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AdBuzz LeadWhen it comes to car maintenance in Pakistan, misconceptions abound, often resulting in unnecessary expenditure. Save time, money and worry by learning the reality behind the following car myths.

Myth 1: Engine oil should be changed immediately after your car reaches the 3,000 kilometre mark, or when the oil changes colour from gold to black.

Reality: Cars that have been manufactured within the last five years are equipped to be driven for at least 5,000 to7,000 kilometres before requiring an oil change. Meanwhile, oil turning black is an indicator of the oil performing its anti-corrosion and lubrication functions and is nothing to worry about. Remember to opt for synthetic oils and quality oil filters to extend the life of the oil – which should be changed as specified in the car manual. If you have bought a used car, change all fluids and start with a clean slate.

Myth 2: Brake fluid below the ‘full’ mark causes poor braking.
Reality: Topping off brake fluid does not necessarily increase braking power; the fluid is adequate even when the brake fluid reservoir is less than half full. Braking issues stem from a malfunction in the brake system or a leak. If you suspect that the brakes are not functioning properly, have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic, and remember to never fill the reservoir above the ‘full’ mark.

Myth 3: Engine coolants should be replenished with every oil change and green coloured coolants are better.

Reality: Automobile experts recommend replacing radiator coolants every two to five years, or when your car crosses the 50,000 to 60,000 kilometre mark. Remember, since traditional green coolants are water-based, they lose their corrosion-protection properties within two years, and once they do, cause heat-induced wear and tear of engine parts. Newer cars use organic-acid based orange coolants; they are expensive, but have a longer service life of up to five years. Remember to use distilled water for the cooling system as tap water increases corrosion.

– Jaffer Khan

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 18, 2014.