Outdoor chores start and we get more mobile as the days get longer and warmer. Cleaning up around the garden and getting that spring tune-up are two common rituals of the season.
Automobile technicians recommend giving your vehicle a tune-up regularly in order to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Dealerships often advertise deals on springtime tune-ups alongside lube, oil and filter offers but few motorists likely know what is involved in this process.
Years ago a tune-up consisted of various measures that have become obsolete due to advancements in automotive technology. Gone are the days of painstakingly ensuring your distributor points are properly aligned and moderating your vehicle’s air to fuel ratio by fiddling with the carburetor.
Thanks to the incorporation of materials like platinum, spark plugs don’t even have to be replaced as often as they used to. That’s not to say your vehicle is maintenance-free by any means. So what should be done in the spring?'
The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is a computerized, modern-day version of the aforementioned technologies. Based on information like engine coolant temperature, barometric pressure and air flow, the ECU determines optimum settings for the fuel injection system, ignition timing and idle speed.
Your technician can ensure that all of these aspects are running as they should be. These are all things that can contribute to excessive emissions, as well as the fuel mileage your car is getting, which is an important thing to note as gas quickly approaches $1.50/L.
I asked one of our member dealers, Bob Redinger, owner of Ready Honda, what he suggests.
“A yearly tune-up allows for a professional to check your vehicle’s belts, hoses and fluid levels, which could identify damage or leaks early on rather than leaving you stranded on the side of the road,” Redinger said. “Spring is also a good time to have your air conditioning checked since it likely hasn’t been used since last summer.”
Cars are increasingly sophisticated machines that require a certain element of preventive maintenance in order to keep them running at their optimum levels. A tune-up is therefore a regularly scheduled opportunity to perform preventive maintenance that may seem unnecessary at the time, but can prevent future issues that will prove even more costly and ultimately extend the life of your vehicle.