How to Tune up an Older Car
While performing regular maintenance is vital when it comes to any car, it is especially important for older cars.
Replacing and keeping certain components up to date will ensure that your car is operating at its full potential while extending its lifespan. If your vehicle could use a car tune, here are some areas you shouldn’t forget.
The air filter in your car makes sure that clean air is circulating in your engine. That being said, you should be replacing your air filter every 3000 miles or once a year, whichever one comes first.
Replacing an air filter is not a challenging task. Simply pop open your car’s hood and locate the filter’s housing unit. Remove the old air filter and replace it with the new one.
The most challenging part of the process might be finding the right air filter for your specific vehicle. Use your owner’s manual to find the right model or consult your local mechanic for guidance.
Spark plugs are what supply the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in your engine. When spark plugs malfunction, it can cause your engine to misfire. You should be replacing these every 30,000 to 120,000 miles.
When replacing spark plugs, work one plug at a time. Start by removing the wire from the spark plug, and then uninstall the plug with a plug socket. Once that’s done, screw in the replacement plug and reconnect the wire. Repeat this process until all of the plugs have been replaced.
Your car’s battery gives life to everything electronic, and with time, it will wear out. To stay on the safe side, you should replace your car’s battery every 3 to 5 years.
Start by locating your battery in the car’s hood and then removing the terminal leads by using a wrench. Clean the terminals with a wire brush to remove any corrosion. Unscrew the retaining bar keeping the battery in place and lift it out. Put the new battery in place, then reattach leads and the retaining bar.
These caps are responsible for controlling the firing sequence for your spark plugs. Like the other elements of your car, they are susceptible to wear and tear over time. Therefore, make sure you are replacing your distributor caps every 30,000 miles.
The first you need to do to replace your old caps is locate your distributor and label the wires according to their spark plug number. Then, use a screwdriver to remove any fastenings in place and remove the old cap. Remove the old rotor from the shaft and install the new rotor based on the marking and install the new cap. Make sure that the first spark plug is still in its original position so you can maintain the same order when transferring the wiring from the old cap to the new cap.
Additional Tune Ups
There are several more general maintenance tasks and tune ups you can perform to make sure your car is running at its best. Here are a few:
- Replacing your fuel filter
- Replacing your timing belt
- Performing an oil change
- Flushing your radiator
- Rotating your tires
- Replacing your brake pads
You might be able to perform some of these on your own, while others might be best left to a professional. Make the call depending on your skill level. Never perform a job you are not confident you have the experience to complete. Performing inadequate routine maintenance could lead to hefty repair bills and serious problems down the road.
Remember, a car tune up (especially if you have an older vehicle) is not a one-and-done scenario. Every car could benefit from a maintenance schedule.