mechanic looking at engine

Whether you’re right on time for every oil change and brake replacement or you’re one to wait until your mileage sticker and odometer match, it’s always important to stay on top of regular vehicle maintenance.

However, it’s easy to remember to change the oil when a check engine light turns on or replace our brakes when they begin to feel less responsive, but what about the good old tune-up?

Many car owners aren’t entirely sure what a tune-up consists of and when they need to have one done. So let’s take a look at when, why, and how often you should get your car tuned up.

What Is a Tune-Up?

A tune-up is a preventive maintenance service completed on all vehicles to make sure certain aspects of your vehicle are in top running order. Tune-ups are necessary for all gas-powered vehicles and are important in cars with larger engines and high mileage. But do you know what your vehicle needs tuned up? And do you know how often it should be done?

Does Mileage and Model Year Matter?

Yes! A tune-up will be slightly different depending on your vehicle’s make, model year, and mileage. A newer car, for example, might only need a few things worked on during every tune-up. Assuming you haven’t had your oil changed before the tune-up, services on a modern car might look like this:

  • Oil change
  • Battery check
  • Spark plug replacement
  • Engine air filter replacement

Simple, right? Older vehicles or vehicles with higher mileage might be looking at additional work. Keep in mind that the higher the mileage, the more critical it is to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Yes, every car should have tune-ups annually, but high mileage means more damage can happen that will affect your daily driver.

Tune-Ups for Older or High-Mileage Vehicles?

  • Timing Belt Replacement – A tune-up may require a part replacement for cars with timing belts. Although this isn’t a necessary replacement every time you bring in your vehicle, it is something that should take place every 40,000 to 70,000 miles.
  • Oxygen Sensor Replacement – Low gas mileage is a concern for any driver, but it affects older cars and vehicles with higher mileage more than newer cars. If you’re experiencing low mileage, your technician might suggest replacing the front oxygen sensor.
  • Gas Filter Replacement – Although most modern cars won’t need their fuel filters replaced, some older cars will. Check with your technician to see if that’s the case.
  • Fuel Injection – High mileage can mean easier damage to an engine and its components. Your technician may spray a cleaning solution directly into the intake manifold to clean away any carbon deposits that stick to the valves and pistons of your car.

Let’s Talk About Spark Plugs

Changing out spark plugs is part of a great maintenance routine. But when you get your spark plugs replaced depends on which spark plugs your vehicle currently uses. There are two types of spark plugs, and they both require different maintenance plans.

  • Conventional (traditional) spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles depending on wear.
  • Platinum or Iridium tipped (long-lasting) spark plugs should last 50,000 to 120,000 before any replacement might need to be considered.

When is it Time for a Tune-Up?

Most people aren’t sure when to bring their car for a tune-up. No worries! Here are some basic signs that it’s time to schedule an appointment with Master Muffler of Murray.

  • You’re experiencing a rough idle more often than not
  • Your vehicle has been misfiring, especially in humid climates and weather conditions
  • Lack of power 
  • Unstable idling or stalling
  • Poor gas mileage
  • Mileage is over 15,000 to 20,000 since the last tune-up

Come to Master Muffler Today!

Ready to get the most out of your car? It might be time for a check-up and tune-up. Whether you’ve hit 15,000 miles since your last tune-up or you’ve been experiencing issues every time you turn your key, it’s time to talk to Master Muffler at Murray! Call us today to schedule a time to work with a skilled auto technician to ensure you’re always ready for your next road trip, trip to pick up the kids or commute to work.

Categories: Tune Ups

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