The Car Myths Quiz

By: Kevin Fritz
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
You are visiting a dealership to buy a new car. What should you do with your trade-in?
Hide it until the end
Ask the salesman for a price
Leave it at home
Bring your trade-in with a true market value attached
Don’t buy into the myth that hiding your trade-in will get you a better deal. Know what your car is worth before heading to the lot. If you don't like the offer from the dealership, don't take it.

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Legend has it the best day to buy a new car is a rainy day. True or false?
True, rainy days keep away crowds.
False, sunny days are best.
False, try Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
The myth that a rainy day is the best day to buy a car could not be further from the truth. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are better bets because crowds are sparse and salespeople are more apt to make deals.
False, try Saturdays or Sundays.

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What is NOT considered dangerous behavoir at the gas pump?
Using your cell phone
Contrary to modern thinking, there is no evidence that using your cell phone while pumping gas will cause an explosion. However, smoking or leaving the car running could lead to fire, and an unattended gas pump may fall from the tank, spewing gas and causing danger for everyone.
Smoking
Leaving the gas pump unattended
Leaving your car running

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Does air conditioning burn gas quicker?
Yes
While this may be a truism, it is of little or no concern. Consumer Reports found that fuel efficiency decreased by one to four miles per gallon using the air conditioner. By the way, rolling down the windows does not affect fuel economy.
No
Only if turned to MAX
Only in the summer

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What color of car is pulled over more often for speeding?
White
Red
Black
None
This myth has been around since sleek, red sports cars appeared on our roads. However, there is no evidence that any color of car is pulled over more often than any other for speeding.

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What is the best month to buy a car?
January
June
October
December
The notion that January is a wonderful month to buy a car because many people are done with shopping may hold some water, but it is the last quarter of the year when the best deals are offered. If you wait until December, you are more likely to save money.

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What is the best way to get a good price on a car today?
Internet quotes
The myth that the “manager” will get you the best deal is outdated. The beauty of today's technology is that you can choose a car and receive a price online without leaving your home. Then you bring your checkbook to the dealer, and the car is waiting for you to drive away. Voila!
In person from the sales manager
In person from the salesman/woman
By phone

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If salespeople still have quotas to meet, what day of the month can you get the best deal on a new car?
The first few days
The 15th
The last few days
As the trend toward no pressure sales increases at dealerships, there is some confusion about whether salespeople still have quotas to meet. Many salespeople still work off of monthly quotas and may offer better discounts before the month ends.
The 10th

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What is the best strategy to get a good price on a car?
Call the sales manager and demand the best price
Call the internet sales manager and request a quote
The key to getting a good price on a new car used to be by entering the dealership with a plan of not backing down until your price is granted. That’s old hat. Conduct your own online inventory research on the specific car you wish to buy. Then call the internet manager, whose job it is to quote you a price over the phone.
Go to the dealership and ask for a price
Ask the sales manager to match the price from another dealership

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Is it OK to drive 5-10 mph over the posted speed limit?
Yes
No
This is a very common misconception that may get you in trouble. Speeding is speeding. No matter how little you are driving over the speed limit, you can be pulled over and ticketed.
Only on highways
Only in rural areas

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When have you heard is the best time to begin negotiations when buying a new car?
After test driving
After deciding on a car
Before looking at cars in person
People used to think they should wait until receiving an offer from the salesman before negotiations. A much better strategy is to know the range of prices your car is being sold for at various dealerships, so you have a starting point before entering the showroom.
When the salesman calls for the sales manager

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There is a myth concerning when you should reveal that you would rather lease than buy. What is that myth?
Immediately
After the test drive
Following negotiations
When a final price is offered
A fear of misunderstanding leases led to this myth. Buyers feared it would cost them too much in the end, so they believed receiving an offer before the reveal made more sense. Today's leases, however, are usually better deals when you're upfront than when you wait to negotiate.

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The most important thing to keep in mind when financing your new or used car is your monthly payment. True or false?
True
No, it's how big of a loan you can get.
True, along with a low downpayment
No, it's the total cost of the car, including interest, which is most important.
Focusing on a low monthly payment is a bad strategy. You may end up paying way too much for the car in the long run. Pay what you can afford. The rule of thumb is a monthly payment that is equal to or less than 10 percent of your gross monthly income.

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Is it true that you should be demanding when dealing with car salesmen?
Yes, be demanding and crass.
Yes, be demanding and be prepared to walk out if necessary.
No, be polite.
No, be informed.
In the past, cars salespeople enjoyed the haggling process and standing their ground, causing buyers to be on guard and more demanding in their actions. Today, car salespeople are people just like you and me. Don't be demanding. Yes, be polite, but not a pushover. Arrive prepared to negotiate.

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If the dealership from which you bought your car does not conduct the vehicle's maintenance, does that void the warranty?
Yes, you must take your car to that dealership.
No, any reputable mechanic will do.
In reality, you or a reputable mechanic can service your car per the owner's manual without the hassle of going to a dealership. However, to avoid voiding your warranty, detailed records must be kept to prove your case. A reputable mechanic is your best bet.
No, fix it yourself.
Yes, unless you have driven more than 3,000 miles.

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The car's tires should be inflated to the PSI number found on the tire's sidewall. Yes or no?
Yes, the proper PSI number is displayed on all tires.
No, look for a sticker on the door jam denoting the correct tire pressure.
The wording on the tire—inflate to 50 psi for example—is the maximum pressure for that tire, not necessarily the best pressure for your car. Dealers provide a sticker on the driver's side door jam or inside the gas flap with the recommended pressure.
32 PSI is standard for all cars.
No, follow your car manual's guidelines.

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Do you have to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles?
No, every 1,500 miles
Yes, every 3,000 miles
Not until your car tells you to change it
Cars do not need an oil change every 3,000 miles. This is not as much a myth as it is obsolete advice. If you own a newer car, the internal system will alert you when it is time to change the oil. New models can be driven 10,000 miles or more before requiring an oil change.
Depends on the oil

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Which change of seasons should you have your car prepared for by your mechanic?
Winter
Summer
Fall
None
This used to be a standard operating procedure, but not anymore. Beyond perhaps changing the snow tires in the winter, newer cars shouldn’t need the coolant flushed, or air conditioning charged just because the season is changing. Maintain your car per your owner's manual, and you should be fine.

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In the winter, how long should you warm the engine of your car before driving?
5 minutes
10 minutes
Just a couple of minutes
Not at all
If you have an old car, this may help, but today's models will warm up as you drive. Get in and get going. Warming the engine is not only unnecessary, but wasteful as well.

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Is testing the tread on your tires with a penny a myth?
No, change tires when Lincoln's head is no longer covered by the tread.
Yes, change tires when the tread is gone.
Yes, change tires when the minimum depth is 4/32 of an inch.
The old custom of placing a penny in the tread to see if Lincoln's head is exposed can still be used, but that usually leaves you with a tread depth of 2/32 of an inch, which is an accident waiting to happen. It's better to change your tires when the tread is at 4/32 of an inch.
No, change tires when the penny sticks in the tread.

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Can you use regular gas in any car?
Yes, Regular (87 Octane)
No, use Mid-grade.
You are better off with Premium.
You are better off with a proper octane gas.
Refer to your owner's manual, although many cars run fine on regular old gas - 87 octane. However, most sophisticated cars may need a higher octane to avoid ignition issues.

