Getting regular tune-ups is a wise step that can extend the lifespan of your vehicle. The signs that your car needs a tune-up are often subtle and happen so gradually that you may not notice until things get much more serious (and expensive to fix). By knowing what to look out for, you can bring your car in for tune-ups at the first hint of trouble or for preventative auto maintenance. Your mechanic will run diagnostics, fix any problems they find, and generally make sure your car is functioning well. Here are three signs that your car needs a tune-up:
Your Gas Mileage Is Getting Worse
This can happen gradually over time, or it may happen all at once, depending on the cause. If you find yourself fueling up much more often despite no changes to your routine or your commute, this can be a sign that your engine is no longer running as efficiently as it should. If an engine component is wearing out or a fuel line is majorly clogged, your car will go through more gas more quickly than it should. This is definitely worth bringing your car in for a check-up.
Your Car Won't Start Right Away
In older cars, sometimes drivers take it for granted that their car will be sluggish when turning on the ignition, but this is usually a sign that something is wrong. You may need a new battery, an electronic component may need to be replaced, or your starter may need to be repaired or replaced. In any case, take your vehicle in to be looked at as soon as possible. When a car is slow to start, it will eventually not start at all, often at the least convenient time.
Check Engine Light Is On
In newer cars, indicator lights typically tell you exactly what is wrong and what you need to do to fix it, but in older vehicles, a more general "Check Engine" notice is simply a sign that your car needs to be tuned up and inspected as soon as possible. This light can mean that something simple like a spark plug or fuse needs to be changed out. Unfortunately, it can also mean that you're experiencing a serious problem like engine failure, which can become an emergency if you don't have it looked at quickly.
If you notice any of these issues or it's simply been a long time since you've had your vehicle thoroughly checked out by a mechanic, it's probably time for a tune-up.