If you’ve priced new cars lately, you might have been shocked. The average luxury car is now up to $67,050, with non-luxury lines hovering around $44,584.
That’s a lot of money to invest in something that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. The better you care for it, the longer it will run.
How do you keep your car running at its best? Regular maintenance and tune-ups will ensure your investment stays operating well throughout its life.
Use these tips to help you keep car maintenance at the forefront of your mind.
What is a tune-up?
A tune-up is a regular maintenance visit with a mechanic to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. It typically involves checking and adjusting various systems and components to ensure they are operating optimally.
With over 30,000 parts, there are many components to track and take care of. Luckily, all vehicles are built similarly with comparable systems and components. Tune-ups vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as its age and condition, but generally include:
Spark plugs – they deliver an electrical spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Over time, spark plugs can become worn and misfiring can occur, causing decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions.
Ignition system – this includes the spark plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor. These components can wear out over time, leading to misfiring and decreased performance.
Air filter – the air filter helps prevent debris from entering the engine, which can lead to damage. A dirty or clogged air filter can also reduce fuel efficiency and performance.
Fuel system – this includes the fuel filter, fuel pump, and fuel injectors. These components help to deliver fuel to the engine and can become clogged or wear out over time, causing decreased performance and increased emissions.
Motor oil and oil filter – engine oil helps lubricate the engine and protect it from wear. A regular oil change and oil filter replacement can help to keep the engine running smoothly and prevent damage.
Emissions control systems – this helps reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment. They include the oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, and other components, and can become clogged or worn out over time, causing increased emissions and decreased performance.
While these are just a few of the many parts and systems located on your vehicle, it’s important to note that a car tune-up can help to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, performance, and emissions. Tune-ups help to identify and resolve potential problems before they become more serious.
However, it’s equally important to note that the frequency and type of tune-ups required will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as its age.
Why do tune-up requirements change as a car ages?
As a car ages, things start to change. Parts wear down at different rates. Systems rely on a variety of functions, some old and some new. All of that can stress how the vehicle operates and cause additional issues.
While you should continue with tune-ups as your car ages, how a tune-up is defined and the repair work that needs to occur will vary and change along with it.
As components age, they can become worn or damaged, reducing their efficiency and performance. For example, spark plugs can become dirty, ignition components can wear out, and fuel and air filters can become clogged. These issues can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, reduced performance, and increased emissions. Regular tune-ups are needed to maintain optimal performance.
Advances in technology can also affect the tune-up requirements for a vehicle. As engines have become more sophisticated, the number of spark plugs, or the use of traditional distributors, has changed. Newer vehicles may use electronic fuel injection, which requires different maintenance procedures than older vehicles that use carburetors.
Emissions requirements have also changed over time, requiring different tune-up procedures to maintain compliance. Catalytic converters and oxygen sensors are the perfect examples, with components now required to control emissions at today’s optimal levels. Your car needs evaluation to fix what it can, and optimize based on function.
Why you should rely on a professional for a tune-up
Some will say there are many things you can do yourself in order to ensure your car is tuned-up and in excellent working condition. We agree! This is about you keeping a watchful eye over how your car operates every single day.
And when you have questions, it’s time to bring them in and have us dig deep into how it’s working.
Relying on a professional for a tune-up provides you with:
Expertise – a professional mechanic has the training and experience to diagnose and repair any issues with your car’s engine. They know how to perform a comprehensive tune-up, ensuring that all engine components are running smoothly.
Equipment – professional mechanics have access to specialized tools and equipment necessary for a thorough tune-up. These tools can diagnose problems you may not be able to detect on your own, such as a misfiring spark plug or a clogged air filter.
Precision– a professional tune-up is a precise process that involves checking and adjusting many different engine components. A professional mechanic has the expertise to perform this task quickly and efficiently, ensuring that your car runs smoothly and without any issues.
Safety – a poorly tuned car can be dangerous to drive. A professional mechanic can identify and fix any safety issues, such as worn brakes or loose steering components, before they become a problem.
Cost savings – regular tune-ups can save you money in the long run. You can prevent more expensive repairs down the road by ensuring that your car is running at peak performance. Regular tune-ups also help to improve fuel efficiency, which can save you money on gas.
Tune-up tips that really make a difference
Whether your car is brand new or an old friend who’s been with you for years, it’s important to use these tune-up tips regularly to keep your car working at its best.
How can we help you keep your car in top condition? Stop by today. We look forward to getting to know you better.