Engine tune-ups aren’t as commonly talked about as oil changes or other maintenance activities, but they are a valuable way to extend the life of your car and improve its performance. Most modern cars are self-tuning. Electronic components adjust things in real time, thus making an old fashioned tune-up rare indeed. However, there are times when your vehicle’s computer cannot handle an issue, or filters need to be replaced, so we can still perform a tune up, even though it’s a bit different than the tune up of old.
Naturally, if you start to feel a change in your car’s behavior, such as worsened gas mileage, engine misfires and knocks, or a rough idle, it’s time for a tune-up – and chances are your car’s computer will turn on the Check Engine Light to motivate you to visit your friendly mechanic.
What Is An Engine Tune-Up?
Different shops will have different procedures for their tune-ups, but the main goal of a tune-up is to check through your engine and replace any parts close to failing. They will also read the codes stored in the onboard computer, especially if the check engine light is on. A modern tune-up can also include following:
Ignition System Check
Your car’s ignition system, responsible for igniting the fuel in your engine, comprises several components such as spark plugs and ignition wires. If these parts are worn or damaged, they can lead to misfires, decreasing both your fuel economy and engine performance. Misfires are bad for the engine, so it is important to get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.
There are many filters found throughout your car. These include the engine, cabin, oil, and fuel filters. A clogged air filter can starve your vehicle of the air it needs for fuel ignition, reducing performance and lowering fuel economy.
Meanwhile, a clogged fuel filter can result in low fuel pressure meaning your engine will hesitate on acceleration. In extreme cases, these clogs can lead to premature fuel pump failure, and to your car stalling on the road.
Check Belts and Hoses
A few crucial belts within your engine are the serpentine and timing belts. While these belts should last a long time, eventually, they will wear down and need to be replaced. These belts are responsible for powering auxiliary units such as the alternator and water pump, so a torn belt is detrimental to your car’s drivability. In most modern cars timing belt has been replaced by timing chain, which are supposed to last a lifetime of the vehicle. But in reality, timing chains can stretch, requiring replacement, and sometimes they can break as well.
Hoses also need to be checked and replaced if they are in poor condition as they are essential to circulating coolant and preventing your engine from overheating.
Engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid should all be checked and topped up or replaced if the levels are low or the fluid is contaminated.
At Doral’s Auto Repair in San Leandro we can match the extent of the tune-up to the overall condition of your vehicle and to symptoms it presents. We offer 3 year / 36,000 mile warranty on all work performed at our San Leandro auto repair shop. Call us if you have any questions or need to schedule a tune-up.