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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13 May 2017, 08:46 am
viv viv is offline
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Default tune up?

I'm not super mechanically inclined so I have a few questions regarding a tune up. I'm taking my cruiser, who I've endearingly dubbed Drusilla, on a 8 hr round trip this Friday. My dad keeps saying I need a tune up but when questioned, he fails to disclose what that entails. Google has rendered equally confusing results. I am female and frankly, I'm worried about being swindled at a shop. What exactly should be done when I get a tune up? How much does it typically cost? Is this something I can learn to do myself? For a trip this long is there anything else I should have looked over? It's a 2006 touring with 158xxx miles
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Old 13 May 2017, 09:05 am
RVC RVC is offline
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Default Re: tune up?

Out of curiosity, how long have you had the car? If you have a record of past repairs or other engine work, have the timing belt and related parts been changed? They are supposed to be changed at 100k miles, plus or minus. Have someone you trust check it out. If it hasn't been changed that should be a priority and unfortunately it will not be inexpensive. Hate to see you stranded 4 hours from home.

Drusilla is a cute name.

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Old 13 May 2017, 09:27 am
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Default Re: tune up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by viv View Post
I'm not super mechanically inclined so I have a few questions regarding a tune up. I'm taking my cruiser, who I've endearingly dubbed Drusilla, on a 8 hr round trip this Friday. My dad keeps saying I need a tune up but when questioned, he fails to disclose what that entails. Google has rendered equally confusing results. I am female and frankly, I'm worried about being swindled at a shop. What exactly should be done when I get a tune up? How much does it typically cost? Is this something I can learn to do myself? For a trip this long is there anything else I should have looked over? It's a 2006 touring with 158xxx miles
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 14 May 2017 at 06:38 am. Reason: Keeping the peace.
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Old 13 May 2017, 09:28 am
viv viv is offline
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Default Re: tune up?

Thanks on the name ^_^ it's from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I've only had her a little over a year. I got her at 140xxx. I do not know for sure if it was replaced, but I knew when I got it that was an issue with cruisers so I had an uncle and my dad look her over. They did not report anything amiss. We've had an over heating issue since I've her, though. We can get the fan to turn on automatically so we have a switch to turn it on manually. Time has not allotted for us to get to the bottom of it, though.

EDIT: Didn't see your reply right away, those types of things are not my top priorities.

Last edited by CREWZIN; 14 May 2017 at 06:39 am. Reason: Keeping the peace
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Old 13 May 2017, 02:35 pm
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Default Re: tune up?

To me a tune is basically new spark plugs and new spark plug wires. Some probably would not change the wires but I do since they are inexpensive.

Can't really help on shop cost since I do everything myself.

Last edited by dnlow; 13 May 2017 at 02:37 pm.
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Old 13 May 2017, 06:51 pm
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Default Re: tune up?

Welcome to the forum from Texas.

I'm with dnlow, a tune up on one of these is plugs, air filter and maybe wires. You have to pull the wires when changing plugs, so might as well spend the extra $15.

When you have time, please go to the new members section and tell us more about you and your fine Cruiser, maybe attach a pic of your ride.
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Old 13 May 2017, 07:16 pm
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Default Re: tune up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by viv View Post
I'm not super mechanically inclined so I have a few questions regarding a tune up. I'm taking my cruiser, who I've endearingly dubbed Drusilla, on a 8 hr round trip this Friday. My dad keeps saying I need a tune up but when questioned, he fails to disclose what that entails. Google has rendered equally confusing results. I am female and frankly, I'm worried about being swindled at a shop. What exactly should be done when I get a tune up? How much does it typically cost? Is this something I can learn to do myself? For a trip this long is there anything else I should have looked over? It's a 2006 touring with 158xxx miles
Okay. So we have a PT named Drusilla. For some of these cars, that sound strangely appropriate.




As already mentioned, plug and plug wires often constitute a tune up for a PT. For the non-turbo variety, the upper intake manifold will need to be removed to replace #2 and #3 plugs and wires. The gaskets for the upper manifold are rubber o-ring type and can often be reused. Plug wires are included because the original wires tend to brake down over time. I believe this was more true on the early PT's, but it's stuck as a good idea for all during a tune up.

To me the overheating problem is the bigger issue. If the manual switch bypasses the fan relays, then one or both of them is possibly the real issue. If I was going to take my PT to a shop, I'd rather pay a mechanic to fix that problem rather than do a tune up on a car that's already running okay.

