Car Tune UpThe word “Tune Up” is a commonly misused term when it comes to auto care.  According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary under the term “Tune up” it says:  “general adjustment to insure operation at peak efficiency”

Before vehicles had electronic components and computers  the term “tune up” was applied to the maintenance operation of replacing the spark plugs and bringing the ignition and fuel systems up to specs for maximum performance and efficiency.

Today’s vehicles don’t require regular adjustments to the ignition and fuel system; the onboard computer handles fuel mixture, timing and idle speed control.  On many of the newer cars, just spark plugs, fuel and air filters and PCV valve remain of the items that we used to consider part of a “tune up”. These items are now covered in the various major maintenance services.

With the traditional tune up obsolete you won’t see these in the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and few shops offer them as a standard menu item. It’s not uncommon for someone to call a shop asking for a tune up…but what do they mean? There are three services that are commonly referred to as a tune up.

Learn to ask for what you really want.

The most commonly requested “tune up” is the Oil Service

Sometimes called an LOF (Lube Oil Filter) or Oil Change the Oil Service is the changing of the oil, filter, and drain plug washer. Required every 3,000-5,000 miles in most vehicles the Oil Service keeps the lubrication system clean and running smoothly. Without regular oil changes you can experience engine sludging possibly resulting in the need for engine replacement.

The important thing to keep in mind when getting an Oil Service with Euro Tech Colorado is that we’re not simply changing your oil but giving your vehicle a thorough exam to check tire pressures, fluids, belts, hoses and other small details. This preventative check allows us to work with you to keep your car in shape and minimize emergencies.

Sometimes customers ask for a “tune up” but they want a Major Service

Depending on your vehicle make and model you’ll be having a major service every 20,000-30,000 miles. During this service systems are flushed and fluids are replaced, filters are changed, spark plugs may be changed as well as a thorough inspection for wear and tear.  The major service is recommended by your manufacturer and your owner’s manual will give a detailed list of all that is done for your car. We always use manufacturer recommended fluid and equipment to keep your vehicle running optimally.

Other times the car is running funny or acting weird so the customer wants a “tune up” but they need a Diagnosis.

It’s not uncommon to not want to get “bad news” so sometimes we don’t tell our mechanic everything. Customers will commonly say the car needs a “tune up” because it’s acting weird and they believe a “tune up” will straighten it out. If warning lights are on or there is a drivability issue then ask for a diagnosis and be as specific as possible.  This allows the technician to isolate the issue quickly and get the car fixed faster.


Now that you’re in the know you’ll be able to request exactly what you need! Give us a call today at 303.238.7222 and we’ll get your Saab, Audi, VW, BMW, or Mini scheduled for the right service or diagnosis.