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20 Car Myths People Don't Realize Are Actually True

Myths run rampant in the auto world. While it may seem harmless for a driver to believe in a fib or two, it can end up affecting the way they drive and maintain their vehicle.

Fictitious ideas surrounding cars can come from movies, word of mouth or simply someone spreading rumors on a message board. They have the potential to lead drivers astray into holding these myths as fact.

Yet on the other side of the coin, there are plenty of supposed “myths" about cars people don’t believe for a second—but are actually true. We’re going to look at what people widely consider to be automotive “myths” that are the real deal.

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20 F1 Cars Can Theoretically Drive Upside Down

via Twitter user @SFSonicBattery

It’s hard to believe, but Formula 1 cars are such feats of engineering, they can theoretically drive upside down. In a remark pulled by Bleacher Report off of Formula One’s official website, “A modern Formula One car is capable of developing 3.5 g lateral cornering force (three and a half times its own weight) thanks to aerodynamic downforce.” They go on to note that it means it could drive upside down, again, in theory.

19 Dealers Have To Get Rid Of Old Models To Make Room For New Ones

via LiveAbout

Out with the old, in with the new. Car businesses each year have to push out the old stock so they have room for the new cars buyers will have an interest in. This is not a myth, as CarProUSA points out, but in fact true. They report that dealers know the value of vehicles only drops, thus incentivizing them to sell quickly.

18 Sticking The Remote Under Your Chin Improves Wireless Range

via YouTube user BBC Studios

Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but this nifty trick really works. According to radio engineer Tim Pozar, in a report by the New York Times, putting the car's remote up to your chin can increase the wireless range. It has to do with the fluids in one’s head, which slightly improves the range of unlocking a car via remote.

17 Certain Car Colors Attract Burglars

via extramile.thehartford.com

Even criminals are picky when it comes to how their stolen car looks. According to eTags.com, the colors black, silver and white are more common and tend to interest carjackers more. The same source suggests that if a car's too bright or wild, there’s less of a chance it gets stolen.

16 EVs May Catch On Fire Less Than Gas And Diesel Vehicles

via YouTube user Maaz Jilani

Here’s another attractive reason to pick up an EV, as if there weren’t enough reasons already. Tesla got some unwanted attention for its vehicles catching on fire. Yet according to Business Insider, in a study conducted by the NHTSA in 2017, fires in EVs were “anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels.”

15 The Engineer Behind Cruise Control Was Blind

via Smithsonian Magazine

The demands of World War II and the ambition of a blind engineer are what led to cruise control coming about. According to EIT, Ralph Teetor—who was blind since age five—helped create this useful invention we still use today. It was an effort to cap drivers’ speeds at a fixed 35 mph to save on fuel for the war effort.

14 It’s Best To Buy A Car At The End of The Month

via Sometimes Sweet

Thinking about buying a car? It may sound like a myth, but there isa best time to go. CarProUSA addresses the supposed myth that the end of the month is the best time to buy a car. They confirm it’s no myth, and that car businesses usually try to hit their goals by the end of the month, making them a little more antsy to get cars off their hands.

13 EV Drivers Don’t Contribute To Maintaining Roads

via The Conversation

Sounds not only like a myth, but extreme as well. Yet as harsh as it sounds, EV owners aren’t paying to keep roads in their best condition. According to CleanTechnica, the federal gasoline tax helps pay for roads; therefore, since EV owners don't pay for gas, they aren't putting money into this which helps roads.

12 Staying In First Gear At A Red Light In Manual Cars Is Harmful Over Time

via The Truth About Cars

Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to stay in first gear while stopped at a red light. According to Motorz TV though, it can end up causing wear and tear over time. Instead, they suggest putting it in neutral while in a complete stop, since this method won’t slowly wear down the pressure plate over time.

