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Most common myths about car maintenance

Improvements in technology, especially in how newer cars are built, has made a lot of those longstanding tips and trick obsolete.

As we head out on summer vacation, most of us check over the car before we go. But some car maintenance tips we've assumed for years were true are just myths .

Susan Wenger and Kathy Gordon are fans of frequent oil changes.

"I drive a Subaru Forester, and I have the oil changed every 3,000 miles."

Tony Edwards knows the importance of rotating the tires. He gets his tires rotated every time he gets the oil changed.

But some longtime car care tips are no longer accurate, according to a new AAA report on debunking common myths about car maintenance.

MYTH: 3,000-mile car oil change

No need to get an oil change every 3,000 miles for most new vehicles, according AAA auto center manager Russ Zolnowski.

"With today's newer vehicles, that is not true. you can go 5,000 to 7,000 miles," he said.

MYTH: Car batteries last for at least 5 years

A lot of car owners still believe car batteries are long lasting, charging their vehicles for a minimum of 5 years. However, with all of todays electronics, that is no longer the case. 

Zolnowski said most car batteries are only lasting 3 to 5 years these days, and that time frame is dependent on weather conditions.

MYTH: You must get oil changes at the dealer

Here is another common misconception: you must get oil changes at the dealer or you void your warranty. That's simply not true!

"As long as you have information and proof you have had the work done, they cant hold that against you," Zolnowski said.

MYTH: Measure your tire tread with a penny

It's unclear for many how to know if your tires are worn out, but a lot of people still go by their grandparent's suggestion to use a coin in the tread— but not anymore.

"if it's at 2/32nds you are really starting to lose all the traction," Zolnowski said. He suggested using the built-in tread wear bars and not a penny. 

He said to keep rotating your tires regularly.

MYTH: Brake fluids or coolants aren't needed in new cars

Finally, the fifth myth: you no longer need to change brake fluid or coolant in newer cars. Wrong! Replenishing brake fluids and coolants are a much-needed step for vehicle maintenance, even in newer cars.

So, don't waste your money.

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