Tune Up Cost – How Much Does It Cost To Do An Engine Tune Up?

Tune Up Cost – How Much Does It Cost To Do An Engine Tune Up?

August 5, 2021 0 By CarGuy

So, you have been planning to give your car a small tune up by changing the wear and tear components and refreshing your ignition system. You are probably asking yourself how much is a tune up cost? Well, in this article we are going to answer everything you need to know.

By looking for doing a tune up to your car means that you are interested in your vehicle and want the vehicle to serve you in the years to come. And this is important. It is a good idea to do preventive maintenance on your vehicle. By doing this you will be sure that you are not gonna be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.

If you are doing a tune up it means that you will fix the parts before they wear off and prevent possible defects or prevent premature wear of components, such as the engine and transmission. These components need to be regularly maintained if you want them to last you for the time you are having the car in your possession.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to a car tune up. We are going to discuss what a tune up really is and what a tune up really covers. Then we are going to discuss about the benefits that you will have if you are doing a tune up to your car and also how often should you perform this practice. Then we are going to cover the types of tune up and how much a tune up cost? And lastly, we are going to cover how much is a car tune up at Walmart. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this.

What Is An Engine Tune Up?

So, what is meant by engine tune up? A tune up is basically preventive maintenance. Doing preventive maintenance will make sure that your vehicle is always in check and will never going to let you down when you need it the most.

The phrase “tune up” takes its roots back in the 20th century, and a tune up meant dealing with the ignition system and doing fluid flushes.

By ignition system, we mean the spark plugs, wires, and distributor. When you were doing a tune up back in the day it meant replacing all these components with new ones. Also, a carburetor adjustment was included in this job. The carburetor needs to be adjusted every once in a while, to make sure that the car has a proper fuel flow.

Also, valve adjustment was one of the things that were performed by the mechanics. We have discussed valve adjustment in detail in our previous article. Adjustment of valves is important so the engine works in perfect harmony.

Not to forget the fluid flushed. Oil was replaced with new oil when you were taking your car for a tune up. Also, the cooling system was refreshed with a new coolant.

But that was back in the day, now a tune up means doing your regular service before time. And by this, we mean checking your car on a computer for codes and fixing these issues.

Also replacing all of the filters in the vehicle like the oil filter, air particulate filter, fuel filter, etc. Not to forget the fuel flushes. A brand-new oil and transmission fluid, in some more advanced tune ups there, is also a new differential fluid included.

The times have changed but the cars haven’t changed a lot, except that everything is run by a computer and needs the computer needs to be in check if you want your car to run smoothly. And what about tune up cost? Well, we are going to cover that later in the article.

Engine Tune Up Procedure

The engine tune up procedure is fairly simple and that depends a lot on the tune up cost. The more expensive the tune up, the bigger the procedure for the tune up.

The procedure for a base tune up involves checking the fluid levels and refill if their engine is running low on oil or transmission fluid. The mechanic also checks the condition of the brake fluid and fills the brake fluid reservoir.

He will check the condition of the belts and pulleys. To see if they need replacement and if they are due to be replaced.

Also, the mechanic takes your car on a lift and inspects the undercarriage for rust and worn-out parts. The most important is to see if there is play in the wheels if the thread on the wheels is worn equally among all the wheels.

He also checks if there is grease on the tie rod ends and adds grease on them if there is no grease. He also inspects the bushings and the condition of these bushings. The he greases them also if there is a lack of grease.

If you are doing more advanced tune up then the mechanic will scan your car on a computer and see if there are any errors popping.

If there are errors, he is going to inform you what needs replacement. And if you like these parts to be replaced, he is going to replace them.

If you take this to a next level and you do an advanced tune up the mechanic will do all the work needed to be done to the car. Everything that needs replacing will be replaced. This can also increase the tune up cost, but at the end of the day it pays off in my opinion. You need a safe and reliable car after all.

Parts For Tune Up

Base Tune Up

If we are doing a base tune up then all the filters and oil will be replaced. These parts for tune up are regular maintenance parts and fairly inexpensive and that’s why are included in the base tune at most shops.

Standard Tune Up

Parts for a standard tune up can involve flushing all of the coolant, oil, transmission fluid. Replacing all the worn-out components when it comes to the brake system and this includes new pads and rotors.

