When confronted with car trouble, consider yourself fortunate when your car just needs a little extra TLC, in the form of a tune-up. As we all know, there are far worse things that could go wrong with your car (and could have you digging deeper into your wallet). So, if you’re currently experiencing some cry for help from your car—don’t ignore it—listen up. It’s when you deny there is a problem and let it go too long that the bigger problems can happen. Don’t tempt fate—here are some common signs it’s time for a tune-up.
Check engine light comes on
We’ve all been here. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just one faulty wire that could gingerly be put back in place and the trouble would disappear? In a perfect world, this may work, in reality, we’re seeing the glass half-full. Check your Owners Manual. That’s a good start. If that doesn’t have the information you’re after, call up your trusted local Service Center and talk to a service technician who works on your brand of car. If it is determined it’s time for a tune-up, the service may be a simple as replacing spark plugs, air filters, coil plugs or fuel filters.
Underperforming or stalling engine
Does your engine stall, take several attempts to start, or gets going only to hesitate or “buck” when you accelerate? This is probably the most difficult to ignore—and can be the scariest—because no one wants to end up stranded. By all means, don’t ignore. Write down all the signs and symptoms of exactly when, under what conditions (in the mornings or late night when it’s coldest), and how often it happens. Also, describe any sounds your car makes when it underperforms.
This one can be a variety of different things. One possibility is the fuel system needs a flush. Have a licensed technician determine if this can be fixed with a fuel cleaner you can get at any auto parts store, or schedule service to have them flush out your system.
Poor gas mileage
If you’ve noticed a significant drop in gas mileage, this can be another sign it’s time for a tune-up. You’ll want to discuss with your service technician as many particular details related to the drop in gas mileage as you can. He may check your car’s coils, fuel filter, air filter, plugs and oxygen sensors, among others.
Because it is hard for the average layman to say with confidence what the proper diagnosis may be—as it could be many different scenarios, when faced with these types of car trouble, a skilled service technician can correctly diagnose your problem and then repair it. Don’t hedge your bets or gamble when it comes to your security and the safety of your automobile. Rather, turn to a trusted and reputable repair center, such as an AutoNation Service Center, where you will find licensed technicians, proficient in your type of car, and using only the parts made specifically for your car.