The concept of a car “tune-up” has changed considerably over the years.
With the advent of contemporary electronics systems, many of the items that formerly needed attention in the maintenance procedure known as a tune-up no longer even exist in cars.
Points, condensers, and rotors, have all fallen by the wayside, displaced by modern electronic ignition systems. Similarly, the adoption of hydraulic valves, lifetime transmission fluids, and self-adjusting clutches has transformed those items into self-maintaining components as well.
Today’s “tune-up” is more about changing filters and fluids than it is replacing physical parts. In fact, in most instances it isn’t even called a tune-up any more, it’s referred to as a “major service” and is typically conducted every two years, or 30,000 miles — whichever, as they say, comes first.
If you have an older car, one built before roughly 1980 or so, your car may well require attention in physical areas as well as fluid and filter changes. For that reason, we’ll cover those items as well. However, to find out which tools, parts and procedures apply to your car and which do not, consult your owner’s manual.