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Busting auto-care myths before your final summer road trip

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 1:11 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Before you hit the road one final time this summer, make sure your vehicle is really ready. We’re busting some auto-care myths!

MYTH #1: Your oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles

NOPE! Not anymore.

“With today’s oil a lot of them are semi-synthetic oils will last 5,000 miles up to 75,000. And some of the synthetics go even longer than that,” said Brent Stegner, a manager of a AAA travel center.

He says semi-synthetic oils are now what most vehicles use and they’re designed to last longer. How do you know for sure-- what kind of oil your vehicle takes?

“It’s in the owner’s manual. And it’s often on the cap where you put the oil in the engine,” said Stegner.

MYTH #2: Car batteries last for 5 years.

“There are so many variables in a battery. The weather, whether or not you leave your phone plugged in all the time. Three to five years is what you want to look at in a battery,” said Stegner.

Stegner says whenever you bring your car for an inspection or oil change-- you should ask to have your battery checked. They are draining faster these days.

MYTH #3: Car Warranties are voided when work is done by anyone other than a dealer.

“That’s absolutely not the case. It’s against the law to do that,” said Stegner.

MYTH #4: Tires should be replaced when the tread reaches 2/32″

“If you look at that little bump right there that stretches all the way across, that’s 2/32″s. So, this tire probably has maybe 5/30 seconds.”

Virginia may allow your tires to get to 2/32″s for inspections but Stegner says, why let it get that low in the first place?

“Our suggestion is to replace them at three or four-thirty seconds. Before it gets too low or before it gets so close to the limit that you’re gonna have a problem,” said Stegner.

MYTH #5: Brake Fluid doesn’t need to be changed.

You should always change the brake fluid every couple of years. Stegner says you’ll be surprised at how well the brake pedal feels after you flush out that old brake fluid.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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