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

Vanessa Rawlings
Vanessa Rawlings

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

These guys know how to treat their customers. My car had a weird ABS problem and Tracy and the team knew exactly how to handle it. Very flexible with my schedule and we’re so informative and knowledgeable. They were honest about pricing and very realistic about my car’s issue. Thank you for the outstanding care I will be back no question. Although hopefully not that soon ha ha!

Christine Cranston
Christine Cranston

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

I tried Tom's after years with another shop. The other shop's service had deteriorated over time and I could no longer trust them to do the right thing for my car and for me. The Tom's Automotive Service team is warm, friendly and most importantly, competent and honest. They first did an assessment of the car. Then, I got a call with each needed improvement estimated and prioritized. Now, that the car is fixed, it drives SO much better. It's a 2006 Honda CRV with lots of pep and strength. I will go to Tom's again. It's great to find such high quality car services in West Seattle (my own neighborhood). Thank you!

Charmaine Richardson
Charmaine Richardson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

What a great team at Tom's, they are so nice and keep me informed of everything as we go. I trust their advice and they treat my car as if it were their own. Such a great group of people.