What does a tune up do?

Tune Up

The cost of cleaning or replacing a few simple parts is much more affordable than having to repair the bigger parts of your engine that they are connected to. When your car is having problems performing at its best, there’s a good chance you need to bring your car in so we can take a deeper look.

How do I know if I car needs a tune-up?

To find out when your vehicle should be brought in for scheduled maintenance, check your owner’s manual. After all, nobody knows your car better than the folks who made it.

But if you encounter any of the following issues, it may be time to bring your car in for a tune-up:

  • Hard or sluggish starts
  • Stalling at intersections or when passing
  • Unusually low gas mileage
  • Poor acceleration
  • Misfiring

Contact us as soon as possible if you encounter any of these issues.

What is a tune-up?

A tune-up is basically a checklist of parts to clean or replace in order to make your engine run better. The phrase “tune-up” is left over from years ago when cars were a lot more temperamental and needed constant tweaking to keep them running right. If your car is fairly new, there is a good chance it won’t ever need a “tune-up” in the traditional sense that has you picturing someone tinkering under the hood of their muscle car every weekend.

All cars have a recommended schedule for having a tune-up done. Older vehicles (pre-2008 or so) may need one every 30,000 miles. But newer vehicles can go anywhere between 50,000-100,000 miles between tune-ups. Today, when someone brings their car in for a “tune-up” outside of scheduled maintenance it is most likely because they have encountered some problem with their car’s engine performance.

Why should I have a tune-up done?

The car hasn’t been built yet that will run forever without any maintenance.

As good as we’ve gotten at building vehicles better and stronger with parts that last longer and longer, everything eventually wears out. Most things you’ll need to do in order to keep your car running smoothly will be covered by the routine maintenance spelled out in your owner’s manual. In our information on Preventive Maintenance Service Page, we discuss what most of those things are.

However, when your car is having problems performing at its best, there is a good chance you may need to bring your car in so we can take a deeper look. The cost of cleaning or replacing a few simple parts is much more affordable than having to repair the bigger parts of your engine that they are connected to.

Failing to get proper tune-ups can:

  • Put excessive stress on important parts of your engine
  • Lower fuel efficiency
  • Lead to harder starts
  • Decrease overall engine performance
What do we do in a typical tune-up service?

If you bring your car in and say “I need a tune-up,” we won’t automatically just start doing a bunch of things until we know for sure whether they are actually needed or not. If we can get you to describe the problem, we can usually pinpoint the real issue and just fix that – saving you time and money.

But when your owner’s manual says it’s time, a typical scheduled tune-up service includes:

  • Scanning for any fault codes (or verifying codes that may have triggered the Check Engine light)
  • Visually inspecting spark plugs
  • Test spark plug performance
  • Check ignition timing
  • Check and adjust idle speed
  • Test battery voltage
  • Check and replace engine air filter
  • Clean fuel-system
  • Check and replace oxygen sensors

While many routine maintenance tasks can be DIY, it is best to have these tune-up related things done by experienced professionals. The seasoned technicians at [atc] are more than happy to put their skills to work to keep your vehicle running at peak performance.

Click here to set up an appointment. Or call one of our locations today:

atc Auto Center, Augusta
(706) 738-7812

atc Auto Center, Grovetown
(706) 303-3333

Tune-up Tips to Avoid Wear and Tear
  • The manual knows best. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out when the manufacturer recommends you have certain things done. You’ll get a lot more life and love out of your ride that way.
  • Filters save you money. Replacing filters is something nearly anyone can do. If you notice poor engine performance, it may be because you car can’t “breathe.” Start by checking your engine’s air filter to see if it looks dirty or clogged.
  • Keep your battery clean. If you notice that your car is having a hard time starting, take a look under the hood and see if the battery has any corrosion around its posts or cables. Some baking soda and an old toothbrush will clean them right up.
  • Drive longer. Lots of starts and stops put wear and tear on your car. So does cold starting your car frequently. Plan your trips so that you can run more errands at one time instead of several short trips throughout the day.

Very friendly and knowledgeable. Went above and beyond what they were required to do.

Caressa N. McKinney | Grovetown, GA

If you want it done right, call [atc]! I wish I had known about them years ago before using other mechanic shops that delivered very disappointing results.

Jenahin | Augusta, GA

I have been taking both my wife’s and my car to ATC for the past two years. They consistently provide excellent, honest, and personable service.

Ross McDaniel | Grovetown, GA

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