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Do-It-Yourself Auto Tuneups
Most automobiles today have electronic ignition and fuel injection. Along with these computers took over the control of engine settings, so tuneup is pretty old fashioned for today's auto world. However you can replace normal parts to improve engine performance. Some of these parts are:
- Spark Plug Wire Sets-These have become less of a problem as new materials and sizing have reduced failures.
- Spark Plugs-These are a good indicator of enegine condition. Removing and inspecting these can tell you plenty about how the engine is running and where poblems may lie. Spark plugs should be removed and inspected every 30,000 miles. This will prevent them from seizing in the block, which can cause expensive repairs down the road. Keep track of which plug came from which cylinder, this can tell you which cylinder may be having a problem.
- Distributor Cap & Rotor-These are usually plastic and will deteriorate with age and use. Moisture may seep in from cracks these maydevelop over time. Metal contacts on both can also corrode causing misfiring.
You can also change filters on a regular basis to increase your vehicle's longevity. These are some of the filters:
- Fuel Filter-Injector inlet screens can get clogged by contaminates if not caught by the fule filter. Any dirt reaching the injector itself can clog or damage the pintle valve and seat. If not replaced regularly fuel flow to the engine can become restricted. This will result in stalling, loss of high sped power and hard starting. Your fuel filter should be replaced every 30,000 miles or yearly.
- Oil Filter-These are easy to replace and can prevent unnecessary engine wear. The oil filter's job is to remove rust particles, soot and other contaminants from the oil, These should be repaced verey 3,000 miles.
- Air Filter-These remove dirt by trapping particles as the air passes through the filter media. These also protect the carburetor in older cars, thus preventing dirt from clogging air bleeds and metering jets. Air filters should be replaced every 20,000 miles, more often if you drive in dusty areas.
Some other maintenance parts that you will want to include in your tuneups include:
- Vacuum Hoses-All of these should be inspected and replaced as needed. May of your vehicle's major systems depend on the manifold vacuum for signals and function.
- Temperature Sensors-These can be a good weekend project, as they can cause poor performance problems. These control the fuel injection system, cooling system and the exhaust system also.
Remembering to include these in your tuneup can help extend the life of your vehicle and improve its overall performance. Remember, a clean engine runs cooler and is much less likely to have premature failur of other parts and is easier to work on.
Keep in mind, that before starting any project, you should know your vehicle's systems and particular requirements before begining the work. If you don't understand how it works, don't try fixing it. Have a safe and happy tuneup, your vehicle will appreciate it!