9 cold weather myths: Facts and fiction behind common beliefs about cold

There are a lot of myths floating around about what to do when the temperatures drop and even how it can affect your health.

We looked into them and debunked some commonly-held beliefs about the cold.

Myth #1: You should put hot water on your windshield to help get the frost off
According to beaumontenterprise.com , if there's already a crack in your windshield, this drastic temperature change will just crack it more. They recommend keeping an ice scraper handy instead.

Myth #2: Running your faucet at home can prevent your pipes from freezing
Beaumontenterprise.com said running the faucet is actually just a waste of water. It can lead to pressure building up, which can cause pipes to burst.

Myth #3: Carrying sandbags in your trunk gives you better traction
According to popularmechanics.com , it makes sense if you have rear-wheel drive, but most cars today don't need it, and extra weight can even make it more challenging to steer and throw the vehicle off balance.

Myth #4: You need to let your engine warm up before hitting the road
According to msn.com , most engines now actually warm up more quickly when they're driven. 

Myth #5: You need to run your car for a few minutes during your lunch break to make sure it starts
Popularmechanics.com said this is absolutely unnecessary.  If you start a cold engine and just idle it for 10 minutes every day, you could dilute the oil with unburned fuel which could cause engine wear. Plus, you're needlessly burning expensive gasoline.

Myth #6:  Wiper fluid won't come out because it's frozen
Not true. Popularmechanics.com said most cars have a check valve in the washer-nozzle line to keep some fluid in the lines after washing the windshield.

Myth #7: Can you catch a cold from being in the chilly weather? 
It's an old wives ' tale, and it turns out it's false. Colds are caused by viruses or bacteria, not cold weather.

Myth #8: You put on more weight in cold weather 
The jury is mixed on that. According to success.com , if you're cold, your body has to speed up metabolism to bring your temperature to normal. But other theories say that cold temperatures stimulate appetite.

Myth #9:  If the temperature goes below 40, it's too late to get the flu shot. 
According to success.com , that is false. The flu virus is activated by temperatures below 55 degrees. The best times to get the shot are in September or October. But doctors say you do still have time get the vaccine.

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