June 4, 2015

Seven Used Car Ownership Myths that Cost You Money

At our used car dealership in Oklahoma City, we try to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your used car possible. That doesn’t just mean helping you get in a car when you don’t have great credit – it also means helping you save money on owning that car in the long run.

Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about car ownership that can end up costing you money over time. Knowing what these myths are will help you avoid them, and that will make it even easier for you to afford your Oklahoma used car with ease.

Putting Fuel in OKC used car

Myth 1: Use High-Octane Gas

One of the most common myths we encounter at our used car dealership is that it’s better to fill up your tank with premium or high-octane gas instead of regular 87-octane fuel. Many owners think that premium gas will give their cars better gas mileage or more power, but neither of these claims are true. High-octane gas is only necessary in very high performance cars with high-compression engines that are prone to improper combustion. If you drive a normal car or truck from a major manufacturer, chances are very good you don’t need high-octane fuel.

Myth 2: Change Your Oil Often

The idea that you must change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles is so common that most people accept it as truth without a second thought. However, modern cars are engineered to go much farther between oil changes than cars of even 20 years ago. With synthetic oil and good driving conditions, many cars can go 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. If you get your car’s oil changed every 3,000 miles, you’re probably just wasting money. Check your car or truck’s user manual to see what oil change interval the manufacturer recommends before taking it to the mechanic again.

3. Warm Up Your Car Before You Drive

Many people believe that, especially in cold weather, it’s good for a car’s engine to allow it to warm up before driving away. The idea is that the engine’s oil and moving parts will warm up to the proper temperature and work better than they would if you just started driving with a cold engine. While this myth used to have a grain of truth, today it’s completely unnecessary to warm up your engine before driving. Modern techniques and materials mean engines can run well from a cold start, even on cold days. Plus, you’ll save on gas by not leaving your engine on while your car sits still.

4. Use Radar Blockers to Evade Police

If you like to drive a little faster than most drivers do, you’re probably aware of the many products on the market that claim to make police radar guns unable to track your car. License plate films and scramblers, special stickers and decals, and even protective coatings all claim they can foil police radar and keep you from getting a ticket. However, without exception, these products never work as advertised. The only thing that can keep you safe from getting a ticket is driving within the legal limits. Anything else is just a waste of money, and there’s a strong possibility that’s it’s illegal as well.

5. Drive with the Tailgate Down to Save Gas

According to many pickup truck drivers, putting the tailgate down saves gas since it improves airflow from the truck bed and makes the truck more aerodynamic. While this seems sensible on the surface, it turns out that it’s completely untrue. Driving with the tailgate down actually decreases your fuel economy – in other words, it’s better for your gas mileage to drive with the tailgate up. Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters tested this myth themselves and found that, with the tailgate up, the truck bed fills with a “separated bubble” of low-pressure air that makes the truck more efficient. With the tailgate down, this bubble disappears.

6. Use Fuel Additives

In just about every auto parts store and gas station you’ll find fuel system additives that claim to make your engine run better, get higher mileage, or clean out harmful deposits and grime from your fuel tank and gas lines. However, most people don’t know that gasoline already contains detergents and cleansers that remove deposits and sediments themselves. Adding more cleaners or performance boosters to your gas tank isn’t going to do anything more than what the gas is already doing itself.

7. Only Use 100% Gas

At many gas stations in Oklahoma and beyond, you can choose to fill up your car with either 100% gas or E10 gas, which is blended with up to 10% ethanol. The debate over which one is better has raged for a long time, but one thing is certain: 100% gas costs significantly more than E10. Advocates for pure gasoline argue that, since it gets better mileage, pure gasoline offsets its own costs with less-frequent fill ups. However, the EPA and many private tests and studies have shown that pure, 100% gasoline is generally only about 10% more efficient than E10 gasoline – but it can cost 20% to 25% more. In short, if you want to save money on running your car, fill it with E10.

Do you have more questions about owning a used car in Oklahoma? Contact or visit us today at The KEY! We’re Oklahoma City’s top special financing car dealer, and we’ll work with you to find a perfect used car for your needs and budget – even if you have poor credit! Call us today at (405) 526-7010 to learn more, or visit our Facebook and Google+ pages for more helpful tips and advice.