Myths people still believe about cars

My thesaurus defines a myth as a well known story which was made up in the past to explain certain events or occurrences. Key word here is: Made up. Someone just woke up one morning and blatantly made it up. It is impossible to trace where these ideas originated. What we know is, in most cases, they do not make sense, and should be dispatched into a trash can or fed to the dog. Read on. You might discover a few twists.

Warm your engine in the morningThis one has been done so much I imagine it is rolling its eyes at me right now. Frankly, the reason I am adding it to the list is because it still splits opinion right down the middle.

There are hard cold facts against this myth rolled in science and served with a side of aanced physics, yet many people still swear by it. There is a very good reason for that. The facts do not apply to all cars.Truth: Vincent Musaakiriza, a mechanic at Wineman’s Garage says back in the day, fuel was burnt to propel the car and was mixed with air by a carburetor. It was simple and cheap, but unreliable and often got confused by the prevailing weather conditions. Manufacturers now use an electronic fuel injecting system that is controlled by an onboard computer.

Now this is very important. Even though car manufacturers have deemed them obsolete, there are many cars on our roads that still use carburetors.If your car has one, ignore whatever the internet or some know-it-all tells you about warming being outdated. Warm your car in the morning until you see the temperature gauge rise. It will keep your engine going for many years. If however, it has an electronic fuel injecting system, there is no need. Jump in and drive off at a whim. Ask your mechanic if you’re unsure.

shift to neutral This one is just a bad habit. You see a good slope in front of you, slide the lever into neutral, turn off the engine and coast. The local term is Endobo. Ironically, endobo means foul in football, so there you have it. This one was carried over by people who started out driving manual transmissions before they found themselves in automatics.

Truth: Here are the facts. According to, whether you are in neutral or drive, as long as your foot is not on the accelerator, you are probably using the same amount of fuel. Only a minute amount is being injected just to keep the engine running.

But, and you cannot afford to miss this, do not, under any circumstances, shut off the engine when going down a long slope. It destroys the transmission. Whatever you saved on fuel will not do you much good when the mechanic tells you what is wrong with your car. It is the same thing that happens if your car gets towed. Allow that to happen three or four times and you are going to incur a hefty bill in replacing the transmission. I hope Dr Besigye’s car is a manual transmission.

seatbelts are for co-driversThis one is a typically Ugandan myth. No need to wear a seatbelt at the back of the car. This has been so entrenched in our society, that if you took a look at most cars right now, the seatbelts have either been squeezed into the crack between the seat and the back rest or they have accumulated a mind boggling combination of dirt and rust that will leave a permanent mark on your clothing.Truth:

The seatbelts were put there for a reason. And it must have been a good one. In case of a head on collision, you will most likely go headfirst into the seats in front of you. That will probably break your neck or injure your spine. And it is not even the worst part. Should the car overturn, you will become like flying shrapnel an 85kg weapon that harms those that are safely bucked into their seats. This is all a bit doom and gloom, but we’re talking safety here. It is not supposed to be fun.

handsfree is safeLet us head straight for the truth. It isn’t. What a hands free set affords you is the freedom of your hand. What it doesn’t afford you is the freedom to concentrate on the task at hand. Statistics from show that a quarter of all road accidents are caused by drivers’ distraction. Talking on the phone will distract you.

As your girlfriend on the other end of the phone tells you she’s pregnant, you will not see the humps until you are flying four feet off the ground. You will not notice the child obliviously running after a ball. You will not see the boda boda overtaking you from the wrong side. It will be their screams that will alert you to the fact that you have knocked them into a ditch. For women, driving with a hands-free may be slightly excusable. For men, who are so bad at multitasking it is not even funny, don’t try it. You will kill people or yourself. Park first and then take the call.

a mud covered car is fuel efficientThis must have been the last dying cell in the brain of whoever came up with it. Even now I cannot help gaping at the title and asking: What? Apparently if you get your car covered in enough mud, the inconsistencies in the texture will act like the dimples on a golf ball to reduce drag.Truth: Mud adds weight it makes the car less aerodynamic, and as it was proven on’s myth busters, it reduces fuel economy by a whopping 10 per cent. Honestly, if you have to cover your car in mud to reduce fuel consumption, you require exorcism.

keep your doors unlockedThat one has European origins. It made it onto the list because at first glance it seems to make sense. I mean, that should make the job of rescuers easier. Right?

Truth: If the doors are unlocked, according to, it will be easier for them to fly open in the event of an accident: Which means you are likely to be ejected from the car.

And God only knows how much worse and full of gruesome possibilities that is. Also, it leaves you vulnerable to thieves. You have all heard the stories of people that are attacked during traffic jams. A complete stranger enters your car and slaps you for your precious iPhone and your money. So keep your doors locked.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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