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Are car tune-ups still a thing?

car exhaust system pipe

Mechanics agree that keeping your car in great condition can be done through regular maintenance and check-ups.

If anything comes up during the check up and you have a comprehensive vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty), you can also avoid the hasslel and expensive repair costs.

Traditionally, repair shops have used the word tune-up to advertise services related to the vehicle’s ignition system. Today it’s often used to refer to regular car check-ups.

Car tune-up: What does it mean?

For more than 50 years, a tune-up has been considered a type of preventative care that can ensure optimal performance of a car. It consists of checking the ignition system and engine parts and checking what needs to be cleaned, fixed or replaced. 

The parts inspected during a tune-up are the following:

  • Filters
  • Spark plugs
  • Belts and hoses
  • Car fluids
  • Rotors
  • Distributor caps

The tune-up process can be intricate. Much like tuning an instrument, a tune-up is meant to have all the parts working “in-tune” to increase performance. For example, dirty filters can make the engine receive less air. If the car isn’t receiving the proper air-fuel mix, it can result in wasted fuel. The tune-up would take care of those dirty filters.

Want to learn how to check your filters on your own? Here are 5 do it yourself car repair tips.

Are tune-ups still done today?

Though you might see the words written up on the sidewall of a repair shop, the traditional tune-up is not as commonly done as it once was. 

Newer cars run on electronic ignition systems and computer-based fuel injection. Today, the car’s computer can keep track of the performance of many components and ensure they’re running the way they should.

Tune-ups are a misnomer, a term that has been carried over and still used but one that doesn’t mean what it used to. Asking for a tune-up today might sound a bit strange as it will generally mean that you’re just looking to get a check up.

If your car is from the year 2000 and above, just tell your mechanic that you’re coming in for a regular check up or scheduled maintenance.

Why you should get regular check ups

It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives and neglect our cars. However, neglecting our cars is very likely to result in expensive repairs and you’ll regret not taking it in for a check up in time.

You can get regular checkups based on recommended maintenance schedules, which you can find in your owner’s manual. In most cases, taking your car in for a check up every 5,000 miles or 6 months is enough to catch a problem early.

Remember that a simple problem can affect other parts and turn into a larger problem overtime. Take care of any problem as soon as possible.

Protect yourself from big and expensive car repairs

Not all car repairs can be prevented but big repair bills can be avoided with a vehicle service plan. The best types of extended car warranties cover your repairs big or small with a low-cost monthly subscription you can cancel anytime. A $600 AC repair or $3,800 transmission replacement are no longer bills you pay out of pocket. You simply take your car to the nearest repair shop and your plan covers the repair. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!