7 Signs Your Car Needs a Tune-up

December 22nd, 2022 by

How do you know when your car needs a tune-up? An older model that has a non-electric ignition should be serviced every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or annually. Newer vehicles with fuel injection systems and electronic ignitions should be serviced every 25,000 up to 100,000 miles. However, every automobile is different and may need to be checked out prior to these time frames. Your owner’s manual is an excellent resource for tune-up guidelines. Your local dealership is an ideal place to get your vehicle in shape and safe to drive. Here are seven signs that your car needs a tune-up.

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New or Strange Noises

If you hear unfamiliar noises coming from your vehicle while driving, that could indicate that something is amiss. A pounding noise may mean that a part is loose. Your car might be low on fluids if you hear a screeching sound. Hearing a squealing noise from under your hood when you start the car could signal a worn or loose belt. A deteriorating constant velocity joint generally causes a clunking sound from your wheels. An unbalanced tire could also make this noise.

Some drivers find it difficult to differentiate a pounding noise from a clunking noise. But don’t get caught up on the most accurate adjective. A service technician can locate the sound when you take it to their location. Addressing the noise is what’s most important. Various interconnecting, moving parts contribute to a smoothly running car. When one or more of those parts become loose or broken, it can damage your car if it isn’t repaired promptly.

Warning Lights

signs your car needs tune-up

Don’t ignore the warning lights on your dashboard. Whether the illuminated icons are flashing or simply remain on, they’re informing you that a problem or potential problem exists. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the cause associated with it if you’re unsure. The warning light could be on because of low tire pressure, the need for an oil change, or an engine malfunction.

Oftentimes, the warning light will remain on after you fix the issue yourself. This is common with oil changes and inflating tires. Your local dealership has service professionals who know how to remedy this. Schedule an appointment promptly to have the issue identified to prevent a larger and more expensive problem later.

Engine Start Struggles

When you attempt to start your car with the push of a button or the turning of a key, it should be simple and easy. If it won’t start or requires multiple attempts to start, you could have a diminished battery or a defective starter. A professional technician can assess if you have faulty spark plugs, need a new battery, or have a bad alternator.

You might also want to keep a pair of jumper cables in your trunk. It’s a great way to address this problem until you can visit your local service shop. Ask a friend to help you jump-start your engine if you find yourself in a bind.

Compromised Braking System

Your vehicle’s brakes are its top safety feature. They must be effective, functional, and responsive when you’re operating the car. A car’s braking system declines over time due to normal wear and tear. That’s why it’s important to get regular car tuneups that monitor your brakes’ performance. Any type of issue with your braking system is a cause for immediate attention. Don’t procrastinate to visit your local service department if you hear noise emitting from your brakes or the pedal feels softer than normal.

You should be able to bring your vehicle to a smooth and quiet stop when you press the brake pedal. A scraping or whining noise is a sign of a failing brake system. This is also true if you have to press your foot on the brake harder than normal to achieve a full stop. Your car’s brake fluid, brake pads, and rotors need to be monitored and maintained periodically to avoid these complications.


You put the pedal to the metal and your automobile lags somewhat before actually accelerating. Your car stalls after you stop at an intersection. These are signs of problems with your vehicle. Lagging or stalling when you’re trying to accelerate can be dangerous. Productive engines should deliver dependable performance, especially when you’re merging onto a busy highway. The stagnation could be coming from a dirty fuel filter, damaged spark plugs, or another hiccup.

Rugged Shifting

An automatic transmission system is designed for a smooth gear-shifting process. Being rocked back and forth when you’re shifting is a sign of a transmission issue. Automatic transmissions should do all of the work for you. When you shift your vehicle from drive to reverse and repeat, it should be an easy transition. If doing so is rough, abrupt, or difficult, it needs attention. Also, the gears shouldn’t begin downshifting or upshifting erratically. They run on transmission fluid, filters, and screens. These items require regular maintenance.

Vibration and Shaking

Beware of the occurrence of a vibration that doesn’t result from driving on damaged roads. Does your steering wheel shake when you drive at a certain speed? Does the whole car seem to shake at times? It may be caused by unbalanced or deteriorating tires, a tire on the verge of going flat, or a diminished universal joint. A wobbling feeling that’s triggered when you’re braking or starting your car is another sign to get a tuneup.

A regular car tuneup is important to catch mishaps before they become costly repairs or replacements. Your local car dealership is specially equipped to service your vehicle. Whether your automobile is overdue for maintenance or just needs an oil change, don’t procrastinate to ensure its care and safety. Our service team at Performance Honda is eager to assist you with your automobile needs. Contact us online today or give us a call at (513) 829-6900 to schedule your next appointment. We’re dedicated to serving customers like you in the Fairfield, Ohio, area.

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