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Notes From the Road

Car Care Quiz
By Mike Bumbeck/

If engine coolant is bright green, it's still okay.
Coolant is Not Necessarily Okay as Long as it Remains Bright Green
FALSE: Over time the chemicals in engine coolant can become corrosive. Coolant that looks OK can in fact be causing unseen and expensive cooling system damage. Checking engine coolant condition with an inexpensive tool is easy, and can prevent both overheated engines and empty wallets.
When working on a car or truck, it's always a good idea to tighten nuts and bolts as tight as possible.
Nuts and Bolts Should be Tightened to the Proper Torque, Which Does Not Mean as Tight as Possible
FALSE: Almost every fastener that can be tightened on a modern motor vehicle is designed only to be tightened to a specific torque. Measuring this twist is what a torque wrench is for, making one an indispensable tool in the do-it-yourselfers toolbox.
It takes more fuel to stop and start an engine then it does to leave it running.
You'll Save Fuel if You Turn Off the Engine When Idling Time Exceeds Three Minutes
FALSE: This may have in certain cases been true in the olden days of carbureted engines, but modern fuel injection systems have put a permanent end to this myth. While turning the car on and off all the time may not be the best idea for the starter, letting it idle away any longer than three minutes is simply a waste of fuel.
The tire pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire is what the tire should be inflated to.
Don't Go by the Tire Pressure Listed on the Sidewall of the Tire
FALSE: Tire pressure runs with the vehicle itself, not the tires it rolls on. Always inflate tires to pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. These pressures can be found on the inside pillar of the door, or sometimes on the inside of the glovebox door. Note that the pressures are different for a fully loaded automobile. Tip: check the pressure in the spare tire now and again.
Changing the oil and filter can help an engine last longer.
Changing the Oil and Filter Can Help an Engine Last Longer
TRUE: While changing the oil too frequently is not required, the difference between an engine that lasts for the life of a vehicle and the one that wears out too early is based on following the vehicle manufacturer's oil and filter maintenance schedule. Trust that the people who built your car to know the most about what its engine needs.

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