What is involved in a vehicle tuning?

what is involved in a vehicle tuneup

A car tuning involves replacing the old or worn components of an internal combustion engine with new ones to improve performance and efficiency. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, your vehicle should be tuned regularly to run smoothly.

In this article we explain what an auto-tuning entails.

Inspect the spark plugs and spark plug wires

Your vehicle’s ignition wires transfer electrical current from the ignition coil to the spark plug, where it meets an air and fuel mixture, causing combustion. Inspecting your car’s spark plugs and spark plug wires is essential to avoid accidental damage.

Let’s look at the signs of faulty spark plugs and cables.

Signs of a Faulty Spark Plug and Ignition Wires

When the electrode (metal tip) is in good condition, it will have gray or brownish deposits. The plugs begin to show the following signs after prolonged exposure to high temperatures:

  • Engine shuts down
  • Rough idling and acceleration
  • Lack of strength
  • Increased fuel consumption

If your car’s spark plugs show the above signs, replace them immediately. Here are easy-to-follow steps to guide you:

  • Disconnect the wires from the spark plugs.
  • Loosen and remove the spark plugs
  • Clean the area around the cylinder head threads carefully so as not to damage them.
  • Inspect the electrode on the end of the spark plug for wear and damage. The gap should be between 0.035 and 0.055 inches.
  • If necessary, split the new spark plug with a feeler gauge or wire.
  • Install the new spark plug and tighten it with your hands until it is snug, then tighten another 1/8th turn with a spark plug wrench.

To prevent the engine from running rough due to crossed ignition, move each ignition wire from the old cap to the new one – one at a time – when you replace the ignition wires. Also secure your wires by routing them away from exhaust components.

Replace the air filter

The air filter is one of the most important maintenance items on your car. Most manufacturers recommend replacing it every 15,000 miles.

A dirty air filter can cause:

  • Increased gas consumption and poor acceleration
  • Engine overheating due to insufficient airflow through the radiator
  • Shorter engine life

Replace your air filter regularly for efficient engine performance. These are the steps to follow:

  • Locate the air filter housing. The unit is usually a black plastic box with a metal lid near the firewall or front bumper on most cars, trucks, and SUVs.
  • Remove the cover from the housing by unscrewing the screws or clips that hold the cover.
  • The air filter should be visible as soon as you open the lid. Remove it by gently pulling it out of the housing. If necessary, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for more detailed instructions on how to remove the air filter for your particular model.
  • Compare your old air filter with the new one to make sure they are identical in size, shape and configuration before removing it from the package.
  • Place the new air filter into the housing making sure it fits snugly but not too tight.

Make sure the belts and hoses are in good condition

Your vehicle’s belts and hoses transfer power from the engine to the transmission unit. Like any other part, they will deteriorate over time. Therefore, you should regularly check them for damage.

Depending on the model of your car, there may be multiple belts and hoses located under the hood. While it may seem like a daunting task, inspecting these components isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Here’s what to do:

  • Visually inspect them. Look for cracks around the bulges and bends of the hoses, fraying or other signs of wear.
  • Turn on your engine and listen for strange noises. A squeaking sound is an indication that a belt is loose and needs to be tensioned.
  • Feel the belts while the engine is running. Belts should feel smooth and tight when the engine is running. If you feel any bumps or bumps in the belt as it rotates, there may be an alignment problem.
  • Check for oil or grease in your car’s belt system pulleys. Oil and grease can weaken belts and hoses, causing them to fall off their pulleys during use.

Feed your car with the right fluids

Keep the correct fluids in your car to keep it running smoothly. These fluids have different functions and you need to replace them regularly.

Here’s a look at some of the essentials:

Brake fluid

Brake fluid helps brake parts work together more efficiently by reducing friction and corrosion. If you notice that your brakes are sluggish or squeaky, it may be time to change your brake fluid.

Transmission fluid

Transmission fluid is a special oil that keeps the transmission cool and smooth. It also acts as a clutch to help shift gears in automatic vehicles. Check it regularly with a dipstick while the engine is running and top up with automatic transmission fluid (ATF) if necessary.

Manual transmissions use gear oil instead of ATF. The viscosity rating of gearbox oil is different from that of ATFs, so do not use the former in an automatic transmission mechanism.


Engine coolant prevents your engine from overheating and freezing. The intervals for replacing this fluid vary depending on the type of coolant used in your vehicle’s cooling system (refer to the manufacturer’s manual).

Engine oil

Engine oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine to prevent overheating. Replace it after every 3000 miles or so (refer to the manufacturer’s manual) and check it regularly with a dipstick while the engine is cold.

The right engine oil for your vehicle will depend on the model and climate, but in general you want something with a high viscosity that won’t thin out too much in hot weather. Synthetic oil is the best option if you often drive long distances or have an old car.


Hopefully this breakdown has given you an idea of ​​what vehicle tuning is all about. Save it here for helpful guides and information!