Red car at gas pump

We reveal the truth behind 5 more driving myths

29th Feb, 2024

We’ve talked before about driving myths before here at Scrap Car Network, so if you’ve read our previous post, you may already be up to speed on some of the most common ones! The thing is that driving is such a widespread activity, there tends to be no shortage of hot nonsense floating around.

Driving myths can be at best unhelpful, and at worst they can pose a risk to your safety. Most often fall somewhere in between, potentially putting your car in danger of damage – possibly even to the extent that you decide: I need to scrap my car.

So to save you from that, this week on the blog at Scrap Car Network, we’re taking a quick look at five more prevalent driving myths – and if there’s any truth behind them!

Myth: my car will run better on premium fuel

Premium is right there in the name, so it’s easy to see why so many people think that premium fuel will enhance their car’s performance and fuel efficiency. However, for the majority of vehicles on the road, this is simply not the case. Premium fuel typically boasts a higher octane rating, and while that’s beneficial for high-performance or turbocharged engines (it helps prevent knocking or pinging), it doesn’t provide those same benefits to the vast majority of vehicles.

Modern engines are engineered to run efficiently on regular unleaded fuel, and using premium alternatives won’t notably improve performance or fuel economy. And since premium fuel is usually sold at a much higher price than regular unleaded, for the majority of drivers, it’s mostly just going to be a waste of money.

Myth: it’s better to refuel my car in the morning

Some drivers swear by refuelling their cars in the morning – the idea is that cooler temperatures result in denser fuel, offering better value for money. However, again, that’s not true. Fuel is stored underground in tanks that maintain a relatively stable temperature regardless of the time of day. That means whether you refuel in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you’re still drawing from the same quality fuel.

Now, while outdoor temperature might slightly affect fuel density, the difference is slight, and it’s not going to significantly impact your car’s performance or fuel efficiency. The price of fuel is much more strongly influenced by other factors – such as your choice of refuelling station, for example.

Myth: cars need to be warmed up when first starting them on cold mornings

This one is not so much a myth as it is an outdated truth. In decades past, it was once common practice for drivers to let their vehicles idle and warm up before driving, particularly in colder weather. However, with advancements in engine technology, this practice is now largely unnecessary – and what’s more, it’s potentially detrimental to your vehicle and the environment.

Modern engines warm up quickly and efficiently while driving, which means that idling your car not only wastes fuel, but also leads to increased emissions and engine wear. The most efficient way to warm up your car is to drive it gently for the first few minutes, allowing the engine to reach its optimal operating temperature without unnecessary idling. To put it bluntly, as long as you don’t start gunning the engine right out of the gate, you should be just fine.

Myth: dish soap is an easy way to keep your car clean

Using dish soap to wash your car might seem like a frugal choice, but honestly, it can end up causing damage that’s far more expensive to fix. Dish soap is formulated to cut through grease and grime on dishes, and it does perfectly well at that job – but that makes it far too abrasive for your car’s paint and finish.

Dish soap can strip away wax and protective coatings, leaving your car vulnerable to damage from the elements. Additionally, it may cause the paint to fade or become dull over time. Instead, it’s better to go for a PH-balanced car wash shampoo that’s specifically designed for automotive use. These products are gentler on your car’s finish and will help maintain its shine and integrity.

Myth: red or yellow cars are more expensive to insure

There are a lot of good reasons why colours like black, grey and white all tend to be the go-to choices for UK drivers. However, contrary to popular belief, the colour of your car does not directly influence your insurance premiums. The idea is that red and yellow tends to be seen as more energetic and aggressive colours, and that this can supposedly translate into the behaviours of the people driving them. Or rather, outside perception of those behaviours.

We won’t get too deeply into the many different layers of it though, largely because it’s not true to start with. Insurance companies determine premiums based on factors such as the make and model of the car, its age, engine size, value, safety features, and the driver’s history and location. Colour doesn’t factor into that. While certain car colours may be more popular or have different resale values, these factors do not directly affect insurance costs.

Happily, there are no such prevalent myths when it comes to scrapping your car – so you can trust us when we say we can get you the very best price, right here at Scrap Car Network! All you need to do is enter a few details into our homepage, and we’ll provide you with an instant online quote! Curious to see how much your car is worth?

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