by Pat Goss
Old habits die or hard, or so they say. And one thing I would really love to see go away is the term tune-up.
See back 40 year ago when this vehicle was new, well tune-ups were a viable repair on a car. They consisted of what we called points, plugs, condensers. Points controlled the ignition system. The condenser was part of that. That was all to produce the high voltage spark for the spark plugs. So we’d put new plugs in it, we’d put new points in it, we’d put a new condenser in it. Then we’d adjust the ignition timing, we’d adjust the idle speed, and we’d adjust the fuel mixture. Alright that was a tune-up. It was pretty much standard there.
But you know what’s common on today’s cars? We no longer have points. We no longer have condensers or any of those things. Here is the common denominator. A spark plug. That is all that has really carried over. Yes, we do have coils, but the coils, well they mount right on top of the spark plugs like that, and you have no plug wires or anything. Take a peek under the hood here, we don’t see a carburetor because it doesn’t have a carburetor. Actually, nothing under here is adjustable. As a matter of fact, there aren’t any screws to turn or anything at all. It’s all controlled by the car’s computer using a bunch of sensors.
So if we don’t have a tune-up, what should we be doing? Well take your car in when it has a problem and describe the problem and ask for a diagnoses of that problem. Then get an estimate on what it’s going to cost to fix it, and finally ask if they’ll guarantee if they will fix your problem. Don’t ask for a tune-up. Ask to have a problem repaired. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.