How to Tune Up a Car


The term “tuneup” originally referred to a set of procedures to inspect and adjust certain components within the ignition system. Typically, these would include inspecting the spark plugs and replacing them or adjusting the gaps as necessary, as well as checking out the spark plug wires for damage. You would also inspect the rotor button and contacts within the distributor cap for burning and wear, and replace the cap as needed. Using a points file, you would touch up the point contacts, remove any transferred metal, lubricate the cam follower and adjust the points. Then you would start the engine and perform the dynamic or advanced timing procedure according to your vehicle manufacturer's specifications. You might need to adjust the idle speed after setting the timing, but generally you wouldn't need to adjust the carburetor further.

Modern Interpretation

  • Late-model engines don't use most of the components in the original procedure. However, the term has evolved along with the engines to include current technology. The spark plug and spark plug wire checks are still valid, along with the distributor, or ignition module terminal checks. Frequently, procedures such as fuel injector and intake component cleaning, air-filter replacement and PCV valve inspection fall under the “tuneup” umbrella, along with scans and tests designed to check the various sensors that supply the PCM with performance-related data.

Related Searches

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is a Major Tune-Up on a Car?

    If your car is not running as well as it used to, it might be time for a major tune-up. It may...

  • What Does a Car Tune Up Mean?

    Car engines tend to deteriorate over time with constant use, so many car owners need to have their vehicles maintained so they...

  • What Is the Cost of a Tune Up for My Car?

    Many people automatically feel as though they are at a disadvantage as soon as they walk into a mechanic's shop. Thus, they...

  • What Is Included in an Automobile Tune Up?

    A tune up refers to preventive maintenance that focuses on the car's engine. At the most basic level, a tuneup is replacing...

  • How to Tune Up a Car Engine

    Ensuring that vehicles get the best gas mileage possible is an important issue in our economy. A thorough evaluation to see that...

  • How to Tune Up a Truck on a Low Budget

    You need to replace some engine components on your truck to keep it running well and out of the repair shop. There...

  • Auto Tune-Up Checklist

    Maintaining your vehicle ensures that it will last longer, whether you purchased it new or used. Complete a basic tune-up on your...

  • Auto Parts Needed for a Tune-Up

    Car owners who have a little bit of mechanical know-how can often save hundreds of dollars by performing tune-ups on their vehicles...

  • How to Tune Up a Car Engine

    Tuning up a car engine can involve inspecting the automatic transmission fluid, the brakes, the brake pads, the drive belts, the evaporative...

  • Do it Yourself Auto Tune Up

    Ben Franklin once said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". He wasn't talking about automobile maintenance, most...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How To Travel For Free With Reward Points

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!