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10 Most Common Car Questions

Need advice about your vehicle? CAA’s Consumer and Technical Services (CATS) is only a quick phone call or email away.

If you’re having a problem with your vehicle, the team at CAA’s Consumer and Technical Services (CATS) is exactly the people you’ll want to speak to. Get on the phone with an expert, such as Technical Advisor Fred Furman—with 35 years of experience as a licensed mechanic, 27 of those years with CAA—and you’ll be happy you did. A key member of the CATS team, Furman provides CAA Members with free automotive advice. And he says they’ll answer just about any auto-related question a caller may have. It’s a valuable part of a CAA Membership that many Members may not even know about.

Personalized Answers

Call the trusty team member of CATS, and if they don’t have a response for you right away, expect a follow-up call after they’ve done some research or consulted with a specialist. They use a variety of resources—The Canadian Red Book for vehicle valuation and Consumer Reports for general model and manufacturer assessments. For those things that can’t be found in a reference book or manual, the team relies on their personal experience. “I haven’t seen everything,” says Furman, “but I’ve seen a lot.”

Ask Anything

Furman says he gets calls asking for a second opinion on a garage’s diagnosis, about which tires to use and everything in between. “We try to stay away from jargon so we can explain it to callers in a manner that they can understand,” he says. “It makes them feel better about getting their cars repaired.” Members also often call in about vehicle prices for both used and new cars, whether they want to sell it privately or want to get an idea of what it’s worth before selling to a dealer.

Most Common Questions

We asked Furman which problems he gets calls for the most. Here are the top concerns from CAA Members:

1. Why is my "check engine" light on?

2. I have a grinding noise when I apply my brakes, what could cause that?

3. When do I need to replace my timing belt?

4. My car stalls intermittently, what could cause that?

5. My mechanic says I need to have brake/transmission/coolant fluid flushed, do I really need to do that.

6. What is the proper fuel to use in my car?

7. How much is my used car worth?

8. I am purchasing a used vehicle, is it a good choice?

9. What is involved with selling a used vehicle?

10. My mechanic has quoted me a price for repairs. Is it reasonable?

Furman says all of the above questions will likely have their own unique solution, based on factors such as car make, model year, environment, driving habits, etc., all of which contribute to the answer the team at CATS will provide.

Have a question? CAA Members can speak to a CATS specialist by phone at 1-866-464-6448 or email cats@caasco.ca.