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Automotive Tune Up Terms to Know
When bringing in your automobile to the body shop for regular maintenance and tune ups, it's important to know some of the terminology that will be used by the mechanics. In order to best understand what your car needs and what has been serviced, familiarize yourself with the following terms and definitions.
ABS - If you notice your ABS light on, it means there's a problem with your anti-lock brake system. While the light usually lights up when the ABS is being used, if it stays on, there might be a problem. This is an important thing to have checked out, as it prevents your brakes from locking up in wet or icy weather.
Alternator - Issues with the alternator are not uncommon. The alternator is the part that regulates the electricity within the car. Taking energy from the car's battery, it then sends it to all the electrical systems in the car. If the alternator fails, the car will likely stop running and need immediate repair.
Drive Belt - The drive belt, or serpentine belt, is used to power the motor's accessories like power steering, air conditioning, and the water pump. It can be a costly repair because the belt is intertwined throughout the body of the engine and is difficult to access.
Transmission - An automotive tune up should also look at the performance of your transmission. A problem with the transmission can be very expensive, as it is a complicated part that processes power from the engine and applies it to the car's axles. Preventative maintenance will be cheaper in the long-run.
Fluid Check - Your car needs regular oil changes, transmission fluid checks, and anti-freeze flushing. An oil change keeps your important engine gears and parts from damage and heat friction.
Your auto is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. Regularly scheduled tune ups and prompt repairs will go far in keeping your vehicle motoring along smoothly. An auto engine is made up of hundreds of parts that must work together in order for the vehicle to continue at peak performance. However, regular wear and tear of the motor occurs through driving the vehicle, and if regular maintenance does not get done, the parts begin to operate at a lower efficiency. Regularly scheduled tune ups check all the parts of your auto, including the brakes, transmission and battery, to ensure you get maximum fuel efficiency and a reliable vehicle.
Auto manufacturers always provide a suggested vehicle maintenance and tune up schedule to keep the engine, brakes and fans at peak performance level. This maintenance schedule must be completed by a certified mechanic at a body shop in order for your auto warranty to remain intact. Every part of the auto is checked during a complete tune-up; filters, caps and spark plugs are changed. The muffler, valves and transmission are checked and the battery is tested. Tires are filled with air and lube changes are done. In most cases the price of a tune-up is discounted and when you consider the value of prevention and few repairs, the price of the maintenance becomes cheap.
The key to a successful tune-up is to find an auto body shop that you can trust. You want a mechanic that is certified in your particular auto and experienced in all aspects of prevention and maintenance. That way, when the need for repairs arise, you will already have a good mechanic to call.