TO Tune-up – The tune-up process has been obsolete for decades. On late model cars 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 automatically controlled electronically by the powertrain control module. In spite of this, many people still call replacing their spark plugs and air filter a tune-up, when in fact what they are actually carrying out 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.
The Chassis Lubrication – Some cars and trucks may have grease fittings on the ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. The same thing goes for some heavy-duty aftermarket replacement ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. But on most late model vehicles and light trucks, the original equipment steering, suspension and drivetrain joints are all sealed for life and do not need any lubrication or service.
The Fuel Filter – Changing the fuel filter every few years or 30,000 to 50,000 miles may be recommended for preventive maintenance, but many motorists have never had a fuel filter replaced! Unless you get dirt or rust in your fuel tank, the fuel filter should last for years or tens of thousands of miles. Many late model vehicles and light trucks no longer even have a recommended fuel filter replacement interval. Instead, they have a “lifetime” fuel filter found inside the fuel tank as part of the fuel pump assembly. Unless your vehicle is experiencing a fuel delivery issues, therefore, there is no need to replace the filter.
The Wheel Alignment – Accurate wheel alignment is vital to minimize tire wear and to keep your car traveling straight. If your car has been experiencing unusual tire wear, your wheels may have to be aligned. But if the tires are wearing normally and your vehicle 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 purchase new tires. But if your old tires do not indicate 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 components are worn or damaged.
The Engine Flush – An engine flush circulates a cleaning chemical all around the engine to remove sludge, varnish and other contaminants. If you have neglected regular oil replacements and your engine is full of sludge, this would be a recommended service. However, if you have replaced your oil regularly, and your engine indicates no signs of abnormal deposit formation, there should be no basis for your engine flushed.