Also, if there are any problems with the suspension like worn ball joints they will be replaced.

Advanced Tune Up

Parts for advanced tune up include all of the above and even more. In the advanced tune up usually are done the water pump, pulleys, accessory belt, timing belt, or timing chain.

This is all the tune up checklist. These parts are made to wear off and be replaced. When you are doing a tune up is useful to replace these parts if they are close to the end of their lifetime. Don’t wait for the time to pass and wait for them to fail. Because when they fail, they can cost you a lot of nerves and time to repair.

How Often Should I Get A Tune Up?

This is a good question. So, how often should you get a tune up? In my opinion, every 7,000 miles is the best time to do a tune up. This is a good time because on every 7,000 miles you will be doing your oil change. And you can use the time that you are in the shop to do a simple base tune up.

The mechanic will check your components and their condition. If there is something worn out, he will propose you to replace that part. If you want to get these things resolved he will book you another appointment or if it’s something simple he will fix it right away.

Will A Tune Up Make My Car Run Better?

Of course, it will going to make your car a lot better. A tune up is a must if you want to have a vehicle that is properly cared for and in good condition. Even if it’s already good, with the tune up your car will be a lot better than it used to.

Preventive maintenance is the best maintenance when you are having a vehicle. It’s better to prevent than repair afterward. If you delay your repairs you are going to end up paying thousands of dollars on mechanics for some parts that were simple to replace on time. But you haven’t replaced them and they started doing damage to your suspension, transmission, or engine. So, don’t do that. Service your car regularly.

Types Of Tune Up

As we mentioned above. There are a few types of tune up that you can do to your car. And now we are going to list all of the items that can be replaced with each of these types of tune ups. So, let’s begin.

Base Tune Up

Base tune up covers an oil change, oil filter replacement, and checking out the fluids. Some of the shops also offer spark plug replacement.

As its name says the base tune up offers only the essential checks and components to be replaced. Without replacing these components, the vehicle safety and lifespan of the engine will be in danger.

Standard Tune Up

The standard tune up includes more, and also this tune up cost more. The standard tune up includes all the fluids flushed and replaced with brand new ones. Also, new filters that will make the car good as new. Not to forget the new brake pads that will improve your stopping distance.

Doing a standard tune up is probably the best option for you. It may cost you more money, but in the end, it will pay off and you will have a good and stable vehicle on the road.

Advanced Tune Up

Advanced tune up includes replacing everything that needs replacing and more. Also, the advanced tune up cost is much higher than the base and the standard tune up.

The advanced tune up includes all from the base and standard tune ups and much more. And this means a new water pump, new pulleys, accessory belt, timing belt, or timing chain. New ball joints and bushings in the suspension. New rotors on the brakes.

This job is also going to take a while so you have to be prepared to live without your car for a few days. This work is not that easy to do, especially if you are running a big truck or SUV vehicle.

This advanced tune up is recommended to do if you are getting a used vehicle and you don’t know what you are getting yourself into and want everything to be in proper working order. In the next chapter we are going to discuss more about the tune up cost.

Tune Up Cost, How Much Is It?

Cost is also an important aspect if you want to do a tune up on your vehicle. The cost of these tune ups depends also on the shop that you are taking your car to. Some shops are more expensive than others and do not offer much when it comes to service. So, the best thing is to get a good deal. You need to take your car somewhere where they offer good quality to price ratio. This is important to do if you want to save some money. There are places such as Walmart that are doing this work for really cheap, cheaper than any shop out there.

Now let’s break down the prices. These prices are not fixed and they depend much on where you take your car to, and we are discussing regular car shops.

A base tune up usually costs from $100 – $250, a standard tune up will set you back from $250 – $500, and an advanced tune up will going to cost you from $500 to $2000 depending on the make and model of your car.


In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to doing a tune up on your car. We discussed what is a tune up and how is the procedure. How often should you get a tune up and will this tune up make your car run better.

Then we have covered the types of tune up. And these were the base, standard and advanced tune up. And lastly, we have covered the tune up cost, and how much doing a tune up is going to set you back. Thanks for reading, and if you loved this article, please share.