You have been driving your car for a long while and she is almost like an old friend. If something goes wrong with your car, you will always go to a mechanic. However, preventative maintenance is very important, as well. Oil changes and tire rotations are fine, but they are not enough.
What Does a Tune-Up Entail?
When you get a tune-up, the mechanic will replace anything that might be worn out. This generally includes sparkplugs and filters.
There are a few parts of your car that need to be replaced regularly due to normal wear and tear. If you don’t replace those parts your car may not run very well. If you don’t replace a dirty air filter, the engine won’t get the air it requires to run properly. The air to fuel mixture will run richer and richer. Because there is not enough air and an abundance of fuel in the mixture. This will not only cause you to waste fuel, but it may cause other parts of the car to stop performing as they should.
A tune-up will include cleaning or replacing the spark plugs as well. If you have an older car, the distributor cap and rotor may need to be replaced. Cars today generally have electronic engines and the distributor caps and rotors do not need to be replaced. Components such as the fuel filter, oxygen sensor, PCV valve, and spark plug wires may need to be replaced also.
A major tune-up will include the replacement of the vehicle’s brakes and clutch.
The air-conditioning may be diagnosed. Your owner’s manual should tell you exactly how often you should have a major tune-up and what needs to be replaced. Remember you will need to change the oil in your car more than once a year. You should also replace brake fluid and power steering fluid as needed.
A car needs regular tune-ups about once a year. It needs a major tune-up every 25,000 miles or so. Older cars need them even more often. There are certain signs your car can exhibit that will tell you when it needs a tune-up.
Signs Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
1. The Vehicle is Stalling
If your car is stalling in the middle of traffic, you may have dirty connectors or faulty spark plugs. Essentially fuel in the car is not igniting the way it is supposed to. In order to get the optimal tune-up, your mechanic will need to know the conditions under which the car is stalling. Does it stall when the weather is hot or cold? Does it only stall when the heater or air conditioner is in use?
The more information you give your mechanic, the easier it will be for them to do their job.
2. You Hear a Knocking When You Idle or Accelerate.
If you notice a knocking every time you put on some speed or when you go up a hill, your car's engine may not be working properly. The spark plugs may be failing to ignite. This can be a sign of multiple problems. You should get a mechanic to perform a diagnosis. In many cases, a tune-up will solve this problem.
3. Your Car Won’t Start
There is nothing more frustrating than when your car won't start. It can cause you to be late for work or school, and if you are not at home and it happens you may have to get the car towed. A car may fail to start for many reasons. One of those reasons is that there's a problem with the ignition itself and a tune-up can help fix the issue.
4. Poor Fuel Economy
If you find yourself having to go to the gas station more often, your vehicle may be in need of a tune-up. The fuel economy of any car is dependent on the effectiveness of the car’s emissions regulatory system. However, poor alignment can also affect a car's fuel economy.
Poor fuel mileage can be indicative of many problems in the engine. Although it may not seem like an emergency it is very important to have your car diagnosed when you have this problem.
5. The Car Leans When You Steer
Your car should continue to travel straight if you take your hands off the steering wheel for just a second in traffic. If your car veers to the left or right when you do this, your wheels may well be out of alignment. This not only affects your ability to steer your car properly but can also affect the fuel economy of your vehicle. A tune-up will include wheel alignment.
Poor wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear down quickly and you may find yourself having to replace them often. Unevenly worn tires will drag and this causes you to burn more gas. This is not only costly but potentially dangerous.
6. Your Check Engine Light Illuminates
The check engine light may illuminate for many reasons. A tune-up can fix some of the problems that a check engine light may indicate. Even if your car seems to be running fine in spite of the warning light, it is imperative to take your car in for a check-up when this happens.
Diagnostic Trouble Codes may be displayed on the scanning tool. They are five-digits long and can identify a certain issue in the car. You can you Google what each code means
7. Your Brakes Won’t Work Well
Your brakes are critical to your vehicle’s safety system. Brakes weaken over time and they may fail when you need them the most. It is very important that they stay effective and strong. If you wait until you notice that the brakes are not working properly, you will be putting yourself and others in danger. A mechanic can check your brakes during a tune-up.
