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Old 08 Aug 2012, 10:57 am
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Default Tune up

What exactly is a tune up? I really don't get it. I have an MOT done, and a service, but a tune up comes up different. Is it to do with the onboard computer and why is it important to tune that up if it is that?

At one point the government were apparently offering free tune up as it helkps with fuel efficiency, but I wouldn't know if it was true or not anyway.

So, what is a tune up really?


Someone has to ask the stupid questions, so why not.
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Old 08 Aug 2012, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Tune up

There really is no such thing as a tuneup per say. Used to be you would change the plugs, new points and condenser in the distributor, new cap and rotor for the distributor, and checked the timing and adjust if necessary. It was done at about every 30-50 thousand miles as recommended by the mfg. I would always replace the wires on the second or third tuneup.

Nowadays the plugs run forever so when it does come time to change them the wires are usually done at the same time. That is about the only thing you can do.
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Old 08 Aug 2012, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Tune up

Nowadays the plugs run forever so when it does come time to change them the wires are usually done at the same time.


Have to disagree with you about the plugs run forever.

But then again I run iridiums and not platinums
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Old 08 Aug 2012, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

What I meant was some mfg.'s recommend a change at 100,000. Of course your mileage may vary. Edited because apparently somebody didn't like my wording.

Last edited by Ray_Dockrey; 10 Aug 2012 at 12:00 pm.
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Old 08 Aug 2012, 08:27 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

Today's tune-up for the PT is more of a maintenance issue than an old-time tune-up--after plugs and wires, that is.

Put in new plugs (maybe plug wires if OEM); change oil and filter; check all other fluids; check and clean your battery posts and clamps; check your PVC valve; check for gunk at the opening of your throttle body and clean if necessary; check that both speeds of the fan are coming on, and also the radiator hoses and coolant reservoir; check belt tension and adjust (alternator); check all vacuum hoses for cracks and loosness; check control arm bushings and ball joints; check for wheel bearing loosness ... stuff like that.

Tim
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 03:56 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

Now see, most of the things you lot list would come under a service here. This is why I am getting a bit lost as to the tune ups here. Clearly they may mean different things.

What do you call it then when they do some stuff with the on board computer?
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 04:42 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteclaw View Post
Now see, most of the things you lot list would come under a service here. This is why I am getting a bit lost as to the tune ups here. Clearly they may mean different things.

What do you call it then when they do some stuff with the on board computer?
That would be called "doing some stuff with the onboard computer>

Jerry
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 05:09 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteclaw View Post
Now see, most of the things you lot list would come under a service here. This is why I am getting a bit lost as to the tune ups here. Clearly they may mean different things.

What do you call it then when they do some stuff with the on board computer?
The only thing that comes to mind is a diagnostic service test. No reason to do one unless the check engine light is illuminated. They could also be updating the computer with the latest software, but again, no good reason to do it unless you have a problem. The PT does it's own system test every time you start it and if a problem is found the CEL illuminates.

It may just be an easy way to make your wallet lighter.

Ask the shop performing the tune-up exactly what they do. I would think they would have an itemized list the technician would follow, ask to see it. If they can't produce a list of what a tune-up entails, find a new shop.
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

In other words, modern cars do not need new points (or gapping of the points); nor do they need a new distributor cap or rotor. And you may as well throw your timing gun away. You no longer need it. Carburetor adjustment is also unnecessary. No carb, no adjustment.

So, aside from the "maintenance" issues I previously posted--and the new plugs and wires (if you're chugging)--there is no longer a "tune up" to be done.

Oh--I think I forgot about changing the air filter at 30,000 miles ....

Tim
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Tune up

I do all the work on my cars (and those of certain family members/friends) and a tune-up varies slightly on some vehicles. However, one thing that's consistent with what I do is;

1. Oil and oil filter. This is done every 3k miles and though an oil change itself isn't really a 'complete tune-up', it will fall within the time frame when a complete tune-up is recommended. Another thing to check during this short interval is your tire pressure.

2. Air filter. This should be done around every 3-5k miles (same time as oil) if you've got a throw-away filter or simply clean/recharge if it's a reusable filter.

3. Plugs. Alot of plugs nowadays can go on for a good 50k miles. Hell some people would go as far as 100k however plugs are so unbelievably affordable that I'd have to question why someone wouldn't do it. On my cars I do this around the 3rd or 4th oil change.

4. Plug wires. On a car like the PT, this should be done fairly soon after obtaining one. On other cars like my Corvettes (and other cars, yes I have 2 vettes now), I change wires every 50k+ miles. Rotor/cap where applicable.

5. PCV. Replace it, it's cheaper than 2 spark plugs.

6. Fluids. Check all your fluids as recommended by MFG and make sure they're topped off. At this time, I also look for leaking if a specific fluid is low.

7. Lubricate chassis. This includes hinges on your doors, hood release cable, and other mechanical parts where there's metal-on-metal contact. Alot of people neglect this and then wonder why their car door sounds like the creaking french door on an old abandoned mansion.

8. Misc. which should include checking your brake pads and rotors if applicable; tires; lights; shocks/struts; battery posts; carburetor, etc.

None of this is concrete however, I think it's solid advice if you're adamant about maintaining your vehicle like I am. I'm huge on cleanliness as well seeing as how I hand wash my cars using the two-bucket method once a week, vacuum the interior once or twice a week, wipe down/clean the interior twice a month, and clay bar the vehicle once every two months
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