When was the last time your car had a tune-up? While different automakers recommend tune-ups at different mileage intervals, most experts agree that cars should receive a tune-up about once every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Of course, there are some other tall-tale signs that your car needs a tune-up, including the following.
#1) Poor Gas Mileage
One of the most common signs that your car needs a tune-up is poor gas mileage. Normally, modern day cars should get about 20 to 30 miles per gallon. If you originally got 30 MPG but only only get 15 MPG, take your car to a mechanic or auto shop for servicing. A simple tune-up can make a world of difference in your car's gas mileage, saving you big bucks over the course of a year.
#2) Engine Stuttering
If your car's engine stutters, there's a good chance you need a tune-up. This symptom could be caused by any number of different problems, though it's likely associated with poor spark and/or insufficient fuel to the engine's combustion chamber. Even if a tune-up doesn't fix the stuttering, it's a good way to rule out other possible causes.
#3) Difficult to Start
How many times does it take you to start your car? Ideally, it should start the first time you turn the ignition. Unfortunately, though, this isn't always the case. Some drivers may spend 10 to 15 minutes just to start their car -- a characteristic sign that a tune-up is needed. When a car is difficult to start, it could be a sign of bad spark plugs. While tune-ups involve several different forms of maintenance, one of the most vital is spark plug replacement. So, if you're having trouble starting your car, consider taking your car in for a tune-up.
#4) Squeaky Breaks
If your breaks are squeaking, take your car in for a tune-up ASAP. Driving around with bad or otherwise failing brakes is a serious mistake. In addition to damaging your rotors, it increases the risk of serious injury. While a typical tune-up doesn't involve changing the brake pads, it does include checking -- and if necessary replacing -- brake fluid.
#5) Rough Transmission Shifts
Whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission, it should shift smoothly from one gear to the next. If it jerks roughly during shifts, you need to take your car to a mechanic or auto shop for a tune-up.
These are just a few common signs that your car needs a tune-up.