Saturday, October 18, 2008

When do I need a tune up

Mica spark plug (Manual of Driving and Mainten...Image via WikipediaThe engine tune-up is fast becoming a thing of the past. Many customers still go to their repair shop with a problem and say - "Maybe I just need a good tune-up." Back in the day a tune-up consisted of changing the spark plugs and plug wires, replacing the distributor cap and rotor, points and condenser and setting the ignition timing.
The tune-up was a very vital maintenance item that was needed often to keep the engine running properly. Today’s engines do not use most of the parts that use to be replaced in the basic tune-up. Spark plugs have become well advanced and usually last almost 100,000 miles. The distributor has been replaced by a non-distributor ignition system that eliminates the distributor totally. This means that the cap and rotor, points and condenser have also been eliminated.
Ignition timing is no longer adjustable manually. The vehicle’s computer keeps the ignition timing adjusted properly at all times for proper engine operation and performance.

So back to the question - "Do I need a tune-up?"

Spark plugs do need to be replaced periodically and spark plugs do go bad sometimes and cause engine misfires and do need to be replaced when this happens. All of the spark plugs need to be replaced at the same time, so if one goes bad then replace them all. It is also best to replace the plug wires when the plugs are replaced for maximum performance. Some of the most common types of tune ups will consist of:

Some of the most common tune ups will consist of the following:
There are many different areas that need to be maintained on a regular basis to keep your engine running properly. Lets look at these areas and explain what and why these items need to be serviced.
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Air Filter - Replace the air filter about every 15,000 miles for normal driving conditions. A dirty air filter will not cause the engine to run bad, unless it is completely plugged. A dirty filter can cause reduced fuel economy and higher exhaust emission gases.

Fuel Filter -Fuel filters become clogged with dirt and debris during normal operation and should be replaced to increase performance, extend fuel pump life, and aid in fuel economy.

Auto Icon Spark Plugs - Worn or faulty spark plugs can cause misfire, poor fuel mileage, loss of power, and slow or extended starting time.

Spark Plug Wires - Spark plug wires should be replaced when replacing spark plugs to get maximum performance and life expectancy of spark plugs.

Distributor Cap/Ignition Rotor - These items should be inspected/replaced when replacing spark plugs and spark plug wires, or when a "major tune-up" is called for. The distributor cap is where the other end of the spark plug wires connects to, and the ignition rotor in underneath the distributor cap. Some newer model vehicles do not have a distributor at all. These cars are designed with Distributor less Ignition Systems (DIS.), and therefore do not have these parts. All of these items need to be checked every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Check with The Wright Import for the proper maintenance schedule for you car or truck.
For a copy of your vehicles regular scheduled maintenance, please go to our forums and make a request. we will be happy to provide you with one for free.
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