Because the word "tune up" can mean so many different things the manufactures don’t list tune ups in their maintenance schedules. They list the items individually at specific miles or duration of time.
Ignition systems have become much more reliable over the years. Many engines don't even have distributors anymore; they use a DIS or Direct Ignition System. These systems can either mount one ignition coil on each spark plug, or share one coil for two plugs, thus eliminating the need of a distributor.
On engines that still use a distributor, it is a good idea to replace the distributor cap, distributor rotor and ignition wires according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
The spark plugs need to be replaced on a regular basis as well. Even though some manufacturers have extended those intervals to 100,000 miles, this doesn't apply to all engines. The best plug to use is the one the manufacturer recommends. This information is usually found on an engine decal located under the hood.
Perhaps the most critical engine component these days is the timing belt. Most manufacturers suggest replacing the timing belt every 60,000 miles.
Not all engines use a timing belt, but on those that do, it's critical that it be replaced before it breaks. If your car has an interference engine where the valves and pistons occupy the same place in the combustion chamber at different times, serious engine damage can occur if the belt breaks while operating. If your car has a non-interference engine, the worst that will happen is you get stranded somewhere.
Other engine drive belts should be checked on a regular basis — about as often as you change oil. In general, you should look for excessively cracked, glazed or frayed belts. Many accessories — including the alternator, power steering pump and coolant pump — are operated by drive belts. If these belts break or slip, the components they drive will fail to work, leaving you stranded.
One more thing to check while you're looking at the belts is the battery. Virtually all batteries are maintenance-free these days, except for a periodic terminal cleaning and inspection for cracks or leaks. In addition, ensure the battery is mounted securely.
Tires are one of the most important maintenance items under your car. The best way to get the most out of your tires is by having them rotated and balanced on a regular basis, about every 7,500 miles. This ensures they wear evenly and last as long as possible.
Balancing is important to eliminate vibration at road speeds, and a properly balanced tire reduces the stress and strain on shocks, struts and steering parts. Keeping the tire pressures set to specification will also go a long way in extending tire life and fuel economy.
Finally, you should get in the habit of replacing your wiper blades once a year. The Car Care Council recommends replacing them each spring, when you set your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.
Wiper refills are the most inexpensive safety feature on your vehicle. And if you doubt having good wipers is a safety feature, try driving with bad ones in a downpour at night.
If you live in an area that suffers cold and snowy winters, you may want to change to winter blades in the fall and go back to regular blades in the spring.
Following a regular vehicle maintenance program is the best insurance you have against unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs. It also pays dividends by allowing you to get the most out of your transportation investment.
With a little forethought and TLC, that family chariot can reliably deliver a couple of hundred thousand miles of service.
If you have any further questions about "tune-ups" on your particular vehicle Cloquet Automotive is always here to help. Remember: "If you can't fix it the Trannyman can!"
1310 18th Street
Cloquet, MN 55720