A Complete Tune-Up

This spring, you get out your lawn-mower and it just won’t start. You’ve nearly ripped your arm off trying to pull the starter rope, but the engine simply refuses to start, even though you’ve adjusted the choke and checked the gas. Defeated, you take the stubborn thing in for a tune-up, which runs you about sixty bucks. But when you take your car to your NAPA AUTOPRO shop for a tune-up, the service advisor tells you that it’ll be a few hundred dollars. Flabbergasted, you ask why it costs so much more than tuning up your lawn-mower.

You realize that you’ve driven nearly 100,000 km, but you’ve only had the oil changed and gotten a bit of minor maintenance here and there. For the majority of vehicles, 100,000 km is the recommended mileage between two tune-ups. Your car got you through all four seasons, never failed to start up, and has served you reliably over the months and years. But eventually the car’s onboard computer could no longer reconfigure the settings to make the car run properly, and some parts have reached the end of their life and need to be replaced.

So the spark plugs need to be changed. If your car has a V6 or V8 engine, the engine might have to be moved to reach them. Long-lasting automotive spark plugs cost around $40, while lawn-mower sparks plugs are less than $5! The insulation on the wires that connect the ignition coils and spark plugs has cracked and moisture is getting through–that’s more parts that need to be replaced. After the odometer’s been checked, the injectors will need a complete cleaning, or even before if your car has a direct injection engine, which can take a while. If you also add replacing the timing belt, a computer analysis if the Check Engine light is on, an oil change, and replacing the air, gas, oil, and cabin filters, you can see it takes a solid half-day of work to restore your vehicle to its former glory so you can cover another 100,000 km.

However, the benefits will be obvious. At the pump, your vehicle will use one or two litres less gas per 100 km. It’ll accelerate more quickly and change gears more smoothly. The engine will start up instantly, and you’ll stop worrying about breaking down whenever you’re driving out of the city. Now your tune-up bill makes sense!