Misconceptions about what goes on in the auto industry aren’t anything new – for decades people have been speculating on topics ranging from car colour affecting your insurance premiums to whether the world is running out of its oil supply.
Why all the auto industry myths? Perhaps it has to do with the lack of transparency from the industry itself, or maybe it’s because most people find the world of cars a little too confusing. Whatever the reason, we’re debunking 11 of the most ridiculous auto industry myths you probably believe!
1. Americans Don’t Want Small Cars
When gas prices go up so do small car purchases and SUV trade-ins, but these days Americans are gravitating towards compact cars even when those gas prices are down. Americans DO want small cars and that’s largely due to the fact that most car companies have upgraded the quality of their designs and features.
2. The World’s Oil Supply is Running Out
One of the most popular auto industry myths is the one that calls out the world’s oil supply as a finite resource. Chatham House in the UK disagrees however and in a report on the subject claims that there’s actually a ton of oil – we just need to figure out how to convert the stuff into proven reserves.
3. Insuring a Red Car Costs More
If you’ve ever filled out a car insurance form then you’ve probably noticed that “colour” is never a box to be ticked off. Your vehicle’s paint job really doesn’t make any difference when it comes to your insurance rate. So go ahead, buy the red Ferrari of your dreams!
4. Going to an Independent Repair Shop Voids Your Warranty
Your car’s warranty is only void if you don’t maintain your vehicle on time, but where you get that maintenance done doesn’t actually matter. If you want to get work done at an independent shop you totally can, and vehicle manufacturers can’t ever deny your warranty because of it.
5. Obama’s Emission Rules Will Destroy the Industry
Yes, the US President passed some regulations that look to increase the emissions and miles-per-gallon standards. But the only ones to feel negative side effects will be those that fall behind on embracing newer technologies and environmentally-friendly ways to manufacture vehicles! Will the industry look different in the next decade or two? Absolutely, but that’s doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
6. There’s a Car that Runs on Water
While the idea of a car running on nothing but h2o sounds pretty cool, it’s unfortunately nothing more than just that. The car that runs on water is nothing but a myth, but hey, we can dream can’t we?
7. “American” Cars
You think you know what an American car is (read: Ford, Chrysler, Buick), but automotive parts manufacturers often end up supplying to car manufacturers all over the world. In 2012, cars.com released a report that explained which models were “made in the USA” (assembled there and using American parts) – five out of seven were from Japanese manufacturers.
8. Premium Fuel Produces More Power
Unless you’ve got a vehicle with a turbocharged engine you shouldn’t expect to get more power from premium fuel. Because it burns less easily, you’ll get fewer miles per gallon and LESS power when using it in a car engine that’s designed for regular fuel.
9. Auto Companies Are Shipping All the Jobs Overseas
Big companies like Ford and General Motors have opened huge factories in China (considering it’s the largest car market in the world those moves make sense), but jobs are increasing both in Asia and in North America! Seriously. Over 200,000 jobs have been created since ’09 due to the increased demand for American auto parts.
10. The Big Three Only Build Gas Guzzlers
Ford, GM and Chrysler are often included in conversations about auto industry myths, but this one is probably the most common! But guess what? All three offer midsize sedans rated at 29-33 miles per gallon on the highway by the Environmental Protection Agency. They’ve got plenty of fuel-efficient models to choose from (and they often beat their foreign competitors in testing).
11. You Must Get an Oil Change Every 5,000 Kilometres
The clean-burning engines of today are good to go every 10,000-15,000 kilometres before they actually need an oil change! This myth originates from a clever marketing tactic cooked up by the lube industry, because the reality is that engines haven’t needed oil changes as frequent as every 5,000 kilometres since the 60s.