Posted on: May. 31, 2017 in Auto Maintenance, Cars

You’ve probably seen signs or offers for deal on tune ups. It might seem reasonable when your local shop is running a special. Or maybe your dad always said that he was taking the car in for a tune up so you figure you should periodically do the same. But does your car need a tune up? The short answer is probably not.

A tune up is generally an outdated term that can involve any number of services. If you don’t know what’s involved in “getting a tune up,” that’s likely because the definition of one can change from mechanic to mechanic. If you’re being sold a basic tune up, it’s important to find out exactly what services will be provided.

Rather than getting this mysterious and vague service, follow the manufacturers guidelines in the owner’s manual. Cars today come with a maintenance schedule to help you determine which services you need and when you need them. If you’re getting a bundled package, you may be paying for things you don’t even need yet.

Another popular misconception is that when the check engine light comes on, that’s when your car needs a tune up. The fact is, when your check engine light comes on, it merely signals that the car’s computer has detected a problem. A mechanic should be able to use a diagnostic device to determine what exactly is wrong and then fix that specific malfunction.

Different cars come with different maintenance schedules. You can’t follow some one-size-fits-all tune up plan and expect it to be the best maintenance for your specific vehicle. Of course, you’ll want to make sure to perform maintenance according to the schedule recommended by the manufacturer in order to keep the car running well. Failure to maintain your car can result in poor gas mileage and a decline in engine performance.

So, skip the tune up, consult your manual’s maintenance schedule, and give your car the specific care it needs to keep it running in tip-top shape.

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