What Is a Car Tune-Up?


Quick Answer

A car tune-up is a series of maintenance adjustments to a vehicle that can include a series of precise tests as well as replacing the spark plugs. A tune-up should improve the engine's performance or efficiency.

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Full Answer

In order to avoid costly repairs and extend the life of a vehicle, drivers should adhere to a regular maintenance routine, including regular tune-ups. Although the term is somewhat outdated because modern vehicles have many features controlled by computers, some drivers still use "tune-up" when referring to the service procedure intended to improve engine performance. Drivers can conduct a tune-up at home by checking the owner's manual or take the car to a professional mechanic.

A car tune-up comprises a number of detailed tests and adjustments designed to improve the drivability of the vehicle. The test can include checking and charging the battery and a scan of fault codes to diagnose and eliminate any that are present. Checking the ignition timing and verifying the car's idle speed also help to confirm the overall condition of the engine.

A tune-up may also include replacing the spark plugs as well as inspecting the spark plug wires, fuel injectors and distributor. These maintenance tasks should make the engine easier to start and improve fuel economy.

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