Performing general maintenance on your vehicle is often referred to as “getting a tune up”. There was a time when getting a tune was an through process for a vehicle. Nowadays, the traditional tune up has lost some of its purpose, as vehicles are controlled by a computer chip and adjusted on the fly.

Before the advent of modern computer chips in cars, there was more mechanical parts at work under your hood. These parts could fall out of sync or otherwise wear out, which is why a full engine tune up would be suggested. A traditional tune up involved replacing the vehicles spark plugs and condenser, which would then require an adjustment to the vehicles carburetor (the part that mixed fuel vapour with air). This process would ensure the vehicle would burn gasoline cleanly and effectively for many kilometres.

Car tune up

What Is A Modern Tune Up?

Today, vehicles have replaced carburetors with fuel injection, and modern spark plugs can last up to 100,000 kilometres. With the widespread use of an ECU (Engine Control Unit) the need for a traditional tune up has subsided. The tiny computer chip under the hood can adjust your vehicles settings while you drive, sort of self tuning up as you go. That doesn’t mean that all systems have been allocated to the ECU, and there are still some areas that can be adjusted with a “tune up”.

Modern tune ups involve checking the vehicles battery to ensure proper voltage is being delivered. This checking of systems also includes assessing the compression and power of your engine, which can determine any faults or leaks
in your vehicles exhaust system and in your vehicles air intake system. When inspecting this system, your vehicle’s idle speed and ignition timing will also be checked, just to ensure that the ECU is functioning properly and allowing the engine to run smooth.

Other areas also get looked at in a modern tune up. Your vehicles hoses and belts will also get a check during a tune up, as they often show little signs of failing. In addition, mechanics will also check all of your vehicles fluids, such as oil, coolants, and other systems. Finally, mechanics will also check the OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) system in your car for any error codes coming from the ECU.

When Is It Time For Service?

The traditional tune up may be gone for most car owners, modern tune ups offer a much broader area of coverage for your vehicle, thus making it safer. You may refer to general service as a tune up, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When it’s time for a true tune up, you’ll notice a few issues with your vehicle. You may find it harder to start, idling roughly, or that the vehicle stalls a lot, even if it is an automatic. As with most aspects of vehicle ownership, preventative maintenance is your best defence against large repairs. Your vehicle’s owners manual will have plenty of information regarding when to book a regular tuneup. You may want to increase the frequency of tuneups if you tow a lot of weight or drive in stop and go traffic frequently.

Book your car tune up from Gary’s Automotive today!


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