How Much Does A Tune Up Cost?

If you continue ignoring the subtle hints your vehicle is showing you, chances are, you would get caught up with its myriad of issues and by the time that you realize a trip to the auto repair shop is no longer inevitable, you’d find yourself paying for the major repairs almost half the original purchase cost of your car.

You see, all vehicles require a regular tune up. Top of the lines and economy vehicles; even Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis, or the BMW convertibles need it. No exceptions.

Cost of doing an engine tune up

Tune ups are the regularly scheduled check up and maintenance of vehicles set by car manufacturers that they recommend to owners for every vehicle sold. They provide a checklist of the parts that need to be maintained every year, regardless of whether these parts encounters trouble or not, as the main purpose of tune up is the prevention of possible major failures rather than correcting them when they happen.

Average Cost of Tune Up

The average tune up prices range in the vicinity of $150 up to $1,000 depending on the scope of work. Although it can go as low as $50 up to $200 and the more complex type of tune up ranges between $500 and $1000 depending on the cost of the materials or the spare parts as well the labor of the mechanic.

To make an informed judgment as to what to expect from the kind of services your engine would need based on the mileage, please refer to the services below and their corresponding average tune up prices:

Service – Every 3,000 to 10,000 MilesSuggested IntervalPrice
Oil and Oil Filter ChangeEvery 3,000 miles$30 – $70
Air Filter ChangeEvery 10,000 miles$20
Cabin Air Filter ChangeEvery 10,000 miles$25
Wheel AlignmentEvery 10,000 miles$75 – $150
Tire Balance and RotationEvery 7,500 miles$25-75

Service – Every 10,000 to 50,000 MilesSuggested IntervalPrice
Spark Plug ReplacementEvery 50,000 -100,000 miles$100 – $200
Distributor Cap ReplacementEvery 50,000 miles$50 – $150
Fuel Filter Replacement30,000 – 50,000 or 2 years$50 – $100
PCV Valve ReplacementEvery 30,000 miles or after 1 year$25 – $75
Transmission FlushEvery 50,000 miles or after 2 years$150 – $300
Rotor ReplacementEvery 50,000 miles$300 – $400

Service – Every 50,000 to 100,000 MilesSuggested IntervalPrice
Power Steering Fluid FlushEvery 100,000 miles$50 – $100
New Spark Plug WiresEvery 60,000 miles$150 – $250
Oxygen and Air Sensor ReplacementEvery 100,000 miles$100 – $300
Timing Belt ReplacementEvery 100,000 miles$150 – $1000
Mass Air Flow Sensor ReplacementEvery 100,000 miles$150 – $250

Other services that might be included are:

  • Replacement of electronic module components
  • Adjustments to engine timing and idle
  • Adjustments to clutch in the case of manual transmission

Most vehicle insurance only covers car accidents and medical bills as a result. They do not cover regular repairs unless you paid extra to have it covered, but up to limited services only.

Male engineer doing tuneup

Do it Yourself

Just like a person needs regular check-ups to ensure optimum health and well-being, any vehicle’s engine needs regular maintenance to ensure optimum performance. And since the vehicle technology has evolved with each passing time, tune-ups would naturally keep up. But despite this, some of the parts remain simple that you can do them by yourself.

Below are the lists of the items that are included in engine tune up procedure that can be done through DIY to save money:

  • Replacement of spark plugs – this costs $50 if DIY
  • Replacement of plug wires – this costs $50 DIY
  • Replacement of air – this costs $10 DIY
  • Replacement of fuel filters – this costs $25 DIY
  • Replacement of oxygen sensors – the oxygen sensor costs around $100
  • Replacement of PCV Valve – this costs $10 DIY
  • Cleaning of mass air flow sensor – this costs $75 DIY
  • Changing of oil and oil filter – this ranges from $30 to $50 DIY
  • Power steering flush – a standard bottle of power steering fluid costs $10

Shopping for Tune Up

Some of the services included in the tune-up cost can be done DIY as mentioned above. This way, you could save a lot of money by letting experts do only those that you cannot take care yourself.

For all other parts that you cannot handle, the car dealer where you bought your vehicle is the first option. Next are the local mechanic or auto shops within your area.

You may also check Firestone or Pepboys for their auto care services.

Factors Affecting Cost of Car Engine Tune Up

Not all tune ups are the same. There are a lot of things to consider to be able to determine how much does a tune up cost. To better understand this, below are some of the factors that affect the tune up cost:

  • Year, make and model of your vehicle – these characteristics of the vehicle tell how much cost the owner needs to spend as parts of different brands and models vary. The more expensive the vehicle, the higher the cost of tune up.
  • Symptoms – as mentioned, tune ups are intended to be preventive. So in the event you start to notice symptoms, the issue would most likely already be severe, thus entails higher cost.
  • Parts – the parts that need to be replaced or adjusted would constitute the price you need to pay. Consider yourself lucky if there are only minimal corrections that should be made.
  • Labor – another major part of the cost of tune up is the labor cost. It is better to get several quotes from different shops in order to get the best price.
  • Car shop – some shops just charge higher than others. But you may think that the shops with the most expensive rate have the highest quality of work but it is not always the case. Do your research and do background check or feedback from previous customers to be safe.
  • Manual or automatic transmission – manual transmission vehicles typically require lesser maintenance compared to its counterpart.
  • Location – there are really those areas in the country where all things are expensive. So just turn a blind eye and pay expensive fees if you are from those areas.
  • Warranties – for your newly purchased vehicles, dealers usually have free tune up service up for certain mileage reached.

When it is Time

You may not be observant of the mileage of your vehicle or you are just one of those who just drive without any knowledge of what goes beyond the steering wheel. If this is the case, there are tell-tale signs to know when it is time to have your vehicles checked. Some of these include:

  • When the usual gas mileage drops
  • When you are already having trouble starting the engine
  • Your engine makes a rough idle
  • When you experienced stalling
  • When your car suddenly jerks when you shift gear

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