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Unveiling the top 5 most common car questions

Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a new driver, cars can sometimes be a mystery. From routine maintenance to understanding the inner workings, there are always questions that need answers. In this blog, we will dive into the five most common car questions that drivers ask and provide clear and concise answers to demystify these queries.

How often should I change my car’s oil? 

Regular oil changes are crucial for maintaining the health and longevity of your vehicle’s engine. As a general rule, most manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 10-20,000 km, or every six to twelve months, whichever comes first. However, it’s important to consult your car’s manual for the manufacturer’s specific guidelines, as some vehicles may have different requirements.  Keep in mind that more severe driving conditions, extreme hot or cold temperatures, towing additional loads, or short trip driving would shorten this interval to 5-8000 kms.  Rule of thumb to follow, more often is better.  Oil changes are must less over time than major engine repairs.  

When should I replace my car’s tires? 

Tires play a significant role in your car’s safety and performance. Canada has a federal guideline of no less than 1.6mm of tread depth for tires, but BC requires 3.5mm or more tread depth for winter tires specifically. Additionally, concerning the age of the tires, it’s generally recommended that tires get replaced every 6 years due to the rubber compound of the tires aging to a point where the tire is unsafe. This applies to the tires in storage or on the vehicle – any tire over 10 years old regardless of visual inspection should be replaced. Regularly inspect your tires and consult a professional if you’re unsure about their condition, we are happy to provide you with this without and appointment.

What is the recommended tire pressure for my car?

Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial for safety and optimal vehicle performance. The recommended tire pressure can be found in your car’s manual or on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb or inside the fuel filler flap. Remember to check tire pressure regularly and adjust it when the tires are cold, as driving causes the rubber compound to heat up and can affect the pressure reading.

How often should I replace my car’s battery? 

Car batteries typically last between three to five years, but various factors can influence their lifespan, such as climate, driving habits, and electrical system load requirements. Modern vehicles also rely on their batteries with higher loads than older vehicles do so we are seeing shorter lifespans from modern vehicle batteries. Signs of a weakening battery include slow engine cranking, boosting needed in cold or hot temps, or the battery warning light illuminating on the dashboard. If you’re unsure about your battery’s health, have it tested by a certified technician.

What does the “Check Engine” light mean? 

The “Check Engine” light is a signal from your car’s onboard diagnostics system, indicating that there may be an issue with the engine or related components. It’s essential not to ignore this warning. While the light can be triggered by something as minor as a loose gas cap, it can also indicate more significant problems. If the light remains illuminated or comes on and off over the course of a few days, it’s best to schedule a diagnostic check at a reputable mechanic to identify and resolve the issue.

Cars come with their fair share of questions, but understanding the basics is crucial for every driver. By addressing these five common car questions, we hope to have provided valuable insights into the general maintenance of your vehicle. Remember, when in doubt, consult your car’s manual or seek professional advice to ensure you’re making informed decisions for the well-being of your vehicle and your driving in both summer and winter.  At Motor Werke we have the tools, knowledge and experience to help you. Come by for a visit, and we can book you in for a service and/or answer any questions you may have!