What Is a Car Tune-Up? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What is A Car Tune-Up?

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Scheduling a car tune-up is a commonly discussed event, but what exactly is it? When it comes to extending the life of your car, preventive maintenance on your vehicle can make all the difference in performance today and for years to come. A car tune-up includes cleaning or replacing the spark plugs and for older cars, the distributor cap and rotor. That’s just one fact about a car tune-up. Here is all you need to know about your car tune-up so it’s done correctly!


What Is a Car Tune-Up?

If you could make your car last as long as possible, would you take the easy steps to make that happen? One of those steps is a car tune-up. You may refer to this as getting “maintenance” done on your car or “getting your oil changed” or having the inspection done. Many drivers use different terms for a car tune-up, but it is essentially the preventative maintenance that is performed on a vehicle to help keep it running smoothly. You may even have a sticker on your current vehicle (usually on the driver’s side front windshield) that will tell you when your next car tune-up should be.


Drivers should have their car tune-up every year to keep a vehicle in basic working order. However, that is a very relaxed recommendation. Most centers will recommend a tune-up every 6 months, especially if you are using your car every day. Filters get full, the oil gets used, windshield wiper fluid runs out (especially in the winter), and parts can break down or become misaligned with driving.


The center where you choose to have your car tune-up will vary in the services they provide. However, there are generally specific services that are commonly performed or wear-and-tear parts that are replaced at these appointments. Some service stations will claim that tune-ups are out of date and not done as commonly as they were in the past. This is simply because car services go by different names now, which are the typical terms we mentioned above.


What Should Be Done During a Car Tune-Up?

In the past, when you asked for a tune-up, the person servicing your vehicle would replace ignition and fuel system parts in order to help the engine perform smoothly. Cars are ever-changing in their design and parts, so you may not actually need replacement parts that often. It’s the oil changes, air filters and other liquids that may need to be replaced for proper car function.


Your typical “tune-up”, or car maintenance appointment, will generally cover an inspection of the car and all it’s parts. The technician will usually drive your car around the lot to see if there are noticeable issues with the engine, steering, brakes, electricity, lights and more. They will then make adjustments such as:

  • Cleaning and replacing spark plugs, while also making sure the firing noses look correct.
  • Checking wear and tear on the tires, and replacing them as needed.
  • Replacing the central air and engine air filters.
  • Replacing fuel filters and oxygen sensors as needed.
  • Making sure the PCV valve and other valves aren’t clogged or leaking.
  • Changing out the distributor cap and rotor when they’re worn.
  • Making sure all oils and lubricants are replaced in the car.
  • Check the engine’s fuel pump for proper function.
  • Adjusting the engine timing and idle when needed.
  • Reviewing the points and condenser in a vehicle.


How Do You Benefit as a Driver?

If you believe there is something wrong with your car, ask a service station like Scott’s Fort Collins if you can schedule a tune-up. Because this is an older term, it will mean you want more of the engine, valves, caps and more reviewed for errors. When you simply need your oil changed, brakes evaluated, or your tires replaced, you can simply request the service you need. We have a complete list of all of our specific services at this link.


We want to help our clients keep their cars in great working order for as long as possible. Extending the life of your car will save you from having to buy cars as frequently, and you’ll know you have a vehicle you can depend on.


Car Maintenance: Why Is It Important?

No car lasts forever and neither do the parts. However, you can extend the life of any car by simply getting maintenance checks every 6-12 months. Failure to have these checks could lead to damage in car parts or decreased performance, which can make your car stop working properly over time. For example, you must change air filters in your car. If you don’t, your engine will receive less air than it needs to perform properly. Over time, the air-fuel mixture won’t be running correctly, which results in too much fuel and not enough air during engine function.


Cars have thousands of parts, and they all cost money to replace. The average car has upwards of 30,000 parts when you count all the way down to the nuts and bolts. Yikes! That’s why you want to do basic car maintenance to find issues before a handful of car parts affects all your car parts.


Get Your Tune-Up Today!

Within your engine are dozens of parts not only working to start your car, but to then keep it running as well. In order for your engine to perform in an efficient manner, these parts need to be replaced at various intervals as they gradually wear out and begin to affect fuel economy, emissions, and the like. When you bring your vehicle to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair for a tune up, our team of experts will check system performance and let you know if we detect any areas of concern. To schedule an appointment ahead of time, call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto today at (970) 682-4202!



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