What is a Car Tune-Up? Do You Need It?

What is a car tuneup

If you are someone who’s always on the lookout for the most efficient car maintenance tips, you’ve probably come across the term ‘tune-up’. You might wonder what it is and if you need it for your car. Well, before the whole era of electronics in the car industry, the term ‘tune-up’ was used for maintaining or replacing vehicle components like the spark plugs and distributor points. It may also involve inspection or replacement of the cap and rotor, as well as the fuel and air filters.

The word ‘tune-up’ is probably one of the misunderstood and misused terms in the automotive industry. However, technically, it refers to general adjustments you make on your vehicle to ensure peak efficiency and smooth operation. Before, a tune-up was a preventive maintenance procedure that was usually done every 12,000 or 20,000 miles.

Is a Tune-Up Necessary These Days?

Now, if you own a modern car, you might wonder if you need a tune-up kit. Since vehicles these days have the latest tools and technologies, a tune-up kit is no longer as indispensable as before. It is worth noting that most cars these days do not have the same distributor system that older vehicles had. Because of the coil on the ignition systems, replacing the spark plug does have to be done as frequently as before.

Vehicles with gasoline engines have iridium spark plugs. Because the metal is robust and highly durable, most car owners do not think it is necessary to replace the spark plug. Indeed, modern vehicles have not eliminated the usage of tune-up kits. However, their design has certainly reduced the need considerably.

In general, you need to perform certain car maintenance procedures on your vehicle. If the air filter is worn, you need to replace it. Moreover, you need to change the oil in a timely manner and check if there are any signs of damage to the hoses of the radiator. You do not even have to be a professional mechanic to perform these tasks. However, for more complex procedures, make sure you bring your car to a trusted service center.

What You Can Do

As a car owner, your best option is not to request for a tune-up. What you should do is review your owner’s manual and check the guidelines on when you should replace the spark plugs. If you learn that they are due for a replacement, bring your car to a service center change them accordingly. Doing so will ensure the best performance of your vehicle.

Ideally, you need to replace the PCV valves, fuel filters, distributor caps, and rotors every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Every 60,000 miles, remember to replace the spark plug wires.

It is worth noting that some cars do not have spark plug wires or distributor caps. Some vehicles have fuel filters that come with the fuel pump. You can only change them when they get clogged and they start to affect the quality of the fuel pump.

If you’re driving a car from the 90s, then it will be worth your while to invest in a tune-up kit. On the other hand, if your vehicle has a modern engine, then the kit won’t be necessary. Meanwhile, if you notice that your car is misfiring and you do not remember the last time you replaced the spark plugs, then it may be a good idea to have them changed.

We hope this article helped you understand what a tune-up is. If you have questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comment section below. We will be glad to answer your inquiries!

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