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What Is A Tune-up and How Much Does It Cost?  

What Is A Tune-up and How Much Does It Cost?  

If you're wondering, “what is a tune-up?” It's an essential vehicle checkup to ensure that you're your car’s systems work properly. Tune-up involves regular maintenance like oil change, air filters replacement, vehicle alignment, etc. Usually, a tune-up costs somewhere between $40 and $800, depending on what type of tune-up you’re doing and where you get the job done.  

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


 

Vehicles are not designed to last forever, and without performing the proper regular maintenance, there's a very high chance that your vehicles can break down at any point in time. Therefore, every vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends what's known as vehicle tune-up.

This tune-up serves as the main checkup for your vehicle, and it's essential to prevent major damage is from happening,

This article provides you with all you need to know about “what is a tune-up?” And it also provides you with a general overview of what exactly is involved in your vehicle's tune-up along with expected tune-up costs. 

What is a tune-up, and what's involved in it? 

The tune-up is a general checkup for your vehicle. Think about it like your yearly physical checkup where you go to the doctor and have him inspect all your organs and systems—the same goes for your vehicle’s tune-up.

The mechanic will go through the entire vehicle system and perform internal inspections to ensure that everything is working just fine; your mechanic will be able to detect early problems before they get complicated and help resolve them immediately. 

Why is a turned-up necessary? 

Turn-up is an essential task that is specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It doesn't have to do anything with your vehicle's age or the status of your internal component. However, if you ignored a tune-up when is the right time to do it, you're running your vehicle with a risk of damaging the internal components completely.

The nice thing about car tune-up is that you'll be able to run your vehicle smoothly and improve performance. When the mechanic detects any sign of internal problems that you might not be aware of, you'll save yourself a lot of time and money by saving the internal components with the least amount of repair costs. It's been proven that detecting major car problems early will most likely prevent further complications that could damage not only one system but also damage your entire vehicle. 

What's involved in a car tune-up? 

There is no standard list of things you must do in your next tune-up. Instead, it all depends on what's specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, and it might depend on the owner who would like to perform additional tasks within the next tune-up.

In general, a complete car tune-up involves the following tasks

  • Oil change 

Since oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle, the first task completed under a car tune-up is an oil change. Oil needs to be changed once every time frame specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual depends on the type of oil you decided to choose.

Failing to change the oil at the right time results in issues with your engine performance because the oil will not drop the engine temperature and prevent its overheating significantly. 

Most mechanics typically replace the oil filter during the oil change because it's usually clogged at this point and requires replacement. 

If you're planning to complete the tune-up by yourself, you can easily change your vehicle's oil, and it shouldn't cost you more than $50, depending on the type of oil you decided to go with. 

  • Changing air filters 

Another important task involved under any tune-up as changing the air filters. There are two main air filters in your vehicle, including the one next to the cabin and the other one within your engine compartment. 

As the name suggests, air filters are responsible for preventing any debris from getting to the internal engine or vehicle components that could damage them. Therefore, it is important to at least the filters based on what's specified in your vehicle's owner manual to maintain your vehicle's performance and prevent troubles,

Again, if you wanted to do the tune-up by yourself, the air filter costs about $10.

  • Vehicle alignment 

Over time of use, your vehicle's wheel connection to the suspension system might get biased, which means that you have to fix it and perform what's known as vehicle alignment.

Failing to perform the right alignment results and impacting the vehicle's overall performance. It can also lead to premature tire wear and tear.

  • Spark plug replacement 

Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture and every cylinder. Unfortunately, depending on the type of material, these spark plugs differ in their lifespan. Thus, you will need to replace them every time they fail to prevent engine misfiring and other engine performance issues.

The replacement costs for spark plugs differ depending on how many spark plugs you will replace and how many cylinders are in your injured. In general, you might need to pay somewhere between $100 and $200 for A spark plug replacement job.

  • Fuel filter replacement

As the name suggests, the fuel filter is responsible for preventing any contaminants or debris from making their way to the engine out of the fuel tank. Therefore, when the fuel filter gets partially clogged, you'll see a direct effect on your vehicle's performance because the engine is not receiving the right amount of fuel to get it going.

In severe scenarios, a completely clogged filter might prevent your engine from running at all. Think about it as your fuel tank doesn't have any fuel. Thus, replacing the fuel filter is a must to prevent any engine performance issues. 

Fuel filter replacement costs are about $25 if you've done it at home. However, some complicated fuel filter replacements might cost up to $100 at certain independent shops. 

