What is a tune-up and how often do I need one?

Published: 10/18/2010 by AutoShopit

What is a tune-up and how often do I need one?

Just like you’d go to the doctor for an annual check-up, your car can also benefit from some preventative care in the form of a regular tune-up with your chosen mechanic. From checking spark plugs and fluid levels, to the life left in your battery, a tune-up is a helpful way to keep tabs on the health of your vehicle. By having your car looked at every one or two years, you will also be able to extend the performance and life of the car, and identify any problems before they turn into major repairs.

A tune-up generally consists of having your mechanic evaluate and replace any damaged parts such as your air filter, spark plugs, distributor cap, and wiper blades.  You may also be advised to change your fuel filter, spark plug wires, and oxygen sensors if they are deemed to be worn out. By keeping on top of these small problems, your car will continue to run at its optimal level, with the minimum amount of wear and tear to your system. 

Your tune-up is also a great opportunity to focus on other outstanding issues that you may need to address within your vehicle by having your mechanic check your car’s basic systems such as brakes, engine and air conditioning, along with all fluids and oil levels. You can also get an expert opinion on how much longer your tires, battery, and brake pads will last before needing replacement.

Keep in mind, if you have any of the following symptoms, don’t wait for your routine tune-up to give your vehicle a little TLC: 

  • Stalling can be the result of malfunctioning internal sensors, dirty fuel system parts, worn out spark plugs or other engine problems.
  • Hard starting is a common complaint among car owners, and indicative of neglected maintenance, problems with sensors, electronic malfunction, or the ignition system.
  • Knocking can occur when you are putting your vehicle under stress, such as when climbing a steep hill or accelerating on the highway.  This can be caused by simply using the wrong gas for your vehicle, or something more serious such as a problem with the ignition.
  • Poor mileage indicates some inefficiency within your engine, or soft tires, misaligned breaks, or a transmission malfunction.

By searching through our database on autoshopit.com, you can find information about local mechanics you can trust to give you the best care for your vehicle. Simply browse through our listings and customer feedback from other car owners to find the right mechanic for your needs within your chosen search area. Also, you can find out more about the care and maintenance of your vehicle along with recommended products and services through our collection of helpful articles. 

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