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20th Century Tune-Up. Who needs one?

Current vehicle manufacturer advertising seems to suggest that a Tune Up  is not something your vehicle should require for years - or hundreds of thousands of kilometers.   As a mechanic, I would assert that the promises of lifetime filters and fluids or 160 000 kilometre spark plug change intervals, are a bit optimistic and can prove quite costly.     If spark plugs are left in an engine cylinder head for 160 000 km and the bulk of one’s driving is confined to the freeways of  Eastern Canada, the salt spray and resulting corrosion will render removal impossible.  Your first “tune up” will include major engine work.


Today’s vehicles go “out of tune”  as they are driven.   Engine, fuel injection and ignition system efficiency all deteriorate over time.  Your vehicle’s onboard computer, however, can compensate for this situation.  As a result, the principle driver will likely not recognize the loss of performance and the vehicle will probably run for years without any clear indication that it is going out of tune.  The misinformed owner will assume the odd trip to a Quick Lube is all the vehicle requires.   Thorough inspections and maintenance (changing fluids and filters) will not be performed on a regular basis.    Eventually, some part of the fuel or ignition system will fail and the owner will take the vehicle to a service centre saying   “  This has been a great vehicle, I haven’t had to do a thing to it for years, but its running a little rough.  Give it a tune up... .”  


As a mechanic, when I encounter such a request, I get very worried.  Why?  Compounded problems.  Excess wear and tear.    This vehicle requires much more than a tune up and the  wear and tear on this vehicle that may not be recoverable at a reasonable cost.  Carbon build up might be severe.  The crankcase ventilation system might be plugged.  The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system might be plugged.  The fuel pump might be worn out from working overtime trying to push the fuel through a restricted fuel filter.  The ignition coils and ignition module could be over stressed or burnt out from having to produce 80 000 volts instead of only 20 000 volts to fire the worn out spark plugs.  This vehicle must be diagnosed for a more serious type of performance problem.


The Nu-Tech Tune-Up


At Nu-Tech, maintaining your vehicle’s state of tune is an ongoing process of regular maintenance and inspection.  We monitor your vehicle’s state of tune with our General Engine Performance Analysis.   We recommend it  be performed  every 25,000 km -  or once every two years -  after your vehicle is four years old or has more than 50,000 km on its odometer.  The G.E.P.A. is a preventative maintenance procedure designed to catch problems that are creeping up but may not be evident.  This procedure looks at some key indicators of pending component failures or poor states of tune that will effect fuel efficiency and engine performance and longevity.  


The procedure features:

  • Road test

  • Read and evaluate the engine’s computerized control system parameters

  • Perform an ignition system analysis

  • Test the oxygen or air fuel ratio sensors

  • Interpret results and make recommendations


The General Engine Performance Analysis will be followed by a Intake Air System Maintenance and Inspection.  This procedure features a thorough inspection and cleaning of your engine’s air intake system using  a genuine  MotorVac Intake system cleaning detergent.  This will provide:  improved performance, a smooth strong controlled idle and optimum throttle response. 


Your Nu-Tech technician will perform the following procedure.

  • Test operation of hot air system where applicable.

  • Test positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system operation and replace filters and valves as necessary.

  • Clean throttle body and idle speed control motor where applicable.

  • Clean intake manifold on port fuel injected vehicle.

  • Inspect and replace air filter/filters as required



If your vehicle has reached 50,000 km or gone 50,000 km since the last one, we suggest the Complete MotorVac CarbonClean Fuel System Service.  This process verifies the integrity of the fuel system by measuring pressures and fuel flow.  It begins with an Intake Air System Maintenance and Inspection mentioned above.  It then proceeds to clean gum, varnish and carbon from the fuel injectors and  fuel rail, while removing carbon from the combustion chamber to the oxygen sensors and the catalytic converter.   All this takes place without any major disassembly of parts.  We guarantee you will feel the difference after this service.


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