Vehicle Maintenance - Is A Tune-Up Really Necessary?

You may have heard that regular engine tune-ups are necessary to keep your car in good working order. But do you know why? Read on to find out how regularly scheduled engine tune-ups not only keep your vehicle running smoothly, but also prevent future problems.

What is a tune-up?

A tune-up is a regularly scheduled inspection and maintenance of your car engine's fuel system. It can also consist of additional maintenance depending on your vehicle's age, mileage, and specific manufacturer recommendations. Normal wear and tear of your engine will foul up your engine parts, and a tune-up cleans or replaces these parts. A tune-up also helps diagnose issues before they become a problem and damage your engine.  

The basic engine tune-up consists of inspecting, cleaning, or replacing spark plugs and wires. Additionally, your mechanic may inspect your fuel system, including the fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel injectors, and PCV valve. If any of these parts require replacement, your mechanic will give you the option to have them replaced at this time. If necessary, he or she may also adjust your engine timing and idle speed.

This is also a good time to have your mechanic perform an oil change and replace your oil filter and cabin air filter as well. Many mechanics will also take this opportunity to check your other fluid levels, tire pressure, and any other recommended maintenance corresponding to your vehicle age or mileage, as designated by your vehicle manufacturer.

What are the consequences of neglecting timely tune-ups?

Your vehicle manufacturer recommends specific maintenance at certain intervals because they know that is the best way to keep your car up and running safely. Neglecting your vehicle maintenance can put unnecessary wear and tear on your car and reduce its life.

Regular vehicle maintenance is also important because it helps identify mechanical and electrical problems that could become dangerous if not taken care of. This helps reduce unnecessary accidents and breakdowns, which can be costly to repair.

You also risk voiding your vehicle warranty if you fail to maintain our vehicle properly. Cars are not built to run perfectly without maintenance. If you fail to maintain your car according to the manufacturer recommendation, many manufacturers will not warranty the parts or vehicle when something goes wrong.  

How can you tell if your vehicle needs a tune-up?

Each and every vehicle is different and you should always have your mechanic perform the recommended maintenance at the intervals your manufacturer suggests. You can find this information in your vehicle owner's manual or have it printed out by your mechanic.

Additionally, you should visit your mechanic any time your car is performing differently than it usually does. Although regularly scheduled maintenance usually catches most problems early on, it is still possible for something to go wrong. Reduced performance, strange noises, and lower than normal gas mileage are all signs that something is not working right. Visit your mechanic early on to fix issues before they become costly problems.