10 car maintenance questions you’re afraid to ask

Sometimes we don’t want to ask questions when we think we should already know the answers - even car-related questions.

Here are the answers to ten automotive questions you’ll no longer have to ask:

1. How often should I check my tire pressure?

Once a month, unless there’s a drastic change in the outside temperature.

2. When should I change my transmission fluid?

Every 50,000 - 100,000 kilometres (90,000 for a manual), or every two years. With intense use, it could be sooner.

3. Why do my dashboard signal lights sometimes blink faster?

You likely have a bulb that has burnt out or has a faulty connection.

4. What’s the difference between oversteering and understeering?

Oversteering is when your car turns more than you intended; understeering is less.

5. What does the exclamation mark light on my dashboard mean?

An exclamation mark inside a U means you have at least one tire with low air pressure.

6. Can I switch to synthetic oil or a different grade?

Switching to synthetic oil (or even back to conventional oil) is typically not a problem. However, it’s best to consult your vehicle’s owner manual for a recommendation on the exact type of oil you should use.

7. Why do I hear a squeaking noise when I’m braking?

It means your brake pads are wearing out. Brake pads apply pressure to the brake rotors to stop your vehicle’s wheels when braking.

8. How can I save money on gas?

If you’re not in the market for a hybrid or electric vehicle, there are apps that will let you know where to find the cheapest gas. Points from select loyalty cards can also be redeemed instantly towards gas purchases.

9. What is hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning happens when a car’s tires come into contact with more water than they can dispel, creating a barrier of water between the roadway and the tires. The car then loses traction and a loss of braking and steering control.

10. What is the difference between a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder engine?

6-cylinders are capable of more horsepower and better performance and are typically used in cars with bigger engines. 4-cylinder vehicles are more fuel-efficient and cheaper.