Tune Up Your Car

By Jack Cooper


I will list a few carfacts tune up tips here and when you are done here check out the other carfacts pages.

On the newer fuel injected electronic controlled engines tune ups are not required as often as on the old carburetor and distributor engines.

You can go 60,000-70,000 miles without to much worry. And then most that will need done would be to replace the spark plugs and clean the fuel injectors.

If your engine starts to run really rough and the SES light comes on you may need to take it and have the engine scanned. At most of the discount parts stores they will do an engine scan free. It will bring up engine codes that will let you know what kind of problem you may be having.

If engine is scanned and has a misfire code for plug wires or fuel injectors you can make this repair yourself and save quite a lot of money.

If you get your engine scanned free at the parts store make sure you buy your parts there to support their efforts.

If misfire comes up as a fuel injector and it’s just dirty and not shorted a fix for it is go into store and purchase a bottle of “LUCAS” fuel injector cleaner (I have tried a lot of different ones and “LUCAS” is the cheapest and only one I found to work).

Pour the “LUCAS” injector cleaner in your fuel tank (about 1/2 full or less would be ideal). Drive your car 50-75 miles and it should start working. It may take a couple of bottles but at about $3.00 a bottle it’s worth the try. If you take it to a shop it will cost about $150.00 for them to do it and if it doesn’t work you will still need to replace injectors (about $800.00).It would be better to be out the $3.00-$6.00 rather than $150.00 and still need to replace injectors.

I have used this cleaner many, many times with good results as have people that I recommended this to.

It is a good idea to put a bottle of “LUCAS” injector cleaner in your fuel about every 10,000 miles or so to keep your fuel system clean and to stop a problem before it happens.

Now that the fuel system is clean and you have 60,000-70,000 miles on your vehicle and want to do a tune up to prevent a problem before it starts, go down to your discount auto parts store and get the proper spark plugs and wires for your engine.

Raise the hood on your vehicle and look for the spark plug wires and see where they go. They should all go to what is called a coil pack (used to be a distributor cap.

A little tip before you get started, the spark plugs will be a little easier to remove if engine is warmed up before starting to work on it. But don’t get it so warm you burn yourself working on it.

Twist all the wires on the coil pack and spark plugs back and forth until they feel free (don’t remove any yet).

If you have never done this before just go one at a time. Remove wire at spark plug and then at coil pack, match it up with a new wire from set you bought (make sure same length) connect it to coil pack and route it the same way you took the old one off.

Then take your spark plug socket (and probably a short extension) and ratchet and remove that spark plug. Make sure gap in plug at electrode is right before installing plug. They are gapped at factory but sometimes get bumped and closed up in packaging.

Just repeat this process with all of the wires and spark plugs. If you done this properly you won’t need to do it again for another 60,000-70,000 miles.

You just saved yourself an awful lot of money, depending on what engine you have 4-6-8 cylinders.

Jack Cooper is the owner of www.jtcbiz.com where he reveals several Automotive secrets that can save you money and inform you on a variety of Automotive topics.