Car Running Poorly? Seven Signs It’s Overdue for a Tune Up
Most car manufacturers suggest getting a tune-up every 40,000 to 120,000 miles. This important service involves changing the spark plugs and installing new ignition wires. Here are seven signs that your vehicle is overdue for a tune-up.
Bad Gas Mileage
If your vehicle’s fuel economy has started to dip, it may need a tune-up. When the spark plugs begin to wear out, the engine will have trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Gas mileage can plummet by up to 30 percent. Changing out the old spark plugs can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is especially true for drivers who commute on an everyday basis.
Slow acceleration is a definite red flag. When driving with bad spark plugs or worn ignition wires, it can feel as if your vehicle is pulling a heavy load. Expect to notice a major decrease in passing power. You’ll have trouble merging onto the freeway, which can be a safety hazard. After getting a tune-up, performance should improve dramatically. Keep in mind that a clogged air filter can also cause sluggish acceleration, so first check the condition of this part before taking further action.
Check Engine Light May Require a Tune Up
Be on the lookout for a check engine light. This could be a warning sign that you need a tune-up. If your car’s onboard computer detects multiple misfires, it will trigger the check engine light to turn on. To be on the safe side, bring in your vehicle to the shop. With the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, the technicians can track down the specific source of the problem.
When their vehicle is hard to start, many car owners immediately begin to fear a dead battery. However, bad spark plugs can also cause your vehicle to not crank. Over time, the electrodes on a spark plug gradually start to wear out. A weak spark will be produced. This means your plugs can no longer send an electrical current to the engine’s combustion chamber. A tune-up may prove to be the recommended solution.
Rough Idling May Require A Tune Up
A well-maintained vehicle should run smoothly with no hiccups. If your vehicle starts to experience rough idling, one or more of the spark plugs may have gone bad. Expect the engine to be vibrating far more than normal.
Arcing Ignition Wires
Ignition wires, which are also referred to as spark plug wires, often arc when they become defective. At night, pop the hood while the engine is running. In the event you see any sparks coming from the wires, this indicates that the insulation over the wires has broken down.
Raw Fuel Smell May Require A Tune Up
A lingering smell of raw fuel should quickly catch your attention. This could stem from incomplete combustion. If the spark plugs are determined to be bad, don’t wait to get a tune-up. You don’t want any unburned fuel to escape into the exhaust system. The vehicle’s catalytic converter can become damaged, which is often expensive to replace.