Tuning In For a Tune Up: 7 Car Components You Should Check for Replacements
Written By: Sean
August 7, 2015
Tune ups should not be mistaken for regular vehicle maintenance. With regular maintenance, you’re simply checking up on the condition of the vehicle. In short, nothing needs to be replaced. With a tune up, however, you’re visiting the shop for no other purpose than to have certain components replaced. Both services must be done regularly to ensure that your vehicle’s exhaust system as well as the engine is running smoothly, rendering it perfect for long hours on the road. So what parts are checked out and replaced in tune ups? Find out below.
If your vehicle has run for around a hundred thousand miles, then ask your mechanic to do an engine compression test during a tune up session. By doing this, you’ll be able to know if there is enough pressure and if said pressure is equally distributed among the valves. If not, then you’ll know that it’s indeed time for you to replace your valves as they may have become worn out inside.
If there’s one component of your engine that you should really check every time you have a tune up, it’s the spark plugs. They’re a pretty good gauge to use if you want to know you engine’s condition. They can also tell you if there are any problems with your engine and if it’s running as efficiently as you want it to be. So have ’em checked every 30,000 miles, no matter what condition your vehicle is in.
These include the timing belt and serpentine belt. Your timing belt, also called a Gilmer or camshaft drive belt, is what permits your crankshaft to drive your camshaft. Doing so allows your camshaft to open and close the engine’s valves with the pistons in one synchronized flow. Signs of wear and tear include fraying, engine backfiring or worn teeth meaning that it is time to change this belt.
On the other hand, the serpentine belt, also called drive belt, provides power to numerous components of your vehicle, including the air conditioning compressor, water pump, cooling fan and air injection pump. Change this belt once you see any splitting, cracking or hear any squealing.
Every part of your car is important,t but one of the most vital ones are your coolant hoses. Without these, parts of your your car like the radiator and the heater core will overheat often as they deliver the antifreeze throughout your engine’s cooling system. Replace them if there are signs of cracking, splitting or soft, brittle spots.
There are, of course, a lot of filters in your engine and each one of them needs regular replacement as most experts agree that they are one of the top contributors when it comes to prolonging your car’s life. Once you see that your oil, air, PCV breather filer, fuel filter or automatic transmission filters are clogged up, change them immediately to avoid further problems and costs.
Some vehicle owners prefer to have their oil changed every 5,000 miles while others prefer every 15,000. But please, do not have it changed every 3000 miles. That rule is applicable only to cars manufactured from the 70’s backwards, when the properties of oil were just being discovered by scientists. The number one problem about not changing your oil is that by delaying it, the oil will lose its ability to break down the carbon deposits found in your engine, making it ineffective and useless.
If you want to prevent accidents, then it is definitely mandatory for you to change your brake pads. Once you can feel the brake pedal nearing the floor or if you hear a strange sound when you apply the brakes, then you know that it is time to change your brake pads.
You might think that this long list amount to a huge amount of money but if you think about the consequences if you do not change them, you’ll know that the expenses are definitely worth it.