Givin' a car a tuneup

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MatthewLTL, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. MatthewLTL, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #1
    Since i stated in a pervious thread that i will take my Impala into the shop for a tune up and whatnot. Made me wonder what exactly is done in a tuneup? I need to change the plugs and wires on my Daewoo and was wondering what else should be done tune-up wise?
     
  2. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #2
    I believe that is it basically. You can google it as well.
     
  3. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #3
    how do i know if i need wires?
     
  4. pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #4
    Typically is the wires are stiff and brittle and if there is any corrosion on the connections you should replace.
     
  5. stroked Suspended

    stroked

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #5
    Depends on how old your Impala is. Basically, the older the car, the more things that need to be replaced.
     
  6. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #6
    Change the spark plugs but I wouldn't change the wires of the distributor unless the car is about 20 years old.

    ----------

    When the car is acting clumsy and not accelerating fast as usual, can be because of the spark plugs are already corroded OR the wires are burned out. But changing wires is something you do it after 80K miles. and is more preventive than necessary. The spark plugs are at 5K miles I believe.
     
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #7
    Air and fuel filters get clogged and need changing. And engine oil of course.
     
  8. A.Goldberg, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    Boston
    #8
    Tune-up is a very vague word. It could mean a simple oil change to more involved, less frequent maintenance. This would be a more thorough "Tune Up" here...

    Ensure proper fluid levels:
    - Change oil change w/new filter
    - Engine Coolant flush (we talked about coolant pH decreasing with age leading to issues in another thread). When to change depends on type of coolant used. You can test the pH to check the acidity, but old coolant may also be contaminated and have decreasing cooling abilities
    - Check power steering and brake fluids for proper level
    - Check transmission fluid for proper level. A flushing of the fluid is recommended on some vehicles. On others it is not. Regardless, maintaining a proper level of oil fluid is obviously necessary.
    - Check wiper fluid level :p ...and wiper blade health (though this should be apparent driving)

    Belts/Hoses:
    - Inspect serpentine belt (and others if applicable) for damage
    - Inspect hoses for bulging, cracking, or other future issues

    Ignition:
    -Spark Plugs, gapped correctly of course (~30,000 miles)
    -Wires (if necessary, if you replace one you should replace all)
    -Remove corrosion off battery terminals- this crap builds up inevitably over time and can lead to starting issues.
    **If your plugs are a B**** to replace, i.e. annoyingly difficult to access sometimes it's easier just to replace the wires while you're in there, especially if you think they'll need to be done by the next time you change your plugs. They're not particularly expensive. My old WJ Jeep (V8 engine) was a pain to do plugs on, and you wouldn't expect that being a V8 or a Jeep.
    -Checking for burnt out lights- sometimes it's possible to miss small parking lights or license plates lights. CT cops love pulling people over for a single license plate light (most cars have 2).

    Filters:
    -Air Filter (for sure)
    -Gas Filter (a good decision)
    -Interior Air Filter (if applicable, optional really, may just need a cleaning)

    Tires:
    -Inspect tires, check pressure, wear, and damage
    -Balance and rotate wheels

    Cosmetic Stuff:
    -Wash car and wax to preserve paint
    -Clean inside/outside of all glass (I suppose this is beyond cosmetic)
    -Condition leather if applicable to extend life- prevent cracking, creasing, and other wear
    -Remove brake dust to prevent it from burning to your wheels
    -Mothers 'Back to Black' for that fading black trim you may have

    That's all I can think of right now.
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    Before stressing out of over the plug wires, it would be worth checking to see if a 2001 Impala even has them. That was around the time that a lot of makers were switching to COP systems.

    Admittedly we're a Ford biased family, but we haven't owned a car made since 2000 that had plug wires. My mom's '99 Towncar was COP, and I'm pretty sure my dad's '98 Continental was also.
     
  10. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    #10
    I do the majority of my own automotive work, but I'd be very wary of paying a shop to do a "tune up". Too vague, as one of the above posters mentioned. You can burn through a lot of money having a shop replace things that don't need replacing. You should either be abiding by the manufacturer's suggested maintenance intervals or addressing problems, or both.

    BMW, for example, has a very easy to understand maintenance interval on my car. Every other oil change includes an "inspection". Every other inspection is a "1 or 2" with the "2" being more involved. During those "inspections" they do things like replacing belts, filters, fluids, etc.
     
