Engine – Tune Up

A car is essentially a machine; it requires a certain amount of preventative maintenance in order to continue to perform to peak potential. A tune up is often overlooked and could be performed by people with very little mechanical experience. Tune up’s should be performed at least once a year. Ensuring that your car gets a tune up regularly will help maintain the performance of your car, extend its life, and keep you from receiving a costly repair bill.

Dirty air filter

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Clean air filter

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A tune up generally includes replacement of several parts on your car. These parts may seem superficial, but failing to replace them regularly can cause decreased performance in your car, and may even lead to other problems. For example, an air filter should be replaced at least once a year. Failing to replace it when it is dirty will cause your engine to get less and less of the air it needs to run properly. If the problem is left unattended, the air-fuel mixture will continue to run richer and richer, meaning that there will be too much fuel and not enough air in the mixture and eventually cause other parts to fail.

Example of Distributor rotors

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Example of a bad distributor cap

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A regular tune up is important to your car's performance. A tune up should involve replacing the air filter, replacing the spark plugs, and replacing the distributor cap and rotor. Spark plugs as well as the cap and rotor consistently have electricity running thru them, which over a period of time, will cause these items to “break down”. The distributor cap may have signs of wear on the inside contact points, which would look like corrosion or slight melting. A tune up can also include replacement of the spark plug wires, fuel filter, and PCV valve. Maintenance that is not included in the basic tune up may also be required, so a yearly tune up provides a good opportunity to check the car's systems, such as the brakes and clutch, all fluid and oil levels, and the operation of any other systems that are not used or checked regularly.

Example of wires that need replacing

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New wires (Magnacore 8.5mm)

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