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How Do I Know My Car Needs a Tune-Up?

car mechanic diagnostic

Maintain Your Car

California is known for its strict laws when it comes to emissions, and with regularly scheduled car tune-up services, you can keep your car in top condition, and safe for the roads in and around Inglewood, California. 

What services are included in a tune-up?

During car tune-up services, a professional will inspect the car engine for any defective or worn parts, replacing them as needed. They will clean the intake region which improves fuel, making the emissions clean in accordance with California law. Other steps taken during car tune-up services include: 

  • Replace spark plugs, wires, and coil boots. 
  • Adjust the engine timing if needed. 
  • Replace the air filter and fuel filter. 
  • Clean the fuel system with a fuel cleaner poured into the gas tank. 
  • Inspect and replace the distributor cap and rotor if needed. 
  • Inspect and replace the PCV valve if needed. 

These things can vary with different makes and models of cars. The technicians performing the car tune-up services will be well-versed in what details should be adhered to that keep the car within the state regulations and requirements. 

Are tune-ups necessary to keep my car running in top condition?

Absolutely!  Without regular car tune-ups services, as we discussed above, fuel economy and performance begin to decrease. The drivability of the car can be compromised. d performance and fuel economy. You may even begin to experience drivability issues, which could lead to extensive damage to the motor, or worse, leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Is there a difference between car maintenance and car tune-up services?

With cars today, car tune-up services are considered ‘scheduled maintenance’ and are a preventive step, not a reactive action. A service call by a mechanic is for making any repairs, installing replacements, or installing new components.

What are the benefits of regular tune-ups?

Regular car tune-up services will keep your car in line with California’s emission standards, which is perhaps the number one benefit. Other benefits include: 

  • Helps avoid major breakdowns.
  • Reduces possible major repair bills.
  • Helps keep your vehicle resale value.
  • Keeps your car performing at an optimal level.
  • Helps with fuel efficiency, saving you money at the gas pump. 
  • Maintains your car’s reliability in starting and running.
filling in car coolant

How often are car tune-up services recommended?  

The car tune-up services schedule can vary based on the make, model, and year. Every owner’s manual will have recommendations that should be followed for manufacturer warranty and lifespan of the car. Newer cars have a fuel injection system and electronic ignition. The recommended service schedule is between 25,000 miles and 100,000 miles. This will eliminate the need for more serious repairs. 

With older cars, the ignition is non-electric and the recommended car tune-up services have a more frequent schedule recommendation. The schedule recommended is between 10,000 miles and 12,000 miles, or once a year, whichever comes first.

What should I look for when choosing a car tune-up service? 

Well of course, your first concern will probably be the cost of car tune-up services, but keep in mind, the cost of that is much cheaper than replacing the engine! The next thing you want to check is that the mechanic performing the service is certified and trained with the make of your car. A BMW or Mercedes car tune-up services are different from a Chevrolet or Ford. 

Next, depending on your vehicle’s needs, the time it will take for the car tune-up services could make a difference. If you can spare your car for a week, then an estimate of 3 to 4 days to complete the service won’t be a problem. And last but not least, make sure the garage is fully insured!

What kind of warranty is offered on car tune-up services?

This can vary between mechanic shops. Due to publicity today like social media, you have a better chance of a shop making good on any issue you have with their car tune-up services. In the years past, the warranty pretty much expired once you drove off their property.  

How much does a tune-up typically cost? 

Again, there are several factors that have an effect on the cost of car tune-up services, like the make, model, and year of the car. Pricing isn’t one set price across the board either. Every car mechanic shop will have its own rate plans and what is included in its service package.

Keep Your Money! 

Instead of paying for professional car tune-up services, you may wonder, why can’t I do a tune-up on my own? Well, you can if you have the ability, equipment, tools, space, and time to do this. Back before cars were computerized and had electronics installed, a car tune-up on a Saturday afternoon was normal for many car owners. 

Today, cars are more complicated, but there are still the basics like changing the oil and spark plugs. With multitudes of YouTube videos, you can probably walk yourself through most of the steps that professional car tune-up services would cover.

L.A. NTX Transmissions provides professional car tune-up services in Inglewood, CA. Call __PHONE__ to get scheduled.

What Does Fleet Maintenance Mean?

Mechanic reviewing information on a tablet opposite a large white semi-truck

The Benefits of Fleet Repair Services

Fleet maintenance and fleet repair services are the processes of maintaining and repairing a company’s fleet of vehicles. Are there benefits for a company to have fleet repair services? 

Absolutely! Benefits include but are not limited to:

1. Ensures Safety

Fleet management and fleet repair services help a business or organization to stay on top of the safety of its fleet. Routine inspection minimizes the risk of those vehicles breaking down or having an accident.

2. Lowers Fleet Repair Costs

A fleet maintenance program and fleet repair services provide the business or organization performance data of their vehicles that help to determine when it is time to trade the vehicles in for a new vehicle. With these routine maintenance programs and fleet repair services, the cost of repairs is minimized, keeping the vehicles on the road longer.

3. Operational Costs Reduced

The cost of operating a fleet of vehicles is increased by downtime and idling vehicles. Fleet repair services allow a company to assess a driver’s behavior and driving patterns. With this information, they can train the drivers to better habits that will save on fuel expenses and reduce emissions.

4. Control Centralized

Whether a company is looking to control costs, minimize downtime and administrative burdens, or track expenses, a fleet repair services and maintenance program puts everything in one place where it can be reviewed. 

