Get in Tune with Tune Ups


A “tune up” seems to be one of the buzzwords of the automotive industry, but not many people know exactly what it means. Essentially, the definition of a tune up depends on the age of your car. In the modern car era, the tune up, as it was known, doesn’t even exist anymore! New cars have platinum spark plugs, high voltage electronic engines that are fuel-injected, and tend to take care of themselves to a large degree. If you have a newer car, the only “tune up” it will need is a spark plug and spark plug wire change, which should occur every 60,000 miles or so.

In fact, if your car was produced after 1995 it’s not a good idea to go into a mechanic shop and ask for a “tune up.” Without telling your mechanic exactly what the problem is, if he or she is dishonest, there may be extra unnecessary work performed, adding to your bill.

However, if your car was manufactured in the 70s, 80s, or early 90s, it needs the traditional definition of a tune up. These cars are far more mechanical in nature as opposed to electronic, and have a carburetor, semi-mechanical ignition, and fuel-metering systems alongside mechanical ignition points. Older cars have far more moving parts than newer cars, and that is how the term “tune up” originated. With so many physically moving parts being activated as frequently as a car engine is, it’s likely that one of the parts will get out of alignment with the others. In order to make sure the engine stays “in tune” and working properly, it’s necessary to have a mechanic look inside the engine and make small adjustments to promote engine health.

Not sure whether your car needs tuning or not? The best place to find information is in the owner’s manual. There, you can find what sort of engine you have and what maintenance it needs.

If your car does require manual tune ups, get one if you experience frequent stalling, have a difficult time starting the car, and experience roughness when the car accelerates or idles. These are telltale signs that something’s off inside the engine and should be tweaked.

If you’re unsure about the kind of engine you have and whether or not you need tune ups, contact us at Downtown Auto Parts. We can provide information about what your car needs to run optimally.




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