Get your Vehicles Tuned Up and feel the Changes. You know you should regularly bring your car to a mechanic for a tune-up, but what does a tune-up consist of? Today, tune-ups follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your car, so you’ll usually be seeking a specific check rather than a complete overhaul. Read on for a comprehensive guide to the upgrades and diagnostics your vehicle will receive when you make this important appointment.
Oil Change and Filter Replacement
The oil that’s past its prime becomes contaminated with debris that causes premature wear and tears on your vehicle’s engine. Prolong the life of your car with regular oil changes and installation of a new oil filter. While three months or 3,000 miles was once the gold standard for oil change intervals, today most manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Make sure you choose the right type of oil-based on the guidelines in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Spark Plug or Ignition Replacement
If your check engine light is illuminated, you may need a replacement for part of your ignition system. Spark plug wires can wear out within 30,000 miles, but most newer cars have spark plugs that last much longer and even up to 100,000 miles.
Air and Fuel Filter Replacement
When other filters get clogged, your car’s performance suffers. The air filter should be changed after about 30,000 miles, or sooner if you live in a city with lots of air pollution. Fuel filters also last about 30,000 miles. You’ll notice that your engine rides more roughly than usual if this filter becomes clogged.
Brake Pad, Rotor, and Fluid Replacement
Over time, brake fluid can become contaminated with water, which reduces the efficacy of your brakes. Replacement service is recommended after about 45,000 miles. Pads create a squealing sound when they start to degrade and should typically be replaced every 50,000 miles. Rotors can be surfaced once before they need to be replaced, and usually, wear out every 60,000 miles.
Tire Rotation and Replacement
It’s easy to check the tread on your tires at home. Insert a penny into the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head first. If the president remains visible, your tires are at the end of their useful life. Ask your mechanic about tire rotation services. The necessity and frequency of this service vary depending on if you have front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicles tuned up. Generally, though, tires need to be rotated, balanced and aligned every 5,000 miles. As your vehicle accumulates more miles, you’ll be seeking discounts on auto parts so you can keep it running in optimal shape.
Drive Belt Replacement
Your car’s drive belts transfer power so that all the components of your car can run as expected. Over time, the belt material degrades and you may notice performance issues affecting parts of the vehicles tuned up such as the air conditioner and alternator that use mechanical power. Ask your mechanic to visually inspect these belts for damage when you stop in for a tune-up. Generally, these belts must be replaced every 40,000 to 60,000 miles.
Other maintenance tasks, such as replacing light bulbs and cleaning battery terminals, can be done as the need arises. Your local mechanic will also be happy to answer all your questions about the complete tune-up procedure.