7 Signs That Your Car Needs a Tune-Up

Most of today’s cars are computer controlled. And because of a tune-up on most vehicles only parts such as spark plugs, spark plug wires, fuel filters, air filters, and positive crankcase ventilation valves (PCV Valve) can be replaced.

In older vehicles, we have to replace and readjust carburetors, points and condensers periodically, distributors with distributor caps and rotors. But on modern cars not too many components require adjusting, setting, or dialing in.

In today’s vehicle, the computer controls the valve timing, ignition timing, and fuel delivery.

If your vehicle’s engine misfires, hesitates, stalls, gets poor mileage, is hard to start or has failed an emissions test, then you may need a tune-up. This will be indicated with a warning light Service Engine Soon, or Check Engine Light on the dashboard.

Signs and symptoms that you may need a Tune-up

1. A misfiring engine.

Bad spark plugs can also cause low fuel economy, hard starting and sluggish acceleration. Usually plugs last 100,000 miles or more, if they are getting damaged, the engine computer will warn you immediately. This could also mean that your battery needs to be replaced. A tune-up will help you diagnose these problems early, so you never have to face with hard starting vehicle.

2. A dirty or clogged engine air filter.

Over time filters get dirty gradually. If you noticed a steady loss of performance, then that could be part of the problem.

3. A warning light.

If there’s a warning ligh t on, it’s possible that something is amiss in the emissions control system. Don’t ignore it as it could also affect fuel economy or engine performance, bring your car into an auto repair center immediately.

4. Oxygen sensor (90,000 miles or more).

An old oxygen sensor may also affect the fuel economy. Engine performance can also be reduced by more serious internal problems, such as valves that don’t seat properly or worn piston rings, or by restrictions in the exhaust system.

5. Strange noise.

If you hear any unusual or unfamiliar noises while driving, don’t ignore them as they can indicate some problems with your vehicle. For example, clicking noise could be something loose, and the squealing noise could be an indication of low fluids.

6. Leaning steering.

When driving your car in a highway, loosen your grip on the steering wheel for a moment. Your vehicle should travel straight if not being steered. If it doesn’t, it means your wheels are out of alignment, which is bad for the fuel economy. Wheel alignments are also included in vehicle tune-ups, so fix the problem as soon as possible.

7. Reduced braking capacity.

Brakes are vital parts of your car for your safety. Getting your vehicle in for a regular tune-up will help you identify when your brakes need to be serviced.

If you encounter these signs, it’s an indication that you should pay more attention to your car. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended tune-up intervals and other maintenance, based on mileage intervals. This will help to maintain a new vehicle’s warranty and also add longevity to the life of your car.


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