Also, overheating a PT often causes head gasket failure. If taking the car to a shop, it would be wise to have a chemical combustion gas test done on the coolant. This will indicate if there's a minor head gasket leak. Sometimes a car with a minor head gasket leak can be driven locally for short distances for a year or more. But then the gasket fails on a long trip.

So if you take the car to a shop, I recommend:

* Repair radiator fan problem (possibly relays).
* Test for a leaking head gasket due to earlier overheating.
* Remove upper timing dust cover and see if an original timing belt is there. If it's original (Gates) Mopar, then it may or may not have been changed. If it's an aftermarket brand belt, you will know it's been changed.
* You could have them do the tune up too, or just save that for later and do it yourself.

Of course, others may have additional and/or better ideas than mine. That's the great thing about this forum.

It should be noted that I am a Safety Engineer among other things and I haven't worked as a professional mechanic since I was young strapping lad with long sexy flowing hair before college. And even then, I mainly worked on big trucks and heavy equipment. Nowadays, I enjoy working on these funny looking little cars for fun and relaxation.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 13 May 2017 at 07:20 pm.
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Old 14 May 2017, 07:30 pm
RVC RVC is offline
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Default Re: tune up?

Yep, Drusilla is sure a cute name. Is that you in the bird cage?

RVC
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Old 14 May 2017, 09:51 pm
viv viv is offline
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Default Re: tune up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Okay. So we have a PT named Drusilla. For some of these cars, that sound strangely appropriate.




As already mentioned, plug and plug wires often constitute a tune up for a PT. For the non-turbo variety, the upper intake manifold will need to be removed to replace #2 and #3 plugs and wires. The gaskets for the upper manifold are rubber o-ring type and can often be reused. Plug wires are included because the original wires tend to brake down over time. I believe this was more true on the early PT's, but it's stuck as a good idea for all during a tune up.

To me the overheating problem is the bigger issue. If the manual switch bypasses the fan relays, then one or both of them is possibly the real issue. If I was going to take my PT to a shop, I'd rather pay a mechanic to fix that problem rather than do a tune up on a car that's already running okay.

Also, overheating a PT often causes head gasket failure. If taking the car to a shop, it would be wise to have a chemical combustion gas test done on the coolant. This will indicate if there's a minor head gasket leak. Sometimes a car with a minor head gasket leak can be driven locally for short distances for a year or more. But then the gasket fails on a long trip.

So if you take the car to a shop, I recommend:

* Repair radiator fan problem (possibly relays).
* Test for a leaking head gasket due to earlier overheating.
* Remove upper timing dust cover and see if an original timing belt is there. If it's original (Gates) Mopar, then it may or may not have been changed. If it's an aftermarket brand belt, you will know it's been changed.
* You could have them do the tune up too, or just save that for later and do it yourself.

Of course, others may have additional and/or better ideas than mine. That's the great thing about this forum.

It should be noted that I am a Safety Engineer among other things and I haven't worked as a professional mechanic since I was young strapping lad with long sexy flowing hair before college. And even then, I mainly worked on big trucks and heavy equipment. Nowadays, I enjoy working on these funny looking little cars for fun and relaxation.
Most of this is what I was told by my dad and uncle who are not mechanics by trade but have been working on cars for 20+ years. Given that, sometimes they like to pretend the know more than they do.
As for the fan, originally, we had a switch going through the fuse box, the relay, and to the fan but the fuse kept blowing and the fan would fail so I would just avoid situations that caused it to overheat like drive thrus or traffic jams. Now we have it going directly through the battery, so as long as we remember to turn it off and make sure its off before turning leaving the car then we should be fine for the time being. We have plans to replace the relay, the "temperature chamber" as they called it (??), and the coolant temp sensor (I believe?).

@RVC, it might as well be me but thats Drusilla from the Buffy the Vampire slayer, the character for which my vehicle is named.
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Old 14 May 2017, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: tune up?

A tune up (replace spark plugs and spark plug wires) will be about $300, as most shops also charge extra as the upper intake plenum has to be removed to get access to the 2 center plugs.

The more important thing is to find out if the timing belt has been replaced? Did you buy it from the original owner or a lot? If the original owner, you might ask them for any service records. You can also try going to a dealership and they should be able to pull up any service history on your PT, that may have been done at any dealerships. If you can't find any proof that the belt has been replaced, then I think you have to assume that it hasn't. For a dealership to replace all the parts that should be done at the same time as the timing belt, it runs about $1000-$1500.
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