Blog Car Care Advice The Essential Car Tune-Up Checklist (+ When to Get One)
Car Care Advice

The Essential Car Tune-Up Checklist (+ When to Get One)

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A timely car tune up can help optimize your vehicle’s performance and identify any issue before it snowballs into a costly repair.

But what does it entail?
A car tune up is a set of maintenance procedures that can extend the life of your vehicle. Here, a mechanic thoroughly inspects various car parts for problems and addresses them accordingly. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what should be included in a car tune up checklist. We’ll also explore common signs that indicate your vehicle needs a tune up and tackle some burning questions about the car tune ups.

This Article Contains:

Let’s begin.

What Should Be in a Car Tune-Up Checklist?

Knowing what should be included in vehicle maintenance is essential for a car owner. It empowers you to take proactive measures to ensure your vehicle remains reliable.

A comprehensive car tune up checklist can include:

Let’s go over these one by one.

1. Spark Plug and Wiring Replacements

Spark plugs are crucial to your vehicle’s ignition system since they emit the electricity needed to start your car. But, over time, the metal tips of your spark plugs may wear out and lead to a drop in engine performance. 

If the spark plugs are damaged, your mechanic will replace them. They’ll also check and replace spark plug wires if necessary.

2. Engine Oil Change

An engine oil change is a standard inclusion in a car maintenance checklist. 

Motor oil lubricates engine parts for optimal performance. As the motor oil moves through your engine, it can become contaminated due to dirt and heat.

An auto repair mechanic will replace your old engine oil with a fresh batch of recommended oil to better protect your engine.

3. Filter Replacements

The filters in your vehicle help protect it from unwanted dirt particles that can diminish performance. 

Here are different filters inspected during a car tune up:

4. Brake Check

The brake system is vital in slowing and halting your vehicle. That’s why a brake inspection is essential when getting car maintenance. 

An auto repair mechanic will check your brake pads, rotors, and calipers for excessive wear and replace them if required.

5. Car Battery Check

A car battery supplies the electric current necessary for various car parts to function. 

However, batteries deteriorate after a few years, so this electric component will be tested to ensure it performs as it should. If not, a replacement battery will need to be installed.

6. Fluid Level Inspection

Aside from motor oil, your car has other fluids that must be checked. Each fluid must meet the specifications stipulated in the owner’s manual, like quality and quantity, to function smoothly.

Here are some fluids that will be checked during a car tune up:

7. Belt and Hose Replacement

Belts and hoses are crucial to the functioning of various car parts, like water pumps, power steering units, and radiators.

During car maintenance, an auto service mechanic will check the belts for a squealing sound and the hoses for leakage or swelling. If they’re faulty, the mechanic will replace the component after getting your approval. 

8. Tire Maintenance

Your vehicle’s tires are the only car part that has direct contact with the road. They require proper care to keep you and your car safe.

Crucial tire maintenance tasks that a mechanic performs during a tune up include:

9. Windshield Wiper Inspection

Your windshield wipers allow you to drive safely during rainy or snowy days. But your wiper blade can wear out over time, and you could run low on windshield wiper fluid (washer fluid). 

It’s important that your regular car tune up checklist includes an inspection of your windshield wipers. The mechanic will replace any worn wiper blade and top off your windshield wiper fluid. 

Now that we know what’s included in a car tune up, let’s explore when to get one. 

How to Know Your Car Needs a Tune-Up

As a car owner, it’s essential to know the telltale signs that your vehicle needs a quick tune-up to avoid spending tons of money on a costly repair job in the future.

Below are common warning signs to take notice of:

Have more questions on car maintenance?
Let’s explore some common queries about a car tune-up.

2 FAQs about a Car Tune Up

Here are answers to common questions you may have about a car tune-up:

1. What Are the Benefits of a Tune-Up?

A tune-up is an essential service that can significantly impact a vehicle’s performance and longevity, especially for an older car.

Some key benefits of receiving regular maintenance include:

2. How Much Does a Tune-Up Cost?

The cost of a car tune-up can vary depending on the vehicle. 

A basic tune-up can range from $200 to $800. But, it can cost more for luxury vehicles like a Porsche or BMW as they require trained labor and specialized replacement parts. 

Final Thoughts

A car tune-up checklist encompasses essential vehicle maintenance tasks like inspecting spark plugs and checking brake pads. Following the checklist helps ensure optimal vehicle performance, especially for an older car.

But remember: It’s crucial to know when your car needs a tune-up. Recognizing signs such as rough idling and decreased fuel economy can help you avoid costly engine repair procedures. 

So if you spot any of these issues, you should contact a mechanic. They’ll be able to perform the required tasks in your car tune up checklist with no hassle.

Looking for reliable car repair and maintenance? 
AutoNation Mobile Service is a mobile car repair service offering competitive pricing and stellar customer service. Our expert mechanics will tackle your tune-up right in your driveway.

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