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How do I know if my car needs a tune up?

The term tune up is somewhat vague in the automotive industry. In a gist, it refers to simple maintenance services that are done to a vehicle when it is not operating as it should. In many scenarios, tune ups involve services such as replacing worn spark plugs, installing a new air filter or fuel filter, conducting fluid services and other minor tasks. Some people refer to routine maintenance, such as 30/60/90K service, as a tune up, but those services are much more in depth and part of a scheduled service plan. Tune ups are usually performed between major services when a car just doesn’t seem to be running quite right. If your vehicle isn’t quite due for scheduled maintenance, but doesn’t seem to be operating as it should, it may be time for a tune up, especially if you run into any of the following four problems.

Rough idle

A rough idle will be characterized by the engine sputtering, often sounding like it is going to die. You can watch the tachometer fall and rise with the troubled engine speed. If your car is having this issue it may need to have a sensor cleaned or replaced, or new spark plugs and spark plug wires may be in order.

Poor fuel economy

There are many things that can result in a car getting poor fuel efficiency, but it can often be resolved with minor auto maintenance. If you notice a drop in your car’s MPGs, head to the service station for a tune up, which may include installing a new air filter and ensuring the MAF and o2 oxygen sensors are working right.


One of the more hazardous signs of car trouble is the engine stalling and suddenly turning off while driving or while at a stop light. This is extremely dangerous, as it prevents you from being able to properly control your car. Should this ever happen to you do not hesitate to make an appointment for a tune up with your local auto shop.

Hard starting

If you ever run into trouble getting your car started you’ll definitely need the assistance of an expert mechanic. There are numerous things that could be causing this, from a clogged fuel filter to a failing starter, but many times a simple tune up will restore the functionality of your car or truck.

If your car’s performance begins to wane, reach out to Fred’s Foreign & Domestic Car Repair to schedule a tune up in Morgan Hill. Our auto maintenance experts will ensure that your vehicle is safe and reliable when it leaves our shop. Give us a call at 408-706-7318 to request professional auto maintenance in Morgan Hill.

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