But what does this mean? How often should it be done and what does a “tune up” actually entail? While the exact timescales are dependent on the car’s make, model, and age, it’s pretty easy to make sure that you adhere to what’s necessary for your particular ride.
The term tune up used to encompass the many different manual tasks that needed to be carried out to ensure a car ran smoothly. This brings to mind an oil-covered mechanic with his head beneath the hood, making small adjustments to various elements of the engine.
While this is, of course, still true of older cars. Today’s vehicles are constantly controlled and adjusted by the onboard computer. This means none of these traditional tasks need—or, indeed, can—be done manually. Instead, a tune up refers to a major service that is generally carried out by a professional mechanic.
Modern cars don’t need what we used to refer to as a tune up. However, the term remains in widespread use. What we really mean in this case is a minor or major service (sometimes referred to as a Type A or Type B when it comes to luxury marques, such as Mercedes).
The onboard computer carries out many of the necessary tweaks to the engine during regular use. However, there are still many aspects that need to be done manually. As newer cars are now finely-tuned mechanical masterpieces, seeking out technicians that are trained for your particular marque and model is highly recommended.
Entrusting a car shop that only employs marque-trained and regularly updated technicians, such as Autobahn of Boca, brings multiple benefits. The most significant are that you get exactly the same caliber of work as that of a main dealer but, as we’re not constrained to main dealer prices, can pass the savings onto you.
Most modern cars have ignition coils atop the spark plugs instead of the traditional spark plug (ignition) wires. These can last anything from 30,000 miles to a massive 120,000 miles. Whatever their longevity, they still need a strict maintenance schedule to ensure full engine power, good fuel economy, and no misfiring issues.
This may or may not need changing during the lifetime of a car. Newer vehicles have maintenance-free fuel (gas) filters that are located within the fuel tank. Your marque-specific mechanic will know whether or not this needs to be changed and, if so, at what point.
These do need changing at regular intervals. This is because diesel filters need to separate water from the fuel in order for it to be used. This “water separator” needs to be drained regularly and the diesel filter replaced with a new one. How often this should be done might be anywhere between every 10,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on the vehicle.
Every vehicle requires this to be carried out as it’s a barrier that prevents environmental debris from entering the engine and causing damage. Maintenance intervals range from 15,000 to 30,000 miles or it might be less if you drive on particularly dusty or unpaved roads.
High-mileage vehicles may need carbon deposits cleaned from the throttle valve.
Again, this cleans carbon deposits within the engine, this time on the intake manifold. Once again, it’s more commonly necessary in a high-mileage vehicle.