Does My Vehicle Need A Tune-Up?

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Are you going over the river and through the woods this holiday season? Before you leave, make sure your car is working at it’s best. No one want’s to drive a car that misfires, hesitates, stalls, or is hard to start. Just like a doctor will ask what symptoms you have when you’re sick, your mechanic will ask why you feel like your car needs a tune-up. However, how would you know in the first place if your car is not working at it’s best?

Don’t get stuck on the way to grandma’s house.

Here are some signs that your vehicle may need a tune-up.

Misfiring Engine

A misfiring engine happens when there is a stumble or brief hesitation in power delivery. Your engine runs by using fuel to ignite, oxygen to burn the fuel, and a spark to ignite the mix. If you take away any of these, the cylinder will not fire in an expected way. It may seem like an easy solution, but engine misfire can also be caused by other things such as incorrect ignition timing, vacuum leaks, or valve spring wear.They can also be caused when your spark plugs are not working correctly. It is best to find the problem as soon as possible. Misfires reduce gas mileage and increase emissions. Misfires can also damage other engine parts, which is a bigger problem.

Clogged Engine Air Filter

Engines combine air and gasoline to create power. The air reaches the engine through a filter that keeps out road debris, bugs, and other contaminants. The filter must also allow enough air to reach the engine so it can perform effectively. Your air filters get dirty gradually over time, so you may not notice a small, steady loss of performance until it’s too late. If you haven’t changed the filter in a couple of years and your car is accelerating like a turtle, it may be time to change your engine air filter. Most companies recommend you change your filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, or once a year.
In addition, having a clogged engine air filter can cause your engine to misfire. This is because of restricted air supply from a dirty air filter causing unburnt fuel from exiting the engine in the form of soot. Soot accumulated on the spark plug, preventing you from combusting the air-fuel mixture.

Engine Deposits

Engine deposits are caused by low-quality or contaminated gasoline. Impurities in gasoline cause harmful deposits to form in fuel injectors, intake valves, and combustion chambers. They cause lower gas mileage, poor acceleration, lost power, hard starts, auto ignition, and increased exhaust emissions. Deposits can travel to other areas of the engine and cause problems there too. Because deposits build up slowly, you may go a long time without noticing they are there. Eventually, they will rob your vehicle of power and cause serious hesitation and stalling if left unattended. To fix the problem, you may need a fuel system cleaning, either by a repair shop or with a gas-tank additive.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

If you have a check engine light on, then there is something wrong with your emissions control system. Depending on the issue, you could have decreased engine performance and poor fuel economy. Don’t ignore it. A faulty oxygen sensor will leave the engine computer unaware of how to set the air-fuel mixture. Bring your vehicle to your local repair shop and have them run diagnostics on your car. Diagnostic codes can be very specific and can even narrow down which cylinder is misfiring.

No matter the problem, bring your vehicle to the Auto Clinic of Stuart. We will find the cause of your vehicle’s problems and get you on the way to your winter parties on time!