No such thing as a Tune-up - Focus Fanatics
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Focus Fanatics > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-17-2014, 05:21 PM   #1
Buildist
Focus Enthusiast
 
Buildist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Fan#: 150994
Location: North Olmsted, OH
What I Drive: 2012 Blue Focus SE

Posts: 125
FF Reputation: 1 Buildist Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
No such thing as a Tune-up

It seems a lot of people know the term "Tune-up" and have heard their Fathers, Uncles, and Grandfathers, as well as Moms, Aunts, and Grandmothers, use the term when talking about cars. When you see a personal sale ad for a car the owner may claim that it runs great, but just not right now because it needs a Tune-up. However, when you ask someone what is done in a tune-up most people have no clue......but they can tell when their car needs one, supposedly.

The day of the Tune-up is long gone. There is no such thing.

"Back in the day" a Tune-up was a critical part of car ownership. There were no computers on cars, no electronic ignition, not much of what you find under the hood now, technology-wise.

A Tune-up used to involve the following...


Replace the condenser in the distributor.
Set the gap on the ignition points after cleaning them, or replacing the points and setting the gap.
Set ignition timing.
Changing the sparkplugs after gapping the new plugs.
Changing the distributor cap and rotor.
Cleaning the choke on the carburetor.
Adjust the choke on the carburetor
Setting idle speed on the carburetor.
Setting idle mixture on the carburetor.
Replacing the PCV valve.

If needed, spark plug wires might need to be replaced.



However, on today's cars almost all of these things NO LONGER EXIST.

There are no more carburetors. Because of this no choke needs to be cleaned or adjusted. You do not need to adjust anything for the idle mixture or idle speed on a fuel injected car.

Electronic ignition elimnated the old points and condenser systems long ago, thus no points and condensers need to be cleaned, replaced, or adjusted.

Many cars, and almost all of the latest cars, don't even have a distributor. Because of this there is no distributor cap and rotor to replace, and no spark plug wires to replace on cars with coil over plug ignition systems. Timing is not adjustable on cars as it does not change. What used to cause the timing to change no longer exists.

Some engines don't even have a PCV valve anymore.

You can still change sparkplugs but most manufacturers use platinum plugs that last about 100,000 miles, so it is not likely you will be needing new plugs for years.


So when you get a "Tune-up" what is left that NEEDS REGULAR ATTENTION, which is what a Tune-up addreses? If you've got 60,000 - 100,000 miles on your car you might need new sparkplugs (4 or 6 of them) and maybe a PCV valve. How much will this cost you? About $70 or more for 4 - 6 sparkplugs and extra for a PCV valve, for those who have this "service" done?


"Tune-up" is a powerful word. Even people who wouldn't know whether to use a screwdriver or a socket on something under their hood knows this word. It is a "left-over" that has been around for decades and makes one sound like they know something about cars. The fact is, except for the sparkplugs, everything else that was a Tune-up is gone forever from our engines, and at that you don't have to change sparkplugs on most engines every 2 years or 24,000 miles like "back in the day."

Don't get suckered the next time a mechanic tells you that your car needs a tune-up. Tell them to say specifically what your car needs, because everything he just said doesn't exist anymore.


Steve


Buildist is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-17-2014, 05:24 PM   #2
TKG26
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Fan#: 117681
Location: Ottawa, Canada
What I Drive: 2013/Grey/Ti-Focus

Posts: 162
FF Reputation: 1 TKG26 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Its called a scheduled maintenance now :-) or an oil change with a 30second visual.. if the computer s dont report faults and you dont experience odd noises or performance. .. oil change is all ya get
TKG26 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
leavingmarks
Focus Enthusiast
 
leavingmarks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Fan#: 139145
Location: Bowie, MD
What I Drive: 2013 Tuxedo Black SE Hatchback

Posts: 521
FF Reputation: 1 leavingmarks Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Great write up.
leavingmarks is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #4
Buildist
Focus Enthusiast
 
Buildist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Fan#: 150994
Location: North Olmsted, OH
What I Drive: 2012 Blue Focus SE

Posts: 125
FF Reputation: 1 Buildist Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKG26 View Post
Its called a scheduled maintenance now :-) or an oil change with a 30second visual.. if the computer s dont report faults and you dont experience odd noises or performance. .. oil change is all ya get
I have never taken a car to a shop to have this kind of work done, so I only know what it was like while I was a tech in the late 1980's, as far as how shops view this.

I believe it costs extra to have your car hooked up to a computer other than just to check for codes?


Scheduled maintenance I can go for. "Tune-up" seems to get wielded like a weapon though.

Thanks for the kudos, leavingmarks.


