WHAT IS A TUNEUP?
The term "tuneup" dates to the time when Henry Ford was working on his first
In Ford's simple ignition system, there was one ignition coil for each spark
plug. If there were four spark plugs, there were four ignition coils, which
needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and
acceleration. As these ignition coils worked, they made a buzzing sound, and
when they were adjusted properly, they all buzzed in "tune." The term "tuneup"
stuck and became associated with replacing spark plugs and correcting rough
idle problems effecting engine performance.
Once the distributor was developed, the term "tuneup" had no meaning, but the
consumer who was used to hearing this term around a garage still associated
poor running quality with the need for a "tuneup."
Today's automobiles do not require "tuneups." The term indicates the need for
routine maintenance and should not be associated with poor performance.
Automobile manufacturers have developed recommended routine maintenance
schedules, which specify intervals for replacing spark plugs, PCV valves, fuel
filters, etc. These schedules also specify intervals for checking or adjusting
ignition timing, idle speed and other items related to engine operation, as
well as emission control related devices.
If you experience any operating or performance problems between maintenance,
let us perform an engine analysis. Make an appointment today!
WHY YOU SHOULD REPLACE YOUR SPARK PLUG WIRES,
DISTRIBUTOR CAP, AND ROTOR
Spark plugs, wires, distributor caps and rotors break down and fail over
time, due to exposure to moisture, oil, grease and under hood temperatures
that can reach as much as 550 to 700 degrees.
Here's what happens:
Worn spark plugs cause higher voltage requirements, forcing the ignition
module and coil to produce higher and higher voltages to overcome the
resistance. The higher voltage breaks down the spark plug wires' insulation,
creating an easier path to ground. This causes the ignition module and coil
to produce even more voltage, creating even higher current temperatures
within them. (Remember that higher resistance correlates to higher current
temperatures and that electricity always finds the easiest path to ground.)
This higher than normal resistance weakens transistors and electrical
insulation within modules, coils and computers, resulting in intermittent
and premature failure.
What does all this mean to you?
If your vehicle has over 60,000 miles on it and you haven't replaced your
spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, you may experience a variety of
drivability problems that are often difficult and very costly to diagnose
and repair. In fact, ignition modules and vehicle computers range in price
from $200 to $450, plus labor!
That's why you should replace your spark plug wires, distributor cap and
rotor after 60,000 miles. (On distributor-less ignition, the spark plug
wires should be replaced.) Take care of your vehicle, and your vehicle will
take care of you!