A vehicle is essentially a machine, and as such, it requires a certain amount of preventative maintenance in order to continue to perform correctly. A tune up is a regularly scheduled chance to do all of the preventative maintenance that needs to be done. By making sure your vehicle gets a regular tune up, it will help maintain the performance and extend the life of the vehilce.
A tune up generally includes replacement of several parts on your vehicle. These parts may seem superficial, but failing to replace them regularly can cause decreased performance in your vehicle, and may even lead to other problems, for example, excessive fuel consumption, engine running rough, lack of power etc
Taking into account the longer service intervals and reduced maintenance requirements of today's vehicles, a tune-up is probably only necessary every 50,000 to 60,000 kms, or once every two to three years. This is altered though when a driveability problem arises that requires diagnosis and repair.
The best guide to the vehicle’s tune-up frequency is probably the recommended spark plug replacement interval in the vehicle's owner manual.
Our list of items that should be checked / replaced in a "complete" tune-up include:
- Replace spark plugs.
- Install new air filter.
- Replace fuel filter.
- Check timing (adjust if necessary).
- Check ignition wires (replace if necessary).
- Check ignition performance (firing voltage and ignition patterns).
- Check idle speed (adjust if necessary).
- Clean fuel injectors.
- Check compression and/or power balance (identifies bad fuel injectors as well as compression problems).
- Check manifold intake vacuum (reveals exhaust restrictions).
- Check battery/charging voltage.
- Check vehicle computer for trouble codes.
- Check the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve (replace if necessary).
- Check all emission controls (EGR valve, air pump, etc.)
- Check all vital fluid levels (engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brakes, power steering).
- Check belts and hoses.
- Check distributor cap if applicable (replace if necessary).
- Check rotor if applicable (replace if necessary).
- Check choke (carbureted engines).
- Check exhaust emissions (verifies fuel mixture, ignition performance and emissions performance).
- Check safety items such as lights, wipers, tires (including inflation pressure), horn, etc.