With the amount of used cars that have been pushed through the market, you’d think people would have figured it out by now. After all, if a car is used, it means that someone (chances are multiple people) have owned that vehicle. Therefore, consumers have collectively had plenty of experience with used vehicles. But somehow, there are some old automotive myths that just refuse to die, and have been recycled year after year. Until now. In 2016, when we have watches that can make phone calls, and 3D printing machines that are able to create anything you can think of, we have the knowledge to debunk these automotive myths.
These three automotive myths, in particular, are absolutely hilarious. I figured they would have died out years ago — guess not.
Myth #1. Overdrive Makes you Go Faster
If you’re driving a used car or truck especially, chances are you’ve seen the word “Overdrive” scrawled on the end of your tree-shifter, or posted as a little button on the dashboard. Thanks to numerous video games and inaccurate TV shows, most of us (including me when I was younger) have come to associate the word overdrive with more speed. This is highly unrealistic, and no matter how many times you see someone in a movie scream “Overdrive!” at the top of their lungs while smashing their foot into the gas pedal and pressing a gigantic glowing button with fingerless leather gloves, your vehicle is not actually going to go faster.
It doesn’t help that even dictionaries define the phrase “shifting into overdrive” as a way to start working very hard, or do something in an excited way. What then, does the overdrive button actually do? The complete opposite of what you see in the movies.
It actually means that a gear ratio is higher than 1:1, so that after a certain speed is reached, this speed can be maintained with a minimum amount of effort and wear.
No, you aren’t kicking your engine into a juiced-up state of performance — you’re actually giving it a mini-vacation.
Myth #2. Red Cars Cost the Most to Insure
This is one that’s extremely persistent, and you can tell some people until your blue in the face that it’s not true, but they still won’t believe you.
This can be proven false real quick. Tell me, when was the last time you were asked what color your vehicle was for an insurance quote? Never. You have to put the color of the vehicle down for registration purposes, but it has nothing to do with how much your vehicle’s insurance will cost. Most likely, this myth perpetuates because red is a popular color for sport and muscle cars, and those have high insurance premiums simply because of their capabilities and performance.
In the end, this is just an unfortunate coincidence that a conspiracy theorist read way too far into.
Myth #3. Premium Gas is Better
High performance cars, such as your Camaro, Viper, Mustang, Corvette — those all require high-octane fuel in order to prevent the engine from developing a serious knock. Hence why you should use premium fuel when gassing up these kinds of vehicles. By that logic, pumping premium fuel into your souped-up Civic isn’t going to give it a speed boost, no matter how many times you might see that in video games or movies. While it might not harm your car in any way, running regular fuel through a high performance model will cut power output and harm the engine.
While there might be more myths out there, these are three of the more common (and funny) ones that are still persisting in 2016.