Despite what most environmentalists would like you to believe, for many people, the car is an essential item, not a luxury. If you live in a rural area you’re going to need a car to get to the shops, pay bills, and do other essential chores. There simply won’t be a viable or cost-effective public transport solution. What is included in a car tune-up?
That’s not to say you can’t help the environment while driving your car. Hybrid and electric cars are much better for the environment, but they are expensive. If you’re stuck with the old-fashioned combustion engine then you need to take care of your vehicle. It will reduce the level of emissions and help your car to last for longer.
As a bonus, a well looked after car will cost less to run. In short, you need to learn more here from an expert about having your car tuned up.
What’s Involved In A Tune-Up
It’s best to have your car tuned once a year. The aim of this is to undertake routine maintenance and prevent problems from happening while you’re driving.
If the parts are replaced you’ll notice a decrease in performance and efficiency. For example, your air filter takes in all the debris from the air. This results in it becoming partially blocked, reducing airflow to the engine.
Your vehicle will keep running but the air/fuel mix required to power the engine will be richer in oxygen. You’ll be wasting fuel and increasing the wear on most other components in the engine. The ultimate result is potentially engine failure.
Your average tune-up should include:
- Checking & Replacing Air Filter
- Changing The Oil and Oil Filter
- Inspecting Fuel Filter and Replacing if Necessary
- Looking at Fluid Levels
- Inspecting Tires
Most of the above items can be done via a visual inspection. This is something you could even do at home but it’s best to get a professional to check everything is set properly.
Don’t forget, if the filters aren’t replaced the oil pressure can increase which can also lead to fuel pump failure and a variety of other expensive issues.
The filters are essential to the smooth running of the engine, that’s why they should be checked and replaced annually. But, your tune-up should also look at the spark plugs. These are small items that slot into the cylinder head and create a spark to ignite the fuel and air mix. Without the spark plug, your engine won’t run.
They must be clean and have the gap set correctly for them to work efficiently and your engine to run smoothly. Of course, the spark plugs are subject to high temperatures all the time. For this reason, they often need to be replaced annually. If your car is starting to idle rough then you probably have an issue with spark plugs.
If they need replacing the tune-up will also inspect the distribution cap, rotors, and associated wires This makes sure they are all working properly.
When To Get A Tune-Up
It’s essential to have your car checked by a professional every year. This will ensure they change the simple pieces, such as filters, and inspect everything else. It’s worth noting that it’s substantially cheaper to tune your car regularly than it is to deal with engine failure.
Older vehicles generally need a full tune-up every 10,000 miles. Thanks to advancements in technology, newer cars will generally go between 30,000 and 50,000 miles before needing a complete tune-up. This is separate from replacing the filters annually.
You should book your tune-up in advance, this will help to ensure it’s not forgotten about. Depending on the system your garage is using you may even be able to book your next tune-up as soon as the garage has finished your current one.
If you have a tune-up booked in every year then you should never need to worry. However, it can be a good idea to know the warning signs that tell you your car needs a tune-up.
The most common issue is a failure or reluctance to start. Alongside this you may find your car is running ‘lumpy’, that’s when the ride isn’t quite as smooth as normal.
Your car will also warn you that a tune is required by illuminating the service light or even the check engine light. If you notice the brakes are feeling light or the car is rough when changing gear you need a tune-up. The sooner it’s done the better.
Don’t forget that tuning up your car and replacing all the filters will help it to last longer, saving you money or helping to ensure the value of your vehicle stays as high as possible. Considering you’re likely to sell the car in the future, the greater the value the better.