During a tune-up, an automotive technician will perform basic services, such as checking your tire pressures, changing your oil, and checking your lights and windshield wiper blades and so on.
Although vehicles have changed with time totally, there are certain things that never change. One example is the need for periodic preventive maintenance or what we call today tune-up. The need is must but a tune-up is one job that has changed a great deal over the course of automotive history.
A few decades ago, a tune-up also consisted of a mechanic replacing your fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotors. The mechanic would also adjust your ignition timing and clean your carburetor or throttle-body.
But since then, cars have changed significantly over time. They no longer have carburetors or distributor caps and rotors. Some cars don’t even have spark plug wires anymore.
Therefore, a modern-day tune-up involves replacing the spark plugs, changing the air filter, and cleaning the intake or fuel-injector, along with your basic services.
Regular vehicle maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your investment. Performing a tune up will surely extend the life of your vehicle. You can get great benefits from performing a tune up on your vehicle.
Tuning it up is the best way to keep up the original performance of your car. Fixing a car that is typically out of tune may give a considerable push to both engine performance and fuel economy.
If you don’t take your car in for a tune-up at your manufacturer’s recommended intervals, it could put unnecessary stress on components of your ignition system or even damage your catalytic converter. It could also cause you to experience longer, harder starts.
Now that we know that it is really important to keep your vehicle tuned-in if you desire to extend its life, get high performance form the systems engine, and make your vehicle fuel efficient; the next question is how often do you need it?
The answer to this question is not really straightforward as it greatly depends on what kind of car you are driving and how old it is?
These two factors decide the frequency your vehicle demands a tune up. Other than this you can always have a look at your users’ manual in order to gain the perfect insight about the schedule of tune up.
Tune-up intervals vary from one vehicle to another. Older vehicles with non-electronic ignitions should be tuned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. Newer cars with electronic ignition and fuel injection systems are scheduled to go from 25,000 miles to as many as 100,000 miles without needing a major tune-up.
In general if we take all the factors as average, then irrespective of your type and age of vehicle, we can always have a trend to follow. The right time for tune up is considered as after every two years. The other criterion is when your vehicle completes 30,000 miles. From the two stated above, whichever comes early is the perfect time your vehicle need a tune up.
Other than this fixed interval, it is not surprising if your vehicle asks for a tune up earlier. You as a responsible owner should be perfect at figuring out when it is asking for what. A few indications that direct you towards a tune up are:
- If your car stalls a lot. The spark plugs may be fouled or worn, the gap between the spark plug electrodes may need adjusting, or an electronic sensing device may need to be adjusted. In all it needs a tune up soon and you should get the hint by all this.
- The car gets harder to start. The problem can be in the starting system (for example, a weak battery), in the fuel system (for example, a weak fuel pump), or in the ignition system, or can be due to a faulty electronic component, such as the electronic control unit (ECU).
- The engine is running roughly when idling or when you accelerate. The roughness can be clearly noticed while starting the car. This implies that there re high chances that your vehicle needs a tune-up. Or it may the case when your engine doesn’t start as easily as before.
- If you car is getting a hindrance of occasional misfiring, especially in humid weather conditions, then also it can be a alarm for a need of tune up.
- While driving a few times if you experience lack of power in your car, or if it is getting harder for it to do things, then also it is a call for tune up.
- Generally it is difficult to observe but when you car needs a tune up its gas mileage becomes poorer slowly with time due to unnoticeable effect on several parts.
All these were significant hints that helps you to understand and listen to what your car needs and when. A tune-up is a major service that includes an oil change, replacement of an engine air filter, spark plugs and possibly a few additional items. A tune-up is not a solution for all car problems, but rather a preventative maintenance for your engine.
Apart from these, even if it may seem like there is no problem in your car. If you want your car to be fuel efficient, if you want it to give you a long uninterrupted service, and above all in any way if you care about your vehicle, then regular tune up is necessary.