5. Resale Value Maximized 

When a company is ready to upgrade its fleet, many will sell the existing vehicles. With a record of fleet repair services and maintenance, it makes it easier to make sales. 

What is Typically Included in Fleet Repair Services? 

The fleet services for a business or organization are typically set up in two different time frames: short-term and long-term. Included in those time frames are: 

Short-term fleet inspections include:  

  • Oil and Filters: Just like our personal cars, it is important for fleet repair services to include changing the oil and filter. This maintains optimal levels for lubricating moving parts, preventing debris inside the engine, and keeping the engine cool and running properly.  
  • The Tires: Again, just like our personal cars, keeping the tires well-maintained with fleet repair services and maintenance maintains better fuel efficiency and keeps the occupants of the car safe with proper tire pressure, tread depth, and routine rotation. 
  • Air Filters: The air filter is just as important for fleet repair services and maintenance as it is in a personal car. This keeps the cabin air healthier and keeps the engine healthier, improves fuel efficiency, and reduces emissions while extending the engine’s lifespan.  
  • Coolant: Routine fleet repair services include checking the coolant level. Too low of a coolant can cause major engine problems. 
  • Brakes and Lights: The short-term fleet repair service is vital to the fleet’s safety. 

Long-term fleet inspections include: 

  • Transmission: A technician will check the transmission fluid to ensure the moving parts associated with the transmission are lubricated. 
  • Transfer Case: The transfer case shifts power from the transmission to the vehicle’s axles. One step in fleet repair services and maintenance is to ensure the fluid level is adequate.
  • Shocks & Struts: An important step in long-term fleet repair service and maintenance is checking the shocks & struts are adequately performing to provide a smooth ride and safe steering control.  
  • Coolant Fluid Flush: A basic fleet repair service and maintenance includes flushing the coolant system to keep the engine clear of any contaminants and the radiator functioning properly. 
  • Spark Plugs: A long-term fleet repair service includes changing the spark plugs. This keeps the engine at full power and minimizes other repairs. 
  • Serpentine Belts: The serpentine belt has an important role in how a vehicle is powered. It can affect the operation of the alternator, peripheral devices, air compressor, and power steering pumps. 
  • The Differentials: The front & rear differentials are important in a car’s functioning. The technician will check the differentials to ensure the lubrication that assists with the transfer of power from the motor to the tires. 

Fleet repair service and maintenance can vary from area to area to match the demands of the driving conditions, season, and weather. This includes the battery and windshield wipers. 

What Happens if You Eliminate Fleet Repair Service and Maintenance?

Every business and organization must watch its budget, and many will do that by halting routine fleet maintenance and fleet repair services. But are they saving money? 

By eliminating these things, the fleet is at risk of more breakdowns. This increases downtime, meaning there is money lost in most cases. Often, a company or organization will move their fleet repair services and maintenance done “in-house”, meaning, they have a mechanical staff doing the work. The goal is to save money by giving the company or organization control over expenses. 

This can work if the company mechanical staff is knowledgeable and on top of the problems, adjusting and repairs as needed. If anything is overlooked, however, this can cause them more expenses in the long run. 

Is repairing a tire worth it?

flat tire close up

Tire Maintenance

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round, and round ….”. You most likely are familiar with the nursery school song. And you probably know that the wheels on the bus can’t go round and round without good tires, right? Yes, tire maintenance is important, whether it is on that bus or your personal vehicle. 

Should tires be serviced regularly?

The tires on your car have constant contact with the road. So, yes, you should check your tires yourself once a month. A regular routine of checking your tires is an important step for your safety and protecting your investment.  The tires affect the handling, the ride, and the safety of you, your passengers, and those around you. For the best performance in these areas, including braking, routine tire services are a must. 

Tire services include maintaining the correct air pressure and tread depth. Keeping them balanced and the wheels properly aligned. This is even more important if you’re planning a road trip, and hopefully, you can avoid having unexpected flat tires or blowouts. 

But what if you do have an unexpected flat tire, or you run over something in the road that causes a blowout? A mechanic may suggest just patching the tire, but what is a tire patch. 

Of all the tire services available, a tire patch is probably the least expensive. A tire patch is when a tire technician sticks a piece of adhesive-backed rubber to the inside of a tire that has a hole. Another option for inexpensive repair tire services is a tire plug. 

With a tire plug, the tire technician pushes a sticky object from the outside of the damaged area. It expands and is adjusted until holds air. Of these two types of tire services, the tire patch is the stronger one. Well, can you drive with a damaged tire, or should I just replace a damaged tire?

First, never drive on a flat tire! If absolutely necessary, drive the shortest distance possible that gets you to the safest place to pull over. If a tire is damaged, such as having a chunk of rubber missing, you can keep driving, but you’re putting yourself, your passengers, and other cars on the road at risk. 

Driving on damaged tires reduces the ability to handle your vehicle on the road. It can damage the front-end structure of your vehicle, like the alignment, brakes, wheel balance, and more, including the steering. It is not worth delaying getting proper tire services to keep driving a vehicle in poor tire condition.

tires being replaced

What types of tire damages can be repaired?

Whether you drive every day or just once a month, your car is at risk of hitting a pothole or running over broken glass, a nail, a screw, or any number of other materials that can damage or destroy a tire. Professional tire services can repair a damaged a punctured tire with the following condition:  

The location and severity of the puncture will determine what tire services are possible, or if the tire needs to be replaced. A puncture in the tread area that is ¼” or smaller in diameter can usually be repaired.

What types of tire damages cannot be repaired?

