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  • Here are Big Fat Lies of, about and concerning the vehicles we own, buy and insure.

    1. A new car dealer says: "We don't make any money off the extended warranty. We really just offer it as a service." This is a whopper. Dealers make hundreds of dollars extra profit if they can sell you the extended warranty.

  • 2. Women edge out men in lying on car insurance forms by being more likely to lie about the length of time actually licensed to drive, as well as making attempts to get discounts for no claims. Men, though, are more likely to lie about having speeding and other moving violations.

  • 4. "Women are worse drivers than men."

    According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, men are still more likely to die in a car crash than women due to reckless driving behavior. Men typically drive more miles and engage in riskier driving than women. Not wearing a safety belt is also a more common issue among men than women.

  • 6. "Thieves like new cars."

    Actually, thieves tend to steal older cars because they are easier to snatch. Car thieves continue to prefer, oddly enough, the 1994 Honda Accord. That mid-sized sedan is followed by the 1995 Honda Civic and the 1991 Toyota Camry. Older Honda and Toyota models have held the top three spots since 2000.

  • 8. "The batteries in hybrid vehicles will wear out before the car does and I will be stuck with a huge bill to replace it"

    Worries about an expensive replacement of a hybrid car's batteries continue to haunt sales and perceptions about hybrids. By keeping the charge between 40 percent and 60 percent--never fully charged, yet never fully drained--car makers have greatly extended the longevity of nickel metal hydride batteries. The new lithium-ion batteries also are expected to run at least ten years, and beyond. In any case, automakers are guaranteeing the batteries longer than the rest of the car. Toyota, for example, has guaranteed the battery on the Prius for ten years or 150,000 miles.

  • 10. "Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles."

    Only if you want to set fire to your hard earned cash. Despite what oil companies and quick-lube shops often claim, and even write on those little stickers they put on our windshields, consult the vehicle's manual for proper oil change intervals. Most are a minimum of 5,000 miles, and many are tuned to go 7,500 miles between oil changes. Do yourself a favor, and check the oil at 3,000 miles and again at 5,000 miles to see if you need to add a little oil. Make sure to check the oil after the vehicle has been sitting for a while, not right after you come to a stop.

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