7 Signs Your Car Needs a Tune Up
August 08, 2017
For some of us, we haven’t gotten into the habit of taking our car in for regular maintenance. If you’re one of those people, then there may be things going on under your car’s hood that you don’t know about.
If you see any these signs, your car is in need of a tune up.
1. The Dashboard Lights Come On
How many times have you seen one of the icons light up on your dashboard, and thought ‘it probably isn’t serious?’
You’re right - at that moment it isn’t serious. But it’s going to become serious quickly if you don’t get a car tune up. The warning lights are there to indicate that there is something wrong with your engine.
If you see any light flash on your dashboard that you don’t normally see, check your car’s owner manual to identify what the light means. Then call us to book an appointment for a tune up.
2. You Hear Unusual Noises
Drivers become attuned to the sounds their car makes on a regular basis. It can even be kind of soothing. But ease can quickly turn to panic when you hear a loud sound that was definitely not there the day before.
Unless you are a trained auto mechanic, it will be almost impossible to identify what the unusual noise means. Even then, the best thing to do is bring your car in for a tune up so that we can find the cause of the noise and hopefully prevent a much bigger problem down the road.
3. You Start Stalling Out
If you’re learning to drive a car with a manual transmission, stalls are going to happen. If you’re an experienced driver or have an automatic car and are still experiencing stalls, this is a sign that you could have a bigger problem.
Stalling is when your engine dies, and can be a scary experience. Some reasons your car could stall include:
- A dead battery
- A faulty fuel pump
- Ignition issues
- Improper release of the clutch on transmission vehicles.
All of these are issues that should be addressed right away. Our team of professionals will be able to help identify the problem and make sure that your car is in the best possible shape.
Tip: If you run into a problem that means you need to pull over, make sure your car emergency kit is fully stocked with all the essentials.
4. Bad Fuel Milage
We’re always trying to get as much fuel mileage as we can, and like to know how far our car can go on a tank of gas. Just think about all the conversations you’ve had about cars where one of the first questions you’re asked is ‘how’s the mileage?’
If you’ve been driving your car for a while, you’ll have a pretty good idea how far you can go on one tank of gas. The number should consistently be in the same range of numbers.
If you notice that you aren’t getting as much mileage on a tank of gas as you usually do, it’s worth bringing it into us for a thorough check and car tune up. There could be underlying problems contributing to the decrease in efficiency.
Tip: Keep track of your mileage by recording it each time you go to fill up the tank. Your mileage is automatically counted on your dashboard. Keep a book and pen in the car, and record each trip, then reset the counter. This will help you easily see how far you go on a tank of gas, and be able to identify any dips in efficiency.
5. Your Car Is Slow to Accelerate
Are you noticing that there is a little less get up in your go? Is it taking your car longer to react when the light turns from red to green?
A car that is slow to accelerate will usually signal a problem that has progressed over time, as we tend not to notice very slight changes until they all add up to a big change.
Slow acceleration can cause issues in situations when you need to increase your speed, for example when going up a hill or merging onto a highway. We recommend making an appointment with us if you notice a decrease in acceleration.
6. You Can Feel Unusual Vibrations
When you’re driving over rough roads, you can feel it through your steering wheel and the frame of your car. It’s not a pleasant sensation, that’s for sure! While it doesn’t feel good, it is totally normal - it’s your car reacting to the road surface.
What isn’t totally normal is for you car to start vibrating when you are on a smooth, paved road. This signals that there is an internal problem. Whether you only feel it at certain speeds, in the steering wheel, or it feels like the whole car could vibrate apart, it is a sign that you need to come see us.
7. Your Engine Is Misfiring
A misfire occurs when an engine cylinder, or cylinders, fail to give power to your car. You will notice a loss of power and a shaking sensation. If one cylinder is on the fritz, you may still be able to make it home slowly.
The more cylinders that misfire, the more power you lose. This means your car will hardly move, and the shaking will get much worse.
An engine misfire is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. Some causes of an engine misfire include:
The best way to handle the situation is to book a car tune up immediately. An unattended misfiring problem could cause damage to your car and become a much more expensive problem.
Avoid These Problems With Regular Tune Ups
Avoid these potentially expensive problems by getting your car on a regular maintenance schedule. We have a helpful infographic that clearly lays out a schedule for all the repairs and services your car needs and when it needs them.
Once you organize your schedule, we can help you execute it. We’ll give you a free quote on your requested service, and deliver top notch care from expert auto mechanics.
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