What is a modern “tune up?”

The phrase “tune up” evokes images of a mechanic replacing parts and making adjustments under the hood of a vehicle.  The vehicle is then returned, running better than ever, presumably getting better gas mileage, and increased acceleration.  This may have been the case many years ago, but in regards to today’s vehicles, the phrase “tune up” is obsolete.  For example, today’s vehicles have computers that automatically adjust air-fuel mixtures to accommodate ignition timing to compensate for worn down spark plugs rather than requiring manual adjustment.  

Instead of “tuning up” your car, AutoPro Auto Service’s technicians will inspect your fuel, ignition and emission systems and check for any diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) in your computer system.  Trouble codes give car mechanics or technicians areas where on board problems potentially exist.  These codes are generalized so manual testing and inspections need to be performed to isolate and diagnose the problem.  For example, one faulty sensor can give your car’s computer inaccurate readings which can reduce your fuel economy up to 40%, hence the need for these inspections.  Regular auto inspections and  auto service at AutoPro Auto Service can prolong your vehicle’s life.  Today’s performance inspection may include: checking the charging system and battery, verifying idle speed, scanning for diagnostic trouble codes, inspecting cylinder power balance (which would check for mechanical problems such as a bad head gasket or a leaky exhaust valve), engine vacuum (checks for air leaks or exhaust restrictions), and checking ignition system.  Additionally, all hoses and belts should be visually inspected, as well as checking fluid levels and appearance.  

Regular maintenance and inspections can prolong your vehicle’s life by identifying problems before they become a major repair.  It is generally a bad idea to walk into a shop “requesting a tune up.”  If you are experiencing drivability problems (i.e. poor gas mileage, engine knocking, vehicle is hard to start, bad performance) you do not need a “tune up” you need an engine performance inspection or diagnostic.  When in doubt about preventative maintenance pertaining to your car, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations about when to have your car serviced or inspected.  This will save you money in costly repairs down the road.  Even though today’s vehicles do not require the “tuning up” of the past, (despite having computers and sensors present in your car), visual and manual inspection by an experienced technician is your best and safest bet to keep your vehicle running in its top performance.

AutoPro Auto Service repairs vehicles in Champlin, Brooklyn Park, Fridley, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, and Blaine. We offer a 3 years/ 36,000 warranty on all our car repairs and car services.


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