Modern automobiles are highly-sophisticated feats of engineering that would seem like vehicles in a science fiction story to drivers a half-century ago. Despite significant advancements in design and technology, cars still need to be tended to regularly and have the occasional tune-up performed in order to ensure optimal mechanical performance.
But how do you know when to have a tune-up performed on your vehicle?
As a rule of thumb, you should have your vehicle’s oil changed every 3,000 miles while your other fluids and filters should be serviced every 30,000 miles or so. Whenever you get service of any kind, it’s a good idea to have a quick inspection performed to make sure the various components in your engine are functioning at a good level.
An extensive, bumper-to-bumper vehicle inspection and computerized mechanical diagnosis should typically be conducted at least once per year and, ideally, every six months. If you’ve lost track of your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, here are a few signs it’s time to head to a mechanic for a tune-up:
Increased Fuel Consumption. If you notice you’re filling the gas tank up more often than usual, your engine is working harder than it was designed to and you should head to a garage for an inspection since there are any number of mechanical reasons for your fuel efficiency to go down.
Knocking/Pinging Sounds. If you can hear either of these distinct noises emanating from your engine, especially during acceleration, your vehicle definitely needs to be tended to in the near future. There’s a chance this noise is being caused by using the wrong grade of gas but if you make the proper adjustment and still hear knocking or pinging, head to a garage ASAP.
Hard Starting. If it takes you a few tries to get your car started, that’s usually a sign there’s something off in your engine. The ignition process being disrupted in any way is typically a key indicator that you’re due for a tune-up.
If you have any questions regarding your vehicle’s health, be sure to give our ASE-certified technicians a call at 804-642-2440 – we’re here to keep you safely on the Gloucester County roads year-round!