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5 Things Your Car May Not Need

by Larry Carley copyright AA1Car.com


Tune-up - The tune-up has been obsolete for decades. On late model vehicles with computerized engine controls, there is nothing to "tune" or manually adjust. Major engine functions such as idle speed, the fuel mixture and spark timing are all controlled electronically by the powertrain control module. In spite of this, many people still call changing their spark plugs and air filter a tune-up, when in fact what they are actually doing is scheduled preventive maintenance. Platinum and iridium spark plugs typically last upwards of 100,000 miles, and air filters can often go several years or 30,000 miles or more depending on driving conditions and dust exposure.

Related Articles:

What's a Tune-Up Today?

Spark Plugs: All The Details You Need To Know

Original Equipment Spark Plugs, Are They Best?

Don't Neglect the Spark Plugs

Why Spark Plugs Still Need To Be Replaced

Check Your Air Filter

grease gun

Chassis Lubrication - Some trucks may have grease fittings on the ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. The same goes for some heavy-duty aftermarket replacement ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. But on most late model cars, SUVs and light trucks, the original equipment steering, suspension and drivetrain joints are all sealed for life and do not require any lubrication or service. The low friction ball joints and tie rod ends are sealed for life and require no maintenance.

Related Information:

How To Inspect Your Car's Suspension

Ball Joints: Inspection & Replacement Tips

fuel filter

Fuel Filter - Replacing the fuel filter every few years or 30,000 to 50,000 miles may be recommended for preventive maintenance, especially on older vehicles. A dirty fuel filter can cause a restricton that may hurt performance or even cause a no start. However, on most late model cars, SUVs and light trucks, the fuel filter is part of the fuel pump assembly and is located inside the fuel tank. Most of these are high capacity "lifetime" filters that have no recommended replacement interval. There is no need to replace the filter unless your fuel tank has been contaminated with rust, sediment or dirt, or you are replacing the fuel pump.

Related Information:

Fuel Filters

wheel misalignment tire wear

Wheel Alignment - Accurate wheel alignment is essential to minimize tire wear and to keep your vehicle traveling straight. If your vehicle has been experiencing unusual tire wear, your wheels may need to be aligned. But if the tires are wearing normally and your car steers straight with no pulling toward either side, there should be no need to have the wheels aligned. Most tire stores recommend a wheel alignment check when you buy new tires. But if your old tires do not show abnormal wear and they lasted at least 60,000 miles, chances are your wheels are still in alignment. Once set, wheel alignment should not change unless steering or suspension parts are worn or damaged.

Related information:

Diagnosing Tire Problems

Tire Wear (What to look for, how to reduce it)

Fixing Common Alignment Problems

Basics of Wheel Alignment: Camber, Caster & Toe

Correcting Steering Pulls

oil change

Engine Flush - An engine flush circulates a cleaning chemical through the engine to remove sludge, varnish and other contaminants. If you have neglected regular oil changes and your engine is full of sludge, this would be a recommended service. However, if you have changed your oil regularly, and your engine shows no signs of abnormal deposit formation, there should be no need to have your engine flushed.

Related Information:

What Every Motorist Should Know About Motor Oil

Motor Oils & Lubricants

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

How To Change Your Oil

Related Articles:

How To Avoid Auto Repair Fraud Scams & Rip-Offs

Preventive Maintenance -- Tips For Taking Better Care Of Your Car

5 Things Your Car May Need Now!

5 Ways To Save Money on Auto Repairs

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