Author Topic: Car tune-up Mustachian style  (Read 3673 times)

Mickijune

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Car tune-up Mustachian style
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:57:33 PM »
Hi all! Warning, I know nothing of what it takes to complete a tune-up on a car. That said, our 2004 Dodge Intrepid needs a tune-up.

What all does that entail, and any suggestions on how to get it done at a fairly reasonable cost?

Thanks in advance!!

fiveoh

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 06:50:50 PM »
What exactly is wrong with it that you want to do a tune up? 

Matt K

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 07:19:56 PM »
'Tune-ups' are not like they once were. Today's cars have lots of computers and sensors that check on everything as the car goes and adjust what is needed. Tune-ups used to be to adjust things like carbs. That said, your car still needs regular maintenance.

Check your owners manual. In it will be a complete list of things that need to be done at each service interval (10,000 miles or whatever it is). Generally speaking it will be replace the oil and filter, grease door hinges, top up windshield wiper fluid, and do little else. At larger intervals it will involve more complicated stuff (check/replace brakes, change transmission oil, replace spark plugs, replace timing belt, etc).

For the small jobs, you can do it yourself without too much difficulty (if changing oil was hard, walmart wouldn't be paying high school students minimum wage to do it). For the larger jobs, I'd take it to a garage or dealership. If you've got a local garage you trust, I'd go there first as dealerships will charge a lot more. That said, I have a good relationship with my dealership and take my car to them.

Mickijune

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 07:43:41 AM »
We bought the car in January 2012 (before I found this website) and don't know the maintenance history on it. A week ago we got off the freeway and it was making a "funny" sound, like it was running really hard, but the next day it didn't and hasn't made the same noise since. My husband (who isn't a car guy) said it sounds like a spark plug might be going out? But we both don't know what we are talking about. I guess the next time we go up to my parent's house we can have my dad check some basic stuff out.

fiveoh

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 11:30:43 AM »
Spark plugs dont make noise when they go out and dont tend to go out all at once(they slowly get worse).   

Can you describe the noise?  Like Matt said if the car was misfiring from a bad plug, you would most likely throw a check engine light. 

Besides the oil, filters, tires and other usual stuff I tend to take an "If it aint broke dont fix it" approach. 

Also dont get fooled into paying for "injector cleaning" and other such bs by a mechanic shop....

BlueMR2

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 05:38:13 PM »
Can you describe the noise?  Like Matt said if the car was misfiring from a bad plug, you would most likely throw a check engine light. 

That's one of those things that varies widely by make/model. 

My Mitsubishi Eclipse occasionally throws a "random multi-cylinder misfire" check engine light if driven too slowly (like just cruising around a parking lot) while still warming up.  Never feel/hear a thing out of it, but the computer is touchy enough that the occasional very slight stutter from the extra rich fuel mixture during warmup can trip it.

On the other extreme, my cousin had a Grand Prix that misfired and cut out on a regular basis.  No check engine light until I took it out on the e-way and just stood on the gas, letting it stutter and buck for several seconds straight.  It then popped the light, we pulled the code, and knew exactly which ignition module was bad.  :-)

GoStumpy

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Re: Car tune-up Mustachian style
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 09:00:03 PM »
I have to add this to help anyone, if your car has coilpacks instead of a distributor, PLEASE change your spark plugs!!!

Cost me ~$600 for my work truck, and my friend just spend $600 on his truck, purely because the spark plugs were worn out, causing the coil-pack to work extra hard, and eventually burn out... so instead of a $6 spark plug, we had to replace $150+ coilpacks.