Car Engine Service & Tune-Up
ASE-certified BRAKEmax technicians perform a variety of car engine services from tune-ups to spark plug replacements to more complicated engine repairs. Contact us today if your check engine light is on or you are experiencing engine troubles.
What Is a Car Tune-Up?
Previous versions of automotive mechanical systems required a ‘tune-up’ that consisted of replacing spark plugs and/or spark wires, the distributor cap, and the rotor. Depending on the year of your vehicle, it may still be equipped with these components. But in many cases, electronic timing has eliminated the rotor and distributor.
Other services that might accompany a car tune-up are an air filter replacement, a fuel filter replacement (where equipped), and a fuel system service are common maintenance procedures performed at tune-up mileage intervals.
Mind the Gap!
Over time, the ‘gap’ between the center electrode and the side electrodes wear out. Improperly gapped and worn spark plugs cause your engine to run inefficiently and can cost you more at the gas pump.
These Aren’t Your Daddy’s Spark Plugs.
Developments in technology have also led to different spark plugs than the plain old copper plugs that vehicles used to have. Iridium, double-platinum and other plug types may cost more, but will also last significantly longer than the old copper-style plugs. In some cases, they can last up to 100,000 miles – over 3 times the lifespan of the old technology!
When Should My Spark Plugs Be Replaced?
Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The manufacturer has guidelines as to when the spark plug and related components should be replaced.
If you have any questions about our car engine services, a BRAKEmax automotive expert will be happy to answer them – just give us a call!
Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of a tune-up is to ensure your vehicle is running properly and also running as efficiently as possible. The specific services that your vehicle will need during a tune-up will depend on both the type of car you have and how old it is.
In general, a tune-up is a two-part service focusing on the components that control how the engine starts and how it runs. For example, two main focuses of a tune-up service are the ignition system and fuel system. The first part of the service is the inspection of the components themselves to determine what needs to be adjusted or replaced. The second part is making the actual adjustments or replacing worn components to ensure your engine is receiving the right proportions of spark, air, and fuel.
To maintain optimal performance in older vehicles, the ignition timing needs to be tuned or adjusted periodically. Usually, the distributor cap and rotor would also be replaced as well as other important components. In newer vehicles, the timing is computer-controlled and cannot be manually adjusted. So, during a tune-up, other engine components are replaced or adjusted as needed to help maintain engine performance and efficiency. These often include the spark plugs, filters, and fluids.
To help your vehicle stay in good condition, follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended mileage intervals for tune-up service. This will provide the opportunity to catch and take care of any other minor issues or worn parts before they progress into major problems.
No matter if you are driving an older vehicle or a newer vehicle with a more advanced computer-controlled engine, a tune-up is an important aspect of preventative maintenance for any vehicle.
Book your appointment now for your car tune-up and other engine services at your nearest BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers location.
Check out our coupons page to help save you money on engine services and other repairs your vehicle may need.
Regardless of whether spark plugs are made of iridium or copper, no spark plug will last forever. Depending on the type of plug, they’ll last anywhere between 45,000 and 100,000 miles.
Every time a spark plug fires and the high voltage current jumps between two electrodes, it wears away a little bit of metal from both of them. This increases the gap between the center electrodes and the side electrodes. As the spark plugs age, the sharp edges on the center electrode will become rounded and dull also.
Over time, as spark plugs wear, more voltage is required to jump the gap, causing your engine to run less efficiently. If the ignition system can’t deliver the required voltage, the spark plug may begin to misfire. Also, sometimes, deposits can accumulate on the tip of the plug and reduce ignition ability. Usually, by the time the average copper spark plugs have run 45,000 miles, it’s time to replace them. The “long-life” spark plugs made of iridium, platinum, or gold-palladium alloys will usually last longer, often 100,000 miles, under optimal conditions.
Changing your vehicle’s spark plugs periodically, even the “long-life” plugs at some point, will help maintain proper firing conditions for the engine ignition and keep your vehicle running efficiently.
The ASE-certified technicians at BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers can check and replace your spark plugs as needed and help keep your vehicle’s engine firing properly. Book your appointment today!
Usually, every time you start your vehicle your check engine light will illuminate momentarily and then go off. But if the light does not go off, your vehicle’s computer system is trying to tell you that there’s an issue within the engine.
An illuminated check engine light that stays on steadily indicates that there’s an issue but it may not be serious yet. In this case, your vehicle may have a fuel, spark, or air level that is outside of normal range and may simply require an adjustment or need a worn part replaced. If the check engine light is flashing, a serious problem is present within your vehicle’s fuel, ignition, or emission systems and should not be ignored.
Without having a check engine light diagnostic service done on your vehicle, it can be hard to say for certain what is causing the light to come on. But, there are some common reasons for a steady or flashing check engine light, including:
- A loose or faulty gas cap
- Bad spark plug or ignition coil
- Bad spark plug wires
- Failing oxygen sensor (O2 sensor)
- Bad mass airflow (MAF) sensor
- Catalytic converter failure
- Engine Vacuum leak
- EGR valve problem
- Excessive fuel consumption or an elevated release of air pollutants
These are just a few things that would cause your check engine light to come on. Our ASE-certified technicians are experienced in diagnostic services and all types of engine repairs. If your check engine light is on don’t ignore it. Bring your vehicle into your closest BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers location as soon as possible for a diagnostic test. We can pinpoint and address the issue and help you avoid more costly repairs.
Book an appointment online now to address that check engine light at BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers.
If it’s time for a tune-up, you will more than likely notice that your vehicle is not running like it used to. There are some specific things to pay attention to which indicate that it is definitely time to bring your vehicle in, including:
- Warning lights: Dashboard warning lights exist to alert you to a problem within your vehicle. Some of the lights indicate minor, quick-fix issues. But if your Check Engine light is illuminated, there’s a problem in your engine that should not be ignored. Bring your vehicle into your closest service center as soon as possible to avoid a smaller problem turning into a large, expensive issue.
- Reduced fuel mileage: If you notice you suddenly start needing to fill up more frequently and your fuel efficiency has diminished, there’s probably an engine issue that should be checked out.
- Hesitation during acceleration: If the car hesitates for a moment before going when you press your foot on the gas pedal, it may not be getting the proper power, airflow, or fuel that it needs. If this is happening, you may need a tune-up service.
- Unusual engine sounds: Noticing unusual sounds like pinging, knocking, or squealing? This could be an indicator of a problem. Bring your vehicle in to have an expert technician determine exactly what the issue may be.
- Engine stalling: If there are ignition issues, a fuel pump issue, or a lack of power from the battery, you may experience your vehicle unexpectedly stalling. If this happens, bring your vehicle to the nearest service center as soon as possible.
- Engine misfiring: When an engine cylinder fails to provide power to your car, a misfire happens. During a misfire, you may feel a shaking sensation and loss of power. A problem in the fuel system, a bad ignition, or an engine defect can all cause an engine misfire. If you are experiencing a misfire, don’t ignore it. Much more expensive damage to your vehicle can be caused by an unattended misfire.
If you are experiencing any of the above, schedule your appointment for engine service at BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers as soon as possible. Our technicians can help you prevent further engine damage and keep your vehicle on the road.