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Traditional tune-ups are an
important part of preventive
maintenance on older cars, the mechanical engine parts
must be manually adjusted.
If your car is a 1999 or older, you still need a tune-up.
A tune-up is needed about
every 2 years depending on your
Check your owner’s manual for the tune-up schedule for your
A tune-up refers to engine wear stuff, such as
spark plug wires, ignition wires, air filter, distributor
and rotor, oxygen sensor, timing belt, check and
The distributor controls
the firing sequence of your spark plugs,
ensuring that your cylinders fire in the right order.
O2 sensors were mandatory
on all cars manufactured since 1981.
Classic cars built
before about 1980 usually have simple Kettering
ignition systems that can be maintained by DIYers.
spark plugs, ignition points, ignition leads, etc
owner's manual for information about ignition
gaps, firing order, timing advance and spark
Replacing your car’s air
filter annually is one of the easiest car
tune up tasks, and it can make your engine run
car still has its points and condenser, your points need
to be cleaned, re-gaped or replaced as part of the
Points are a regular wear item, just like tires and brake
and should be replaced every 10,000 - 15,000 miles,
on your driving habits.
Improperly maintained points can result in difficulty starting,
lack of power, and poor fuel economy.
The ignition points will be held in with 2 screws.
One screw can be used to set the gap, the other holds
A wire from the outside of the distributor connects to the condenser
and the ignition switch.
the spark plugs, distributor cap and plug leads in
the correct order.
use different kinds of spark plugs, check your
manual for what kind your car takes.
replacing your spark plugs, it’s important
that you only
work on one plug at a time.
The order of installation matters when it
comes to the timing of your
plugs, and the easiest way to preserve that
order is to only work on
one plug at a time.
If the spark
plug leads are not numbered, use a marker to
No.1 cylinder is at the front of the car.
With transverse motors No.1 cylinder is
nearest the radiator.
Note where the No.1 lead enters the distributor
gently removing the wire from the first
Once the wire has been removed, use your
spark plug socket with
your ratchet to uninstall the plug; use
the extender if space is tight
or you need extra leverage.
spark plug lead at the plug end as
close to the motor as
you can get and pull straight out.
new plugs before you install them.
Set a feeler
gauge to the required gap and place
between the center
electrode and the side one.
Do not attempt to adjust the
Bend the outside one with pliers to open,
tap gently on
a firm surface to close.
A firm sliding fit with the gauge square
to the plug shows the
the replacement plug by hand, and
then tighten it until
snug with your ratchet, do not over-tighten.
Finally, replace the wire on the new spark plug.
the plug wires onto them while noting the firing order.
Repeat this process for each individual
filters may also need to be replaced during a tune-up.
Like your air filter, the fuel filter keeps dirt and contaminants
may be in your fuel system from reaching sensitive
like fuel injectors, where they could affect engine
Check your owner's manual or ask your mechanic for
recommendation on when the fuel filter should