Winter car myths

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Start your engines. We’re in the middle of the winter race and we still have several laps to go. The snow has put the brakes on some of our travels, but there are a few myths to avoid.

First myth:  filling your tank with premium is better than regular gas in the winter.

Matt Miller of Carl’s Body Shop says, “If your car calls for premium gas then use premium, rest of them you can get by with the regular octane gas if your car runs on that it doesn’t matter to put premium in the winter time.”

Miller suggests that no matter what gas you pump, keep your tank at least half full to prevent gas line freeze.

Another myth:  putting sandbags in your trunk or truck bed will give you more traction.  This only works with rear wheel drive.  It actually hurts front or four wheel drive.

“Not all the time.  More weight, more cost to move the car,” Miller says.

Letting your car run for a few minutes before you hit the pavement is preferred, but starting it every few hours isn’t needed.

“I would let it warm up for a few minutes this time of year, but going in the middle of the night and starting it two or three times or at your lunch break if it’s sitting outside, it’s not necessary,” Miller says.

The last myth:  snow tires. Having a good tread will help you get more traction, but buying specific snow tires for the winter may be a waste.

Miller says, “We sell a lot of tires here and we haven’t sold snow tires in years. There’s still people that do it.  I don’t think it’s necessary they have good radial tires that are all season that are made to take care of the entire season.”

The winter season may stick around for a while longer, but we’re heading toward the finish line. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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