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All About Tune-ups

Tune-ups are a fundamental aspect of automotive maintenance.

Having your vehicle serviced regularly can aid in the prevention of serious breakdowns, and provide an opportunity to find and correct problems, both large and small, before they become much more costly concerns later on.

Additionally, a tune-up can improve your gas mileage by as much as 4%. This process can include many different services, and the required schedule on which you should have a tune-up performed can vary depending on the make, model, mileage, and year of your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for a manufacturer’s recommended schedule for tune-ups and other maintenance. Bear in mind that if you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, or pull a heavy load, such as a camper or boat, you may need a tune-up more often.

The services performed during your tune-up will vary, as well, depending on your needs, and this means prices can range anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on the complexity of the services performed, labor hours, and parts. The best advice you can follow is to always get a second or third estimate to be sure that you are being given a fair price and that no unneeded procedures are being performed to unnecessarily increase the price of the service. You should expect, in most cases, for the tune-up to include an oil change, engine air filter replacement, replacing or cleaning spark plugs and possibly wires, and a visual inspection of a number of different systems.

While you should never go longer than the manufacturer’s recommendation of when to get a tune-up, there are some circumstances in which you may need to have the service performed sooner. Here are some signs you might need a tune-up:

Hard starting or failure to start
Your “check engine” light is on
Reduced or poor fuel efficiency
Rough idling or stalling of your vehicle
Misfiring or backfiring
Lack of power
Poor brake performance
Poor steering performance
high emissions

If you are scheduling a tune-up due to any concerns you have about your car’s performance, be sure to convey this information to your mechanic so they can be sure to address the concerns.

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