Tune-ups Are No Longer Necessary For Your Vehicle


A “tune-up” was a procedure where the parts that were susceptible to wearing out were replaced and adjustments made. Drivers often did this on a regular basis many years ago. The systems involved were generally the fuel and ignition systems. Today tune-ups are obsolete. We sat down with the Service manager from East Hills Chevrolet of Roslyn, a full-service car dealer in Roslyn, NY to get the scoop!

However, People Still Tune Their Cars Up!

Even so, some vehicle owners still take their car in periodically to have it “tuned up.” Instead, service techs will take a look at and perhaps test the fuel, ignition and emissions systems to find possible faulty oxygen sensors, vacuum hoses and other parts that can make for terrible performance. The federal government, for example, tells us that a bad oxygen sensor may give engine computers false readings and reduce fuel economy and possibly by 40%. If you have a manual transmission, then your clutch is properly adjusted for ideal operation of the vehicle.

Having your car serviced and inspected periodically is a great way to extend its life and keep it working efficiently. However, going into a repair facility and asking for a tuneup is an awful idea because it indicates you’re still living in the previous century and have additional money you would like to spend. In essence, we advise against taking one’s car in for tune-ups. If it’s not broken, then you don’t need to fix it.

What To Make Sure to Do to Keep Your Car in Tip-top Shape

About the only items left from the traditional tune-up are new spark plugs, typically done every 100,000 miles, and replacing the air filter periodically.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy say that replacing a clogged air filter won’t improve gas mileage but may improve acceleration 6% to 11%. The agencies don’t say what benefit can be derived from fresh spark plugs, but computers that control modern day engines adjust the air-fuel mixture and spark timing to compensate for wear, such as when the spark plug electrodes are worn down.

Look in your vehicle owner’s manual (or at a separate maintenance schedule) to find what the manufacturer recommends, and see if you can even locate the words “tuneup.” For example, Ford Fiesta maintenance guide that also applies to other Ford vehicles. The first mention of something related to a typical, traditional tune-up was to replace the engine air filter every 30,000 miles (or if you’re driving on dirt roads a lot then replace it more frequently than that!). The only other related item was to replace the spark plugs every 100,000 miles because each time a plug fires the electrodes wear out. These are really the only things you need to worry about in regards to keeping your vehicle “tuned up.”

We hope that this article has been helpful in helping you decide what kind of vehicle maintenance is really necessary, and that you enjoyed it!


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