If you play the piano or the guitar, then you’d surely know when something’s gone amiss. A string or a key out of tune can easily be heard and can seriously affect the overall performance of the musician. The same goes for your vehicle. Inside your vehicle (whether we’re talking truck, car, convertible or SUV) is a series of auto parts all designed to work well together in providing you with the best performance your vehicle can offer. When one of these parts malfunction or stop working altogether, you’ll certainly notice it with the decrease in vehicle handling, fuel economy, speed or ride quality of your vehicle. So how do you know that your vehicle is in dire need of a tune-up?
The following are some easy-to-spot symptoms of an auto that desperately needs a tune-up:
*note: Though a tune-up may not be able to solve bigger auto problems, it helps you determine the cause of your vehicle’s poor performance or malfunctions.
BAD FUEL ECONOMY: With the prices of fuel on the rise, you definitely don’t need the hassle of constantly having to refill your tank because your ride’s wasting too much gas. If you notice a decline on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, then your auto needs a tune-up ASAP.
EXHAUST PROBLEMS: When checking your auto’s exhaust emissions, is it appearing denser or does it smell more pungent? Is your car releasing large clouds of white, bluish or dark smoke?
ENGINE PINGING, ROUGH-RUNNING and KNOCKING: Do you hear knocking and pinging on your exhaust or under your hood each time you drive? Is your engine running rougher these days? (A rough-running engine presents itself best when your vehicle is idling).
FEEDBACK and PROBLEMS with AUTO-STARTS: Is your vehicle these days more prone to stalling? Do you experience difficulties each time you start your ride? Notice a feedback even when your auto’s engine is turned off?
If you answered yes to any of the questions listed above, or if you are experiencing problems with your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, then you need to conduct an auto tune-up as soon as you can.
Why your Auto Tune-Up acts as a Preventive Measure and a Band-Aid Solution:
The symptoms you just read in the previous paragraphs indicate auto troubles. Now, while a tune-up may be able to eliminate some of the above-mentioned issues, if the problems too big for the tune-up then it may require you to actually repair or replace some of the major auto units installed in your vehicle.
In a way, a tune-up acts as a band-aid for your vehicle’s issues. It’s basically your least expensive and least-invasive defense against the symptoms listed above. If you notice small problems in your auto, then you’d probably resort to small “cures” and preventive acts before actually going for a major auto system overhaul. If any of the symptoms listed above doesn’t go away after the tune-up, then it’s time to consult the professionals.
These days, it’s very tempting to just forgo tune-ups altogether. Tune-ups require you to invest your hard-earned pay on certain tools like replacement air filters, and with all the bills you have to pay the tune-up can seem like a waste of money and time. But let me remind you that a tune-up can ultimately save you a lot more money than you’ll have to spend in the long run by acting as a preventive measure against further auto woes.
For example, in case of an engine breakdown, wouldn’t you prefer to just replace a busted spark plug than to replace your engine altogether? While repairing your engine can easily cost thousands of dollars, replacing will cost you a lot more. A replacement spark plug on the other hand, should cost you less than $20. If you choose to have a professional replace your spark plug for you then your expenses shouldn’t skyrocket to over $500. If you follow the logic of this example, then therein lies the practicality of regular tune-ups.