If you’re like the average American, you rely on your car to keep your life moving. Whether it’s traveling back and forth to your job or picking up the kids from school, your car is most likely indispensable for you, and if your car were to stop running, you’d be in a lot of trouble. For those of us with older, used vehicles the chances that the car will encounter some problem in the future increase every year that goes by.


Even though we understand that our cars are invaluable to our lives, many of us are overly lax when it comes to the maintenance of our vehicles. Regularly checking the levels of various fluids such as antifreeze and oil will allow you to keep an eye on how your car is performing and when to make an appointment with your mechanic for diagnostics. Even those of us who enjoy working on cars have schedules that could prevent them from working on their car.


Unless you’re a mechanic or are familiar with working on cars, you may not be well-versed with what a tune-up entails. Because there are untrustworthy mechanics and garages, it’s important to arm yourself with the facts, so you know what your car needs before you drop your car off. It’s also very important that you find a reputable mechanic as soon as possible. Ask your friends and family members for a referral if you’re having difficulty in finding someone you can trust.


You may think a tune-up is a waste of money since there’s nothing wrong with your car, but it’s important to keep your vehicle older running as well as possible and not just react to problems that happen because of lack of care. Most shops will include the following services to perform a standard tune-up.



Checking the ignition components like the spark plugs, wires, and coils will help ensure that all parts of the electrical system are running smoothly. Newer cars typically don’t need spark plugs replaced before they hit 50,000 miles, but older cars should have them switched out after every 30,000 miles.


Air Filter

Just like in your home needs to be often changed to ensure that you’re breathing clean air, the air filter in your car also needs to be changed so that dirt and debris do not go into your engine, which would cause another, larger problem. Air filters should be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on how much you drive your car.


Belts and Hoses

To keep the engine running smoothly, a mechanic should check your belts and hoses, and determine whether or not these are going to break soon. Belts keep the drive system running, while hoses make sure that fluids are evenly distributed throughout your car.


While it may not be the most exciting car expense you make, having regular tune-ups once a year will give you peace of mind that your older car will keep running for years to come.