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

Joan McCoy
Joan McCoy

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Great service. Everyone is so professional - I know exactly what they are going to do and how much it costs. It is so helpful that they call and remind me when my car needs service, and then they send me a thank you note after the service. They also offer a shuttle that will take you home.

Jeff Dixon
Jeff Dixon

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

I have been going to Tom’s for a while now to have my 2006 Scion worked on. They do quality work and at a good price. Very professional and honest, great staff to work with. I am saddened that I am moving down to Arizona at the end of the month and will no longer be able to have my car serviced at Tom’s. I hope I can find a new one like them down there. Thanks for all your services over the years. Jeff