The traditional ‘tuneup’ that older cars needed to keep them in good shape isn’t required necessarily for modern vehicles anymore. The tuneup included replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs, condensers, and the adjustment of engine components. So if you own a new car, no need to tell your mechanic that your car needs a “tune-up” if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about.
According to Consumerist, the cut-off year for cars that require traditional tuneups is 1999 with some exception depending on other specific factors. A vehicle produced within the past 20 years should undergo “scheduled maintenance” or “routine maintenance” which should be done every 30,000 miles or according to your car owner’s manual.
See below the parts or service work done in the process of a traditional tuneup:
- Throttle body cleanup
- Replacement or cleaning of the Carburetor (replaced with electronic fuel injection)
- Rotor, cap, and spark plug wires. (replaced with ignition coil packs)
- Fuel filter (replaced with return-less fuel systems)
- Timing belt (replaced with better timing chains)
- Inspection of the Oxygen sensors (modern sensors now have better lifespans)
- Inspection of electronic control module components
- Inspection and adjustment of engine timing and idle (can now be controlled electronically)
- Adjustment and inspection for manual transmission vehicles.
Most of the manual labor enumerated above isn’t required anymore as routine maintenance consists of fluid replacements and simple parts. The newest cars on the market or specific car types have eliminated the need for old car parts like hoses and belts. Scheduled maintenance will do these following procedures:
- Changing the engine oil
- Change of brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid.
- Coolant replacement
- Replacement and inspection of belts when needed (type and number may vary depending on the model and age of the car)
- Replacement and inspection of hoses when needed (type and number depend on car model and age.)
- Cabin air filter replacement
Routine Maintenance Costs
A warning made by Consumer Reports says that “Getting a tuneup” is a usual upsell by some mechanics. Hearing the words tuneup from a shop or mechanic, especially when your car is released in 2000 onwards should be enough for you to find a different service provider. The costs of routine maintenance vary on different factors. You must take into consideration the competition in your area, the brand or car model, and the shop that you are getting the services.
Newer cars have a maintenance schedule recommended by their manufacturers. But of course, feel free to bring them anytime to a trusted service provider in case you think that something is wrong with its performance.