Stay tuned on when your car needs a tune-up!

What Is An Engine Tune-up?

To preserve your engine's performance, it's imperative to go for routine tune-ups. Tune-ups are a vital requirement of preventative maintenance that can help you avoid car-tastrophes as well as keep expensive repairs to a minimum. Additionally, tune-ups can help you pick up potential problems that the onboard diagnostics system isn't able to detect.

An engine tune-up is the process of refreshing your car's engine by going through a few key areas to ensure everything is clean and in the correct working order. It's important to note that this may mean taking different steps for different engine types, but usually these steps entail inspecting:

  • The condition of the fluid levels and performing an oil change if necessary.
  • The serpentine belt and hoses for any signs of age such as damage or cracking and replacing if necessary.
  • The engine's fuel-system components to ensure the fuel filter has not clogged up and no damage has been done to the fuel pump or fuel injector.
  • The spark plugs appearance and performance.

5 Signs That Indicate You Need a Tune-up!

1. Ignoring the Warning Lights

To start with the obvious, the warning lights of your car will come on when it starts to detect an issue. Many people ignore these signs, thinking "it's not that serious" or "I have time to get it fixed", and although that may be the case, the warning lights are there to indicate that something is going wrong, and your car needs to go in for a tune-up. If you see a light start to flash on your dashboard you don't usually see you can check your car manual to identify what the light means before calling to book your tune-up.

2. Decrease in Fuel Mileage

If you've been driving your car for a while, you should have a relatively good idea on how far you can go on one tank of gas – especially as we all continue to monitor the ever-increasing fuel-prices. To monitor your fuel efficacy, you need to take into consideration the car's fuel economy, such as the operation of the engine, the emissions system performance, and how your car usually drives. Lastly, your wheel alignment can also impact your car's mileage. Monitoring your fuel mileage can be tricky unless you have an MPG monitor, but if you notice a drop in fuel efficiency and you're not getting the same amount of bang for your buck, it's worthwhile to get it checked out.

3. New or Strange Noises

Did you hear that? If any unusual or unfamiliar noises start coming from your car while driving, it could indicate a new problem. Although some noises may be harmless, a thumping noise could be a sign that a part has come loose, or a screeching noise point to low fluid levels. Drivers get used to tuning certain things out, but these noises will get louder or worse if your car doesn't go in for a tune-up. It's important to note, that unusual vibrations could also indicate your car is not functioning correctly. Whether you feel vibrations at certain speeds, in the steering wheel, your car pulls to one side – this signals an internal problem.

4. Weakened Braking Capacity or Grinding Brakes

Stop! Make sure your brakes are working properly. Brakes should be responsive, functional, and operational while driving and they should not make any grinding noises. Car brakes continuously decline over time which is why your car needs to go for routine tune-ups as a mechanic will be able to tell you if your brakes need replacing. Accidents can happen very quickly, and you may not know when you will need that extra braking capacity – your brakes will be just as important as your airbags.

5. Faulty Engine

Several engine issues could point to problems. Your engine struggling to start could mean a dead battery, a faulty fuel pump, ignition issues or the improper release of the clutch on transmission vehicles. Most engine issues are preventable if you stay on top of your tune-up routines. An engine misfiring is also a serious problem which may occur if there is a faulty engine ignition, a problem in the fuel system, or an engine defect. Leaving your engine unattended could cause more damage to your car and become a very expensive problem.

Keep your engine running smoothly with preventative care - book your car to Dickerson Automotive for a tune-up and we'll have you hitting the road safely in no-time!