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Auto tune up instruction and how to save money on your car tune up

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What do you need to perform your own car tune up?

An auto tune up is one of the easier basic maintenance service that you can perform on your own, at a fraction of the cost that you would pay a repair shop. Don’t let the BIG WORDS “TUNE UP” scare you. Why pay high labor rates like $90.00 per hour or higher, when you can perform your own car tune up.

An auto tune up on todays newer cars and trucks basically consist of replacing the spark plugs, air filter, pcv valve or filter, and the fuel filter if applicable (some vehicles have an in tank filter that doesn’t get changed). What we refer to as todays newer cars is anything newer than about 1980.

There is really no mystical thing that happens when a mechanic or technician opens the hood of your car or truck to perform an auto tune up. The comment of stay away from touching your vehicle, “there is too much new technology and electronics and you might damage something” is just blowing smoke you know where, so they can charge you $200.00 or more in labor for changing a set of spark plugs. You will never even get close to damaging anything if you just follow the basics of a car tune up.

There are a few important steps to take when performing your own auto tune up. First and foremost is SAFETY FIRST! Always wear protective eyewear, never work on an engine while it is running, never touch a spark plug wire while engine is running, etc.

Auto tune up instruction and how to save money on your car tune up

Things you will need to get things started:

a) A pair of Safety Glasses.

b) Rubber gloves to protect your hands.

c) A couple of clean rags.

d) The correct repair manual for your vehicle.

e) The proper size spark plug socket and other tools.

f) A tool for gapping the spark plugs.

g) The correct spark plugs, air filter, pcv valve, and fuel filter.

Procedure for performing an auto tune up:

Its always best to start with a cold engine to prevent burning your hands. First step would be to open your vehicles hood, next open your repair manual to the correct page. Gather all of your tools and parts together and set them aside. Before starting anything, get familiar with where the spark plugs are located, and which spark plug wires go to which spark plug. We recommend though, changing them one at a time so you do not get mixed up on the firing order when you are done. Start with the hardest one first, that way you work your way forward to
the front of your engine and do not get frustrated later on.

Remove the plug wire end from the spark plug by grabbing on the boot that attaches directly to the spark plug, do not pull on the wire this will damage or separate it. Remove the spark plug, gap the new spark plug with the gapping tool (refer to your repair manual for the proper gap). Carefully install the new spark plug using the spark plug socket with an extension attached (the socket has a rubber insulator in it to hold plug so it doesn’t fall out). Always start by hand to prevent cross threading until it is snug, then attach your ratchet and tighten being careful not to over tighten. Spark plugs have a crush washer on them which has a little give to it, just make sure it is snug. Reinstall the spark plug wire back onto the spark plug until you feel the little “snap”.

Follow this procedure around the engine until you’ve replaced all of the spark plugs. Then replace the air filter, pcv valve or filter, and fuel filter as outlined in your repair manual. Each make and model will have subtle differences.

We recommend that an auto tune up be performed every other year or every 24,000 miles. This will assure that your engine is performing to its optimum level at all times, to get you the best fuel economy possible.

One word of caution:

Although an auto tune up is a necessary regular maintenance to perform, it is not a “cure all”. If your vehicle is experiencing driveabilty problems such as stalling or hesitating, chances are there is something else wrong and you should consult a professional. Pay for what you can’t fix and decline on what you can do yourself.

Enjoy the savings!

So you saved a couple of hundred dollars on your auto tune up, and you may even save some money on fuel throughout the year. Add that up over the years you will be driving your car or truck and ?? Not bad for just following a little advice on your car tune up.

There are other easy to do maintenance services that you can perform to help with your vehicles performance and economy, that will also save you money. Just click on and read the links below and enjoy the money you will save on your car tune up .