Does Your Car Really Need a Tune Up?

It’s spring and for us in Arizona we have already reached 90 degree temperatures. It’s also time for spring cleaning, the house, yard, garage and maybe your car. With that comes the tune up question, but do you really need one? According to most experts; cars made after 1999 almost never need one. In the “old days”, a car’s “electronics” included a battery, coil, distributor with points, spark plugs, etc. All this had to work together to keep your car running smoothly. These parts were subject to normal wear and tear and required maintenance or replacement every 12,000 miles or so, or, at least once a year.  Thus the car’s “tune up” was always an annual event.

Fortunately, today’s cars are truly electronic with computers, coils and sensors that still have to work together but are designed to last 100,000 miles or more before the dreaded “tune up” question comes up. So it seems even the term tune up has changed over the years. The best way to tell if your car needs attention is following the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule. This can be found online or through your dealer or mechanic.   However, listening and being aware of how your car is running and what your dash indicator lights are telling you is most important. If you sense a misfire, stalling, hard starting, new noises, or experience that frightful “check engine” light then it may be time for a “tune up”. Even if you follow the maintenance schedules some “100,000 mile” components can degrade or fail sending you those signals. Don’t ignore them as your car needs you to be attentive and diligent especially as it matures. So go ahead and give your car a good spring cleaning, change the fluids and filters as required and maybe a tune up too…..if it needs it.