Ten years or 200,000 miles. That is the average life span of a car on the road today. When you consider that most cars are paid off between 4 to 6 years, then it is clear that avoiding car payments for several years can be a big boost to your savings. To help get there, you need to get your car engine tuned up. Why is a tune up so important? Just compare to how your car drives before the tune up and after. You should be experiencing better performance and fuel efficiency post tune-up. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your car engine tuned up.

Best Time

Ever car’s manufacturer has guidelines for car’s regular maintenance schedule. These usually follow mileage milestones at 20,000, 50,000, and 60,000. However, there might be some times in between those maintenance appointments when a tune up is needed. If your notice a decrease in fuel economy or the car keeps running after you’ve switched off the ignition, then it might be time for a tune up. Engine knocking and the engine light flipping on is another indication for a tune up.

Tune Up Checklist

If you tell a mechanic that you need a tune up, then they’ll know what to do. That doesn’t mean you can make a special request or follow up to insure they’ve covered all the bases. Consider this tune up checklist:

  • Spark Plugs – These need to be checked for being worn out. A healthy light tan color is what you want to look for. If the color is off, then they need to be replaced. You should also check the spark plug wires to make sure they’re not cracked.
  • Filters – Any dirt on your fuel, engine or cabin air is going to hamper performance. Swap them out.
  • Fuel Pump – The pump needs to be checked for efficiency. This can be done by the mechanic with their diagnostic tools.
  • Timing Belt – Pay attention to the timing belt because it can be an expensive proposition if it runs to the breaking point. This is one of those proactive replacements that you want to stay on top of.
  • Oil and Coolant – These should all be topped off during a tune up.
  • Transmission – At some point, you should have your transmission flushed. This is one of those regular maintenance milestones that shouldn’t be overlooked but can be part of your tune up.

Keeping your car tuned keeps it on the road. It is just that simple.