Are you a local Blaine, MN commuter? One of the main highways in the area is Highway 65, also known as Central; Clark Automotive is located behind the Menard’s. We stand for quality services, affordable pricing and direct answers the your exact vehicle repair questions. Our shop preforms multiple vehicle repairs, such as brake, electrical, suspension and alignment repairs and tune-ups. Because tune-up services are a variety of different things we would like to go into more detail:
PART One: What is a Tune-Up?
The ignition systems works together with the fuel management system to provide that the vehicle is operating properly. What is generally considered the “tune-up” today is just the replacement of the spark plugs. A tune-up is a Recommended Maintenance that is preventive and cost effective at a specified mileage.
Types of Ignition Systems:
- Some vehicles have what is called, “coil over plug” ignition systems. That means there is an ignition coil over each spark plug and no spark plug wires. This tune-up amounts to replacing the plugs and inspecting each coil and coil insulation boot. I can’t recall ever recommending that all the coils be replaced at once, that would be very costly.
- The next type of ignition system (mostly on older vehicles) has a distributor, coil, spark plug wires and plugs. This type of ignition system tune up normally replaces the distributor cap and rotor, wires, and plugs. As the engine installations became more complicated, this type of ignition system was expensive and difficult to maintain.
There are combinations of these two systems, but the bottom line is to know what mileage a tune-up is due at, and to get an estimate of its cost. A tune-up estimate can vary in price – from quite reasonable to extremely expensive. The cost varies depending on the type of ignition system, engine and how it fits into the vehicle. The point being you need to get a cost estimate, when the mileage that the manufacture is recommending approaches. Many repair facilities recommend a tune-up be done early, because the ignitions system needs some other type of repair. At Clark Automotive Clinic, it is very rarely recommended that an early tune-up is required with an ignition system repair that has turned on the check engine light.
PART Two: What is The Ignition System?
The ignition system is comprised of many individual sensors and other parts. The ignition system provides the spark for each cylinder spark plug, at the correct time, causing the cylinder to fire the mixture of compressed air and fuel. The major components are the computer, coils, spark plugs, plug wires, numerous sensors, and a battery. You can expect to do repairs to the ignition system that is not a tune-up. There is no set maintenance schedule for ignition system repairs other than a tune-up. Ignition system failures generally will set the check engine light. So in and of itself the tune-up is not rocket science, but other ignition system repairs can be difficult to diagnose. At Clark Automotive we customize our ignition system repair recommendations.
Our recommendation is the result of; diagnostic findings, miles, type of vehicle use, type ignition system, and vehicle age. Another compounding factor is what other repairs that might be required in the near term that may share labor time. Ignition systems have many moving and electronic parts; are complicated, and many failures exhibit the same symptoms.
The fact that there are repairs to the ignition, that many call a tune-up, can make it even more confusing. These ignition system repairs generally require a diagnostics test following a protocol shown in our diagnostics library. The recommended tune-up does not require other things to be done with it, and is again considered preventive maintenance, requiring no diagnostics.
PART Three: What is the Fuel System?
The fuel system is also comprised of many individual sensors and other parts. The fuel system provides the fuel mixed with air to each cylinder at the correct time to be ignited by the ignition system. The ignition system and fuel system work together and their repair and maintenance can get very intermingled and/or confusing. As with the ignition system failures – this system will generally set the check engine light. The major components are the fuel pump, fuel filter, air cleaner, throttle body, intake manifold, injectors, fuel regulator, and computer.
The only preventive maintenance procedure in the fuel system is the fuel and air filters. The replacement times are listed in the recommended maintenance schedule. Yes, the ignition and fuel systems share the same computer. The troubleshooting of these two systems requires experience, special equipment, and diagnostic data support. The poor old fuel filter perhaps is the most neglected part on the average car. When they go bad the result can cause premature fuel pump failure, the car may not run and can be a diagnostic nightmare.
If your in need of a tune-up, suspect your car has been misdiagnosed or that it is experiencing one or many of these issues contact Clark Automotive, we know how to keep your car and you happy. We are in the business of making Life Long Customers and we do that by treating you right!
Call us today at 763-784-7944!
And look for our next ‘Auto Tune-Up- Part 2’ Blog soon!