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When does my car need a tune-up?

Posted by Jarrett Ward on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 09:29 AM

Ward Automotive

Something we’ve been discussing a lot lately on our blog is the subject of general car maintenance.  It’s a topic that’s important to us here at Ward Automotive in Bel Air, since we believe that a little general maintenance goes a long way towards prolonging both the condition and life of your car.  With the right care, you and your car can have plenty more great times together on the road.  And that care includes making sure you bring your car in for regular tune-ups.

What happens during a car tune-up?
During a tune-up, an automotive technician will perform basic services, such as checking your tire pressures, changing your oil, and checking your lights and windshield wiper blades.   

Historically, a tune-up also consisted of a mechanic replacing your fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and distributer cap and rotors.  The mechanic would also adjust your ignition timing and clean your carburetor or throttle-body.

Ward Automotive

Since the 1980s, though, cars have changed significantly.  They no longer have carburetors or distributor caps and rotors.  Some cars don’t even have spark plug wires anymore.  Therefore, a modern-day tune-up involves replacing the spark plugs, changing the air filter, and cleaning the intake or fuel-injector, along with your basic services.

How often should I get a tune-up?
The answer to this question really depends on what kind of car you drive and how old it is.  For vehicles manufactured earlier than 2008, the rule of thumb is that you need a tune-up every 30,000 miles.  For newer vehicles, it could range anywhere from every 50,000 to every 100,000 miles.  The reason is that newer cars use different materials for the spark plugs, such as iridium or platinum, which makes them last longer. 

For a more precise recommendation, take a look at your owner’s manual.  Your car’s manufacturer should have guidelines for when you will need a tune-up.

What happens if I don’t get a tune-up?
If you don’t take your car in for a tune-up at your manufacturer’s recommended intervals, it could put unnecessary stress on components of your ignition system or even damage your catalytic converter.  It could also cause you to experience longer, harder starts.  A tune-up is much needed TLC for your car, giving it the boost it needs to keep running smoothly.

Ward Automotive

Is your car due for a tune-up?
If you are looking for an auto mechanic to service your vehicle in Harford County, Maryland, you have come to the right place.  Ward Automotive is a division of Bel Air Autobody, Inc, an autobody repair facility with a reputation for quality repair servicing the residents of Harford County for over twenty years.

Our mechanical division called Ward Automotive grew from a need to help our customers receive complete automotive care under one roof.  Our seasoned technicians are highly trained, and we possess the latest tools and equipment to service your car right.  Why not take your car to the shop that knows your car inside and out?

Click here to  schedule an appointment

Topics: bel air mechanic, basic car maintenance, car problems, car won't start, long time to start car, car cranks slowly, tune-up, general car maintenance, spark plugs, car maintenance, air filter, fuel-injector, prevent car problems