  11. macmotive macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    make sure the tires, brake pads, and brake fluid are good. stopping and turning are the most important features of a life-extending car ride

     
  12. Fifteen20s macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    #12
    I have been in the automotive industry since 1993, experience consisting of

    Mechanic at a independent shop for 2 years, Technician at a Honda dealer for 6 years, Service Advisor at a BMW dealer for 2 years, Service Advisor at a Volvo dealer 9 years, Service Manager at said Volvo dealer and now back to the old Honda dealer as a Service Advisor. ASE certified master technician (current), Honda Master Technician (Expired Certification)


    As mentioned "Tune-Up" is a general statement. It could b something as simple as plugs on a newer car, or Plugs, Distributer cap and rotor on another vehicle.


    When someone calls me and asks for a "Tune-Up" my first question is "Why do you need a tune up". I run into a lot of people why have a misfire, check engine light, drivability concern, etc that they have self diagnosed as just needing a tune up. Regardless of answer my next question is how many miles are on it.

    If the question is for maintenance my answer varied depending on miles and history.

    1- They are wanting to do it for maintenance. If they have a Honda and they are at a 100k interval, I advise that the Spark plugs and Valve adjust are due around this time and as far as "Tune-Up" items this is it. Yes the vehicle has an air and fuel filter, but the Air filter should be replaced on its own schedule and would not be recommended on the "Tune Up interval unless needed. The fuel filter is considered a Lifetime filter unless there is a drivability concern it is causing. With the quality of todays fuel, a filter can last a long long time unless someone gets into bad fuel.

    Now I am saying this based on a year 2000+ Honda. Volvo was similar but I know american cars may be different. But my recommendation is if you are not having any issues, follow the manufacturer schedule on service items. I see people spend good money on things they do not need because they "think" they needed it.


    2. If the answer is a drivability concern. I still ask the miles then I ask about past history. If they are not due for plugs based on interval and when they claim "tune up" items were last replaced, I tell them I can do whatever they want but advise that if they are trying to fix a concern, they should consider having it diagnosed and not just swap out parts. I have seen too many people self diagnose a misfire as needing a set of spark plugs, throw money at it replacing plugs, then still have the same problem.

    If they ARE due for Plugs and valve adjust, I still advise that Yes, you are due for a "tune-up" as a maintenance standpoint. Right after that I follow up with if they want to try the "tune-up", which they are due of anyway from a maintenance standpoint, we can, but if the concern has not been diagnosed they should be prepared that there is something else going on.


    tl:dr

    A tune up today is not the same as it was 20 years ago. Follow your manufacturer schedule for what is needed when. Todays vehicle need much less then they used too.

    If you have a problem you are self diagnosing as needing a tune up. Before you throw money at it (unless you just know you are way past due), consider having the problem diagnosed before you tell a shop you just want a "tune-up"
     
  13. determined09 macrumors 65816

    determined09

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #13
    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone here know how long does Toyota transmission fluid last while still in the bottle? I have a Toyota Camry with 225,000 miles on it. Please advise.


    Thank you
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #14
    To tell a quick story, I did my own "tuneup" last summer with about 125K on my car.

    It would frequently run rough and randomly reduce engine power-sometimes with near accidental consequences.

    A code reader reported multiple misfires(I think on three separate cylinders), as well as throttle body issues.

    The COPs are a known problem source on my particular car-the covers that protect them didn't have the best insulation, and they are known to get water and/or oil(from using the fill cap, not leaking) down around them. It was a common enough problem that Ford/Lincoln quietly extended the warranty just on the COPs to 100k/10 years. I knew that at 125K, I was on borrowed time, and when I started having the rough running problems knew that was likely the issue. Some folks on the Lincoln LS Owners Club told me that the throttle body code was actually a common symptom of the #5 coil(the one right next to the throttle body) going bad, as it would occasionally thrown off random RF signals that the car's computer would mistake as being a throttle body problem.

