When shipping your car, it’s always a good idea to get a tune-up. In fact, many auto shippers insist that you get one before you ship your car. For instance, if your car leaks oil and is on the top row, charges could accrue for any damage caused by your car leaking oil. Other benefits include making sure you have enough anti-freeze so your car can comfortably pass-through frigid climates on the drive. Most the time, the auto-shipping company will simply say, “Get a tune-up.” But what does this include? Some people think a tune-up is just an oil change, while others think it’s a complete engine overhaul. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
It’s important to know what services are included in a tune-up. This is to ensure that you’re not being overcharged and that your mechanic takes care of every part of your car. Let’s break down the common parts of a tune-up so you can be more prepared the next time you walk into your mechanic’s shop.
Service the Ignition System
Today’s ignition systems are light years ahead of those of previous years. There’s hardly ever an issue with these parts on newer models, but they are an important part of a tune-up. The ignition system includes ignition coils, plug wires, spark plugs, and various electrical components. More often than not, it’s just a visual inspection, but the occasional spark plug may need replacing. Make sure your mechanic shows you the plug before they replace it. A used spark plug and a faulty spark plug look pretty similar. A used spark plug will have brown gunk, but a bad plug will be black. Look for black deposits on the threads and at the bottom.
Replace the filters
This is probably something that you do when you change your oil, but it’s good to keep up on filters. These help remove debris from your fuel and oil, as well as clean the air that makes everything function. You also have filters on your oil filter and fuel filter. If you got your oil changed recently, these may not need replacing. Make sure you tell your mechanic if you recently had your oil changed. If they feel like you may need a new filter even though you recently had your oil changed, your oil gasket may be leaking. The last is the air filter that protects the air that enters the cabin.
Check hoses and Belts
If your car makes a loud squealing sound when you turn it on, that means your belts need replacing. Hopefully, before that happens, which could cause even more mechanical issues, you’ll have your belts checked.
Belts: There are a couple of belts to note. Your serpentine belt is the main one. It wraps around various pulleys to ensure your alternator charges the battery. The timing belt is important and typically needs replacing every 90,000 miles. It is essential to your engine’s life, and a broken timing belt can cause huge problems in your car. For all belts, make sure there are no fraying or cracks in the belt.
Hoses: The hoses they’ll check are mainly for the radiator and heater hoses, which keep the engine cool. These hoses are rubber and should not have any cracks or chips in them. Cracks can lead to leaks, and leaking hoses can lead to more serious problems.
Change the fluids
For the most part, this is the step that many people confuse with an oil change, because for the most part, it is an oil change. They’ll change the oil and your coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Make sure they top off your windshield wiper fluid while they’re at it. Oil changes, despite what Jiffy Lube believes, need to be done every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.
Your Tune-Up is Done!
That’s it. A tune-up is more of a general maintenance trip than an all-out rehaul. It’s important to get a tune-up at least once a year to catch any problems before they become something more serious.
If you’re getting a tune-up to prepare for your next auto shipper, don’t be afraid to take a look at Boston Car Transport for a free quote. They are a licensed and bonded company that includes insurance right there in the quote. No hidden fees mean you can get an accurate quote in less than a day.