Your reliable vehicle always seems to get you from A to B, rarely giving you any trouble. You regularly check your oil and take your vehicle in for periodic servicing to keep the unit in top running form.

Your car communicates with you in many ways, and once you learn your vehicle's language, you can quickly tell if your car is ready for a tune-up or not. Don't wait until the check engine light or complete auto failure causes you to head to your mechanic. Learn the signs your car needs a tune-up so you can continue driving your vehicle safely.

What Is a Tune-up?

Is a tune-up the same as regular servicing of a vehicle? Actually, no. A tune-up is a more intensive auto servicing regimen that typically includes checking and replacing spark plugs, interior and exterior lights, and even windshield wiper blades.

In short, while regular service will result in an oil change and fluid checks (and refills, if needed), along with a new air filter, a tune-up is a complete inspection of your car during which tiny needs are addressed before they become costly repairs.

Does Your Car Need a Tune-up?

Your car will let you know if its engine is running poorly. Pay attention to your vehicle and always follow your instincts if you think something is wrong with the way your car drives. Take your vehicle in for a tune-up with your mechanic if you notice any of the following problems with your vehicle.

Spills or Spots on the Driveway

The only fluid you should see under your vehicle is condensation or water dripping from the vehicle's undercarriage. Anything brown, green, oily, slick, or smelly should be documented and reported to your mechanic. Clean spills on your driveway by covering the area with cat litter or sawdust to preserve your drive and to keep children and pets away from potentially dangerous liquids.

Stalling and Sputtering

It doesn't matter if your car only sputters or stalls during very hot weather or at a complete stop; your vehicle should always run reliably. Issues that result in stalling or sputtering can range from the need for a new solenoid or starter to transmission failure, so take your vehicle in for a tune-up as soon as you notice sluggish behavior.

Strange Smells or Sounds

Does your car sound like it's dragging tin cans when you apply the brakes? Does your vehicle whine when you first start it? Do you smell a burning rubber odor whenever you switch gears?

Pay attention to the odd sounds and odors coming from your vehicle, especially if these occurrences are new or have recently started. Faulty brakes, a failing transmission, or other costly concerns may be causing your car to act strangely, and the longer you wait to have your car tuned up, the more expensive getting your car back to its original condition can be.

New Dash Light Warnings

Dash light warnings don't always come on because something big is wrong with your vehicle. Sometimes dash lights are an indicator that you have faulty wiring or bad spark plugs inside your car. If you have come-and-go dash lights that carry no real threat or have all your dash lights come on at once, your car's electrical wiring needs to be looked at. The sensors in your vehicle may be off-kilter and need tuning up as well.

Taking your vehicle into the mechanic for a tune-up helps protect your car against future damage and can make existing problems easier to repair. Choose a mechanic you trust to keep your car in top form. Our team of vehicle specialists at Action Transmission Service & Total Car Care can take care of many of your vehicle's needs. Call us today for an appointment.