How Much Does A Tune Up Cost

A tune up is an essential part of your automotive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in top shape and extends its life on the road. Ultimately, this car service will keep you and your passengers safe.

Aside from the above benefits, a tune up will save you money. Specifically, the resulting combustion efficiency will cost you less at the gas pump. Also, a top-performing vehicle will emit a minimal amount of pollutants, helping you contribute to the conservation of the environment.

Getting a tune up soon? Read this guide to know about the average tune up prices in the US.

Average Tune Up Prices

How much does a tune up cost if we’re talking about the price range? According to Auto Service Costs, the average car engine tune up cost will depend on the type of service. For instance, a standard tune up price starts at $50 and reaches up to $200. More complex maintenance services, on the other hand, range from $500 to $900.

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Cost Factors

The car engine tune up cost varies based on the following factors:

Make, model, and year of the vehicle

  • Obviously, the price will depend on your car. Most modern vehicles, especially those that were manufactured after the year 2000, require less work than their older counterparts. That means that tuning up these newer cars will cost less.
  • Each type of vehicle also requires different parts with equally different prices. That said, some cars have costlier parts than others, adding up to the overall tune up cost.

Your location

  • Labor costs vary depending on where you are in the US.

Your selected repair shop

  • Not all service providers are created equal. Generally, independent repair shops will charge less than franchise-owned ones.
  • Some mechanics will visit you at your home for the tune up. The cost for this type of service may be lower as you won’t have to pay for overhead expenses.

Sample Mechanic Costs

Want to get an idea of the varying prices? One helpful way to do so is by using online estimators, such as this one from Your Mechanic. All you need to do is enter your zip code and the details of your car. The web site will then calculate an estimated quote based on your information.

We tried to look at some of the quotes for the company’s services at New Jersey. Basing our calculations to a regular maintenance every 7,500 miles, we came up with the following prices:

  • 2003 Hyundai Sonata: $72
  • 2002 Honda Civic: $94
  • 2007 Audi A4 Quattro: $198
  • 2006 Kia Rio: $254
  • 2009 Toyota Highlander: $94

The prices projected by the web site are generally lower than shop and dealer prices. That is because the company makes use of mechanics who will visit your home for the maintenance service. This set-up helps cut down on overhead expenses, hence, a cheaper service charge.

Sample Shop Costs

How much does a tune up cost if you prefer doing it in a shop? To give you an idea, here are Repair Pal’s estimates for a regular maintenance in New Jersey:

  • 2003 Hyundai Sonata: $130 to $167 (7,500 miles)
  • 2002 Honda Civic: $129 to $147 (10,000 miles)
  • 2007 Audi A4 Quattro: $275 to $328 (5,000 miles)
  • 2006 Kia Rio: $206 to $247 (7,500 miles)
  • 2009 Toyota Highlander: $155 to $192 (5,000 miles)

The above costs apply to shops that were certified by Repair Pal. As explained by their FAQ page, the web site only provides price ranges as each shop differs from others when it comes to charging their services. The location of the shop also affects the cost. Nevertheless, most certified shops will enforce a pricing that falls on the company’s estimates.

Tune Up Costs Based On Miles

As you might have observed, we always indicate the interval of a regular maintenance alongside the prices. That’s because the number of miles covered by your vehicle affects the cost of the tune-up. For instance, a 3,000-mile maintenance includes fewer services compared to a 50,000-mile interval. Of course, the more services you need, the higher your expenses will be.

Some of the specific services for a tune-up and their estimated prices include:

  • Oil and oil filter change (every 3,000 miles): $30 to $70
  • Tire balance and rotation (every 7,500 miles): $25 to $75
  • Air filter change (every 10,000 miles): $20
  • PVC valve replacement (every 30,000 miles): $50 to $100
  • Spark plug replacement (every 50,000-100,000 miles): $100 to $200

What To Expect

What should be included in a car tune-up if you opt to hire professional help? Well, it depends on the shop or mechanic. But, generally, your technician will inspect worn parts of your vehicle. These include the cap, rotor, and spark plugs, among others.

Your technician will then determine the problems of the inspected parts and replace them as needed. It often happens that mechanics will replace all worn parts for a complete restoration of your car.

DIY Tune-Up

A tune-up consists of several maintenance components, making it a quite expensive car service. Fortunately, you can perform some of the said components yourself. These include:

  • Replacing the air filter
  • Replacing the spark plugs
  • Replacing the oil and oil filter
  • Replacing the fuel filter

Instructions regarding these components are widely available online. That said, make sure you know what you’re doing before you perform a DIY tune-up. Else, you might cause more damage to your vehicle which will result in more expenses.

Products For DIY

Performing a DIY tune-up requires you to buy your own replacement parts. If you prefer online purchases, here are some Amazon best-seller products for your project:

NGK Power Spark Plug

Amazon has a long list of performance parts and accessories, but NGK has some of the most notable spark plugs (in terms of cost and customer feedback). For instance, the NGK BKR5E-11 V-Power Spark Plug is a nice fit for your car and will surely keep it running.

Another product is the NGK 7090 G-Power Spark Plug which comes in packs of 1 and 4. Amid the low price, this platinum replacement part is definitely high-quality and can revive even old vehicles.

EPAuto CP134 Cabin Air Filter

You can buy cabin air filters from Amazon. Most of them are cheap, fits perfectly, and easy to install. A perfect DIY item, this product is much more affordable than a $20-replacement done by a mechanic.

Note that such replacement parts will differ depending on the make and model of your car. That said, Amazon allows you to specify the type of your vehicle. This feature will help the manufacturer produce perfectly fitting parts.

Other Tips

Before you decide to tune up your car, know first its required maintenance schedule by checking the manual. After all, intervals vary per vehicle. Some may continue to run smoothly even after 50,000 miles, while other automobiles need replacement services every 10,000 miles.

Furthermore, the parts themselves differ. For instance, spark plugs are typically replaced after 50,000 miles, while tires need to be rotated every 7,500 miles. As there are a lot of factors and considerations, reading the manual first will be the smartest thing to do.

Now that you have an idea of the costs and factors, don’t let any service provider overcharge you. Request for quotes from different shops/mechanics and choose the one that is most cost-effective.

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