To maintain efficiency and get you the most for your fuel dollars, today's vehicles need a different type of tune-up. There are no more "points and condensers," and most new cars don't even have distributors or distributor caps. Today's high-energy ignition systems coupled with double platinum tipped spark plugs are good for 100,000 miles or more.
So how can you get the best mileage and performance from your car or light truck? Follow some simple guidelines. Always buy a quality gasoline that contains detergent additives. Have your fuel system serviced by a professional every 25,000 to 35,000 miles. This service should include cleaning the injectors, cleaning the throttle body and plate as well as the inside of the intake manifold. Tell the technician not to overlook the fuel filter.
Engine oil is also critical. Be sure to use the SAE grade and API service classifications found in your owner's manual. Heavier oils detract from engine power and fuel economy due to the additional work to move the oil pump through heavy oils.
You can usually change the air filter element yourself. Unrestricted clean air is critical to performance and mileage. You could also install a little device called "The Tornado." It installs easily and generates a vortex (swirls the air) in your engine's intake to better atomize the air and fuel, delivering more power and increasing fuel mileage. Tornados are available at most parts stores.
In addition to maintaining the engine, you need to service the automatic transmission and be sure it is not slipping. Have your mechanic check the "Lock Up" feature of your torque converter. A malfunctioning lock-up converter can cost you dearly in miles per gallon, and will generate excess heat. Heat is the number one killer of automatic transmissions.
Maintaining tire pressures and wheel alignment as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer will increase tire life, fuel economy, improve safety and handling, and make driving easier.
Now you are armed with the facts, and the knowledge to stop by and "talk the talk" with your favorite technician.