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Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Perform a Basic Engine Tune-Up

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Parts
  • Air Filter
  • Distributor Cap
  • 2 more parts
Tools
  • Screwdriver
  • Spark Plug Gapper
  • 1 more tool
Difficulty

Moderate

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Steps

Safety Tiip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.
1
With the engine off and cold, open the hood and locate the air filter, the spark plugs, ignition coil (or coil pack) and the distributor cap and rotor (if applicable).

A 'tune-up' is generally not required on modern vehicles manufactured after 1990 or so, as compared with older vehicles with breaker point distributor ignitions. Today's vehicles differ significantly from older vehicles that required a tune-up every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Certain manufacturer-recommended service intervals can now stretch to 100,000 miles before they need to be done, such as replacing spark plugs. Today, the term "tune up" is basically a misnomer.
2
Release the clips or remove screws and remove the air filter box cover. Remove the air filter.
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3
Vacuum first, then wipe out the air filter box to remove all debris. Install the new air filter and re-install the filter box cover.
4
Grasp the spark plug wire boot and remove the wire from the plug. Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head using a ratchet, spark plug socket, and socket extension.
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5
Check the gap on the new spark plug and adjust as necessary to specification. Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound to the plug threads. Thread the new spark plug in by hand and then tighten it to the recommended torque with a socket and ratchet / torque wrench. If necessary, you may use a length of vacuum hose to help the spark plug installation into the threads. Reconnect the spark plug wire. Repeat for the rest of the spark plugs.
6
If applicable, remove the distributor cap with the wires attached. Replace the rotor and install the new cap. Transfer the wires from the old cap to the new cap one at a time. Do not mix up the wires.

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  • my_ynoh at AutoMD.com
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