Understanding the modern automotive tune-up
Not exactly your parent’s tune-up
What is a tune-up? Go and ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of the term and chances are there will be 10 different answers. Certainly the classic tune-up was once the heart and soul of the automotive business.
The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help “tune” the engine. Mounting pressure for increased fuel economy and lower emissions drove the car manufacturers to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points in the ‘70s, along with the carburetor in the middle ‘80s. This eliminated the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts.
As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. The advent of computerized systems and electronic ignitions eliminated the need for the classic tune-up. Newer highly sophisticated electronic ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.
“I have travelled across Canada giving car care clinics to women, and one question I am repeatedly asked is ‘what is a tune-up?,’” said Kelly Williams, racecar driver, and Be Car Care Aware advocate. “Overall, there is a need to demystify the tune up issue for Canadians through redefinition of the term tune-up and education for motorists as to what a tune-up should consist in today’s automotive world.”
There is a misconception that today’s modern vehicles don’t need tune-ups because they never break down. However, that simply is not true.”
The 21st Century Tune-up
(On today’s modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected):
• battery, charging and starting
• engine mechanical
• powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks)
Reasons Canadians often seek a Tune-up
Canadian vehicle owners seek tune-ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they’re giving the car to a friend or family member.
Today’s modern tune-up is designed to:
• Improve reliability
• Reduce air pollution
• Improve performance
• Improve fuel economy
• Create confidence for long trips or regular commuters
Motorists should take the time necessary to become familiar with every aspect of their vehicle. Canadians rarely spend the time to study the owner’s manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems and pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.
For podcasts and videos on caring for cars, click here: http://carcarecanada.ca/downloads.cfm (Topics include Battery, Cold Start, Fuel Savings, Idling, Winter Fluids, and Winter Conditions.)
Source Car Care Canada
Items of notes and interest from the web.