Davidsons for $50.

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Maybe they were utterly worn out and ready for the crusher.
Back in the late '60s my brother in the Navy and a few friends would pitch in and buy a $50 car for a weekend trip from Norfolk VA to Wash DC.
Was cheaper than bus tickets.
Sometimes they’d make the whole round trip and re-sell the car; sometimes not.
Once it made it a couple miles outside of Norfolk.
They let it coast into a ditch, ripped off the temp tags, and walked back to base.

Here is one that is loved by drunks with alcoholic attitudes everywhere! “I drive better after I have had a few”


Here is another one. “Disc brakes are superior to drum brakes in every single aspect”

While I will now concede that disc brakes are superior in most situations (the number is debatable which we have done here, in interest of not beating a dead horse I will say most), Drum brakes are superior in certain ways.

If this is the best course of action we best just stay in our houses or trailers and shut off the TV, computer and telephone.

Things we may not like or disagree with are everywhere, everyplace and you will never agree with anyone 100%.

Often times conflicting views will promote interesting discussions and both sides will come out of it with more knowledge and appreciation of others viewpoints. I believe we have proven this right here on this forum.

Just because we disagree with someone doesn’t mean we don’t like them or respect them. There are people I know who are on the opposite spectrum politically, and they would still give me the shirt off their backs, and I would do the same.


Superior in initial cost and also in maintenance cost because there is no need to machine the disks on disk brakes?

Lets no forget the ‘Nova means “No Go” in Spanish and that’s why the Nova wasn’t popular in Mexico’ myth.

Here you go again with your alcoholic attitude :roll_eyes:


Drum brakes also need to be machined on the brake lathes

And they have a lot of moving parts

I generally don’t consider them superior to disc brakes


Drum brakes typically do a better job functioning as a parking brake which is why some cars still use rear drum brakes, as well as economics as drum brakes are cheaper.

The cars with 4 wheel disc brakes sometimes use a drum in hat parking brake so basically a little mini drum brake inside the rear rotor.

Drum brakes have superior friction area compared to disc brakes and are perfectly serviceable, after all when you need to stop an 80k lb rig like a semi tractor trailer you typically will find drum brakes!

If drum brakes are so great why did they quit using them on front wheels of cars? Well because drum brames are subject to fade when they get hot, and thry dont dissipate heat as well as disc brakes. Not a problem in semi trucks as they are operated by professional trained drivers and also have engine braking via “jake brake” that a car can only dream about.

When you have the typical driver roaring thier engine from stop light to stoplight and hammering on the brakes, drum brakes can quickly get too hot.