  • PCV valve replacement 

The PCV valve or the positive crankcase ventilation valve is an important component with their newer vehicles' combustion system. It is responsible for releasing any excess gases generated within the combustion process to maintain the pressure.

Overtime abuse, the PCV valve can get clogged, requiring replacement once every year. Typically, PCV valve costs are about $10, but if you get the job done at an independent shop, it might cost you $50 considering labor costs. 

  • Transmission fluid flush 

The transmission fluid is one of the most critical fluids in your vehicle because it's responsible for providing the hydraulic force to the transition to work properly. It also helps lubricate the transmission and prevents its overheating due to the friction generated by the internal moving components.

Depending on your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you might need to perform a transmission flush once every certain time frame. Otherwise, you'll start having some troubles with the performance of the transition that could impact your driving experience.

According to experts, a transition flush should not be done at home, and it's something requiring a certain level of mechanical skill sets, making it hard to be done at home. Once, you'll have to get it done at a certain independent shop which might cost you somewhere between $150 and $300  

  • Brake pad replacement 

Since the braking system has to do with your safety, it is important to work all the time properly. Unfortunately, your brake pads are the most components that could get damaged faster than any other component within the braking system.

Therefore, you must replace the brake pads whenever you notice any sign of brake pads issues. You can also refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to get another detail about things to consider when you're placing the brake pads. 

Usually, replacing with air brakes requires replacing the rotors as well, and typically, a complete brake pad and rotors replacement costs you about $500. 

  • Oxygen sensor replacement 

In modern vehicles, you'll see a set of oxygen sensors responsible for reporting whether there's any problem with oxygen level in the air-fuel mixture. This is important information because it could lead to engine misfiring, and you'll see a check engine light illuminating whenever there is a problem with this sensor,

To prevent dealing with check engine light warnings, it is important that your mechanic inspected the oxygen sensor and make sure that it's working properly. Otherwise, it must be replaced immediately.

Replacing the oxygen sensor costs about $100. However, labor cost is a huge component in replacing the sensors and getting up to $150 per sensor. 

  • Power steering flush 

Another important task you must complete during your turn up is a power steering flush. The power steering also involves a fluid that provides the hydraulic power to make it work properly. Unfortunately, during use, the power steering fluid can get contaminated and collect some dirt that impacts its hydraulic behavior. Thus, an old steering fluid might impact your ability to control the vehicle, which is a serious situation.

Therefore, you must flush the power steering fluid whenever your vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends it. A new steering fluid shouldn't cost you more than $10, and you'll find it in any auto parts store. 

How much does a car tune-up cost? 

Tune-up cost ranges from as low as $40 to as high as $800. The price depends heavily on what's involved in the car tune-up and where you get the job done.

For example, most tune-ups that involve only replacing the spark plug wires and spark plugs and depth themselves do not cost more than $150. However, more advanced tune-ups might cost up to $800. 

Of course, some independent shops and dealerships compete to provide many discounts to encourage you to find the right place that works for you. Thus, you're always advised to shop around and keep an eye for discounts to get the best deal. However, remember that the price should not be your top priority when it comes to shopping for your next tune-up because you want to make sure that the location you're going to have the right level of mechanical skill sets that works for your vehicle.

That's why many owners of modern vehicles prefer to get the tune-up done at the dealership, even if it'll cost them much more to prevent introducing mistakes that could cost them thousands of dollars down the road. 

Where can I get a tune-up? 

There are plenty of locations that provide tune-up services. Selecting the right location well depends on your goals and your area. For example, if you're looking for the cheapest two and up, you might want to do it yourself at home and do most replacement tasks by following certain online tutorials.

However, if you would like advanced mechanical skill sets and don't want to introduce issues to the vehicle, you might want to go to your nearest dealership or local mechanic shop.

Finally, there are plenty of other locations you might need to consider getting your tune-ups done, including Firestone, jiffy Lube, Midas, Pep Boys, etc. 

Conclusion

Tune-up refers to the general checkup that you do for your vehicle frequently to ensure that all systems work properly. Your mechanic typically performs regular maintenance within the tune-up like oil change, wheel alignment, filters replacements, etc.

Tune-up is essential because it helps your mechanic identify major problems before they occur. It also maintains your vehicle and prevents major issues from happening in the first place.

If you realize that even performing the right tune-up to your vehicle, it still has major problems, it might not be worth spending your time and effort performing this tune-up. Instead, it is better to sell your car and take advantage of the money as a down payment to another better vehicle. Of course, Cash Cars Buyer is one of the few list companies that guarantee to buy your car despite its type or condition! 

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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