How much does it cost?
A major tune-up costs anywhere from $200 to $800. A tune-up for an older car may cost between $500 to $1,200 or more. You will have a couple of options for where to take your car for a tune-up.
Taking Your Car to The Dealership
The dealership will generally charge you 2 to 3 times the amount of money that an auto body shop will. However, it may be worth it if you have a luxury car or a rare foreign car. Some dealerships will throw in a free tune-up when you first buy your car. Be sure to review your paperwork before making an arrangement for a tune-up.
A mechanic at a dealership will be certified in your particular make and model of vehicle. They will also have all the necessary car parts on hand so you will never be stuck waiting for a part to come in. If they have to keep your car for the day they will be able to rent you a vehicle right on site.
Taking Your Vehicle To An Autobody Shop
Most people in the United States prefer to take their cars to a private auto body shop for repairs and maintenance rather than going to the dealership. Not only are auto body shops less expensive than going to a dealership, but you will also be able to talk to the mechanic who's working on your car directly.
There are many chain auto body shops that will offer special discounts to loyal customers and special rates for annual tune-ups. Be sure to check the newspaper and internet to see if there are any coupons for these services.
Choosing a mechanic is where you may run into problems. There are some smaller auto body shops that may not hire the most skilled mechanics. Ask the mechanic what kind of certification he or she has and asked to see that certification. Get a written estimate and ask for references.
Make sure to check the Better Business Bureau website to see if there are any complaints about them. You can also look at Angie's List to see what kind of reviews they have.
Doing the Work Yourself
If you have some time and the proper tools at home, you may be able to do a tune-up yourself. You will need a basic tool kit as well as lifts and blocks. You will also need an ohmmeter as measuring electric resistance is very important during a tune-up.
Remember that high-quality spark plugs are key to a well-running engine. If you buy iridium spark plugs you may never have to replace them again for the life of that car.
Sometimes the cost of a tune-up is more than the car is worth. In other cases, that car may be so old that a tune-up won't do any good.
If it is time for a new car, You will have a few options as to what to do with the old one. Each of them has benefits and drawbacks.
Use Your Car as a Trade-In
When you go to the dealership to buy your new car, the salesperson will be authorized to give you a trade-in allowance for your old car. If all your old car needs is a tune-up, you might be able to get decent money for it. However, the dealership is unlikely to offer you as good an amount of money as you would get if you were to sell the car yourself.
Be sure to read your final paperwork carefully. It is not uncommon for a dealership to tack the price of a trade-in back onto the final cost of the new car.
When you first go to the dealership, you may not want to mention the fact that you have a trade-in. You should get your final offer and then tell them about your old car. That way they will at least have to give you the money they promised you.
Sell Your Car Online
If you were to type, “sell my car” into a search engine, dozens of sites would come up offering you the opportunity to list your car for a price. These sites will charge you a monthly fee and let you list your vehicle’s specs along with several pictures of the car.
The problem with these sites is that you will have an enormous amount of competition if you use them. It may take months to get even a single buyer interested in seeing your car.
Once you do get an interested buyer, you will have to take the time to show them the car. They may just say they're not interested or they may offer you less money than your asking price.
Selling a car online can be very dangerous. Online sales websites are a popular way for rapists, murderers, and thieves to find their victims.
Sell Your Car to Us
Cash Cars Buyers is one of the fastest easiest ways around to sell your used or junk car. The process only takes a few minutes. Simply fill out our online form. We will ask you for your name, email address, and phone number. We will ask you for the make, model, mileage, year, and VIN number of your automobile.
We will call you back with an offer as soon as we get your completed form. We are primarily interested in cars manufactured after the year 2000.
If you accept our offer, we will make an appointment to come to get your vehicle. Our team member will perform a brief inspection when they get there, pay you in cash, and tow the car away for free. It really is just as easy as that.