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What time of day is best to fill your gas tank?
Evening
Morning
Anytime
Gasoline expands from heat, so some people believe that a car receives less gas when the heat of the day has warmed the fuel. In reality, gas is stored underground to avoid changes in temperature.
Noon

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Is it true dirty cars get better gas mileage than clean cars?
Yes
No
Some drivers think that added particles on a car will reduce wind resistance. In fact, cleaner cars get 10 percent better gas mileage than dirty ones.
Only in the winter
Only in the summer

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How often should you drain your transmission fluid?
With every oil change
Every winter
At 50,000 miles
At 100,000-plus miles
In the past, 50,000 miles was a benchmark to drain transmission fluid. Today's cars use a long-lasting formula that should last for at least 100,000 miles or for the life of the vehicle.

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What is NOT a key to better gas mileage?
Less weight in the car
Proper tire inflation
Changing the air filter
Driving slow
Cruising at slower speeds and around-the-town driving produce less efficient miles per gallon. Maintaining your car properly and not carrying extra weight in the trunk helps to give you better gas mileage.

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At what speed do you think your car is most fuel efficient?
30 mph
45 mph
60 mph
Most cars reach optimum gas mileage between 50 and 60 mph. That's the range in which cars are tested by the government to determine gas mileage ratings, so manufacturers work toward reaching the best gas mileage in that range.
75 mph

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When does your car give you the worse gas mileage?
Driving too fast
Idling
If you are sitting in your car and the engine is running, you are getting zero miles to the gallon. You can't get much worse than that.
Driving too slow
In the winter

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Mechanics love to work on certain vehicles and others, not so much. Which of these do mechanics say are the easiest to maintain?
2013 Chevy Silverado
While some people may think a truck is more complicated to work on, the fact that this Silverado had plenty of room under the hood and straightforward technology made it number one by mechanics in a recent U.S. News survey.
2016 Honda Civic
2017 Toyota Corolla
2015 Toyota Camry

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Which of these vehicles is considered one of the most reliable cars on the road?
2012 Honda CRV
This survey by Forbes conducted two years ago shows that it’s not always the newest cars on the block that are the most reliable. The order in which you see them is the order they placed in the survey, so you probably can't go wrong with one of the Toyotas either.
2014 Toyota Tundra
2015 Toyota Camry
2015 Toyota Corolla

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What is the best way to make a phone call while driving?
Through the car's sound system
Via bluetooth
By holding the phone
None of the above
Studies show talking on the phone, hands-free or not, distracts the driver. Distracted driving is now a major issue confronting car insurers. Wait or pull over to talk.

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What type of oil should you use in your car?
Synthetic
Synthetic oil will help your car perform better. In older cars, it may cause an oil leak, but that's because since it does such a good job cleaning your engine, flaws are exposed leading to oil drips.
Standard motor oil
Canola oil
2-stroke oil

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Of these choices, which electric car has the longest reported range?
Chevy Bolt
Nissan Leaf
Tesla
All of these vehicles offer a range of more than 100 miles, but the Tesla beats them all, topping out at over 300 miles per charge. Electric cars have come a long way, and you should not be afraid of limited ranges.
Kia Soul

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Isn't it a hassle to own an electric car?
No, they are virtually maintenance free.
Electric cars may cost more to buy, but are virtually maintenance free. Plus, batteries and charging station access have improved, so in the long run, an electric car is a good, hassle-free investment.
Yes, because they take too long to charge.
Yes, because there are limited charging stations.
Yes, because they are expensive to maintain.

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When is mass production of electric cars expected to occur?
Between now and 2020
Between 2025 and 2030
The New York Times reports that at the rate prices are falling, along with stricter emission laws on the books, electric cars will hit the mainstream between 2025 and 2030. Once sticker shock disappears, everyone will be on the bandwagon.
Between 2035 and 2040
Not in my lifetime

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How much can you save in dollars with an electric car vs. a gas-powered car?
$4,000 over 10 years
$4,000 over five years
The EPA estimates with some of the newer models, such as the Nissan Leaf, consumers will save $4,000 over a five-year span. Overall, electricity is 50 percent cheaper than gas.
$4,000 over two years
$4,000 a year

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