To the untrained eye, professional tire services of repairing a tire with these two issues cannot be done: 


A flat tire with 15psi or less is not repairable. 


A bubble in the sidewall is typical of a high impact, like running over a curb, hitting a pothole, or driving too fast over railroad tracks and speed bumps. No matter how small the bubble is, repairing tire services is not possible, it will need to be replaced. 

Other times that repair tire services are not possible is if there are two punctures that are a minimum of 16” apart. A tire with a puncture larger than ¼”, or 2 punctures, or the puncture is in the sidewall, replacing the tire is recommended. 

How do you repair a tire, what is the process to repair a tire?

Repair tire services can be completed within 90 minutes using the following steps:

  1. Identify & Assess Damage
    • Unmount the tire and thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the tire.
  2. Prepare the Area
    • If repair tire services are possible, if the item that caused the puncture is still in the tire, remove it (nail, screw, etc). Then prep the interior surface using a rubber buffer and pre-buffer cleaner. Then scrape off any debris.
  3. Remove Damages Cords & Stabilize Area
    • Using the low speed on a carbide cutter and drill into the punctured area from the interior so that the damaged cords can be removed.  Repeat the process from the exterior and lean the rubber and steel dust/shaving with a vacuum on both the interior and exterior.
  4. Apply Rubber Cement
    • Apply rubber cement to the interior at the puncture area.
  5. Install Rubber Plug and/or Tire Patch 
    • Plug the hole from the interior side, pulling the plug through the puncture area. Cut off any excess amount of the plug from the exterior side, making it flush with the tread.
  6. Apply Sealer
    • Apply sealer to the lining on the buffed area.
  7. Mount and Rebalance 
    • Mount the tire and inflate to proper air pressure, then rebalance. Check for any leaks before driving. 

In Summary

In addition to your own monthly tire check, having them inspected by professional tire services is recommended. Requesting tire services while having your routine oil change service should become a routine for every car owner. 

L.A. NTX Transmissions helps with tires in Inglewood, CA. Call __PHONE__ for services.

Can I Drive My Car if the Transmission Light is On?

close-up of a modern car gearshift

What Does the Transmission Do?

What is the purpose of the transmission in a car? A transmission enables the gear ratio between the drive wheels and the engine, which makes your car move, slowing it down or speeding it up. If all else is looking okay with your car, check the transmission fluid. If it is full, then you need to schedule an appointment for a possible car transmission repair

Where is the car transmission located?

It will depend on whether your car is a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive car, but generally, it is just below and somewhat under the engine. It will be mounted to the motor on either side or level position with the oil pan. In a rear-wheel-drive car, the transmission is positioned just behind the engine, near the dashboard.

What are the types of car transmission?

There are 4 types of transmission in a vehicle. Those types are: 

  • The Manual Transmission: This is the oldest type around and it is the simplest, and most trustworthy. It uses a friction clutch that is modulated by the driver pressing a pedal that is connected to the rotational energy of the engine. 
  • The Automatic transmission: Universally, automatic transmission is the most common today. It has a highly complex torque converter that transmits the rotational energy of the engine as it shifts gears which are controlled by a computer. 
  • CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission): The CVT is like an automatic transmission but uses a different mechanism that doesn’t have any gears. Instead, it uses belts and pulleys and produces an endless range of ratios with the computer deciding how the pulleys need to adjust to create the best ratio for the situation. 
  • Semi-automatic and DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission): Semi-Auto and DCT transmissions are the cutting-edge transmissions, and the most expensive and commonly used in high-end sports cars and race cars. 

Just like checking the oil, every car owner should know how to check car transmission fluid too. By checking the transmission fluid level, and noting the color and smell, you can often tell that you need car transmission repair or just more transmission fluid. The dipstick for the transmission fluid is like the dipstick used for checking the motor oil. Start by making sure your car is parked on a level surface and then proceed: 

  1. Star the car and leave it in the park gear. Let it run for a few minutes to warm the engine and transmission. This allows the transmission fluid to expand for an accurate result. 
  2. Locate the transmission dipstick. On a front-wheel-drive car, it is usually toward the front of the motor and for a rear-wheel-drive car, it is near the back of the motor. Most manufacturers will use a colored handle in pink, red, or yellow.
  3. With the engine still running, pull the dipstick out, and with a clean rag, wipe the dipstick clean, and put it back into the transmission reservoir. 
  4. Remove the transmission dipstick again, and using the imprinted indicators on the stick, read the level markings. 
  5. If the dipstick shows full, replace it in the reservoir. If it shows low, either add transmission fluid yourself or take it to a car transmission repair show and have them add fluid. 

Can transmission problems cause a car not to start?

It can be a problem in newer cars. In older cars, the gears were cycled by putting the car in neutral or pushing the neutral switch. In cars today, that is disabled when the car is in gear. You can bypass that by unplugging the start circuit while in neutral or park.

Can a bad transmission cause a car to jerk?

It isn’t a common problem, but yes, your car could have a jerking reaction due to the transmission control module malfunctioning. This will happen as your car is shifting gears, causing delays in the shifting process. It is certainly worthy of making a car transmission repair appointment to have it checked out. 

How much is it to repair car transmission?

For a domestic manufactured car, a car transmission repair job can cost between $1500 and $5000. With newer transmissions having computer chips, these repairs can take longer and may cost more than these prices due to a chip shortage in the car industry during 2020 and 2021. 

How much does it cost to replace a car transmission?

