Street News

Stop sharing fake memes!!!!

Over the last couple of weeks, a rash of fake memes have been popping up all over Facebook. These automotive-themed images make all kinds of horrible suggestions for winter “life hacks” that will absolutely not help, and in reality could not only cost you thousands in repairs, but could create life-threatening situations such as loss of brakes, or tire blow outs. We here at Street Tech Magazine want to help set the record straight on these so-called “life hack” memes.

 

Antifreeze in the Brakes- The meme says “Scariest thing that could happen this winter is your brakes freezing up while driving. Add a cup of antifreeze to your brake fluid to keep it from freezing while driving this winter”. This is one that has actually put people in real danger, as people have been trying it. This could cause your brakes to not function at all, which could kill you or someone else. Brake fluid freezes at -40 degrees F, but over time, brake fluid naturally absorbs water, raising the freeze point. If you have any concerns, change your brake fluid with fresh brake fluid, NEVER add any water-based chemical to you brake master cylinder.

 

Remove Your Coolant- Playing off the word “coolant”, our next meme says to protect your engine by removing the coolant in the winter and replace it with plain water to keep it from freezing, as if to say that “coolant” is more likely to freeze. In reality, the coolant is the anti-freeze water mixture, which by design resists freezing until extreme temperatures. Plain water in your engine block will freeze around 32-degrees F. The problem is that water expands when it freezes, and when it does this inside the water jackets of your engine, it tends to crack the block or heads. Instead of this horrible and potentially costly suggestion, use an antifreeze tester to make sure your coolant is sufficient enough to stave off freezing. You can also pour in some additive like Royal Purple Purple Ice.

 

Screws in the tires- Ice and snow may cause your tires to lose traction, grab some 2” wood screws and thread them into your tires to get instant snow tires! While this may work on giant tractor tires that have 4 inch tread, try this on your Michelins and you will be headed into the shop to get some new ones. There are ways of doing this that actually work, but not 2” screws, and it is not street legal. Instead of destroying your rubber, try a set of chains for when the white stuff gets deep.

 

Hot water windshield- When Your windshield is iced up in the morning, and you are running late for work, save yourself some time, throw a cup of hot water on the windshield, the ice will melt and you can get on the road  much faster. If you own stock in a glass manufacturing plant, then this is tip is for you, otherwise, you are just going to shatter your windshield. Average windshield replacement costs about $350 bucks, so do yourself a favor and stay as far from this as possible. If you need to de-ice your glass quickly, use a can of windshield deicer. It uses a chemical to melt ice without drastically changing the temperature ( which is what breaks the glass on the hot water scenario). Pro tip- When there is ice coming, lift your wipers into locked position (like you are changing the blades), this will keep them from sticking to the glass, tearing the blade in the process.

 

While these may be obviously fake to people who know cars, there are many out there that may be taken in by these erroneous tips. By sharing these fake tips, you are in fact legitimizing them, particularly if your friends and family consider you to be an authority of automotive matters. For example- You share a troll meme about putting antifreeze in the master cylinder. You laugh, your buddies laugh and then you forget about it. Your 75 year old aunt sees it is on your page. Your uncle passed away 5 years ago, and she is the one taking car of the car now. She knows that you are big car guy and buys some antifreeze the next day and pours it in. On the way home, her brakes fail and she t-bones a minivan with a family of five inside, killing herself and the family. All because you shared a troll meme without calling it out as a fake like you should have.

 

This is how these things are propagated. If you share them without calling them out as fake, you are part of the problem. To that end, we ask that you not continue this affront to real, actual helpful tips.  Please share this on your Facebook page and help dispel the myths. We have also created modified versions of some of these memes, declaring them fake, please feel free to share them as well. Remember, not one of us was born knowing how to work on cars, do your part to teach them the right way.

About Jefferson Bryant (221 Articles)
A life-long gearhead, Street Tech Magazine founder and editor Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 5 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced. You can follow Jefferson on Facebook (Jefferson Bryant), Twitter (71Buickfreak), and YouTube (RedDirtRodz).

10 Comments on Stop sharing fake memes!!!!

  1. Stephen Elder // January 13, 2016 at 7:39 am // Reply

    You do know that these are a joke, right? If anyone believes these to be true, they shouldn’t be driving in the 1st place. And you blogging about it, makes me wonder about you also.

    • Jefferson Bryant // January 13, 2016 at 10:41 am // Reply

      While many people know these are a joke, us included, there are many that do not. Instead of acting like jr high bullies making fun of people for not knowing the difference, or wishing bad things upon them because they don’t know any better, we chose to be decent human beings who actually want to encourage and support. If having decency and integrity makes you wonder about us, then all we have to say is thank you for reading.

    • You’re kidding right? Many people are clueless and then get angry when you correct their fake meme. You not being aware of this makes me wonder about you.

      • Jefferson Bryant // August 18, 2016 at 10:38 am // Reply

        I take my hobby very seriously. As gearheads, it is our responsibility to educate others about proper vehicle care. I simply do not find the humor in telling unsuspecting people to damage their vehicles just so you can get a cheap laugh at their expense. I try to live by the golden rule- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  2. John Violette // October 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm // Reply

    I hate to say it… but if you believe any of these, you shouldn’t be on the road. Some people just lack basic common sense these days. I don’t drive, and I knew these were fake.

    • Jefferson Bryant // October 19, 2016 at 11:25 pm // Reply

      But there are plenty of people who simply believe them because their nephew or cousin the “car guy” posted it. Being a part of responsible society means not spreading stuff like this.

  3. Gotta agree, people who believe these memes shouldn’t be driving anyway. And by the way, where are all these people that took it seriously? There seem to a great number according to you, but I haven’t seen any. Even if there were mentally challenged people as you describe, they wouldn’t be reading “StreetTechMag”.

    Trying to suppress a joke (especially a meme) is a futile effort.

    • Jefferson Bryant // December 11, 2016 at 11:04 pm // Reply

      I am not really trying to suppress them, rather advocate for better judgment. Some of them are legitimately funny, but for non-gearheads they are misleading and downright dangerous. Most people are not gearheads and there are plenty that do not these are fake. By sharing them, you as a gearhead, are giving them legitimacy to non-gearheads. I take this industry very seriously, that doesn’t mean I don’t have fun with it. I am an advocate for spreading actual knowledge about cars, not making fun of those that don’t already know it. You were not born knowing how to change oil, you have to learn it. The same thing goes for not adding anti-freeze to brake fluid, while it is common sense for people like us, your 65 year old mom might not realize that. Be a better person and teach instead of baiting people to damage their cars and make the roads less safe.

  4. I am 29 and have never owned/driven in my life. I re-shared the photos adding the words “Let’s see how common common sense really is.” Because to me, that’s what those fake hacks were: common sense told me they were bad ideas. If you put an engine in front of me I wouldn’t know where to start, but I knew those things were dumb.

    • Jefferson Bryant // January 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm // Reply

      That is great, but there are plenty of people who don’t. Some of them are glaringly obvious to anyone, but some are quite subtle. My question to you is this- Are we so far gone as a society that it is OK to intentionally promote harm to others simply because “they should have known better”

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  1. Don't Be a Jerk: Stop Sharing Fake Automotive Memes - Ford-Trucks.com

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