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Auto Tune up Basics

Auto tune up basics are the few things that every tune up should include whether the car is newer or older. There are some additional things that newer cars might require as time goes by, and older cars certainly need additional work on their own, such as distributor cap replacement. But these auto tune up basics will give drivers a good list of the things they can do to help most cars keep running better longer.

Reasons to Tune up Cars

There are all sorts of different reasons we perform tune ups on our automobiles due to the many financial advantages of buying used and older models. One of them is quite simply to avoid bigger problems down the road. The small amount of time and money that you will spend on a job like this every so often will definitely save you as time goes by. For instance, folks who wait too long to tune up their cars almost always end up having to have their catalytic converters replaced way earlier than they should.

But there are also immediate benefits to performing a basic tune up. When your plugs are bad, they absolutely kill gas mileage, which costs you a ton of money every month. This brings out another important point specifically in reference to newer cars, the ones whose manufacturers say can go 100k miles without a tune up. Don’t take that number for granted, and don’t just assume that it is true. In fact, it is safer not to believe it at all and spend a few bucks on new plugs anyway.

Tuning up a Car

To perform a basic tune up, you will need to replace the spark plugs, plug wires if needed, the air filter, and the fuel filter. The PCV valve often should be included as well. Normally folks that do this type of work on their cars also throw in an oil change while they are at it and check and top off all other fluids. All of these parts in one way or another contribute to the way the car runs and when replaced, will help the car get better gas mileage. And that in its essence is the point of a tune up.

We think long term as well, because we know that tuning up cars and keeping up with auto maintenance does end up saving us money down the road. But for most people the motivation to save money today is stronger than the motivation to save money tomorrow, so achieving better fuel efficiency is usually reason enough to get this type of work done.

DIY vs. Shop Tune Ups

There are some people that do all of this work on their own. There are some obvious advantages to this method, the biggest of which, once again, has to do with saving money, in this case on the cost of labor and parts mark up. But there is something to be said for dealing with a professional car shop as well. Think about the diagnostics that a mechanic can do on your ride. Some problem might be discovered and get corrected before it gets worse and costs you more money. This is actually a pretty common scenario among customers who have their basic tune ups done at auto shops.

Auto tune up basics give you the background information you need to determine when to get this work done and how to do it. There are usually specific guidelines on the frequency of tune ups, which you can find in the owner’s manual of your car. Learn tune up basics and find out how to keep your car running longer.


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