Well, this will depend on the make, model, and year of the car as well as what type of transmission the car has.  The ballpark cost runs between $2,000 and $3,500 for a brand-new transmission. If the car transmission repair shop offers a rebuild, that could save you a few hundred dollars. Either way, there is the additional cost of labor that can start around $100 and reach $200 or more.

close-up of a car's engine

In Closing – The Expense of Car Transmission Repairs! 

Like a new roof on your home, you’d like for your homeowner’s insurance to pay for the cost, same is with the transmission on your car.  So, will car insurance cover transmission repair? Sadly, the answer is no, basic auto insurance, including full coverage, will not cover a car transmission repair job. 

What is included in a tune-up?

mechanic using a laptop for diagnostics

Taking Care of Your Car

You put gas in your car as needed, and have the oil changed every 5,000 miles, get the tire pressure checked. And that’s all that a car will need, right? What about a car tune-up? What is the purpose and why is a tune-up necessary?

The purpose of a car tune-up is to have your mechanic check all the mechanical and computer systems of a vehicle that can have an effect on the combustion process and to adjust them as needed. A car tune-up keeps a car in top running condition and ideally eliminates any breakdowns. Having a car tune-up is just as important as keeping the tires rotated and the air pressure checked. 

Does a tune-up make your car run better?

Just like you have regular dental appointments, eye exams, and medical check-ups to stay healthy, a car tune-up does the same thing for your car. And just like your eyes grow weaker with age and your body changes over the years, the engine in your car can begin to lose its efficiency. A professional car tune-up can catch these minor issues and adjust things to slow that degression down or stop it altogether. 

So if your car has been getting sluggish, then yes, you’ll likely notice an improvement in how it runs and in its gas mileage. However, if you get regular car tune-ups as recommended, you may not notice any change. In addition to improved gas mileage, your car will be safer on the road, and this is an investment that protects you, your family, and others around you while driving. However, the biggest benefit of a car tune-up is the extended lifespan of your car! And when you do get ready to trade it in on a new car or sell it outright, having the paperwork to show you’ve had regular car tune-ups, oil changes, and tire rotations just adds to its value.

What are the signs you need a tune-up?

To determine when to tune up your car, the following are the basic tips: 

  • Follow the recommendations for car tune-ups; the manufacturer will typically provide a suggested timeline by mileage. 
  • Keep track of the mileage and review the owner’s manual that came with your car. Monitoring the miles per gallon can show you when there is a dip in fuel efficiency. When the MPG (miles per gallon) drops by 10%, it is time to get a car tune-up, even if the manufacturer’s suggested mileage doesn’t agree.  This could indicate there is something going on within the engine or fuel system that should be inspected and addressed. 
  • If your car is acting or sounding different, stalling when you stop, or is hard to start, it is time for a car tune-up – again, regardless of the manufacturer’s mileage recommendations. 
  • If you notice anything different in the braking system or steering, your car should be taken in for the mechanic to examine your car. While these are not necessarily car tune-up matters, they are safety issues and should be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.

It should be noted that while the manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed, how you drive your car can also affect it. If you haul heavy loads or put a high number of miles on the car in a short period of time, it will need car tune-ups more frequently than the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

How will a tune-up improve gas mileage?

While every auto shop will have a different process and routine to performing car tune-ups, the basics are pretty much the same. You should make sure to let the mechanic or service writer know of any issues or problems you’re having so they can make a special note to check certain things. 

  • The basic routine is to thoroughly inspect the car engine from top to bottom, front to back. This includes replacing any parts that are faulty or worn.
  • For newer vehicles, the mechanic will reset the computer that controls the fuel-to-air mixture.
  • They will replace the spark plugs, spark plug wires, and coil boots.
  • They will clean the throttle body and intake area, and replace the air filter and fuel filter to improve the fuel flow. 
  • Some vehicles will get a new Gasoline-Direct-Injection if applicable. 

Additional things that may be addressed by some auto shops are the oil change, transmission flush, and changing the windshield wipers. 

How long does a car tune-up take?

This can vary from car to car, but the average time can range from two hours to four hours. If any problems were found, it could take longer to make any repairs or replacements needed. Newer, modern cars that are computerized do not take as long for a car tune-up as older cars with more mechanical parts.

Does a tune-up include tire rotation?

No, this is separate from a car tune-up, but you can request the service be done while you’re there. While most auto shops can do a tire rotation, there are some that may not be equipped and recommend that you take the car to a tire center.

Is an oil change the same thing as a tune-up?

No, the oil change is something that should be one every 5,000 miles for most cars. A car tune-up is typically done one once a year, or more frequently under certain circumstances. 

mechanic testing a car's battery

In Closing – Where can I get a tune-up for my car?

Most auto shops offer car tune-up services, and if you have a regular mechanic, that would be the best place to take the car.  Many oil and lube shops offer car tune-up services, and you can always take it to the dealership where you purchased the car as well.

Does my car need a tune-up?

open hood showing the engine of a red sedan

Keeping Your Car in Shape

To get the best gas mileage possible and the most power from your car, tune-ups are a necessity.  Every manufacturer, make, and model of car should have a regular car tune-up. The behind-the-scenes advantages that aren’t visible to a driver have a lot of value. A car tune-up should be considered an investment in preventative measures for your car just like your annual physical is for your health. 

What is a car tune-up?

There is a lot that happens during a seemingly simple car tune-up. It makes sure important components are functioning correctly and thoroughly so that your engine is running at optimum capability. 

What services are included in a tune-up?

