All cars require regular maintenance to ensure smooth running. Whether your vehicle is an old classic or the latest SUV model, it is prudent to have a tuneup done frequently to avoid costly repairs or permanent damage. Proper maintenance guarantees maximum fuel efficiency and safety. In this article, we explain the meaning of a tuneup, what a tuneup service involves, discuss the tell-tale signs of a need for a tuneup, and enlighten you on how often a tuneup should be done.
What is a Tuneup?
A tuneup is a precautionary maintenance task carried out on your vehicle to ensure it performs well for a longer time. Since your vehicle’s parts are prone to wear and tear due to normal usage, a tuneup is done to replace the worn-out parts that might otherwise cause major problems.
What Does Your Car Tuneup Service Involve?
Here are some vital services that go into your Lewisville area automobile tuneup:
- Oil and engine fluid change: Frequently changing your minivan’s oil and oil filter will keep the engine clean and ensure it lasts longer. You may also need to occasionally change the transmission fluid, engine coolant, and steering and brake fluid for better performance of your SUV. Failure to do so might be costly in the long run as unclean oils and fluids can clog the filter leading to poor fuel efficiency.
- Safety inspection: Whenever you purchase a car in the Lewisville, Texas area, comprehensive inspection of the automobile is done to ensure all the crucial components operate safely. Such components include the engine, exhaust system, and fuel system.
- Mechanical repair: Once the inspection has been done and some components like the engine or brakes are found to have mechanical faults, repairs are done to prevent the problem from causing permanent damage to your SUV or injury to the driver and passengers.
Image via Flickr by Zoe Saagon
Warning Signs You Need a Tune-up
Here’s how to tell if your vehicle requires a tune-up:
Engine Won’t Start
Your engine refusing to start could be indicative of a variety of mechanical problems, which can easily be identified and solved by a tune-up. It might, for example, point out an overused battery that needs replacement or misfiring spark plugs. A scheduled maintenance service will enable you to pinpoint the cause early enough to avoid a breakdown.
Decreased Fuel Mileage
Whether your truck has a gauge that monitors fuel mileage or not, you can almost always tell a decline in fuel efficiency. If you realize your vehicle is using more fuel than before when covering the same distance, then there could be trouble with its engine, exhaust system, or even its wheel alignment. Given that such a decline can signal diverse problems, it is prudent that you have a tune-up done straight away.
Whenever you take notice of a strange noise in your minivan that didn’t seem to have been there before, don’t ignore it. Automobiles are made of different parts that depend on each other to function. A new and weird noise could therefore signal a range of problems in one or more of these components that may include a reduction in engine fluids or a breakdown in one part. A timely tune-up saves your vehicle from serious damage.
Diminishing Braking Capability
Brakes are the most vital safety essentials of your car which need to be always functional. Since brakes like any other part of an auto diminish in responsiveness overtime of regular use, it is important that you have a tune-up done regularly. Procrastination could cost you your life if brakes fail to respond when you really need it; so if you feel your brakes don’t respond as quickly as it used to, that tune-up is long overdue.
Warning Lights Are On
Engine warning lights are on your dashboard for an important reason, so they are not to be ignored. The lights illuminate to indicate a problem in one of your car’s systems which may cause serious complications if the problem is not taken care of immediately. They may warn against a simple issue like burnt-out tail lights or a severe one like a failure in engine transmission. An immediate diagnosis and fixing of a little problem will help you avoid a major and much costlier one later.
When your vehicle stalls more than once, it could be a sign of a problem lurking in the engine system like a clogged oil filter or your spark plugs have stopped working. Such problems can easily be identified and fixed in a regular maintenance. Stalling is not only annoying but it can also be quite dangerous especially if it occurs on a highway. For this reason, get your car a tune-up to ensure it operates safely.
Slow acceleration can be quite dangerous when you need a higher speed and power yet your car won’t accelerate on demand. If you are trying to overtake another vehicle on a two-lane road or are joining a highway yet your car suddenly doesn’t seem to catch up, then it’s time for that tune-up. Sluggish acceleration can indicate a range of problems which easily be sorted in regular maintenance.
Your Car Is Vibrating
If your car starts shaking even on a smooth surface, then there could be an underlying problem. The shaking could only be experienced in the steering wheel, at high speeds, or even throughout the vehicle. Even though the intensity of the vibrations might seem insignificant, it’s a clear indication of a need for a tune-up.
How Often Should a Tune-up be Done?
Unlike older cars which required comprehensive tune-up service every 30,000 to 45,000 miles, your modern minivan will go longer before it needs a tune-up. Modern cars are controlled by a computer which usually signals when there is a problem. Today, preventive tune-ups are performed based on mileage to identify and fix a potential problem. When you acquire a truck at Huffines Chrysler Jeep Dodge, our well-informed staff will help determine the best schedule for your car.
A tune-up may seem expensive but postponing a problem can lead to more damage to your vehicle which can be much more costly. The timely and regular maintenance of your vehicle guarantees excellent performance and longer life.