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Don’t waste your money on auto-maintenance myths

(NC) Recommendations from auto manufacturers generally offer safe and sound advice. However, some recommendations are not essential. Here is some guidance, based on three of the most common owner enquiries:

Will my car perform better with premium fuel?

Most vehicles are designed for regular grade 87-octane fuel and while a higher octane number will help to guard against pre-ignition problems in high-compression engines, the more expensive premium fuel isn’t going to make a performance difference in the majority of automobiles.

Do I really need to use a specified antifreeze/coolant?

If your family drives different makes and models, it may not be necessary to buy and use model- specific antifreeze/coolant. The leading brand name Prestone, for example, guarantees compatibility with the coolant in all domestic, Asian, and European autos. The company, which is reported to be the “number one engine protection antifreeze/coolant brand in North America,” reminds us that an equally-important consideration is to use a coolant that guarantees to inhibit corrosion, ensuring a longer engine life.

Should I top up my brake fluid if it looks low in the reservoir?

Topping up may seem like a normal fix, but you could be spending money without eliminating the problem, and it may be time for a thorough brake system check. The low mark on the reservoir might be indicating a leak, or that your brakes are worn out.

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