A vehicle tune-up is a preventative maintenance service offered by Pocatello car repair experts at Master Muffler. Depending on the age of your vehicle, it should be performed every 10,000 – 12,000 miles or annually, whichever comes first.

What is a Tune-Up?

The tune-up has evolved from the early days of the automobile when it consisted of fine-tuning a carburetor for optimal performance. It was like tinkering with a musical instrument to get just the right sound; a tune-up was performed annually for ignition systems before they switched to electronic components.

As cars continued to evolve, tune-ups for maintenance of ignition timing, plugs, caps, rotors, and the carburetor became less necessary. These days, most vehicles have onboard computers that monitor these systems to detect any issues. It’s less imperative for a person to take a look under the hood as often as they used to in order to do a visual assessment.

What a Tune-Up Includes

Regardless of the advances in automobile technology, an annual tune-up is still a good idea, and here’s what you can expect when you bring your car into our Pocatello car repair shop.

Ignition System 

The ignition system is responsible for getting your car started. You want to be sure the spark plugs, wires, and coils are working properly so you have success each time you turn your key.

When performing routine car repair, a mechanic will take a look at the spark plugs to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Since the plugs are made of metal, they can wear down over time, leading to misfires.

Other parts of the ignition system to include in a tune-up:

  • Distributor Cap
  • Distributor Rotor
  • Breaker Points (for vehicles manufactured before 1974)


Many of the moving parts in your engine are connected with belts. They form sophisticated pulley systems to help transfer energy from the engine to other systems under the hood. Belts to inspect during a tune-up include the following:

  • Serpentine Belt
  • Belt Tensioner
  • Timing Belt


Hoses are responsible for moving fluids through your car, helping keep things cool. During a tune-up, your mechanic should be checking for cracks in the rubber, bulging, or damage to clamps that hold hoses in place.


Depending on how often you get a tune-up, it can consist of topping off your car’s fluids. It could also include an oil change or a flush and replacement of transmission fluid or coolant. Here’s which fluids your mechanic should monitor:

  • Motor Oil
  • Coolant
  • Brake Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid


Your tune-up should also include an inspection of your air and fuel filters. Since a car depends on oxygen to operate, it’s important that filters aren’t clogged with particulate matter. An engine will run more efficiently if it gets proper oxygen intake, which is why filters should be checked and changed at least annually.

Signs Your Car Needs a Tune-Up

If you haven’t hit your mileage, or it’s been less than a year, what signs should you be looking for that indicate you need a tune-up? The Pocatello car repair team at Master Muffler says to watch for these trouble points.

Car Won’t Start Easily

If you’re experiencing problems starting your car, a good ol’ fashioned tune-up can help. If there isn’t a problem with the battery or alternator, it might be your ignition system.

Car Stalls 

If your car suddenly stalls when it’s running, the spark plugs might be worn out, or connections might need to be cleaned. If you can make note of what was happening when your car stalled, it can help guide the diagnostic; sometimes Pocatello car repairs are due to the cold temperatures we experience.

Strange Sounds

Do you hear knocking in the engine when you try to accelerate? Or does your vehicle idle roughly, shuddering or revving? A tune-up can help identify the problem, as these are signs the spark plugs need to be replaced.

Gas Mileage Decreases

If your engine isn’t efficiently converting air and fuel into energy to get you going, it’s time to take a look under the hood. Whether it’s due to an air filter or a faulty fuel injector, a tune-up can help locate the problem.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your vehicle, give us a call today.