Q:

How do you compare prices for an engine tune-up?

A:

Quick Answer

Good ways to compare engine tune-up prices include visiting two or three auto service shops and checking the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website. Signs that a car needs a tune-up include decreased fuel efficiency and performance, unresponsive turning or breaking, and the check engine light turning on.

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Full Answer

Shopping around multiple auto service shops is a good way to compare engine tune-up prices and reduces your chances of being exploited by mechanics. Ask for details about the specific services included in the tune-up, preferably in writing, and compare the information for each shop before making a final decision. Some shops offer discounts for new customers, so ask about this possibility.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website has a directory of certified shops that makes comparing tune-up prices easy. This non-profit trade group is made up of automotive service professionals and offers location-based searches.

Home mechanics may offer a cheaper alternative to gas station or auto repair shop tune-ups. A qualified mechanic can perform basic engine tune-up tasks, but may be unable to run computerized diagnostic tests.

Be sure to check the owner’s manual to find out what types of mandatory and recommended maintenance are required based on your vehicle's make, model, mileage and age.

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