November 20, 2019

How Often Do Cars Need Tune Ups?

As a vehicle owner, you likely want to keep your car or truck in good condition. One of the ways you can do this is with a tune-up. Most drivers have heard or a car tune-up but many don’t really know what it is. This likely leaves you wondering when you need to get one, if ever. Read on to learn a little more about tune-ups and how often cars need them.

What Does a Tune Up Consist Of?

Precisely defining a tune-up is difficult because it can mean a lot of things. However, it the simplest terms, a tune-up is a type of maintenance that refreshes some parts of your car to keep it running longer. Some people consider any type of service to be a tune-up. Others say that it is only a tune-up if you replace some parts.

Typically, a tune-up includes checking and repairing the ignition system, especially the spark plugs. This may be followed by changing the oil and air filters. Sometimes a tune-up includes changing belts, although this is only needed in sparse intervals. Checking and changing your fluids is regularly part of the process as well.

Although a tune-up generally primarily refers to working on the powertrain, you may also want to replace other consumable items at the same time. This can include the windshield wiper blades and the brake pads, both of which experience wear with use.

How Often Is It Necessary?

The regularity of tune-ups depends on the vehicle and the definition you use for “tune-up.” Older vehicles with non-electronic ignitions often need a tune-up every 10,000 miles or so. More modern cars with electric and more robust ignitions may not need a full tune-up until 100,000 miles, although some need one every 25,000 miles.

Of course, if you consider any maintenance work such as changing fluids and filters to be a tune-up, the regularity will be more frequent. Most modern cars require servicing of some sort every 5,000 to 15,000 miles. However, a lot of these service intervals are relatively minor and may only involve an inspection and basic maintenance.

The best way to know what your vehicle needs is to check your owner’s manual. All manufacturers include a schedule for regular maintenance that will keep your vehicle on the road under regular use. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, try using a VIN lookup free tool to find the right documentation for your make and model.

When you look up the manual, you can also find the service manual. This is a more in-depth version that includes instructions on how to do maintenance and repair work. It is what mechanics follow to find the specifics for different vehicles.

Get Started

Keeping your vehicle in optimal shape is a worthwhile investment. Not only will you enjoy the drive more, but it also will keep the vehicle value up. Furthermore, there is a lot to be said for working on your car or truck yourself. Get started today by ordering some of the parts and fluids you need for your car tune-up.

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