What’s a “Tune-up,” Exactly?

We get lots of calls asking for “tune-up” services. But, do you really need a tune-up? Or, are you looking for an oil change?

Several times each week, people call up and say, “I need a tune-up for my car.”

What does that mean?

“Tune-up” is a commonly misunderstood term, based on the days when a tune-up was a regular service.

But today, the term doesn’t translate so easily.

“Mechanics” used to perform a tune-up, but now “technicians” do them.

Depending on your car, you might have this work done at the 30,000-mile mark. Then again, for other types of cars, trucks, SUVs, and hybrids, the mile mark is 90,000 or more.

This service includes replacing spark plugs, fuel and air filters, the PCV valve, cleaning the mass air flow sensor, plus many other inspections and tests.

Spark plugs right now are really interesting. Many will last as long as 100,000- 110,000 miles. Like with tune-ups, it used to be you could inspect a spark plug and you can you see what the gap was on the spark plug. But if you’ve got platinum or iridium plugs you can’t tell anymore; you just can’t visually inspect these components. So, you might not know that plugs are bad until it’s too late.

Our version of today’s tune-up also includes a combustion chamber deposit cleaner. This, simply put, helps remove build up that occurs over time in modern cars, trucks, SUVs, and hybrids. We’d rather take a proactive stance and simply include it in our service to save you stress and keep your vehicle running at its best.

So, you may ask to schedule a tune-up, but what your vehicle really may need is an oil change service.

An oil change service includes…

Oil services are a regular maintenance item that’s usually done somewhere between 3k – 5k miles, depending on the oil. You change the oil and the filter regularly to maintain the longevity of your vehicle as well.

Note:  You’ll want to get in the habit of checking your oil just about every time you fill your car with gas, especially with the newer vehicles that are using a lot more oil than in the past, partially due to combustion chamber deposits mentioned above. A lot of manufacturers are saying it’s normal to burn up to a quart of oil every 500 miles.

Your best bet regarding oil is to check the levels frequently. We can’t say this enough, but we’ll stop for now.

You’re always welcome to call. We’re always glad to answer your questions.

Let’s keep your vehicle safe and running great for the long run ahead.

 

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Meg Halverson
Meg Halverson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

Everyone at Tom's cares about delivering great, expert service and keeping your car or truck in excellent mechanical condition. I have a 2001 Yukon XL which is a 3/4 ton towing vehicle and has been serviced at Tom's for 14 years. It has 187,000 miles on it, and I credit their commitment to excellent service and workmanship for the vehicle's longevity. They are the best in the business, and we are super fortunate to have them in West Seattle.

Cory c
Cory c

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Hands down the best auto shop I've ever been to. Tom's is always friendly, accommodating and takes time to explain the issue. Recently they went the extra mile on an issue with our car and spent time (that the dealer wouldn't) diagnosing, finding and fixing the issue. All for a fair price and with an incredibly helpful attitude. Don't hesitate for a minute to go to this locally owned small business who consistently knocks it out of the park. We've been going to them for 10+ years and always had A+++ customer service.

sishi691
sishi691

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

I called in to get oil change for my 2018 car and the guy who took my call told me about the importance of going back to the dealer for the first oil change so that we wouldn’t have any warranty issue in the future. He told me that he would be happy to work on our car next time. I’m definitely taking our car back there! Hard to find a place like this nowadays 🙂

Angelique Wouters
Angelique Wouters

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Thank you so much guys. They fixed my rear tyre for free! Now i can go on my roadtrip without any worries! Keep up the good work.

Holli Margell
Holli Margell

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 months ago

What I appreciate most about Tom's Auto in West Seattle is their level of customer service. Compared to a dealership shop, their personal attention to details like explaining the list of items your car needs in order of priority helps to break it down and not be overwhelmed. Yes, car repairs can add up, but their approach makes it palatable. It puts us in the position to prioritize what to take care of first. They are experts in auto repairs and customer service!