Car Tune-Up in Tulsa, OK

What is a Car Tune-Up?

The term “tune-up” has certainly changed over the years of automotive innovation, but the basic idea remains the same. A car tune-up is going to refer to a series of minor adjustments, replacements, and auto repairs that are centered on the upkeep of the health of your vehicle and increasing its longevity. A tune-up is a set of routine maintenance tasks that will help the major systems in your car or truck operate to their best ability and prolong the life of the automobile. 

Having a regular car tune-up is an important part of owning a motor vehicle and should be attended to as you add miles on your car or truck. Though not as frequent as regular oil changes or having your tires rotated, a tune-up is a necessary component of the preventative maintenance for your vehicle and will help you avoid a more expensive repair or a serious mechanical failure in the future. 

What Repairs Does a Tune-Up Involve? 

A tune-up will involve several distinct elements that need to be replaced, restored, or repaired. Though there are several portions of a typical tune-up, you should expect:

  • Car filters checked and replaced, if necessary.
  • Belts and hoses checked and replaced.
  • Wipers inspected and replaced.
  • Electrical system inspected.
  • Spark plugs replaced if needed.
  • All sensors and checks inspected. 
  • Inspection and replacement of ignition coils, wires, and other components.
  • Distributor and rotor caps are replaced if applicable.

Keep it Clean with New Filters

Engine Air Filter

The first main filter that will be inspected during a tune-up will be your engine air filter. The air filter in your engine helps keep the air that runs through the engine clean and prevents dirt, other particles, and debris from getting into your engine and causing potential damage. As this filter collects dirt and dust, it becomes less effective in filtering out such particles and will need to be replaced.

Cabin Air Filter

Maintaining the air quality in the cabin of your vehicle will help make you and your passengers safe from exhaust fumes, dirt particles in the outside air, and other pollutants from the engine and outside. Keeping the breathability of the air inside your cabin is a crucial part of driving and requires a clean cabin air filter to be safe for you and your passengers. 

Oil Filter

During every oil change, your oil filter will need to be replaced as it collects the particles and built-up debris from your used and depleted engine oil. Most car tune-ups will include an oil change and will change your oil filter as well. 

Fuel Filter and PCV Valve

The last filters that will be inspected and potentially changed are going to be the fuel filter and the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve. Though completely different from each other, these two play a major role in keeping the quality of your fuel and air in good condition. 

Replacing Spark Plugs, Wires, and Other Ignition Components 

The ignition system in your car or truck consists of many smaller components that all work together to start your engine consistently and safely. As the ignition is a system that uses and conducts electricity, many of the conducting elements will wear out eventually and need repair or replacing. The main parts of the ignition that are replaced during an engine tune-up are the spark plug, ignition wires, ignition coils, and coil boots. 

Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in your ignition create an electrical arc that combines with the fuel mixture in your engine to start the combustion process of ignition. As the spark plugs are constantly exposed to great heat and electrical current, they will burn out and cause misfiring of the ignition. During any tune-up, we will check your spark plugs and replace them if necessary. 

Ignition Wires

Over time, the wires in your ignition will wear out and need replacing. Some signals that you need to replace your ignition wiring are rough idling, misfiring when trying to start your ignition or some performance loss.

Ignition Coils

The ignition coils work to create high voltage electrical currents from the low voltage pulses from the battery. As these are used, the current will eventually lead to weakened acceleration, poor gas mileage, and rough idling. 

Belts, Hoses, and Auxiliary Systems

The belts and hoses of your vehicle allow many of the moving components in your engine and other systems to move and transfer fluid without putting strain on these systems. As most of the belts and hoses in your vehicle are going to be made of rubber and are exposed to intense friction, heat, and movement, they will wear down eventually. 

It is far better to maintain these elements than to wait until they are about to break, as doing so could cause severe damage to your vehicle and leave you stranded somewhere. 

Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt is located in the front of the engine and moves through a series of pulleys. As this belt is exposed to intense heat and constant movement, it will need to be inspected and potentially replaced during a tune-up.

Belt Tensioner

The belt tensioner for your vehicle ensures the belts are held at the proper tension in order to function at their best. This instrumental function will need to be calibrated correctly during a car tune-up to ensure that all other belts will function correctly. 

Timing Belt

The timing belt controls the timing for several different components in your engine and should be replaced every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. 


There are several hoses that run throughout your entire vehicle and transport various fluids to different systems. Because these fluids are constantly moving through your vehicle, it leaves the hoses susceptible to wear and dry-rot over time. During every turn-up, you should have your hoses checked for leaks or wear. 

Keep Your Cool with the Correct Fluids

Another key component of every tune-up is to keep your fluids at the proper levels. Maintaining your motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid will make sure that your vehicle is running smoothly and is well-lubricated.

