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the-tune-up-what-is-it-and-do-you-need-oneWhat exactly is a tune-up? Most of us know it’s something we should do with our vehicles, but what it actually consists of is a mystery to many drivers. Some might guess it’s what you do if you want your car to perform like a hot-rod when you take a spin on Saturday night. However, a tune-up is simply a way to maintain your engine so that your vehicle lasts longer and performs better. Here are some answers to common questions about proper tune-ups for your car.

What should be included in a tune-up?

We’re talking about repairing, cleaning, or replacing the essential parts of the car specifically under the hood. Generally speaking, that would be:

  • Spark plugs
  • Caps
  • Rotors
  • Wires
  • Fuel injection systems

Other types of tune-ups to make sure your car is “firing on all cylinders,” as they say, would include checking belts, pumps, filters and fluids.

But aren’t these parts of a car covered under those maintenance-free programs we all see advertised by dealerships? Some of those warranties are up to 100,000 miles. Why should I worry about anything until then?

For starters, those “maintenance-free” plans are normally intended to cover repairs of major systems, like transmissions. Also, those mileage plans are usually based on optimal driving and weather conditions. But with the stop-and-go traffic most cars in Tulsa suffer through and with the 100-degree Oklahoma summer weather, our cars experience driving conditions that are anything but optimal. Maintenance has to occur more frequently than you might expect in order to keep your car in top shape and lasting as long as it can.

How frequently should I get a tune-up? Every car is different, but once every twelve months is a good idea, in order to avoid unnecessary problems and costly repairs. Asking a professional auto mechanic’s advice about a good maintenance schedule for the specific make and model of your vehicle is smart too.

What are some signs that your car needs a tune-up?

Look for the following warning signs:

  • Decreased gas mileage
  • Compromised power
  • Stalling engine when stopped
  • Rough or sluggish running
  • Knocking during acceleration
  • Check engine light stays on
  • Trouble starting
  • Strange smells or noises from the engine

Other than avoiding costly repairs, why is a tune-up a good idea?

Here are some important reasons.

It will restore your engine’s power. You want your vehicle to perform the way it did when you bought it, and the best way to do that is to have regular tune-ups. Old spark plugs can cause engines to misfire and become sluggish. With new plugs, your engine will purr like new.

You can avoid major breakdowns. To make sure your car is roadworthy, tune-ups are the way to go because they let your mechanic prevent problems before they start. Getting stranded somewhere in severe weather, all because you didn’t properly maintain your car, is not fun.

You’ll keep major repair costs low. Remember, tune-ups may cost money, but not as much as major repairs. So, in the long run, tune-ups save you more than they cost you.

You’ll enjoy a higher resale value. You’re going to sell your car eventually, so why not sell it for the most you can? Over a lifetime of properly maintained cars with excellent resale value, your savings could be in the thousands.

It is eco-friendly. If you’re environmentally conscious, then a tune-up is important for keeping emissions at the lowest rate possible.

Your car will start when you need it. A consistent tune-up will help you avoid the horror stories of a stalled car after a late-night party or on a cold morning when you need to get to work.

Whether it’s a tune-up or even a complete overhaul, a professional car repair service center will be able to meet your needs. Regardless of your make or model, RC Auto Specialists in Tulsa, Oklahoma can meet all those maintenance and repair service needs. Call today to schedule an appointment.