What Does a "Tune Up" Mean Now?


Our vehicles are just like every other machine. After a certain amount of time cruising West Michigan, maintenance will be required to keep your vehicle running efficiently. All of this will, in turn, improve your vehicle’s overall performance and increase its longevity. But what exactly goes into vehicle maintenance and a “tune up”? What happens if you don’t do anything? Read on to find out, and trust the experts at the Borgman Service Center in Grand Rapids to keep you moving! 

What vehicle maintenance do I need to do regularly?

The best way to check the maintenance needed for your vehicle is to pull out that owner’s manual. By confirming what maintenance needs to be done, you can avoid any unnecessary charges regarding services. The manual will also provide you with a recommended maintenance schedule that will benefit you in the long run in keeping your vehicle in tip top shape.

Here are a few things you should do regular maintenance on and why it is crucial to do so.

  • Oil - Scheduling regular oil changes is important in helping to maintain cooling components, engine lubrication, cleanliness of engine (removing of particles and sludge from engine wear), good gas mileage, and most importantly, the vehicle’s longevity.

  • Air Filter - These should be replaced between every 15,000-30,000 miles. In doing so, that replacement will allow increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and prolonged engine life. An air filter replacement is an inexpensive, quick fix and also very easy to track for vehicles. See how to replace your air filter here.

  • Transmission Flush - This often goes unnoticed until something serious happens with your transmission. A transmission flush is where the oil inside is removed and new oil is run through to remove any built up grime or sludge. This will also remove any unnecessary particles and debris while giving your vehicle fresh, clean fluid. If done properly, a transmission flush can be an excellent preventative maintenance procedure.

  • Spark Plugs - While these little guys are manufactured to be very durable, it doesn’t mean they need to go untouched. Spark plugs are very important. Manufactures are finding that spark plugs don’t need maintenance until 30,000 to 100,000 miles, but there are consequences to not paying them enough attention. Bad spark plugs can cause an engine to misfire which can harm gas mileage and cause a meltdown of converter parts, an increase in cold starts during the winter, and an increase in voltage needed for the ignition system (will drain your battery). So to keep your vehicle from losing its spark, be sure to give those spark plugs some loving.

  • Belts (Serpentine & Timing) - The purpose of your serpentine belt is to keep components moving correctly to avoid metal on metal collisions. If it needs to be replaced, the serpentine belt will make noise when revving your engine due to lack of tension. Worst case scenario, if not replaced, it could break while driving and cause a chain reaction of malfunctions. It is best to replace this belt between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. By doing so, this will give you a worry-free mindset while driving.

    Now the timing belt is a little different. It allows the operation of the engine's intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust strokes to synchronize in an efficient manner through valves and cylinder heads. It is extremely important to pay attention to this belt as it wears down over time. If it breaks, your engine will stop immediately, causing the cylinder heads to rub with the valves resulting in some hefty damage.

Past “Tune Up” vs. Today’s “Tune Up”

Before certain advancements in vehicle technology came about, the phrase “tune up” meant much more than we are used to hearing today. Here is what the original tune up consisted of: replacement of spark plugs, fuel filter, and air filter. The technician would also inspect the distributor cap, rotor and other points for wear (replacing if necessary). When all parts were replaced, they would then check all of the engine settings, including the adjustment of carburetor linkages, point gap and dwell, ignition timing, etc. This tune up could easily be a few hours depending on what vehicle you had.

Tune ups have come a long way due to the developments in technology. Thanks to these enhancements, the only parts that are leftover to check on are the spark plugs and air filters. By replacing a clogged air filter, you can increase your vehicle’s acceleration by 11% – a significant improvement – according to the federal EPA and Department of Energy.

However, that’s not all that is included in a tune up nowadays. Along with the replacement of spark plugs and air filters, your vehicle’s fuel, ignition and emissions systems will be tested to ensure that vacuum hoses, oxygen sensors and other important performance parts are all working properly.

How do I know what tune ups I need and when?

In today’s vehicle world, tune ups are often based on mileage. Following this general routine maintenance schedule will help you keep track of what you need and when.

Every 3,000 miles:
  • Replace oil
  • Replace oil filter
  • Inspect air filter – replace as needed
  • Check and top off all fluids
  • Check tire pressure (fill as needed)
Every 7,500 miles:
  • Replace wiper blades
Every 15,000 miles:
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Replace cabin air filter
Every 30,000 miles:
  • Replace automatic transmission fluid
  • Replace automatic transmission filter
  • Flush cooling system
  • Replace pcv valve (follow spark plug replacement interval)
  • Replace spark plugs (doesn't include vehicles with platinum spark plugs)
  • Fuel Injection and Carbon Clean Service
Every 50,000 miles:
  • Replace fluids for:
  • Differentials
  • Manual transmission
  • Transfer case
  • Power steering
  • Brakes
Every 60,000 miles:
  • Replace pcv valve
  • Replace spark plugs (includes vehicles with platinum spark plugs)
  • Replace spark plug wires
  • Replace timing belt (varies for each vehicle)
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At Borgman Ford Mazda our highly qualified technicians are here to provide exceptional service in a timely manner. From oil changes to transmission replacements and flushes, we are dedicated to maintaining top tier customer service, for both new and pre-owned car buyers! Allow our staff to demonstrate our commitment to excellence.

Our Ford Service Center Manager is Kirt Schrotenboer. He can be reached at 616-249-8854.

Our Mazda Service Center Manager is Brent Zaebst.  He can be reached at 616-249-8860.
Categories: Service
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