The terminology in your owner’s manual referring to a car tune up is now referred to as “maintenance service.” However, the purpose remains the same—to keep your car operating at optimum efficiency and safety. The intervals for this maintenance service (or what many drivers still consider as a tune up), will vary with the various types of vehicle. Today’s newer cars with electronic ignition and fuel injection systems can go from 25,000 miles to as many as 100,000 miles without needing a major tune-up. However, older cars with non-electronic ignitions generally require a tune up every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first.
The best way to know the recommended car tune up interval for your specific vehicle is to read your owner’s manual. However, if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, pull heavy loads (like a camper of boat), or make a lot of short trips, your ignition system may need to be tuned more often. It is good car sense to check the various components of your vehicle more frequently, even though it may not be time for a tune up.
If you notice any of the four symptoms below, it is probably time for a maintenance service, or “tune up”:
- The engine runs rough: This could be when idling at a stop sign, or when trying to accelerate quickly.
- Your vehicle stalls frequently: The spark plugs may be fouled or worn, the gap between the spark plug electrodes may need adjusting, or an electronic sensing device may need to be adjusted.
- Your vehicle lacks passing power: You don’t feel safe trying to overtake a slower vehicle.
- Your car gets harder to start: The problem can be in the starting system [for example, a weak battery, a weak fuel pump, the ignition system, or a faulty electronic component, such as the electronic control unit (ECU)].
If you experience anyone of these symptoms, schedule a full vehicle diagnosis with us. A timely maintenance service could prevent a future accident.