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Common Auto Industry Myths People Still Believe

Educational  ·  April 15, 2020

Common Auto Industry Myths People Still Believe

The automotive industry has its fair share of myths even in today’s age and technology, and many still believe in them. The thing about these half-truths is that they cost you money. If you look deeper, they benefit certain sectors of the motoring industry, and the sad part is that it’s at your expense. 

Some of these myths have their origins from automakers, insurers, and other industry players, while others are misinterpretations or used to be correct but not anymore. The longer the tales linger and the more people pass them around, the truer they ring. In this article, we’re busting five widely held and shared myths in the motoring world.

Myth 1: You need to have your car repaired by an authorised dealer to keep the guarantees and warranties intact.

As a consumer, you are entitled to a guarantee that the products or services you bought will work as described and serve the purpose made known during the sale. This right is protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and applies to all consumers, including car buyers. 

So if you’re buying a new car, it comes with a guarantee that it will work as expected and be free of defects. If the vehicle fails in that promise and ends up with a defective part, you will have several remedies at your disposal. 

Depending on the severity of the car’s failure (whether major or minor), you may be entitled to a replacement, refund, or repair. A repair conducted by a registered repairer other than a particular dealership does NOT void any warranty. The ACL does not require a car owner to exclusively seek the services of a specific dealership for him or her to enjoy the protection guaranteed by law. 

Your statutory right as a consumer cannot be replaced or restricted by any warranty from the manufacturer, dealer, or a third party. What these warranties do is provide remedies that you can claim in addition to what the ACL entitles you.

It is worth noting, however, that other factors may actually void your car’s warranty. This includes misuse of your vehicle, neglect in maintaining it as shown in the logbook, altered odometer, and damage due to flood and other environmental disasters. 

Myth 2: Modifying your car or using aftermarket car parts will void your car’s warranty coverage.

A dealership cannot deny your warranty coverage outright merely because you have made some modifications or used aftermarket auto parts. The company has to prove first that the aftermarket part caused the damage to the car or was incorrectly installed, leading to failure in the car's other parts.

Myth 3: All tyres should be replaced at the same time.

There’s wisdom in replacing all tyres, and that’s to make sure that they all wear evenly, provide uniform traction, and have the same effective diameter. However, if one tyre immediately needs replacing due to a puncture or irreparable damage, there’s no need to change all four at once, especially if you're under budgetary constraints. The new tyre, though, needs to match the others in terms of brand, model, tread design, and size.

In addition, it is crucial to consider the tread depths of the other tyres. If all three are badly worn and have lost more than 2/32 of their original tread depth (typically 10/32 or 12/32 of an inch), then it would be best to replace all tyres. 

Myth 4: Change your oil every 4,800 km (3,000 miles) or three months.

That used to be true with old cars. Modern cars, and thus modern engines, require better-quality oils. Today’s vehicles mostly use full-synthetic or synthetic-blend oils which remain viscous for a long time before breaking down and requiring a change. 

Some of the most modern cars can even go as far as 24,000 km (15,000 miles); the average distance between oil changes range from 8,000-16,000 km (5,000-10,000 miles). The best thing to do would be to refer to your car’s user manual. 

Myth 5: While you're car is being serviced for an oil change, it will be more economical to have the air filter and coolant fluid replaced, too. 

Car fluids and consumable car parts and supplies wear out at different rates. We’ve mentioned above that modern engine oils have better viscous quality now and can work for up to 24,000 km.

In comparison, the frequency of replacing air filters depends on the condition of your environment. If you typically drive on dusty roads, you may need to change every 24,000 km; if not, some cars go without fitting new air filters for up to twice that distance.

On the other hand, engine coolants, need replacing after 96,000 km (60,000 miles) or longer. So the next time you take your car for an oil change, and the mechanic tells you to have the air filter and coolant fluid replaced too while they're at it, don't jump in right away. You may want to read our article about these common car consumable parts and when to replace them. 

You sure have heard these myths before and maybe remember passing them on. Well, it's not too late to unlearn some motoring beliefs and find out about the real score. You may want to update yourself about car maintenance guides, the latest events in the auto world, our car parts finder, and Australia’s most complete directory of automotive sellers, shops and professionals. Visit us now!


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