In the past, engine tune-ups were much more time consuming because they required a motorist to check a variety of parts. Engine tune-ups formerly included checking the distributor, cap, rotor, ignition contact points, condensers, carburetors, and more. Today, these items are generally no longer included in engine tune-ups because a vehicle’s electronic control unit controls the engine timing. While not as many parts need to be checked today, engine tune-ups still include the inspection of a variety of components. These include spark plugs and wires, oil and oil filters, and fuel filters. Regular tune-ups will ensure your engine is running efficiently and reliably. Engine tune-ups can help prevent breakdowns and extend the life of an automobile. A well-tuned engine will help keep a vehicle operating at maximum performance levels, which is why routine maintenance is so important.
So what is a car tune-up?
A car tune-up is a type of preventive maintenance performed on a vehicle to ensure it continues to perform well. A tune-up is typically regularly scheduled — once a year is a very soft rule of thumb — and offers the chance for you to get all of the preventive maintenance your car needs at that time. Getting a car tune-up regularly will help you maintain your car’s performance and extend its life.
When you have a tune-up performed, it will typically include the replacement of several important wear-and-tear parts. Failure to replace these parts can result in decreased performance and other problems. For example, the air filter will typically need to be replaced at least once per year. If a dirty air filter is not replaced, the engine may receive less air than it needs to run properly. If this problem is not addressed, the air-fuel mixture will continue running richer, which means there is not enough air and too much fuel in the mixture. This can ultimately result in the failure of other parts and a waste of fuel. The tune-up should also include cleaning or replacing the spark plugs and, on older cars, the distributor cap and rotor. Tune-ups may also include replacement of the fuel filter, oxygen sensor, PCV valve, and spark plug wires. If your vehicle contains platinum spark plugs, they may not need to be changed as frequently. Vehicles with an electronic ignition rather than a distributor will not need to have the distributor cap and rotor replaced.