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How Often Should I Get a Tune Up?

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Auto and Trucks

Consider the following frightening scenario.

It is three in the morning and you are driving home from an event that ran way later than was expected. The weather conditions are poor and fog is making visibility difficult to maintain. Then it happens. The car starts to shake uncontrollably. The engine warning light comes on. You have no idea what is wrong with the car, but you know you can not drive it any further. You pull off to the side of the road and call for a tow truck.

The next day, a mechanic hands you a laundry list of problems with the car and informs you that your car was way past due for a major tune up. How did this happen? Ultimately, it is because you never followed a regularly scheduled tune up schedule for your car.

All cars require tune ups at some point or another. If a car is being driven much more than what is normal for the number of miles per year the average person drives, then it may need tune ups even more frequently. Despite all this, many people simply do not get their cars tuned up so as to avoid spending money.

As much as we wish they would, spark plugs, PCV valves, air and fuel filters do not last forever. In time, they eventually wear out and need to be replaced. So why on earth would one want to wait to replace them after a driving calamity occurs? Get a jump on it way ahead of time.

Generally, when a car has over one hundred thousand miles on it, a tune up is pretty much mandatory. Parts in the car are probably worn out in some fashion and will need replacing. Really, the car has one hundred thousand or more miles! Of course it needs items replaced! Sadly, many people are in denial and hope nothing out of the ordinary will happen. This is a critical error that could be avoided. Once a car hits that six figure mark, a tune up is pretty much mandatory.

More cautious individuals may get a tune up at seventy-five thousands miles. This certainly wouldnt hurt. In fact, it might be slightly more recommended. The supremely cautious will have a tune up done at fifty-thousand miles.

One thing to keep in mind, if one gets a tune up at fifty or seventy-five thousand miles, this DOES NOT mean to skip a tune up at one hundred thousand miles! Always keep the one-hundred thousand mile mark a tune up date.

Two or three tune ups will get to the bottom of any problems a car may have and it will also avoid any scenarios of catastrophe that may occur if a car malfunctions at the worst possible moment. That causes needless stress and ultimately leads to additional expenses. (Remember the tow truck mentioned at the outset?) Also, getting a tune up early is advised because it would be disastrous if a cars warranty expired and work needed to be done. A tune up at an earlier time would have had the manufacturer paying!

Be smart. Have a tune ups done regularly and avoid disaster.