5 Tell-Tale Signs It’s Time for a Vehicle Tune-Up
Trust is a big deal. When you hop in your car each morning, you trust that when you turn the key (or press the button), your engine will fire right up and you’ll be good to go. This kind of confidence is the result of properly maintaining your vehicle.
Not sure if you need a tune-up? Then you probably do. Here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time.
1. Lower fuel economy
Tire problems are the leading cause of breakdowns. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause blowouts and accidents – either of which can be avoided by regular checks. Begin with the pressure, especially if the car has been sitting for awhile or it’s cold outside. Next, check the surface of the entire tire.
This can be difficult to monitor but it should be obvious when it becomes significant.
There are a number of factors that go into determining fuel efficiency that can also be addressed by a tune-up, such as:
- Your emissions system efficiency.
- How smoothly your engine is functioning.
- Wheel alignment.
You may overlook one instance of stalling – though you really shouldn’t. It could be dangerous for you or others.
There are several issues that cause your vehicle to stall – including bad spark plugs or a clogged oil filter – but nearly all of them can be prevented (or remedied) by keeping up with your car’s maintenance schedule.
3. Illuminated check-engine light
Once a warning light has shown up, it’s usually an indication that you’re seriously past-due for a tune-up. Take your car to see your trusted mechanic right away.
You may think it’s okay to put a visit off because you don’t notice anything acting “off” about your car, but problems will get worse with time – not better.
4. Check all the lights
Safe driving in any season depends on properly-functioning headlights and taillights. You should also pay attention to turn signals, brake lights, hazard lights, and interior lights, too.
4. Strange sounds
It doesn’t take much time owning a vehicle to get familiar with the noises it makes. You know what’s normal and what’s out of the ordinary. If you hear anything that sounds different – suspicious or not – it’s time to take a trip to the mechanic. Of course, an odd sound doesn’t absolutely mean disaster. It could be something that’s easily fixed.
For example, a squealing sound could indicate a belt that needs to be replaced. A clunking noise could be something that simply needs to be tightened. Guess what? Regular tune-ups can stave off problems like this, as well. A belt that’s replaced before it fails – possibly while you’re driving down a busy highway – could save you from putting yourself and others in danger.
5. Rough starting engine
There are several reasons that your car may show some difficulty when you attempt to start it up. All of them could be prevented – or at least identified – by a tune-up. For example, something as simple as the spark plugs needing to be replaced can keep the engine from turning over.
Make vehicle maintenance a priority
There’s really no excuse for not getting your car in for regular tune-ups. Many of the usual problems that come up with a vehicle can be fixed or caught by keeping up with a regular maintenance routine. Your car will last longer and you’ll save a significant amount of money in the long run.