Does Your Car Need a Tune-Up?

Car tune-ups are a thing of the past. Maybe if you drive something twenty years old or older, you need to have it tuned up occasionally, but these days, cars come with maintenance schedules for a reason.

What is a Tune Up?

A tune-up consists of checking and replacing parts to bring your ignition, fuel system, and engine performance to a better state of efficiency. Many mechanics don’t even offer tune-ups anymore, because it’s not necessary. It wastes their time, your time, and your money.

Sometimes tune-ups today include a new set of spark plugs, a cabin filter replacement, or an engine filter replacement. However, even these things are part of the maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual, so they’re not really necessary.

You may choose to see a mechanic to perform regular checkups on your car, and it could consist of things as simple as checking your tire pressure, getting your oil changed, or rotating your tires.

Your Vehicle’s Maintenance Schedule

Typically, oil changes are required every 3000 to 5000 miles for regular oil and 6000 to 10,000 miles for synthetic oil. You should rotate your tires every 5000 miles, and you need to replace spark plugs every 100,000 miles.

Engine and cabin filters vary by make and model but should be replaced on a regular basis to keep your car running optimally. If your air filter is clogged, replacing it could improve your acceleration, and it will undoubtedly improve the cleanliness of the air in your cabin.

So What Now?

Dutiful car owners still take their cars in to get them tuned up, even though it’s no longer necessary. A service technician will most likely inspect or test the fuel, ignition, and emissions systems, looking for faulty hoses, oxygen sensors, and other things that might hurt your car’s performance.

If your oxygen sensor is bad, it could cause faulty readings or reduce your gas mileage by forty percent. However, these are all still things that will come to light during a routine maintenance visit and don’t need a special trip.

Follow Your Maintenance Schedule

The manufacturer or your vehicle built a maintenance schedule to fit your car specifically. It helps extend the life of your vehicle and keep it running efficiently. Telling your mechanic that your car needs a tune-up indicates that you don’t really have a good idea of what’s wrong with your car and you are willing to spend extra money to have them figure it out for you.

Hopefully, you have a trustworthy mechanic, but other businesses may take advantage of this opportunity. Find the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual to see what it recommends and if you can find a section on ‘tune-ups.’ Follow these guidelines for the life of your car, and you shouldn’t need to do much else.

You can also check with your local dealership. They’ll have a list of recommended maintenance visits, and their prices may even be competitive. They will know your vehicle better than anyone, have parts on hand, and experienced technicians who can do it quickly. There’s no need to have a tune-up anymore. Take care of all of the necessary maintenance, and it should run for a long time.