11 75 Percent Of Rolls-Royce Cars Ever Made Still Roam The Streets

via Autogespot

It may not seem possible, which is why it’s mistaken for a myth—but all signs point to it being true. According to 7Ble.com, three-quarters of the company’s cars that have come off assembly lines are still around today. That only makes a Rolls-Royces that much more exclusive and valuable.

10 The Brighter The Car, The Cooler It Is

via Consumer Reports

A car’s paint job may even determine how its interior feels. The site eTags.com notes that cars with brighter colors are cooler than ones sporting a darker coat of paint. As sensible as this sounds, we still have to take this one with a grain of salt, as there doesn’t appear to be proof.

9 The Crushing Machine Couldn’t Handle The Ford GT

via Know4Now.com

Some machines just can’t handle vehicle tests. As most consumers are familiar with, cars go through a rigorous amount of testing before they're available to the public. One of those includes a roof crush test. According to know4now.com, when the Ford GT when through this test, not only did the roof withstand the pressure, but also managed to break the machine.

8 Maintaining An EV Costs Less

via CleanTechnica

The ultimate cost of an electric vehicle plays out differently from conventional ones. Do you want to pay more upfront or in the long run? One myth that cropped up in recent years is that EVs cost more to maintain. Yet according to Easy Electric Life, maintenance and energy costs cost owners less compared to traditional cars.

7 Cars Can Go Far On Low Fuel

via parksidemotors.ca

Apparently that low fuel signal isn’t as alarming as we’ve been treating it all this time. Thrillist posted a chart provided by Your Mechanic that shows a breakdown of how many gallons are still left in the tank when the light goes on. While it varies across each make and model, some still have up to 4 gallons still left.

6 Topping Off A Full Tank Hurts The Car

via NASDAQ.com

Be wary of trying to get that extra bit of gas in after already filling up. According to the Detroit Free Press, doing so can actually damage the car. Ed Nemphos, the head of Brentwood Automotive said, “By topping your fuel tank off, it can either overwhelm your evaporative system and break something or cause a hazardous leak by the excess pressure in the system.” Looks like only bad consequences can result from topping off.

5 A Car’s Color Can Impact How Much A Car Resells For

via Today Show

Sounds ridiculous, but the color of a car can end up impacting the amount owners resell their vehicle for down the line. According to eTags.com, colors like black, white and gray tend to sell faster and for higher amounts. Anything too wacky is probably going to appeal less to car buyers.

4 A Wet Squeegee On A Car Battery Will Start A Fire

via 1000awesomethings.com

Firing bullets into a car to make it explode; drifting makes cars go faster; hotwiring is simple—there's no end to the myths movies and TV shows create. It’s only natural then that people assume this scene from Breaking Bad was false. Yet according to the site Weak Interactions, a lead-acid battery can actually erupt in flames especially if it comes into contact with a fuel line.

3 Making An EV Releases More CO2 Than A Conventional One

via Green Car Reports

A lot goes into making an EV, particularly in the battery. So much so in fact, that it actually requires more energy to make an electric than it does a regular car. CleanTechnica reports that 18 percent of emissions comes from making the B-Class, while the B-Class Electric is responsible for 45 percent.

2 Leonardo Da Vinci Imagined Cars Long Before They Existed

via simplybabyfurniture.com

Leonardo Da Vinci designed a robot, a tank and even a “car" that preceded the auto industry. Keep in mind, he came up with the idea, in what How Stuff Works speculates, back in 1478. It was an ingenious cart that’s considered the “first self-propelled vehicle in history,” standing as one of the inventor’s many accomplishments (leonardodavincisinventions.com).

1 EVs Make Fake Engine Sounds

via The Verge

Electric vehicles are more quiet than traditional cars. This can pose a problem for pedestrians who don’t hear electric vehicles around them. As a result, many EVs actually make engine noises that aren’t real or organic. Automakers such as Renault add this to their EVs to alert other pedestrians, since hearing a car is crucial to safety.

Sources: How Stuff Works, Bleacher Report, New York Times, Detroit Free Press, CleanTechnica

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