Time for a tune-up??

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Spark plugs old and new 7.2014Are you firing on all cylinders?

Time for a “tune-up”?  You may be firing on all cylinders, but your car may need a little help!

A few signs that your car needs attention:

  • Decreased gas mileage
  • Noticeable loss of power
  • Engine running rough, hesitating or stalling
  • Engine noise upon acceleration
  • Hard starting at any time
  • Any engine noise that goes up or down with engine speed
  • Indicator warning lights (Check Engine Light on)
  • Drips or puddles of fluid under your car
  • Adding oil between oil changes (leakage or usage)

No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road – is there ever a good time for that to happen?!  The performance of your car can always be improved with regular maintenance and attention.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it may be time to have an oil change service.  And, while we are at it, we can also inspect your vehicle’s engine systems.

What is a “tune-up”?  “Tune Ups” used to consist of changing your spark plugs, adjusting your carburetor, and setting the timing on the distributor.  Since most modern vehicles do not have a carburetor or distributor any longer, these tasks are no longer required.

Spark plugs still require periodic replacement (as can be seen in the photo above) and your engine’s valves need to be reset to factory specifications for your car’s engine to run smoothly and efficiently.

Your Owner’s Manual will give you the recommended intervals for spark plug replacement on your particular vehicle.  There is a wide range in recommendations.  For example, copper or nickel core spark plugs should be changed every 30,000 miles, platinum plugs should be changed every 60-100,000 miles, and iridium plugs can last as long as 100-120,000 miles.

With time and mileage, the spark plug gap (where the spark occurs) erodes until the gap widens beyond its capability to fire your engine’s air/gas mixture efficiently.

Today’s vehicles have on-board computers that, when malfunctioning, can create some of the same symptoms.  These computers control several of the electrical systems in your car.  Although the computers cannot be “tuned up”, these Electronic Control Units (ECU’s) may require replacement if they are not working properly.

The problem could also be as simple as your car needing a new engine air filter.  The engine needs air to combust the gas, and if the filter is clogged, your car may be losing power and fuel economy.  How would you feel if you couldn’t take a deep breath??

We strive to save you money and make sure your car is working at its highest level.  We always look for the simplest solutions FIRST.

The best insurance against being stranded is to be proactive, and listen to your car’s warning signs…it has a lot to tell you if you would listen carefully (just like listening to your wife or husband)!

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