You may not know it, but your car can tell you when something’s wrong. Whether it’s a bad crank or a chugging engine that crosses the line, there are plenty of signs to indicate that you should bring your vehicle in for a tune-up. Since car problems don’t always show up at the same time, it’s hard to know when to come in for service. The best way is to pay attention to the signs mentioned in this article and keep an eye out for them as they happen.
What To Check When You Need A Tune Up
When you need a tune up, there are a few things you can check to determine if it’s time. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your tune-up:
1. Check the oil level. If the oil is low or empty, your engine may not be getting enough lubrication and could start to wear down over time. Add more oil as needed.
2. Check the spark plugs. A misfire or fouled plugs can cause poor fuel economy and performance issues. Remove and clean the plugs as needed.
3. Check the air filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and reduce engine performance. Change the air filter as needed.
4. Check the tires and brakes. Over time, tires will lose their grip and brakes will wear down, causing your car to stop on wet roads or in snowy conditions. Replace tires and/or brake pads as necessary.
5. Check the belts, hoses and coolant. A leaky hose or belt can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency and performance in cold weather conditions. Replace as needed.
6. Check the radio, CD player and other wiring. Over time, electrical connectors can corrode and cause problems with your stereo and/or speakers.
7. Check the brakes, steering and suspension. As a vehicle ages, its suspension may begin to stiffen or rubber parts will start to lose their flexibility due to age or climate changes. All of these parts will affect your car’s performance in winter weather conditions.
8. Ask your mechanic to perform a safety inspection. One of the biggest dangers in winter driving is weather-related conditions (ice, snow, slush and more). A safety inspection will ensure you have all of the required emergency equipment to get you safely home.
9. Consider safety equipment like heated windshields, heated seats and heated steering wheel covers for extra comfort in cold weather conditions.
10. Test drive your car’s interior lights and check for signs of coolant leaks. The temperature gauge on a car’s dashboard can be a great tool for checking the reliability and efficiency of your car’s cooling system.
11. Blow out any snow or slush from under all of your car’s wheels and as much of the engine compartment as possible before you start to drive it. This may seem like an obvious tip, but snow and slush can build up quickly while parked in the driveway during winter months, making it difficult to get inside to clean these areas properly.
12. Check your windshield wipers for cleanliness and proper tension. Even though it doesn’t freeze during winter in most parts of the country, ice often builds up on windshields quickly, making it difficult to see through. Your wiper blades need to be cleaned often in the winter, particularly when you first use the wipers, and fresh blades are a good investment for those who live in cold regions.
13. Check your fuel tank for leaks and replace as needed. While it’s probably not a big deal to have a little bit of leakage from time to time with gasoline these days (especially since most cars come equipped with sensors that detect levels of activity), large amounts can cause loss of fuel and lead to potential engine damage. If you notice the level changing on your fuel gauge, or if the inside of your car smells like gas, it’s a good idea to check for a leak before further damaging your vehicle.
14. Keep an eye on tire pressure when driving in cold weather. As tires lose their shape from being exposed to temperatures well below freezing, they could easily go out of balance and cause problems with steering, braking and even tire wear.
15. Check for signs that your car has been recently repaired. A quick glance at your car should tell you if it is a certified vehicle, what kind of warranty you are covered under, and how long the repair has been in process.
16. Read your car’s service manual before you start hauling anything in or out of your trunk. Not only will it help you in an emergency, but it can also save a lot of money by knowing how to properly close and open the trunk.
17. At the beginning of every summer, get a tune-up! Your car needs some TLC when the weather is warm, but neglect can make it more prone to overheating and other issues when temperatures rise during the hot months of summer.
How Often Should I Get My Car Tuned?
If your car is less than two years old, it should be tuned-up every 12,000 miles. If your car is two years or older, it should be tuned-up every 6,000 miles.
The best time to have your car tuned up is when it starts to make noise or when you first notice a decrease in performance. A qualified mechanic can identify any problems with your engine and make the necessary repairs or modifications.
What is the Cost of a Tune Up?
If your car is making strange noises or you notice it taking longer to start up, it may be time for a tune up. A tune up includes a check of all the car’s mechanical components, such as the engine, transmission, and brakes. Depending on the severity of the issues, a tune up may only involve a few simple repairs or it may require extensive work. The cost of a tune up will vary depending on the type of work required and the specific make and model of your car. The average cost is around $200-$300. If you are not sure whether your car needs a tune up, consult your car’s owner’s manual or call a mechanic.
if you have questions (or advice) regarding the tips above , please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts!