Car Myths Exposed
January 10 2018, Vernon Volkswagen
A Red Car Is Not More Expensive to Insure.
True. Although a study conducted by Monash University in Australia proved that red cars are more often involved in accidents than e.g. white cars, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has confirmed that insurers don’t distinguish between the two.
Save Fuel Thanks to Golf Ball Dimples.
False. The principle of small dimples has proven effective for golf balls. Dimples on the surface reduce drag by up to 50 percent. But can the principle be applied to the car in order to save fuel? A team from the German TV channel WDR tried it out on a car and discovered that it doesn’t work. Modern vehicles are so aerodynamically optimized that the golf ball effect doesn’t help.
Friday the 13th Is Not an Unlucky Day.
True. At least for car drivers. Because the supposed bad luck isn’t reflected in the accident statistics: indeed, several studies have shown that there aren’t more accidents on Fridays that fall on the 13th of the month. But perhaps this is because everyone drives more carefully on this day.
Wide Tires Are Always Better.
False. The larger surface area of wide tires does offer better traction control, but it’s a disadvantage when it rains. As the weight of the car is distributed over the larger tire area, grip is reduced, especially on a wet road. Fortunately, thanks to today’s high-tech tires, this difference is minimal. For perfect road-holding, you should install the right tires for the right season, and always check air pressure and tread depth.
Man Invented the Wheel.
True. Even though he may have copied the forward rolling motion from the animal world. The octopus, for example, likes to roll down slopes under the sea between two coconut halves. Research is still being done on where and when the wheel was invented. Scientists estimate it was about 6,000 years ago in what is today Iraq.
Never Tighten the Wheels as Much as Possible.
True. You shouldn’t tighten the wheel nuts as much as possible, but only with the prescribed torque. The torque you need for the wheel nut is listed in the vehicle’s operating manual. Those who change their wheels themselves should get their Volkswagen dealer to check them. Also important: after driving 50 to 100 kilometers, check the nut torque again to make sure the tightness is still correct.
Arriving First Means Less Consumption.
False. Although for a second, it sounds almost logical. After all, the engine doesn’t have as much time to consume fuel. But the reality is of course quite different. If two vehicles travel the same distance, one at 120 km/h and the other at 80 km/h, the slower driver will travel much further with the same fuel. In a test with two identical Golf models, the additional consumption over a distance of 100 kilometers was 43 percent more for the car that reached the destination first. Why? Air resistance is at least three times greater at a speed of 120 km/h. And it takes extra fuel to overcome this.
Interior Cleaning Is Not Dangerous.
False. A German car driver recently found this out when he was a little too keen on cleaning inside his car. He used plenty of butane-based cleaning spray without airing out the car afterward. When he lit a cigarette a little while later, the gas-air mixture exploded. Luckily for him, he escaped with just minor burns.
This information was written for the European market. Some of the statements may not be applicable in Canada.