The term "car tune up service" has changed a great deal over the years as the way cars are made has changed. The need for preventive maintenance on your vehicle has not changed; however, just the processes required. There isn't a precise definition of what a tune-up should exactly include, but according to autotap.com's technical library, most mechanics would agree that it should include replacing spark plugs and making other adjustments to maintain and restore your engine's performance. In this post, we will help you determine if you need a tune up, what a tune up should include and how long it will take. If your vehicle needs a tune up in Waterloo, contact the experts at Hansma Automotive today to book an appointment.
"I have been taking my vehicles to Hansma's for over 20 years. Pete has always given good advice, hasn't done unnecessary repairs. They do great work, and if something needs correcting they are quick to do so. A few years ago, when debating about repairing an older model car, Pete recommended not fixing it and moving on, even though this meant less income for the shop. I have personally recommended Hansma's to several friends, who have been extremely satisfied with the service there."
How Do I Know I Need A Tune Up?
There are a few indicators that will help you decide that it might be a good idea to get a tune up. According to the GlobeAndMail.com, these include:
- A drop in your gas mileage
- A noticeable loss of power in the engine
- A rough engine - perhaps it even will stall at a stop sign
- The "service engine" or "check engine" light comes on and stays on
- A "knocking" in your engine or it continues to run after the ignitions is shut off
The above indicators could also mean that you have a different problem other than just needing a tune up however, the diagnostics done during your tune up will help to determine what is really needed.
What Should A Car Tune Up Service Include?
A car tune up service today should begin with a number of performance checks to test or confirm your engine's overall condition. The tests should include:
- Battery Voltage and Charging Voltage test: a properly working battery is vital considering all of the onboard electronics in your vehicle
- Power balance or Dynamic compression: this will identify any mechanical problems, like a leaky exhaust valve, bad head gasket, etc. that could affect engine performance
- Engine Vacuum: this will help detect air leaks or exhaust restrictions
- Scan for fault codes: to make sure no faults are present and if they are to diagnose and fix them
- Verify idle speed: to help detect any possible ISC engine problems
- Check ignition timing: even if you cannot adjust the timing this will help detect any computer or sensor problems
- Check hoses and belts: all of the hoses and belts should be visually inspected for any possible wear or damage.
- All fluids should be checked: make sure that the oil, coolant, automatic transmission, brake and power steering fluids are all at their proper levels and that they are in good condition. For example, there should be no sludge in the oil, the ATF shouldn't smell like burnt toast, the brake fluid should be clear, and the antifreeze shouldn't contain rust or sediment.
In addition to the above tests and checks, the following parts should be replaced:
- Spark plugs: spark plugs last between 30,00 and 100, 000 miles so they may not need to be changed with every tune up
- Rotor and a distributor cap: if you need one
- Fuel filter: replaced if necessary
- Air filter: replaced if necessary
- PCV valve and breather filter: checked and replaced if necessary
The following parts should be replaced if it is necessary:
- Oxygen Sensor: sluggish O2 sensors can cause a lot of driveability problems and according to autotap.com's technical library, a recent EPA study found that the reason 70% of all vehicles fail an emissions test is due to a faulty O2 sensor
- Spark plug wires: if they are worn, they should be replaced
- Belts: inspected and if they are worn or slipping they should be replaced
- Hoses: if they have signs of wear, they should be replaced
- Fluids: levels should be checked and topped up
- Fuel Injectors and Intake System: Clean the fuel injectors and intake system
How Long Does A Car Tune Up Service Take?
The length of time needed to perform a tune up will depend on the number of services the tune up includes. Typically a car tune up service will take between 2 and 4 hours to perform according to costhelper.com.
Why Bring Your Vehicle to Hansma's
If you are in the Waterloo region and you are looking for a mechanic, you can trust the professionals at Hansma Automotive to expertly repair and service your vehicle and to only perform the services you need. We've built a solid reputation with our customers in Waterloo over the years for honesty and high quality workmanship. Find out for yourself why we are Kitchener-Waterloo's first choice for auto service. Contact us today to book an appointment.