What's a Tune-Up Today?

On most vehicles today, malfunctions may be camouflaged by computers whose function is to keep the engine running as efficiently as possible as long as possible.

How often does a car need a tune-up?

The materials required for this job are a can of throttle body cleaner, a new throttle body gasket, and some shop towels. The O2 sensor is the master switch in the fuel control feedback loop. An engine in good condition should have spark plugs with light tan or gray insulator firing noses.

Air filter: If you think you can get away with gas-and-go driving for , miles without spending a dime on maintenance or repairs, you might find the hard way that lack of proper maintenance can be very costly. Find Store. Filed to: Luckily, cleaning these sensors is about as easy as DIY mechanical work gets. The cure is to clean the injectors and valves. The need for injector cleaning isn't as great as it once was thanks to improved fuel additives and redesigned injectors. The car gets harder to start.

Accumulated deposits on the plug tip may also be interfering with reliable ignition. It also can be due to an internal engine condition, such as a bad valve or piston. Today's vehicles don't require as much maintenance as they used to because things such as idle speed and mixture adjustments, timing adjustments, etc. This information is used to determine how much fuel should be injected into the cylinders, among other critical metrics that optimize engine performance.

Accessing the spark plugs on some cars can be a real pain, so be sure to research the procedure for your vehicle before deciding to dive in. I like it. At the same time, the nice sharp edges on the center electrode have become rounded and dull. There is a range of issues that engage this — it could be something as innocuous as a loose or faulty gas cap.

This can be caused by incorrect idle speed adjustments, a malfunctioning sensor or switch, dirty fuel system parts, worn spark plugs or other engine deficiencies. It is best to avoid fueling at these times. An improperly-gapped plug can cause pre-ignition, detonation or other engine running problems. A simple maintenance type tune-up a new set of plugs may make an engine easier to start, improve fuel economy, lower emissions, restore lost pep and power, and so on provided engine performance deteriorated because of worn or fouled spark plugs.

I always recommend thoroughly cleaning the work area - especially in the spark plug holes - before removing the spark plugs. Your best bet: Many OEM parts are also being built to much higher standards of durability. Download PDF Some things never change, such as the need for periodic preventive maintenance.

Check your lights. Most likely, when you talk about a tune-up its probably because you're experiencing some kind of driveability problem. As for air filters, the service life depends more on environmental factors rather than time or mileage. But in areas that have gone to reformulated gasoline, injector clogging is on the rise again. Shift smoothly in a manual transmission vehicle.

What do I do if I put new spark plugs and wires in my car, but it still isn't running right?