The basic car tune-up procedures will vary from car to car based on the make and model. Each garage has a different process in performing car tune-ups, but the basics are the same at the end of the day. Those basics include: 

  • Checking that all parts are in place and functioning
  • Cleaning, repairing, and replacing parts as needed
  • Inspecting belts, distributor cap, filters, fluids, hoses, rotors, and spark plugs 
  • Performing a visual inspection or applying a simple test to those items

Some mechanic shops will include in their car tune-up additional services like: 

  • Analyzing exhaust emissions
  • Adjusting ignition timing 
  • Adjusting idle speed control
  • Thorough maintenance and inspection 

The filters and spark plugs are usually a part of any car tune-up regardless of who performs the task. Each of these are essential for keeping a car engine clean and running properly, which also helps the emissions and minimizes pollution. 

The air filter, fuel filter, and oil filter catch contamination and keep parts of the car engine from becoming clogged with impurities like air, dust, and unclean fluids. When these items aren’t addressed with routine car tune-ups, the oil pressure gets high, the fuel pump could fail, and other issues become bigger and more expensive problems. 

The spark plugs handle the “combustion” functions of the engine, and because they are made of metal to create that spark, they tend to wear out. They are under high pressure and high engine temperature the entire time your car engine is running. 

Does a tune-up make your car run better?

Absolutely – a car tune-up will help your car give you the optimum experience in power while improving its gas mileage and extending the lifespan of the engine. If you’re asking yourself, “how do I tell my car needs a tune-up?” the following are basic guidelines and rules-of-thumb to follow: 

The first guideline in determining when to get a car tune-up is the mileage on your car. With tens to hundreds of thousands of miles collected on a car, there are parts that begin to wear. A car tune-up will allow a professional mechanic to check those crucial parts and replaced them if needed. The owner’s manual that comes with each vehicle will have a detailed schedule for maintenance, including a car tune-up. 

Among that maintenance schedule and something usually included in a car tune-up is the oil change. This should happen based on the mileage or around every three to six months. The computer on newer cars will advise you via an indicator on the dashboard.

If your car hasn’t had a tune-up in a while and you’re having any of the following issues, it is time to schedule one now:

  • Soft or spongy brakes
  • Electrical malfunctioning 
  • Engine running warmer than normal
  • Abnormal sounds or vibrations

When abnormal issues are left unaddressed, it can lead to potentially expensive problems later, including needing a new engine or transmission. 

How often should you tune up your car?

As we stated above, the mileage on a car is the key indicator of when a car tune-up is needed. However, if you don’t put a lot of mileage on your car, getting a car tune-up every three to six months is a basic rule of thumb. 

How long can a car go without a tune-up?

Newer cars are built better today, and some can go up to 100,000 miles before needing a car tune-up, but the average is around 25,000 miles. An older car that doesn’t have an electronic ignition like newer cars should have a car tune-up between 10,000 and 12,000 miles, or on an annual schedule for those that don’t put a lot of mileage on their car. 

How long does a tune-up take?

There are varying factors that can determine how long the car tune-up process takes. The average is between two and four hours. For a car tune-up on a car that is equipped with computers, the tune-up is typically quicker. An older car that has more mechanical parts that need adjustment can take longer. 

Can you tune up your own car?

Yes, there are basics a car owner can do for their own car tune-up, like changing the oil and spark plugs, or checking and adding fluid as needed. However, a professional car tune-up by a mechanic will be more comprehensive and come with a guarantee that your car engine is at full capacity. 

computer being used for diagnostics on vehicle

At The End of The Road

So is it worth getting a car tune-up? Definitely, especially with an older car – tune-ups keep a car running correctly and smoothly. This improves the performance of the engine overall as well, which in turn helps the overall gas mileage.  All of this equates to protecting and extending the life of your car’s engine. 

What Does a Car Tune-Up Consist Of?

Close-up of car engine being worked on.

The Importance of Car Maintenance

Once you have your car, there is more to do than just gassing it up and going. There are many basic maintenance details like checking the air pressure in the tires and checking the oil in the engine. But after those basic car owner tasks, what if your car isn’t running right? A car tune-up can be the answer to the problem too! Schedule a car tune-up in Inglewood, CA by calling L.A. NTX Transmissions at __PHONE__.

What are the signs that your car needs a tune-up?

A car will often display certain indicators that a car tune-up is needed. However, there are times that it may not give you any indications … until it breaks down. To keep from having your car break down on you at an inopportune time, the following five things are signs that you should get a car tune-up sooner rather than later: 

Increased Starting Difficulties 

When a car isn’t starting easily, there can be several issues as part of the problem, like the battery or fuel pump being weak. It could also be a problem with the ignition and with an experienced mechanic’s knowledge they can fix the problem with a simple car tune-up.

Stalling – Occasionally or Frequently

When a car stalls while the engine is running, this is typically dirty connections or faulty spark plugs keeping the fuel from igniting. Before you take your car to the mechanic, note if the car stalls when the engine is cold or hot, while you’re sitting at a red light, or with the air conditioner running. These special notes will help the mechanic isolate the problem. 

Knocking Sounds and Rough Idling or Acceleration Issues

When a car knocks as you accelerate, the engine has some type of inefficiency. A rough idle or a car slow to accelerate can be from bad spark plugs. A car tune-up can usually fix these problems, but sometimes there is something more detailed and intense to take care of. 

Poor Gas Mileage

If your car isn’t getting the same gas mileage as it used to, a car tune of replacing the spark plugs or replacing the fuel injection filters can fix this. 

