Do I need a tune-up on my car?

Your car just doesn’t sound right, idling rough sluggish when you turn the key to start, your engine light is on. Do you need a tune-up? You’ve heard the term tune-up for a very long time.

1. Do you really need tune-ups once a year since today’s vehicle’s are computerized and full of sensors?

The definition of a “tune-up” mainly goes back to when engines were using distributors, points and plugs.

With the introduction of electronic ignition systems, the mechanical parts were eliminated, and when computer controlled ignition systems were introduced, they could compensate for this normal wear, thereby eliminating the need for the traditional tune-up service. Over time, even the spark plugs were improved with new materials, making them last much longer and today, some manufacturers don’t recommend replacing the plugs until the vehicle is near 100,000 kilometres.

You still want to change things like gas filters, air filters, pcv valve, and plugs or ignition coils once a year.

2. How have things in general changed under the hood?

Almost everything is electronic on modern vehicles. In most cases, the mass of vacuum hoses have been replaced with wiring harnesses that connect the various sensors and electronic actuators that the computer uses to control engine and transmission operation. Presley’s Auto’s technician is trained to scan these sensors and ensure they are working properly.

3. What is the average interval for a tune-up, every few months, years?

It varies by manufacturer but at Presley’s Auto we recommend you bring your car in at least once a year to have the system checked out because it is now about preventative maintenance. Although a sensor may not fail it may not be running the way it should.

4. What year cars still need the old fashioned tune-ups?

You’d have to go all the way back to the 1970’s to find anything with the old points and plugs. Although the average age of vehicles on the road has increased into double-digits (10+ years), any vehicle still using a mechanical ignition system would be considered an antique.

5. How can consumers find a good repair shop?

The best way is to ask around. if you ask a neighbour or friend who they use and are they satisfied this is one way to find a good service centre. You can Google and find one in your neighbourhood and go in and talk to the mechanic or service manager and I think you get a good sense from your own gut reaction. You may also want to check out the BBB or ask for references this is not uncommon these days.

Feel free to come in and check out Presley’s Auto and make a decision for yourself.