Why Your Vehicle Probably Doesn’t Need a Tune-Up

June 2nd, 2017 by

One of the most common questions we get at Wilsonville Toyota is, “Should I get a tune-up?” Typically, the answer is no. In fact, the reason you probably don’t need a tune-up is because tune-ups don’t really exist in regard to modern automobiles.

Wilsonville Toyota Tune-Up

Why Do We Use the Term Tune-Up?

Several years ago, vehicles often required tune-up related maintenance because they housed an array of parts that interacted mechanically. The parts would wear down relatively quickly and eventually require tune-ups to ensure the vehicle in question continued to run smoothly.

Why Were Tune-Ups Phased Out?

Something changed, however, when the majority of car manufactures started favoring electronic components (which are more expensive but last far longer) in place of the mechanical parts formerly used throughout the industry. With this transfer of materials came an end to tune-ups—as well as a wave of confusion among service customers. Even though the industry moved forward with the implementation of electronic components, the term tune-up stood firm in the auto world’s vocabulary.

Were They Replaced by Something Else?

This all leads to an important question: Is there a tune-up equivalent for modern vehicles? Well, not exactly. The maintenance job most closely related to a tune-up these days is a spark plug replacement. And in newer vehicles, spark plugs don’t need to be replaced often. So if you’re driving a new vehicle—or a car manufactured after the turn of the century—chances are you don’t need a tune-up because the parts that used to require such maintenance simply aren’t there anymore.

General Maintenance Suggestions

Although tune-ups aren’t relevant to current vehicles, there are still numerous parts and services that are important to monitor. That’s why we’ve compiled a small list of maintenance items you should keep an eye on to ensure your vehicle continues to run smoothly and safely.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are crucial to making sure your vehicle starts properly. The need for a spark plug replacement can vary depending on parts materials, but we typically suggest spark plugs be replaced approximately every 120,000 miles.

Timing Belt

Vehicles are generally outfitted with a timing belt or timing chain. If your vehicle is equipped with a timing belt, it’s our recommendation that you get the belt replaced every 90,000 miles or 9 years (whichever comes first).


Coolant is instrumental in ensuring your engine doesn’t overheat and, as a result, suffer irreparable damage. To make sure your engine is being cooled properly, we suggest changing your coolant about every 100,000 miles or 10 years.

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Posted in Parts, Service