While the time and mileage between service intervals varies between manufacturers, all vehicles driving on the roadways will need "tuning-up" at some point.
How Often Does My Car Need a Tune-Up?
Cars and trucks with fuel injection systems may go for longer intervals between tune-ups. Automotive experts say the majority of older vehicles will need a tune-up around every 10,000 - 12,000 miles.
Getting a tune-up for your car or truck is like getting a regular wellness exam from your medical provider.
Certified automotive mechanics complete a visual inspection of key engine components like fuel filters and fuel injectors to check for clogs and damage.
They also check spark plugs, PVC valves, ignition timing and coolant levels for performance or wear and tear. If the results of the visual inspection are satisfactory, your mechanic will let you know what (if any) additional services they recommend.
A less than satisfactory tune-up inspection requires repair or replacement of parts like air filters, engine oil, or fuel filters.
Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Tune-up
The most obvious sign that something is going awry under the hood of your vehicle is a blinking check engine light. Your check engine light is part of a built-in diagnostic system that alerts drivers and automotive technicians about potential damage under the hood.
Another unnerving sign that your car needs a tune-up is vibrating or shaking while you're driving. When driving or shaking leads to complete stalling, it's definitely time to get your car or truck serviced by a certified auto technician.
If you feel you're not getting as much gas mileage as you used to and it's not because of high gas prices, this is also another sign that your vehicle needs a tune-up. The best way to prevent long-term engine damage or having to reach out for roadside assistance from the side of the road is to be proactive about your car care.
Follow the manufacturers' recommended timeline for tune-up service. When in doubt? Bring your car to Luke's Auto Service for a tune-up or inspection.