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How Often Should You Tune Up Your Car: Essential Things You Need to Know

How Often Should You Tune Up Your Car: Essential Things You Need to Know

How Often Should You Tune Up Your Car

Majority of car owners know for a fact that vehicles, whether brand new or not, require a lot of maintenance. One of which is having them tuned up. However, some people are still relatively unaware of this topic and the way it could positively affect their vehicle. What is more bothersome is that although some of you already know that your car requires tuning up, only a few of you are really aware how often should you tune up your car and how you can tell if your vehicle already needs a tune-up.

When it comes to tuning up, this term is basically used to describe the general maintenance of your vehicle. It includes, but isn’t limited to, oil change, filter change, cleaning air plugs and replacing any other component which tends to wear down with frequent use. So, when the mechanic says that your vehicle needs a proper tune-up, you should be ready for a comprehensive maintenance session of your favorite automobile.

Since it is imperative to follow a regular tune-up service schedule to keep your automobile up and running, in this article, we will provide you with fact-based information about how often should you tune up your car. This article will also take a look at the common signs that will indicate if a vehicle needs a proper tune-up.

How Often Should You Tune Up Your Car?

The frequency as to when a vehicle should be tuned up will depend on many factors, and we have briefly discussed some of the most common ones below.

Type of Vehicle

First of all, tuning up schedule depends on the type of vehicle you own. If you are one of the owners who vehicles from the late 90s, it is recommended to take it to a mechanic once after every 10,000 or 15,000 miles, especially if you own an automobile with the non-electronic ignition system. That would mean that you should tune it up once or twice every year.

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Coming towards people who own new models of cars or those that have all the latest hi-tech features, they can keep on using their vehicles from 30,000 to 100,000 miles without a tune-up. That is due to the reason that unlike their traditional counterparts, today’s vehicles incorporate either fuel injection or electronic ignition systems which can be controlled by personal computers.


The ideal duration of tune-up also varies from component to component. According to a rough estimate, an average car is made up of more than 25,000 parts. It includes small ones, such as nuts and bolts, and large ones including doors and tires. Also included in this category are the likes of engines and carburetors which are made up of their own small as well as large components.

While some parts require replacement after every 3,000 miles, there are others which can be used for as long as 50,000 miles. Here is the list of components, along with the mileage after which it is usually recommended to replace them.

  • 3000 Miles
    It is recommended to replace your car’s oil, air filter and oil filter every once after 3,000 miles has been reached. These components tend to play a great role in your vehicle’s wellbeing, and it is due to them that you can enjoy a smooth ride. So, it is imperative to replace them after the duration mentioned above if you want to ride your vehicle for years to come.
  • 15,000 Miles
    Once you have used your vehicle up to this point, it is recommended to take out the fuel filter before replacing it with a newer one. Similarly, you should also replace the cabin air filter in order to keep your vehicle up and running.
  • 30,000 Miles
    At this point, one has to spend a considerable amount of money in order to replace the likes of PCV valves, rotors, and other filters. You should also take a look at your car’s fuel injection system to decide whether or not it needs a thorough check-up. Remember, every vehicle requires a proper tune-up at this stage.
  • 50,000 Miles
    After driving your vehicle for more than 50,000 miles, take a look at the brake oil and the power steering. Ask your mechanic to replace these components and depending on your budget, you can also replace the drive belt.
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Owner’s Manual

If you are still not sure about the proper tune-up schedule of your vehicle, you can always get help from your car’s owner manual. The manufacturers usually provide recommended tune-up durations so that you don’t have to consult a professional for this purpose. Having said that, there is absolutely no hindrance if you decide to take your vehicle to a mechanic before the specified duration. That is because if you do that, it will only allow your car to perform at its peak efficiency.

What Are the Signs that Your Car Needs a Tune-Up?

Although mileage and manufacturer’s recommendation are two of the things that can dictate regular car tune-up, there will be times wherein your vehicle might give out signs that it needs such. Hence, it is always best to look out for the listed signs below.

  • Ignition Problem
    This can also happen due to a weak battery which needs to be replaced after six to eight months. However, if the problem remains unresolved after purchasing a new battery, there might be some issue with either the ignition system or even the fuel system. In any such a case, you tuning up might be needed.
  • Warning Light
    The check engine light starts to illuminate once a problem arises within the system of your vehicle. It can be a minor problem, such as an untightened gas cap, or it can also happen due to some sort of issue with the oil pressure. Regardless of the actual reason behind this condition, you should not take any chances. Schedule an appointment with your local mechanic as early as possible.
  • Poor Mileage
    If you are having trouble pinpointing the exact reason of why your vehicle has started to show poor mileage in the past few weeks, there is a big chance that something is wrong with either the oxygen sensor or even the exhaust system.
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If you are looking to get your vehicle tuned-up in the near future, it is recommended to tell your mechanic about the issues which you are suffering. It will allow them to work at a specified location which can eventually save you a lot of time and money.