Owning a car is an experience, and for those who are not blessed with the knowledge to be a backyard mechanic, the process of tuning up your vehicle can seem daunting. However, worry not, we are here to help guide you through the process and ensure that you have the confidence to get under the hood every once in a while. Here are the top tips for knowing when to get your car tuned up and how to do it!
When to tune
Generally, there are a few signs that your car is need of a tune-up. If you are experiencing any or multiple of the following issues, it is time for a tune-up.
- Your engine light comes on and stays on during your drive. Yes, this can be an error, but generally, the check engine light means that something is wrong with your engine.
- If your engine is dealing with stalling, especially when you press on the accelerator.
- If your fuel economy has started to dip without any real reason or changes in behavior or traffic.
- Any problems with your brakes need to be dealt with as soon as possible, so any squeaks, whining or scraping sounds means it is time for a tune-up.
- If you are starting to feel some rough shifting, especially in a manual transmission, rough shifting can lead to some serious issues, so as soon as you begin to feel some roughness, it is time for a tune-up.
- Finally, if you start to notice any vibrations or to shake in the car, you should look to tune up your vehicle. This could be an issue with balancing your tires, or something worse!
How to tune-up your vehicle
When taking the time to tune-up, your car makes sure to do a full check of the central systems and typical wear points. For the specifics, here are some great tips on how to tune-up your vehicle.
- Ignition- Your ignition system is literally how your car is going to start and needs to be checked to ensure it is running well. You will want to check your spark plugs, the plug wires, and other electrical components that allow your car to start.
- Filters- No, we are not just talking about the air filter! Your filters keep debris and dust out, and that is something your cabin and engine will like. Check the cabin air filter, air, fuel and oil filters and replace if you see build-up or they are past their recommended replacement date as per your car’s manual.
- Belts and Hoses- The belts and hoses of your car are something that should be looked at during every tune-up, and a visual inspection is usually enough. If you spot some wear or tear, make sure to replace the piece asap.
- Fluids- Your system should happen regularly, and a tune-up is a great time to complete it. Check your coolant, engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluid to ensure its at the recommended level. Otherwise, look to flush and refill if you are nearing the recommended mileage in your manual.
Tune-ups are an essential part of vehicle maintenance and knowing when to do it half of the battle; the other half is knowing how to do it!
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