Request a Quote for a Tune-Up

Whether you have gone too long since your last tune-up or you need a check engine light diagnostic, our team of ASE Certified Mechanics will help you through all your auto care needs. Request a quote today and let Tate Boys Tire & Service be your trusted auto mechanic for all your maintenance and auto repair needs. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

An auto tune-up is generally a two-step process. It consists of a thorough initial inspection, followed by the actual tune-up service. During the inspection, visual checks of the engine’s fuel system components are performed. This is to ensure that the fuel injectors are clean, the fuel filter is free of contaminants, and the fuel pump itself is undamaged and functioning correctly.

As part of the inspection, the spark plugs are examined, and their performance is evaluated. The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve is checked, along with the air filter. Oil and coolant levels are monitored. Typically, the ignition timing is also assessed.

The extent of a tune-up service largely depends on what’s discovered during the inspection. As a rule, in order to verify that the engine is receiving the correct spark and air/fuel mix, the cap, rotor, spark plugs, wires, and PCV valve are usually replaced. The same holds true for all the filters. 

Frequently referred to as preventative maintenance, tune-ups should be completed according to the schedule outlined in your owner’s manual. It will contain the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for your car’s make and model.

In general, older vehicles without electronic ignition systems should be tuned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles—or once a year. A newer car with electronic ignition and fuel injection can last 25,000 miles—or in some cases as long as 100,000 miles—without the need for a major tune-up.

The greatest benefit of a tune-up is the assurance you’ll have in knowing that your car is running smoothly. And if it isn’t, we’ll find out why. Our mechanics will diagnose and identify the issue and recommend the right solution, thus avoiding potential future damage to your car’s systems.

Other routine services that can give you a significant advantage include:

These regular maintenance checks will improve your car’s engine performance and fuel economy, plus give you peace of mind concerning its reliability and safety.

Request a Quote For A Tune Up

If your car displays a fault or isn’t running efficiently, don’t ignore the issue. It may signify a deeper problem that will only worsen if not dealt with—and cost more to repair.

Here are some common indicators of potential trouble:

  • Engine light comes on: This is the car’s diagnostic system sending you a message—an engine fault code. It’s in your best interest to get the car inspected as soon as possible. At Tate Boys, we have a check-engine light service designed to trace out the fault and set your mind at ease.
  • Stalling: If your car stalls or doesn’t accelerate properly, it can become a serious safety concern. Even a minor lag when driving through an intersection or merging with traffic can be dangerous. Basically, the car is telling you that the engine’s performance has been compromised.
  • Poor fuel economy: Filling the tank more often at the pump lately? Your engine may not be running at optimal efficiency.
  • Brake problems: Are you experiencing a soft, spongy pedal when you apply the brake? Do you hear strange grinding, squealing, or scraping sounds? Has your stopping distance increased? Brake problems are critical and need to be addressed at once.
  • Rough shifting: When driving, a sudden lurching motion or too much lag time during gear shifts could indicate a transmission problem. The transmission is a complex unit that interacts closely with several other drivetrain systems. Have it checked out as soon as possible. Too long a delay could result in a very costly repair.
  • Vibrations or shaking: If the steering or front end begins to vibrate, we need to find out why. Trouble can originate in a number of systems throughout the car, including the steering and suspension components. It’s best to have the professionals at Tate Boys check it out for you.

If your vehicle begins to exhibit any of the aforementioned red flags, be proactive and have one of our auto care professionals inspect it and give you an accurate assessment. Don’t wait until your car breaks down!

Here’s a tune-up checklist, designed to help you track the services performed and the parts replaced during a general tune-up:

  • Ignition: Usually the first system checked. This includes ignition coils, spark plugs and wires, and other electrical system components.
  • Filters: The oil, fuel, air, and cabin air filters are checked and replaced. These filters function to remove contaminants from systems throughout the car.  
  • Belts & Hoses: Belts create necessary rotating force and hoses transfer fluids throughout your car’s engine and other vital systems.
  • Fluids: These would include engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. All are checked, drained out and replaced, or topped off as needed.

Since the work involved in the tune-up is based upon the results of the preliminary inspection, it’s hard to give a definitive answer. Ask the friendly service staff at Tate Boys for a free car repair quote. This way you’ll know how much the inspection will run. Afterwards, it’s just a matter of the individual systems that may need attention. 

In point of fact, it’s safe to say that the cost of the tune-up will be far less than the expenses you may face if you take your car for granted.

Tate Boys can help protect your investment by keeping your car in peak running condition. We offer a comprehensive range of auto services, including brake repair, auto AC repair, oil changes, flat tire repair, preventative maintenance, and much more. 

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