Hearing unfamiliar noises from your car usually means something’s not right and that your car needs a tune-up and safety inspection. But that’s not the only sign of possible car trouble.
Today’s cars can have service intervals of 15,000 km or more recommended in the log book by the manufacturer, but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore any tell-tale sign that your car gives out. After all, a healthy car results in a safer, more efficient and smoother driving experience.
So, whether you’re rocking a brand-new EV or a classic Toyota Corolla, look for these 10 signs that tell you your car needs a tune-up. Let’s get right into them.
How Do I Know My Car Needs a Tune-Up?
Just like any other machine, your car also requires maintenance and tune-ups from time to time to perform at its best. But how exactly can you tell when it’s time for a tune-up? There are indicators that tell you that your car is having some problems and needs a tune-up. Poor mileage, difficulty in starting the engine, slow acceleration, experiencing vibrations or shuddering, etc. are some of the indicators that you need to be aware of.
Besides, there are a lot more signs that you can find while on the road. Let’s look at some of the most common signs in detail.
The Engine Light In Your Car Turns On
Yes, your car among many different types of vehicles has a light indicator behind the wheel that lights up or blinks when the vehicle needs attention. It’s called an ‘engine light’ and it is a clear indication that you need to take your car to an auto repair shop.
Many tend to ignore this indication thinking it’s not that big of a deal. But that’s a serious red flag as dismissing it could lead to severe consequences. Even though it might seem like there’s nothing to worry about in the short term, your car’s health could drastically worsen if you don’t address the presiding issue.
If you experience any unusual lights or symbols on your dash it’s best to get it checked out sooner rather than later.
So, don’t hesitate to schedule a tune-up appointment if your engine light is blinking or lighting up. Addressing any issue in your car promptly can prevent it from escalating into a major problem.
You Hear Unusual Noises While Driving Or Idling
As a driver, you become accustomed to the typical sounds your car makes. But when you start hearing unfamiliar and unusual noises, that’s the second sign that your car needs a tune-up. While it might be tempting to guess the cause of the noise, it’s usually best to leave it to the professionals.
Unusual sounds can be early warnings of underlying issues. Whether it’s a rattle, a clunk, a squeal, or any other atypical noise, it’s wise to have your car checked. Identifying and addressing the problem early can prevent more extensive and costly damage.
Your Engine Doesn’t Start in the First Fire
Your car used to start reliably with a turn of the key or push of a button but now requires multiple attempts. This is another sign that something is amiss. While a dead battery could be the culprit, other issues like faulty ignition components or fuel system problems may also be at play.
Frequent difficulty starting your car is a strong indicator that it’s time for a tune-up. A professional can diagnose the problem and ensure your car starts reliably again.
Your Car’s Giving Significantly Poor Gas Mileage Than Before
We all keep an eye on our car’s fuel efficiency, and discussions about mileage are common among drivers. Track your car’s mileage and if you see any significant decrease in the performance, it’s a sign that something is off.
Consistently poor gas mileage can be caused by various issues, including clogged air filters, worn-out spark plugs, or fuel system problems. During a tune-up, these issues can be identified and resolved, improving your car’s fuel efficiency.
Your Car Is Slow To Accelerate
Is your car no longer as responsive as it used to be when you hit the gas pedal? If it lags behind than usual or doesn’t give you the same push as it used to, your car might need a tune-up.
Slow car acceleration is caused by low fuel pressure, clogged fuel system, or air intake problems. With proper car tune-up servicing, you can get these issues identified and fixed.
Your Car is Rough While Idling
Roughness and vibrations from your car’s engine when in an idle state can be another sign. Because today’s cars don’t have much vibration while idling and unusual roughness while stationary can be noticed right away.
Rough idling can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn-out spark plugs, clogged fuel injectors, or ignition problems. During a tune-up, these issues can be diagnosed and corrected, restoring smooth idling and overall engine performance.
Your Car Might Be Vibrating and Shaking
Even when driving on smooth or paved roads, if you feel excessive vibrations and shakes, it might be due to internal problems. Vibrations in the steering wheel or throughout the vehicle might have devastating underlying causes.
These vibrations can be signs of issues with the suspension, tires, braking system or other critical components that a tune-up and safety inspection can help identify and rectify.
Your Car is Pulling to One Side
Driving a car can sometimes feel like it’s constantly pulling to one side. Especially when you’re driving on a straight path but you constantly have to move your steering wheel. This can be both annoying and equally dangerous.
There can be one of multiple reasons why your car is pulling to one side. Issues like a misaligned wheel, uneven tire air pressure, or problems with steering or suspension components are common. But even if it’s just a small pull, you shouldn’t ignore this issue. Get your car checked up by a professional to ensure a safer ride.
Your Brakes Are Grinding
If you’re annoyed by the noise of grinding brakes but ignoring them altogether, you might be keeping yourself in danger. Grinding brakes are a clear cry for help and a sign that your car needs a tune-up right away.
There are several reasons such as worn-out brake pads or damaged rotors that can result in the grinding of brakes. And since brakes are an essential part of your car, take your car for a tune-up and safety inspection as quickly as possible.
Your Car Is Overheating
If your car is constantly getting warm, such as when you notice the temperature gauge creeping above halfway, this might be a sign that your car needs a tune-up and your cooling system inspected. It can especially cause trouble if you go on long drives or are towing a caravan or trailer. This can mostly happen because of a malfunctioning thermostat, coolant issues, or problems with the radiator or water pump.
Your car communicates with you through various signs such as noises, vibrations or shakes. It’s super important that you pay attention to them and get your car tuned up when you start noticing these indicators.
Also, remember that getting regular tune-ups not only helps you save money by stretching the lifespan of all the components but also improves your safety while driving. So, don’t ignore these signs and keep tuning up your car frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you do a Tune-up on your car?
As a rule of thumb, we would recommend servicing your vehicle every 10,000 km or 12 months, whichever comes first. A Lot of manufacturers nowadays can stretch servicing intervals out to 15,000 km or more.
We don’t like to recommend doing this as the properties in your engine oil start to break down over time, thus not giving the lubrication to your engine that it requires.
Common safety issues like Tyre wear, Wheel alignments, Suspension and Brake issues can quite often go unnoticed for a longer period of time causing more issues and costly repairs in the long run.
Servicing your car and having it inspected regularly will help avoid any unwanted damage and repairs.
Where can I find a Car Tune-Up service in Melbourne?
GMG Automotive Services is a car tune-up service provider located at 81 Lexton Road, Box Hill, Melbourne. We offer all kinds of repairs and services at competitive prices to every car that enters our workshop.
Here at GMG, you deal directly with the mechanics working on your car, we pride ourselves in delivering a personalised service and making sure you fully understand what’s going on with your car.
How long does it take to tune up a car?
It usually takes around 2-3 hours to perform a tune-up, and safety inspection, although we like to have your vehicle for the day. This includes routine inspection and maintenance of spark plugs, air filters, tyres, brakes, suspension etc. Any additional repair or maintenance work required is advised after our safety inspection is complete. We will discuss any concerns we may have about your car with you and quote accordingly.
We know how inconvenient it can be without your car, we also offer Courtesy vehicles, available on request when booking an appointment.