Myths start with a grain of evidence and are then built up and circulated around the St. Thomas area with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some car bloggers in ON recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.
Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants going around St. Thomas and look at the truth behind them. The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that any St. Thomas service center who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan. The truth on which the myth is based, is that most vehicles come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on some cars. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck based SUVs still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going. Talk to us at The Auto Guys in St. Thomas.
Another common rant is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. Do cars need tune-ups? That depends on your definition of a tune-up, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. You’d manually adjust fuel, air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.
This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. St. Thomas auto service centers generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your car maker, every 48,000 kilometers or so.
Of course, you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. And, of course, you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your car maker says they can go 48,000 kilometers. What are these car bloggers getting so worked up about?
The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent St. Thomas drivers from taking care of the vital routine preventive car maintenance that car makers DO recommend. Listen to this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?
Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .
You get the picture. Your car or truck is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your The Auto Guys service advisor, or do some research of your own.
Stop by or give us a call.
The Auto Guys
135 South Edgeware Rd.
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4C4