    In any case, I broke down and bought 8 coils along with 8 NGK Platinum-Iridium spark plugs(this is the OEM plug, although the ones I bought were marked NGK and not Motorcraft). I was advised to just go ahead and do all 8 coils, as getting to them is 3/4 of the battle and that I was basically on borrowed time any way even with the still working ones. The coils take about 5 minutes each to replace once the cover is off(which is the hard part, thanks to the poor bolt clearance on several of the bolts), and changing a plug takes another couple of minutes once the coil is out. Thus, as advised, I went ahead with all 8. The original plugs were probably still serviceable, but did show a fair bit of erosion, and, again I was deep enough into the engine already that for the $5 each they cost I couldn't justify not replacing them.

    Once everything was back together-a job that took me two days working on and off-it was quite literally like driving a new car. You don't notice the gradually diminishing performance, but when doing something that effectively brings part of the engine back to new condition it's amazing how much of a difference it makes.

    By the way, when things were messing up the check engine light came on(the first time in my nearly 8 years owning the car). I didn't bother to reset it, and it cleared itself within two or three days of my changing the plugs and coils. That was all the confirmation I needed that I'd fixed the right problem.
     
  15. close2reality macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    #15
    unless your car is stuttering at idle or acceleration when the wires get wet you do not need to swap out wires or plugs.

    wires get pour-us (spelling?) and allow water to be absorbed when the rubber starts cracking. One thing about electrical is once it gets wet it takes what seems like a lifetime to dry out.

    And if your cars misfiring because of the wet wires do not try to rev your motor and ride it out because misfiring will eat out your cat convertor.....you'll throw a check engine light..cats are not cheap and you will not get inspected without a clean computer scan.

    make sure you filter what you hear on these forums...this is an apple fanboy forum full of people who think they are smarter than they are.
     
  16. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #16
    IDT I have a problem with the plugs or anything since it was confirmed I do not have any misfire codes.
    My problem is a bad ECU it actually has nothing to do with the Ignition system.
    Please do not thread-hijack
    Tires are all fine just had brake work 2 years ago.
    My car is indeed COP. The wires go to what the Service Manual calls a "VEMS Module"
     
  17. determined09 macrumors 65816

    determined09

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #17
    Sorry.
     
  18. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #18
    I talked to a mechanic and this car will go in for a fixing. Fuel Pressure Regulator and the turn signal relay as well as plugs and wires.
     
  19. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    As long as it's stored in good condition (somewhere that does not get overly hot/cold) and is unopened it should last years. A lot of times the headspace in the bottles is filled with a nonreactive gas to prevent oxidation of the oil. Make sure Toyota actually recommends changing the fluid in your specific vehicle.
     
  20. determined09 macrumors 65816

    determined09

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #20
    Thanks for the information! It's been sitting in the garage for awhile e.g. like over a year now. I'll check with Toyota to see it's time for the fluids to be changed out.
     
  21. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #21
    I would suspect you're fine. If you're that worried, it's pretty cheap stuff to buy as it is.
     
  22. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #22
    unless you have a stick, its not a good idea to change auto trans fluid. The failure rate of the auto trans after changing the fluid is vary high. if you change the fluid the transmission could fail within 3-6 months
     
  23. Sterkur macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #23
    I didn't see it mentioned; please don't forget about replacing timing belt/chain and associated parts when needed !
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #24
    The 40,000 miles on my car since the last fluid change disagree with you(I'm overdue for another change)

    The 80,000 miles my dad put on one of his past cars also disagree with you.

    Changing fluids is NEVER a bad thing.

    I suspect that many of these anecdotal "your transmission will fail if you change the fluid" stories come from people who already have a failing transmission and change the fluid as a last ditch attempt to try and salvage the transmission. Changing the probably actually bought them a few more months, but their transmission was on the way out with or without a fluid change.

    Like any other fluid, transmission fluid degrades and it actually undergoes a lot of stress. Not only is it a lubricant, but it also is responsible for things like controlling the slip on the torque converter and the gear changes. With a lot of use, the addititive that control these things can degrade-look at a sample of transmission fluid that's been run for 100,000+ miles(particularly if those are in-town miles) and it will probably have the color of motor oil and smell like burnt toast. How on earth can it be good for your transmission to leave that in?
     
  25. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #25
    Many shade tree mechanics will change only a quart or two of the ATF if the transmission fluid is long overdue for changing. Then, a month or two later, they'll change another two quarts. The idea is that a full fluid swap will "shock" the transmission and cause it to fail, something that has many anecdotal examples on auto message boards. Does it work? Who knows.
     

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