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Even when your car isn’t giving you any problems, getting a professional car tune-up on a routine schedule will keep it running at its optimum ability. When should you get a tune-up on your car? Each car manufacturer has different car tune-up frequency recommendations. For example: 

  • For a car with a non-electronic ignition, a professional car tune is recommended 10,000 to 20,000 miles. 
  • With a newer car, a professional car tune-up is recommended every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. 

How do you know when you need a tune-up?

A car tune-up is typically not expensive and the best part, you can save yourself a lot of money with the cost of a car tune-up. How does that save you money? The mechanic is able to catch small issues before they become expensive problems. 

So, in addition to the things we listed above like having difficulty starting your car, or your car stalling at red lights, there are the following indications: 

  • Strange Sounds

As you drive your car, you become accustomed to the sounds it makes. So when it begins making new and strange sounds you’re not familiar with, it is time to get a car tune-up. With the process of doing the tune-up, the mechanic should find anything that isn’t normal and bring it to your attention with a recommended solution. 

  • Braking Problems 

The brakes are an important safety feature for any car and when they aren’t stopping as they should, it can be dangerous. A basic tune-up should include an inspection of the brakes and tires with the mechanic offering their advice on replacement. 

  • Warning Lights

When the check engine or a warning light turns on, do not ignore it! These lights serve a purpose by warning you there is a problem with your car. It may be something as minor as adding fluid to the windshield wiper system. Or it could be something more intense and need immediate attention. Let your mechanic inspect and advise. 

What a Car Tune-Up Includes

With a professional mechanic, what is car tune-up means is your car will get a once-over in the following areas:

  • Check air filter and replace if needed
  • Check fuel filter and replace if needed
  • Check overall fuel system check, clean accordingly 
  • Check spark plugs, clean, and replace if needed
  • Check idling and timing, adjust as needed 
  • A visual inspection of all engine components
  • A visual inspection of brakes and tires

What are the benefits of a tune-up?

The car tune-up benefits start with your car functioning properly. The second thing a car tune-up will do is allow the mechanic to catch a small issue that can quickly become a major, and expensive, problem. With the air filter and fuel filter cleaned or changed, the spark plug cleaned or replaced, you should see an improvement in gas mileage too. 

Mechanic examining a car engine.

The Final Word

So, is a tune-up necessary? Cars today with the modern fuel-injection system don’t require a tune-up like cars of yesteryear. However, all cars should have a certain level of regular inspection and maintenance, which may be categorized as a tune-up. Without this inspection and maintenance, your car could be running badly, using more gas, and even break down at some point, leaving you stranded. If you currently need a car tune-up in Inglewood, CA, or would like more in-depth recommendations on when to get a car tune-up, reach out to L.A. NTX Transmissions today at __PHONE__.

How a Fuel Filter Works

Fuel filter.

Understanding the Fuel Filter

You know your car needs gas in the gas tank to give the motor power. As well as gas manufacturers can clean the fuel as it is made, there are still some small impurities like debris, dirt, debris, and other particulate matter that can get past all their filtering methods. This can adversely affect a car’s performance, which is why a fuel filter is needed on every car. 

Even if all the major components of your vehicle are in good operating and running condition, there is one small thing that can stop it all from going anywhere. That one small thing is the fuel filter. Like the transmission screen, it is powerful without having actual power.

How is the fuel filter so powerful? 

Depending on the make and model of your car, the fuel filter location is either inside the fuel tank at the fuel line opening, or between the fuel tank and the engine somewhere along the fuel line that is running along the bottom of the car. By the location of the fuel filter to the carburetor, the fuel filter keeps any debris and trash that may get into the gas tank from getting to the fuel pump and carburetor. 

If the fuel filter wasn’t there, debris and trash could get into the fuel pump and carburetor, causing a lot of expensive and extensive damage.  It is sometimes easier and is less expensive to do a fuel filter change than rebuild or replace the carburetor or fuel pump. 

Signs of a Clogged Filter

What are the symptoms that would make you think your car fuel filter is clogged? If the fuel filter in your car is working properly and doing its job, it should need to be changed once in a while. The longer a fuel filter is in place and working, the more of those particles we mentioned earlier get caught. 

There isn’t any recommended schedule of when fuel filter replacement is needed, like an oil change or tire rotation. However, you don’t want the fuel filter to get so clogged up it strands you on the highway, right?  So some early symptoms to be aware of: 

  • Difficult to Start

The engine needs fuel to make it start as well as keep it running, but if the fuel filter is clogged, the fuel can’t get to where it’s needed. 

  • Engine Sputters

If your car sounds like it’s sputtering at an idle after starting it, this usually means the fuel is sporadic in keeping the right fuel level for the engine to run consistently. 

  • Acceleration Inconsistent

Each time you push on the gas pedal, it pushes fuel to the engine. A clogged fuel filter will minimize the amount of fuel needed, not allowing the engine to accelerate as needed. Some people call this “bogging down”. 

  • High Engine Temperature

When the engine isn’t getting enough fuel, it causes the combustion cycle to be off balance. In turn, the engine works hard and becomes overstressed, causing it to run hot. 

  • Poor Fuel Efficiency

If the engine isn’t getting the right amount of fuel and causes the engine stress as we just mentioned, this will cause it to use more fuel. 

It is important to note that all of these symptoms we just mentioned can also be caused by the carburetor or fuel pump too. If your car is experiencing any of these symptoms, take it to your mechanic and they can assess the situation to determine if it is the fuel filter vs fuel pump, or something different. 

Can a fuel filter cause a check engine light?

