Older cars typically require a tune-up if they’ve reached 30,000 to 45,000 miles. For newer cars, it usually takes longer than that to require one.
If you own an older vehicle, it makes perfect sense to ask a qualified mechanic if it needs a tune-up, especially if the odometer lists that many miles or if you notice something out of the ordinary. It’s important to remember to take your car to a shop that specializes in its make and model. For example, only a Porsche specialist should perform your Porsche tune-up in NYC.
When should you take your car in for a tune-up?
Apart from collecting more than 30,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your vehicle, there are tell-tale signs that may indicate a tune-up is in order. For most vehicles, if your maintenance schedule indicates replacing the spark plugs or if the spark plugs are heavily worn, it may be wise to do a tune-up. Even if the spark plugs are fine, your car may need a tune-up if it’s running poorly.
What happens during a tune-up?
Depending on your car’s make and model, and whatever complaints you may have about it, the elements involved in a tune-up may vary.
Spark plugs are usually replaced with new ones. Worn-out spark plugs may cause problems in starting your engine, which may misfire. You may also notice a lack of power and lower fuel efficiency.
Another element that may have to be replaced is a fuel filter, but this depends on your car’s make and model. Porsches manufactured and released beginning 2002 no longer need a fuel filter replacement. Older Porsches, however, need a new one when you tune them up.
The air filter, however, has to be replaced when you perform a tune-up. An air filter prevents dust and sand from entering the engine and fouling up the cylinder walls. Over time, your car’s air filter will collect enough debris to clog it, giving the engine a more difficult time “breathing.”
In some cars, the timing belt should be replaced with every tune-up. There are cars, however, that have a maintenance-free timing chain instead, such as Porsches.
Other elements of your car may require a tune-up — some kind of cleaning, topping up, or replacement. If you have an old car, it’s advisable to ask your mechanic whether it’s time for a tune-up.