There are some startling facts about tune ups we’d like to share with you.

tune ups

One of the biggest changes in the ever-changing world of the automotive industry is the perception of tune-ups. When we ask vehicle owners what their definition of tune-ups are chances most likely we will get a dozen different answers. Classic tune-ups, once the heart of the automotive business, is no longer really necessary. Today’s vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels, but it is a dramatically different process.

In the past tune-ups were associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help “tune” the engine or help it run efficiently. With the cultural emphasis for increased fuel economy and lower emissions in the 70’s the car manufacturers were forced to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points. When carburetors fell from grace in the middle ’80s the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts were eliminated.

Just like advances in computers has accelerated so has the pace of technology in cars. Today the procedures required to perform a tune-up have changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now standard on almost every car, using multiple microcomputers to control the engine and transmission management functions critical to a car’s performance.

What was once handled mechanically is now controlled electronically… through the widespread use of mico-computer technology. Controlling the engine is the most processor-intensive job on your car, and the engine control unit (ECU) is the most powerful computer on most cars. The ECU uses closed-loop control, a control scheme that monitors outputs of a system to control the inputs to a system, managing the emissions and fuel economy of the engine (as well as a host of other parameters). Gathering data from dozens of different sensors, the ECU knows everything from the coolant temperature to the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. With this data, it performs millions of calculations each second, including looking up values in tables, calculating the results of long equations to decide on the best spark timing and determining how long the fuel injector is open. The ECU does all of this to ensure the lowest emissions and best mileage.

Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up. This program is designed to help educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today’s modern vehicles.

 

“There is a misconception that today’s modern vehicles don’t need tune ups because they never break down, but that simply is not true,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “If you’re at work and your computer goes down, you can’t get any more work done. It’s the same with your vehicle. If the vehicle isn’t being properly maintained, you’re not going to get where you want to go.”.

 

The Following Systems in Your Car’s Should Always be Inspected.

Lebanon Friendly Sunoco has an up-to-date computer of our own, one that lets your car’s system tell us exactly what needs to be done…

Vehicle owners ask for tune ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they’re giving the car to a friend or family member.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy, and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle from every aspect. Study the owner’s manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.

  • Battery, charging and starting
  • Engine mechanicals
  • Powertrain controls (including onboard diagnostic checks)
  • Fuel
  • Ignition
  • Emissions