Steve
Buildist is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 06:36 PM   #5
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,083
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Memberwhynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Memberwhynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I use "tune-up" all the time to describe regular maintenance operations on this vehicle. Certainly, regular isn't quite as regular as it was in the days of contact point ignitions. However, there are a few things- often overlooked- that I use tune-up to remind people about. I also recommend that vehicles with odd running problems involving fuel swap out platinum plugs for standard (we know as nickel steel) plugs- I bet you can guess why.

1) MAF cleaning and A/F reset if having fuel economy issues
2) Fuel filter change: Used to be every 20k miles, thanks to E infused gasoline- I think that 20k or 1 year is a better choice.
3) Spark plug check at about 30k, remove, check gap. If the car is used but new to the person, they should remove the plugs and reinstall with anti-seize thanks to the aluminum heads.
4) Not related to vehicle performance, but it's a good idea to check that cabin air filter if the car has one every 10k miles. Those things will collect dust, then moisture, then make black mold that is toxic to inhale.
5) COP spark plug boots. Those do go bad- typically around the same time as the plugs.


Anyway, I digress. I've written "check spark plug gap, change wires if lifetime warranty, replace fuel filter, check PCV hose and valve, clean MAF, and reset A/F" so many times on here that I get fed up with it. Too many people in this age think that they can solve all their vehicle problems with a scan, when the overwhelming number of issues are due to age and lack of maintenance. I just got done with a guy in PM who was having running issue with his car- fuel pressure was low, and it was a very old fuel filter. Unfortunately, your car (and my 13 CMax) has no filter to change. That really stinks. I guess Ford got fed up with people who don't change it until it clogs up and KO's the fuel pump, so they figured why bother? It all has to be replaced for warranty purposes anyway! We wouldn't want some schmuck who takes care of his car to get past 150k without changing a pump! That's the way it goes. I could write for days about the things I know that Ford has done to satisfy consumers.

Nice writeup BTW... don't mind me, I'm just blabbing after work.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
dyn085
That Guy
 
dyn085's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Fan#: 98047
Location: Fayetteville, NC
What I Drive: 2014 FiST/FoST

Posts: 11,993
FF Reputation: 47 dyn085 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
Some people still think that newer cars need a 3k mile OCI, so it doesn't surprise me that people would think that tune-ups exist. It's what the automotive-service industry pushes because it makes people feel better about wasting their hard-earned money. As an added bonus to the service industry, parents will then inform their children of it for free, to which they all continue the endless waste cycle.

Nice write-up though. Hopefully it opens up some eyes that were previously closed.
__________________

FocusFest 2013: Best of Show
Gateway FFW: Show Class Outstanding
September '13 ROTM
2014 FiST-
dyn085 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 06:51 PM   #7
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,083
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Memberwhynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Memberwhynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I swear I'm buying electric next. Just change tires and brake pads.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 06:53 PM   #8
leavingmarks
Focus Enthusiast
 
leavingmarks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Fan#: 139145
Location: Bowie, MD
What I Drive: 2013 Tuxedo Black SE Hatchback

Posts: 521
FF Reputation: 1 leavingmarks Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
And the batteries when they eventually wear out..
leavingmarks is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
sailor
"Elder"
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 12,273
FF Reputation: 62 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
A Tune-Up is Not a Cure-All

That sign was posted in a Cycle Shop I once worked in, since it was not uncommon for someone to drop a bike off for scheduled maint. & figure that would cover any issues - even not running at all!
__________________
"Rubber Side Down"

S.R. #275
sailor is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 08:17 PM   #10
sykozis
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Fan#: 137929
Location: Newport News, VA
What I Drive: 2005 Ford Focus

Posts: 208
FF Reputation: 1 sykozis Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I can't count how many times we're had customers walk up to our service writers and say "My car needs a tune-up." Then, after 30 minutes of trying to figure out what problem the customer is actually having, find out that they haven't changed their oil in almost 20K miles, they still have the original fuel filter and plugs after 150K, the air filter has become an air dam and their coolant looks like it came from the swamp. At that point, regardless of the decade, a tune-up becomes a waste of money.

We had a customer walk in a couple months ago asking for a "tune-up". The service writer, trying to make sure we're doing everything the guy wants, asks "You want the spark plugs replaced, right?" The customer actually got upset and asked to talk to our manager. Our manager had to walk the guy out to his car, pop the hood and use the engine as a visual aide to explain why we no longer offer a "tune-up service".... The guy ended up getting a transmission to resolve the problem that he seemed to think a "tune-up" would magically fix.
__________________
There is a madness to my methods!!
sykozis is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:05 AM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information : Site Map

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.