Yes, in some newer vehicles, the engine is equipped with sensors that monitor and read the fuel pressure. When the fuel filter is clogged, that creates a low fuel pressure, triggering the sensor to turn the Check Engine Light on. 

However, the Check Engine Light can mean a number of other things besides a clogged fuel filter. Several situations can cause the engine light to come on that will need mechanical or technical attention. When that light comes on, you should schedule an appointment for the mechanic to give you a car checkup. 

Car engine

In Conclusion

So, why is the fuel filter clogged?  As we said earlier, as many restrictions as there are and as much safety processing is done by fuel companies to make sure the gas in the pumps is clean and safe, debris, dirt, and other small particles will still find their way into your car’s gas tank. The stuff that clogs a fuel filter can come from your gas tank or the gas lines between the tank and the fuel pump and carburetor. If you drive a lot, travel gravel or dirt roads, those particles that clog a fuel filter are there. 

We recommend taking your car to an authorized mechanic for the problems discussed here. The fuel filters inside the gas tank should be left to a trained mechanic. When you need help with a fuel filter in Inglewood, CA, you can contact the L.A. NTX Transmissions team at __PHONE__.

How Box Truck Transmission Works

box trucks in a parking lot

Who makes the best box truck transmission?

A box truck has a cab where the driver and passenger sit, and a cargo area behind it, typically used for commercial purposes. The name “box truck” comes from the cargo area being a box shape. A box truck transmission is heavier duty than a pickup truck because of how it is built and because it may carry heavier loads. A box truck transmission and engine are both important features to get the most power and use of the box truck, an important feature for any business with deliveries to be made .

In addition to an engine, the box truck with transmission may come in automatic or manual shift. To drive a box truck, whether it is automatic or manual box truck transmission, a basic Class D driver’s license is required. Most companies hiring a driver for their box truck, will typically require the applicant to be able to drive a manual box truck transmission. 

Box trucks come in a variety of designs, sizes, and types. So when you’re in the market for one, you want to get the right truck for your needs. Truck drivers are face with a variety of activities, many which are taxing on a box truck transmission and engine. Here is a list of the best box truck transmissions, engines, and other important features: 

  • Isuzu N-Series: Isuzu makes an ideal box truck transmission and engine for the  delivery professional that makes expedited delivery and long haul trips. Known for the durability, fuel efficiency, and reliability, this is the perfect box truck transmission and engine when  dependency and high performance are important.
  • Hino 155 & 195: A subsidiary of Toyota, Hino Motors is a Japanese manufacturer that has produced a trustworthy medium-duty box truck transmissions and engines for years. This is a sturdy box truck transmission and box ideal for heavy hauling and pallet shipping.
  • Freightliner M2 106: Known for being a popular and powerful box truck transmission and engine. A common choice for emergency vehicles because of the consistent durability and toughness. This box transmission is a workhorse that is ideal for bulky loads and long-distance hauling.
  • International RH Series: This manufacturer has a heavy-duty box truck transmission and engine that hauls freight, offering maneuverability, high productivity, and versatility. This box truck transmission is available in automatic or manual shift, a day cab, and a sleeper cab that offer ample room for comfort. Perfect for long road trip hauls. 
  • Ford E-Series Cutaway: This box  truck transmission is ideal for furniture delivery. A versatile truck in light-duty to medium-duty durability with dual or single rear-wheel cutaway. A 6-speed automatic box truck transmission that carries GVWR of 10,050 pounds with ease. 

Who makes the most reliable transmission?

The Ford box truck transmission on their commercial vehicles are the most popular used truck in North America. Ford offers lines of quality cargo van, passenger van, and pickup truck. The Ford Cutaway trucks are chosen by most fleet managers for their box truck transmission. 

Will box truck start without transmission fluid?

Can you start box truck without transmission? An automatic transmission yes, with a manual transmission, no. Which means the manual transmission needs to have ample transmission to engage the clutch when starting, the same as with a car with a manual transmission.  

You can start a box truck with the transmission in neutral if low on transmission fluid. It is important to know how to check box truck transmission fluid as well as the oil and water. Like a car, a box truck needs these fluid to operate properly. 

box trucks

Why is my box truck transmission slipping?

If you’re getting slow response at takeoff, your box truck transmission may be the problem. The following are possible causes why your box truck transmission is slipping: 

  • Burned transmission fluid.
  • Low on transmission fluid.
  • Starter solenoid failing.
  • Transmission band broken or worn out. 
  • Clutch has gone out.
  • Transmission gears are worn out.
  • Issues with the torque converter.

A box truck transmission cost to parts to repair can start around $1,500, depending on what is wrong with the box truck transmission and reach $4,000 or more. A box truck transmission, engine are paired up to work together. Not any box truck engine and box truck transmission can fit and work together. 

An experience truck mechanic or salesperson can aid in fitting the right box truck transmission with the existing engine. Most box truck engines  are diesel powered,  but there are a line of lower cost gasoline engines available too. Either way, diesel or gas engine, the horsepower needs to be no less than 175hp and no more than 300hp. With the box truck transmission geared to fit the size of horsepower. Call __PHONE__ today for box truck transmission repair in Inglewood, CA.

What Happens If You Go Too Long Without an Oil Change?

oil change service

How often do you really need to change your oil?

Here in California, we have one the strictest emission laws in the country, maybe the strictest! Believe it or not, your vehicle’s oil change affects the emissions it puts out, but that’s not the only reason why oil change is important for your vehicle. That is the topic of this conversation. Read on to find out more! 

