Even the most powerful car engine suffers some wear and tear. Replacing spark plugs, cleaning out the fuel lines, and more help restore engine performance. A tune-up refers to the process of restoring engine performance. How do you know when it is time for one? A few clear signs indicate a tune-up might be a good idea.
The Check Engine Light Comes On
The check engine light presents the most visible sign something isn’t right. The check engine light sometimes indicates only a minor problem is present. That doesn’t mean every the light comes on means there’s no problem. Ignoring the check engine light warning could prove regrettable.
The Engine Shakes and Simmers
Engines should run smooth. A rough idle usually indicates some trouble. A severely shaking engine probably needs new spark plugs quickly. Another more serious problem may be present. A shaking engine needs attention from a mechanic immediately.
Poor Fuel Mileage
Does it seem you are spending more money on gas than you usually do? The fuel mileage on the vehicle may be slipping. Perhaps gunk has built up in the engine. A good cleaning could address that problem. Worn spark plugs might also cause low gas mileage. Regardless of the cause of poor fuel efficiency, something must be done to resolve things.
A Stalling Engine
An engine that stalls can be cause for alarm. Sometimes, the vehicle may stall and start right up again. Don’t be lulled into thinking this is okay. The stalls could eventually last longer and longer. Even a briefly disabled vehicle reflects a safety hazard. Don’t consider any instances of stalling to be minor. Get the issue checked out and fixed.
If the car’s acceleration loses power while going uphill, that’s not a good sign. Poor acceleration on a flat road can be outright alarming. Accelerations aren’t likely to decline without an underlying problem. Dirty fuel injectors and a failing fuel pump are two examples of possible causes. You won’t know for sure until someone runs a diagnostic and/or performs a road test.
Gear-shifting should be smooth with automatic transmission. Expect smooth manual transmission shifting, too. If the gear-shifting appears delayed or bumpy, there’s probably an issue present. Hopefully, a minor fix corrects things. Who wants to buy a new transmission? Rebuilt transmissions often cost more than a car is worth. Fixing specific and smaller problems quickly sometimes eliminate potential future transmission disasters.
Ask the Mechanic
When the time comes for an oil change, ask the mechanic to check out the car. If the mechanic recommends a tune-up, maybe you should go with the recommendation.