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
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Rochelle Dobson
Rochelle Dobson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

I had an incredible experience with Tom's Automotive, my window was not working properly, after getting it replaced at a different auto body shop I decided to go to one I knew I could trust and took it in to Tom's. I first described the situation on the phone, brought it in for them to see, and their team spent time researching what could be wrong. They called me back to bring in my car and within minutes had it fixed. Tom's Auto and their whole team is top-class, I will DEFINITELY be using their services again. I highly recommend them. Thank you for going above and beyond my expectations!

Nancy I
Nancy I

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

I take my car to Tom's because they are friendly and reliable. I appreciate they are able to "triage" and explain the maintenance needed to keep my car up and running. It's great they offer a shuttle in the morning and late afternoon to help the locals get back to work!
I once had to pull off the freeway due to my car acting oddly. I called Kandie at Tom's and she was able to explain what I needed to do. This helped me stay calm and confident in an otherwise stressful situation.

Ipha Iphraim
Ipha Iphraim

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Excellent customer service. Good price and very professional. A good place to come. Clean neat!

Timothy Muirhead
Timothy Muirhead

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 weeks ago

We've been having our cars serviced at Tom's Automotive for 15 years. The entire team has always provided such courteous and honest interactions and we've always felt we were getting our automotive services done with integrity and fairly priced. We are committed to Tom's for all our automotive needs