Debunking Car Tune-up Myths | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Debunking Car Tune-up Myths

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Many car owners make the mistake of following car tune-up myths that simply aren’t true. The key to maximizing your savings isn’t to skip tune-ups altogether – rather it’s to time the tune-ups properly based on what your car really needs. Debunk these car tune-up myths to ensure the money you spend on vehicle maintenance is worthwhile.

Myth: Sporadic tune-ups are required to keep your car in good condition.

Truth: Mileage-based maintenance is best.

Taking your car to the shop for no good reason isn’t in line with your car’s service needs. Instead, you should follow the list of recommended service checks that correspond with your car’s mileage milestones. For instance, you should:Debunking Car Tune-up Myths

  • Replace the air filter every 15,000 miles.
  • Check the battery and coolant every 20,000 miles.
  • Replace the fuel filter every 25,000 miles.
  • Replace power steering fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Replace the battery every 35,000 miles or as needed.
  • Replace spark plugs and wires, inspect the ignition system and check the suspension every 40,000 miles.
  • Replace brake pads, brake fluid, radiator hoses, coolant, power steering fluid and timing belt every 60,000 miles.

Check your owner’s manual for mileage milestones specific to your car’s make and model.

Myth: Tune-up specials are a good value.

Truth: Getting a tune-up when you don’t need it could waste time and money.

Auto repair shops tend to release seasonal tune-up specials. Some may seem like too good of a deal to pass up. However, if your car doesn’t need a tune-up before the deal expires, don’t worry about it. Following the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual is your best bet.

Of course, if the tune-up special offers discounts on services your car needs right now, go ahead and take advantage of the savings!

Myth: The check engine light means your car is begging for a tune-up.

Truth: The check engine light could indicate a number of problems.

The goal of tuning up your engine is to decrease emissions and improve engine performance. However, when the check engine light comes on, this simply means the internal computer has found something wrong with one of the many components in the engine.

Don’t ignore the check engine light, but don’t assume it means your car needs a tune-up, either. Start by tightening the fuel cap. If the light stays on, you could have faulty spark plugs, bad ignition coils or a number of other issues under the hood. Bring your car to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair and we’ll diagnose and fix the problem.

Myth: Failing an emissions test means your car needs a tune-up.

Truth: Emissions problems are often associated with the oxygen sensor.

You can’t renew your vehicle’s registration if it fails an emissions test, so it’s best to bring your car to Scott’s in Fort Collins to diagnose and repair whatever’s causing the problem. Fortunately, a failed emissions test doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive engine overhaul is needed. In fact, a sluggish or failing oxygen sensor might be the only thing to blame.

Bring your car in and we’ll test your car’s O2 sensor with a scanner. A simple repair may reduce emissions and allow your car to pass the test.

Myth: Maintenance is the same thing as a tune-up.

Truth: Not all recommended car maintenance is considered a tune-up.

A tune-up focuses on keeping the engine running at the best possible efficiency. In general, this includes replacing the spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses. Other car maintenance tasks include rotating the tires, inspecting the brakes, topping off fluid levels and other steps that don’t directly affect engine performance. All maintenance – tune-up related or not – is important to keep your car humming along.

Schedule a Car Tune-Up at Scott’s

Now that you’ve debunked these car tune-up myths, you can schedule visits to the mechanic appropriately. When your car is due for some maintenance, stop by Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair. Our team of trained experts will have you in and out in no time. Schedule an appointment ahead of time or call us at (970) 682-4202 to let us know when you plan to stop by.

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