A tune up is a simple task that almost anyone can do. This will make your vehicle more fuel efficient. This applies for any motorized vehicle. The filters are a good place to start. Depending how often you do a tune up will affect how much of an improvement that you will see. Most mechanics suggest a tune up by 60,000 miles.
The engine air filter can be your first tune up item. The air filter is located over a carburetor on older cars. The air filter is in the airbox on fuel injected motors. The fuel filter can be located anywhere between your engine and the fuel tank and should also be replaced. If the fuel filter is clogged it can make your engine run lean.
Many times if your light engine light has been on it is due to the o2 sensor not working correctly. This is normally only replaced when it fails but usually will not last long anyways. Now is also a good time to have your transmission filter replaced. If the transmission filter has a lot of miles on it the transmission could be slipping.
Replacing this may need to be done by a mechanic, unless you feel comfortable enough to it. The filter is usually found under the transmission pan. The transmission filter will typically pull straight down and out. Without you have the scarce, screw on filter like saturns.
The ignition system is also very important and requires attention. The spark plug wires will usually wear out even faster than the 60,000 mile tune up. Try half that mileage and it will save you money and troubles. Spark plug wires wear out and lose resistance, making the car run rough and use more fuel. While replacing the spark plug wires it is also a good idea to replace the distributor cap and rotor.
The engine's distributor cap will come off easy, usually with two screws. It may be easiest to remove the distributor cap first to keep the wires running to the correct spark plug. When the cap is removed, the rotor will be located under it and usually has a push in tab to release it. Reinstall the new distributer cap and proceed to remove one spark plug wire only.
Now it is time to replace the spark plugs. The spark plugs will usually come out with a 5/8 "or 13/16" socket. Replace the spark plug with a new compatible plug. Check the gap with a feel gauge and tap on or pry the electrode back in until you have the gap the size it needs to be. Most engines run the spark plug gap between .030 "and .045" depending on the vehicle.
Now refer to the wire set up on the old distributor cap. Trace the one wire back to where it needs to be on the new cap. Do this to all the wire and plugs so that they can not be mixed up. The ignition timing should also be checked by connecting a timing light to # 1 spark plug wire. The timing setting should be around 8 to 12 degrees advanced or zero on newer cars.
The actual timing spec, along with the spark plug gap, will be displayed under the hood on a tag. Also if excess oil was found in the air filter, you should replace the PCV (positive crankcase valve) which will usually be found in the head, valve cover or air cleaner / box. If there is no oil in the air filter then the PCV valve is ok This will return your car to the factory oem specs and will probably improve the power, smoothness and fuel economy.