Knowing when your vehicle might need a trained eye is more complicated than you might think but is nonetheless an essential part of car ownership. The most important thing to note is that paying attention to cues–obvious or subtle–is the best way to stay in tune with your car’s needs and get ahead of any minor issues that could become major down the road. If you notice any of the following, it might be time for a tune-up.
New, Unusual Sounds
If your once smooth-running vehicle starts clunking, grinding, whining, or otherwise straining to run like normal, take note. There could be a simple source, like the emergency brake being left on, but if a once-over doesn’t reveal anything obvious, it may be time to see a mechanic.
If the engine misfires, it’s usually a good idea to take the car in for evaluation. This symptom could mean an issue with spark plugs or something more complicated. Either way, having a trained technician take a look is your best option.
Lower Fuel Efficiency
It’s always a safe bet to pay attention to gas mileage, as increased fuel consumption could point to an array of unseemly problems. The issue could be as straightforward as dirty air filters or as tricky as malfunctioning sensors or engine problems. Whatever the cause, if lower fuel economy has you scratching your head, it might be time for a tune-up.
Check Engine Light
Always a grab-bag of possible culprits, a check engine light that comes on is never an issue to be taken lightly. Again, the problem could me minor and inexpensive (like a loose gas cap). If the light stays on, your chances are high the issue is easily-fixable, but if it flashes, head to the shop right away. Diagnostic testing to pinpoint the problem doesn’t take long and risking increased damage to your engine or other components isn’t worth the gamble.
What to Expect From a Tune-Up
The term tune-up can seem pretty vague. The most important thing to remember is to relay to the technician (in as much detail as possible) what has been happening with your vehicle. For example, does the steering wheel vibrate when you brake? Is it slow to accelerate? These details will help professionals understand where to look and what to look for.
More importantly, you can avoid many of the issues listed above by following the service schedule recommended by the car’s manufacturer. If parts are serviced and replaced on time, you’ll be less likely to have dirty filters or overheated engines.
For all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs, call University Auto Repair in Flagstaff at 928-433-0025 today!