Ask any “old timer” and he’ll tell you they don’t build cars like they used to, and he’d be right. In many ways though, they build them better and they make the products they use better like fuel, grease, and oil.

This is why the recommended time between oil changes is no longer every 3,000 miles. The engines today are built to use synthetic oil and other lubricants, and an oil change is now recommended every 5,000 miles and some makes and models, every 7,500 miles. Yes, your great granddad would be shocked today. 

However, if you have an older car, the oil change interval is still based on the old mileage, dependent upon how you drive though.  While the old cars haven’t changed, the oil and other products have. 

If you drive in “normal” operation, the following is recommended in determining your oil change routine: 

  • You make short trips of five miles or less
  • You live in an extremely cold, hot, or dusty climate
  • You have repeated stop-and-go habits
  • You haul heavy loads or pull a trailer

If you drive in a “severe service” mode, then you’ll want to stay in line with the owner’s manual that came with your vehicle. 

How long can you go without getting an oil change? 

As you read further, keep in mind that an oil change for bmw is not going to be the same as an oil change for a Chevrolet. We mentioned earlier in this article that the days of getting an oil change every 3,000 miles was gone by the wayside. Today, it is nothing for car manufacturers to recommend every 5,000, 75,00 even 10,000 miles between oil changes. Using synthetic oil only, there are a few vehicles that can even go fifteen thousand miles between oil changes. 

Now, these are only general guidelines, and we can’t stress enough it can vary from make and model. Your owner’s manual is the best guide for your vehicle’s oil change routine. What if you bought the car used and it didn’t come with the owner’s manual? Here are a few warning signs you should be aware of that is telling you it is time to get that oil change: 

  • Oil color and consistency changes: Engine oil that is an amber-like clear, translucent color is new oil. As you drive your vehicle, it will collect debris, making the engine turn black and feel gritty. You can check this by removing the dipstick. If you can’t read the markings and number on the dipstick through what oil, is on the dipstick, it is time for an oil change. 
  • Burnt oil odor: When you notice burnt oil odor inside your vehicle, it has developed an oil leak. Take your car in for an oil change, mention the odor you’ve noticed. This will alert them to check for an oil leak other than the oil filter and oil pan. 
  • Knocking sounds from the engine: Oil prevent many of the moving parts in the engines from grinding when they work together but against each other. When the oil is low, or non-existent, those parts grind and create what is known as a knocking sound. As soon as you hear this knocking sound, get your vehicle to the mechanic or an oil & lube shop immediately. It not only needs a oil change, but it needs oil period! 
  • Warning light: When the dashboard has a oil warning light showing, it is time to get the oil checked and the oil changed. 

What’s the difference in oil changes?

A regular routine of getting an oil change helps maintain your vehicle’s value while keeping it running in the best form possible. With car manufacturers changing the rules on the frequency, it can be confusing as to when you should take your vehicle in for an oil change. 

Following the manufacturer’s recommendation in the owner’s manual is always the safest route to go. 

What type of oil though? 

  • A conventional oil change is where the oil comes from petroleum, as it has for decades. Until the past few years, conventional oil change you’re your only option and today, there are still vehicles on the road where the conventional oil change is still recommended. Some cars, as we mentioned above, can go anywhere from 5,000 miles to 15,000 miles. This is because the car manufacturer used their brand of conventional oil, avoiding use of synthetic oil so the vehicle’s performance wasn’t decreased. This is the less expensive of oil change services. 
  • A synthetic oil change has advantages and benefits of its own and separate of the conventional oil change. The originally intended use for synthetic oil was for jet aircraft engines. After realizing the incredible reduction in friction, lessening the wear and tear on the engine, it was developed for use in vehicles. This non-conventional, high performance fluid creates a chemical formula that makes it unique in how resistance is increased against viscosity breakdown. 

Whats included in an oil change?

Not all oil change service companies have the same routine of service. Some do nothing more than the basic oil change, while others go a beyond. Some car owners believe they do this for possible upsell, and while that is possible, many go above and beyond to keep their customers advised and safe. A full-service oil change at quality oil change centers will include:

  • Change the motor oil with appropriate type of oil per the type of vehicle, local climate, and the customer’s driving style
  • Inspect the air filter, cabin filter, and other filters
  • A courtesy inspection of the following: 
    • Check and top off all fluids
    • Check the brake and signal lights
    • Lubricate the chassis if needed
    • Inspect belts and hoses, 
    • Inspect the steering and suspension
    • Check and replaced the windshield wipers
    • Check the car battery

What is a basic oil change?

Typically, a basic oil change would be one many car owners do themselves. The oil is drained, a new filter installed, and new oil is added. 

filter change

What is the difference between oil change vs oil flush?

An oil change is as we described earlier.  The old oil is drained, a new filter is installed, and new oil is added.  An oil flush, also referred to as an engine flush, loosens any deposits and dissolve any sludge. This get the engine to a like-new condition. 

Caution of performing an engine flush on an older engine. Sometimes, it is that sludge that keeps the oil from leaking through any cracked or worn seals. Be prepared to rebuild, repair, or replace the engine if you do an engine flush on a vehicle with high mileage. 

Okay, you do the recommended oil change for your vehicle, either 3,000, 5,000, or 15,000 miles. Can oil change cause transmission problems? Nope.  While the transmission has nothing to do with an engine’s oil, much less an oil change, if the engine is having issues, you’ll notice it in how the transmission shifts. Call __PHONE__ today for your oil change needs in Inglewood, CA.