5 Signs that Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
Whether your car is an old classic or brand-new from the factory, if you drive it long enough, eventually it's going to need a tune-up. In most cases, this involves taking the vehicle to your trusted auto repair specialist for preventative engine maintenance, including replacing spark plugs, wires, filters and other worn parts (and adjusting the ignition timing on older vehicles). Sometimes your vehicle will display certain symptoms that indicate a tune-up is needed, but often it will show no symptoms at all until a breakdown occurs. In any case, having a tune-up done in a timely manner will ensure your vehicle continues to run smoothly.
But how do you know when it's time for a tune-up? Here are five signs that your vehicle needs a tune-up:
1. Increased difficulty starting the car
If your car has trouble starting, it can point to a number of issues (a weak battery or fuel pump, for example), but it can also be an ignition problem that a simple tune-up would fix. The best way to know for sure is to have it diagnosed by a mechanic. Whatever the case, don't ignore this symptom.
2. Occasional or frequent stalling
If your vehicle stalls while it's running, it frequently points to faulty spark plugs or dirty connectors (the car stalls because the fuel is not igniting as it should). Pay attention to specific instances when the car stalls—for example, does it stall when it's cold? When it's hot? When the air conditioner is running? This information will help your mechanic identify the source of the problem.
3. Knocking sounds or rough idling/acceleration
If your vehicle knocks while accelerating or when climbing hills, it's typically a sign of some engine inefficiency. Also, if the car seems to idle roughly or accelerate roughly, it may be that one or more spark plugs are failing to ignite. A tune-up may solve this problem, or it can sometimes point to some other needed repair. Bring the car to the auto repair shop for a check-up.
4. Bad gas mileage
Lowered fuel efficiency is a sign your car isn't burning fuel the way it should, which often points to faulty or dirty spark plugs or fuel injection issues. If this is the case, a tune-up should improve your vehicle performance and efficiency.
5. Pay attention to manufacturer's recommendations
Even if your car shows no signs of trouble, it may still be time for a tune-up in order to prevent symptoms from occurring. Older vehicles with non-electronic ignitions should be tuned up every 10,000-20,000 miles, while newer vehicles can go anywhere between 30,000-100,000 miles before a tune-up is needed. Refer to your manufacturer's recommendations for your vehicle's tune-up schedule, and when in doubt, ask your mechanic.
It isn't necessary to take your vehicle to the dealer for tune-up services--your trusted independent auto repair shop can perform this service efficiently and usually more affordably than the dealer.
In Everett, Washington, the experts at O.N.B. Automotive have built their business with an honest, no-nonsense approach to vehicle care, as their many satisfied customers can attest. For tune-ups, maintenance and auto repairs done right, O.N.B. Automotive can be reached at 425-317-9618.
O.N.B. Automotive Blog
Written By Brian Corey
Published By MORBiZ