Why You Should Perform A Tune-Up

The term tune-up dates to the time when Henry Ford was working on his first automobile prototype.

In Ford’s simple ignition system, there was one ignition coil for each spark plug. If there were four spark plugs, there were four ignition coils, which needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and acceleration. As these ignition coils worked, they made a buzzing sound, and when they were adjusted properly, they all buzzed in “tune”. The term “tune-up” stuck and became associated with replacing spark plugs and correcting rough idle problems effecting engine performance.

Once the distributor was developed, the term “tune-up” had no meaning, but the consumer who was used to hearing this term around a garage still associated poor performance and running quality with the need for a “tune-up”.

Today’s automobiles do not require “tune-ups”. The term indicates the need for routine maintenance and should not be associated with poor performance. Automobile manufacturers have developed recommended routine maintenance schedules, which specify intervals for replacing spark plugs, PCV valves, fuel filters, etc. These schedules also specify intervals for checking or adjusting ignition timing, idle speed and other items related to engine operation, as well as emission-control related services.

The experts at Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, CA highly recommend that if your vehicle experiences any operating or performance  problems between maintenance intervals, that specific problem should be addresses by performing an engine analysis to isolate that particular problem.


Warning Signs That Can Occur When Tune-Up Is Needed

  1. Stalling
  2. Warning Lights
  3. Poor Fuel Mileage
  4. Brake Noises
  5. Vibrations

Tune-Up Electronic Ignition Includes

  1. Replace spark plugs
  2. Adjust ignition timing, as required.
  3. Adjust curb idle speed, as required.
  4. Visually check emission-control related devices.
  5. Visually inspect distributor cap and rotor, when accessible.

Major Tune-Up Also Includes

  1. Clean fuel injectors.
  2. Clean ISC motor, as required.
  3. Clean throttle body air intake.
  4. Visually inspect fuel lines and fuel rail.
  5. Pressure test fuel pump.
  6. Visually inspect fuel pump, pressure regulator, vacuum line and connections.
  7. Decarbonize intake manifold.
  8. Decarbonize intake and exhaust valves.
  9. Decarbonize combustion chamber and pistons.
  10. Test exhaust emissions.

The team of experts at Gary’s Automotive Services of Chico, CA lead by owner David Sherrill will be glad to assess your year, make and model of vehicle and recommend tune-ups or maintenance schedules that best suite your vehicle manufacturer specifications and your budget. If you are seeing any signs of trouble then call David at 530-342-5782 so they can help you make the choice that is best for you and your vehicle.