Car myths you didn't know about

Car myths you didn't know about

In the automotive industry, there are often myths that become legendary over time. Some of them have enough facts, while others are based on misconceptions. But thanks to modern technology and expert research, many of these car myths have been debunked, providing a more accurate picture.

Myth. Refueling a car with the engine running is safe

Many people believe that refueling a car while the engine is running — the matter is safe and harmless. However, it is worth noting that such beliefs are erroneous. Safety experts stress that such actions can create static electricity, significantly increasing the risk of fire.

When the car engine is running, fuel is transferred, and this, in turn, can cause friction between the fuel hose and the fuel nozzle. This process can generate static charging voltage which, when combined with flammable gasoline fumes, creates a hazardous environment. When encountering a spark source, this static electricity can cause a fire, posing a serious safety hazard to both the driver and others.

Myth. Seat belts and airbags do more harm than they help

This is a dangerous misconception. Numerous studies and statistics show that wearing seat belts and air bags is an effective way to significantly reduce the risk of serious injury in a crash.

Seat belts are designed to hold occupants in place during a collision, preventing them from being thrown forward or sideways in the event of a crash. They serve as the first line of defense, stabilizing the person's position inside the car. Airbags, in turn, provide an additional element of protection, absorbing impact and mitigating the consequences of a collision.

Research shows that the use of these devices significantly reduces the likelihood of serious injury, especially in the head, neck and chest area. In some cases, they can be the difference between life and death in a serious traffic accident.

Myth. The oil in a car should be changed every 5-7 thousand kilometers

This is a really interesting question that is causing a lot of discussion in the automotive industry. There is a belief that modern motor oils are highly durable and can extend oil change intervals due to their durability.

In fact, the latest generations of oils usually have improved characteristics, allowing them to better cope with extreme operating conditions. Manufacturers often offer recommendations for longer oil change intervals based on technological advances.

Myth. The production of electric vehicles emits more CO2 than cars with internal combustion engines

Scientific studies confirm that the production of electric vehicles emits more CO2 than cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) - this is a myth.

The research takes into account not only the production process of electric vehicles, but also their operation throughout their entire service life. Even after taking into account the energy costs of producing batteries, electric vehicles typically have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to traditional combustion engines.

The main reason for this is that electric vehicles, when powered by electricity, can be significantly more energy efficient than ICE vehicles, especially when the electricity is generated from renewable sources.

Myth. Using cruise control in the rain is unsafe

Cruise control was designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain. It gives the driver the ability to maintain a constant speed without having to keep their foot on the accelerator pedal. But it is important to emphasize that drivers must remain vigilant and take into account changes on the road, especially in rainy conditions.

Rain can create slippery road surfaces and drivers should be prepared for possible changes in driving conditions. It is important to pay attention to road signs, adjust your speed if necessary, and use cruise control according to specific conditions.

Myth. Batteries for electric vehicles are expensive and have a short service life

Modern technologies in the field of lithium-ion batteries have significantly improved their durability and performance. With proper care and maintenance, electric vehicle batteries can last for several decades. Electric vehicle manufacturers typically provide long-term warranties on batteries, which also demonstrates confidence in their longevity. Proper handling of batteries plays a key role in their service life. 

Myth. Cars explode if bullets hit their gas tanks

The myth that cars explode if bullets hit their gas tanks is very far from reality. Gasoline, used in cars, is not an airborne explosive, and shooting into a gas tank usually does not cause an explosion.

However, fuel leakage may occur, which may result in a fire. If a bullet penetrates a gas tank and creates an ignition source, such as sparks from impact with another metal object, it may result in a fire, but an explosion is not a typical event resulting from such events.

Scenes in films where cars explode at the slightest damage are part of cinematic fiction and do not correspond to reality. In real life, car safety is designed to minimize the risk of fire and prevent explosions from minor damage.

Myth. Electric cars often catch fire in the event of an accident

In fact, statistics show that cases of electric vehicles catching fire as a result of Accident are extremely rare. Modern electric vehicles are designed with safety in mind and are equipped with advanced safety systems, including thermal management systems, designed to prevent fires or minimize risks.

In addition, electric vehicles undergo rigorous testing and certification to meet safety standards set by the automotive industry. In the event of an accident, electric vehicles are also equipped with systems to shut down the battery and prevent the risk of fire.

Myth. Driving with the tailgate of a pickup truck open reduces fuel consumption

The myth that driving with the tailgate of a pickup truck open improves fuel economy is an unconfirmed belief. In fact, the open side of a pickup truck can create additional air resistance, which in turn can lead to increased fuel consumption.

The open side creates changes in the aerodynamics of the vehicle, and this can affect fuel efficiency. When the tailgate is open, air can leak into the truck bed, creating additional drag. This may cause inefficient use of fuel and increased consumption.

Myth. You can drink coffee or sleep while driving a self-driving car

The myth that you can drink coffee or even sleep while driving a self-driving car does not correspond to reality. Currently, self-driving technologies, including self-driving cars, require constant driver attention.

Safety remains a priority and the driver must be prepared to intervene in the vehicle if necessary. Most self-driving systems available on the market require the driver to remain in a ready-to-drive state and be able to intervene instantly if any situation arises that requires attention.

Debunking myths in the auto industry is essential to creating an informed and safe driver society. Modern technology and scientific research are helping to resolve controversial issues about the safety and efficiency of using cars.