An SUV exiting our San Marcos auto service shop after receiving a tune up.

A lot of people understand that a car’s longevity is only going to last as long as you treat your car right. You can’t expect to make a car last if you never put oil in it. Similarly, when it comes to making sure you are getting the most utility out of your vehicle, you need to ensure that you are properly caring for your car. One the most important steps that someone can take to make sure that happens is to take their vehicle to a mechanic for a tune-up. What is a tune-up, and what do they even do? Follow along for a rundown of what you can expect when you get a tune-up at your local auto repair shop.

What Even Is a Tune-Up?

Essentially, a tune-up is a type of maintenance that seeks to prevent future damage. It actively targets any problems that could arise to make sure that something simple now does not turn into a larger problem later on down the road. In that regard, you can think of a tune-up as a checkup for your car. The mechanic will check your engine, both with a computer as well as a physical check up. The latter part is necessary because the computers do not always catch the smallest problems before they get bigger.

A tune-up can also be an important step when everything is fine with your car but you feel a small problem that you want to have peace of mind about. In service of that goal, your mechanic will make sure that your engine is running consistently with the make and model you have. This is a task best handled by professionals with a wide range of experience dealing with all types of vehicles.

When Is a Tune-Up Needed?

If you have any warning lights showing up on your dashboard, a tune-up may be just what you need. By working with professionals who have experience dealing with these issues, you can make sure that your car is running properly and that you get the correct diagnosis. If you are seeing warning lights, take your vehicle in to a trusted auto repair shop so that a professional mechanic can help you take care of it.

Sometimes, the problem with your car may not be as simple as “it just needs a new alternator.” Your car might simply stop running like it used to, and you begin to feel a few more bumps on the road. If the problem is something small like a connection, a tune-up can fix it before it grows into a bigger problem. A tune-up can make sure that any clanking sounds are taken care of. By checking power usage, your mechanic can ensure that you are getting the most out of your car. Because there are so many potential problems with cars, it can be great to make sure each part is working efficiently towards the whole.

What Else Can a Tune-Up Do?

Speaking of improved efficiency, better gas mileage is an important part of any proper tune-up. Bad brakes can cause your vehicle to guzzle gas, so a tune-up can make sure that isn’t happening to you. If your tires are not properly set up, that can also cause your car to need more rotations to go the same distance. Anything that increases friction can increase how much gas you need to go a mile. With a tune-up, your mechanic will make sure your tires are properly sized, balanced and inflated to give your vehicle its best possible gas mileage.

Ultimately, the philosophy of a tune-up is dealing with the little problems now to avoid larger problems later, making sure you get the most out of your car.

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