I have a 6 cylinder 1992 Nissan Maxima. I usually go to Firestone for my oil changes and the guys there are always nice and helpful. But they recently suggested I get a spark plug replacement and tune up. The tune up would be $84.99 ($45 for labor) and the spark plug work would be $128.99 ($40 “transverse engine labor” and $53 spark plug labor). So should I do this? Should I go elsewhere? Total it is $213.98. Thanks!
Take it elsewhere. There really is no such thing as a tune-up in the traditional sense.
Essentially all they’re doing here is changing the spark plugs and you could get this done cheaper elsewhere.
With a '92 model car, what really should be done, and could be considered a tune-up of sorts, is that a compression check should be performed when the spark plugs are removed, the air/fuel filters/PCV valve should be serviced, and the spark plug wires should be replaced, along with the distributor cap and rotor as needed.
This of course would bump you up to and over that amount you listed, but at least you’re getting something for your money.
If the vehicle is apparently running fine, fuel mileage has not dropped off much, etc. then you could get by with plugs only if you desire.
Is your engine a 4 or 6 cylinder? Can you SEE the spark plugs, all of them? I suspect Firestone’s labor charges are a little high, unless yours is a V6 with nightmare serviceability problems…
The one issue I really have a problem with here is this so-called “transverse engine” charge.
JMHO, but that is a way of squeezing you a bit on the labor by insinuating that a transverse mounted engine is more difficult to access than a linear mounted one. They vary, and a real flat rate labor time takes the “transverse” part of this into consideration.
OK4450’s right about the BS ‘transverse engine’ charge. I have a 99 Hyundai Sonata with a transverse V6, and it costs around $300 or so to get the spark plugs changed by the dealer, largely due to the fact that the intake manifold has to be removed, along with all the parts attached to it, in order to get at the rear three plugs (which is a PITA.) But the dealer doesn’t charge a separate fee for the manifold removal, they just include it in the price to change the plugs. To do otherwise, well, it’s kind of silly.
Also, many FWD 4-cylinder cars have transverse engines, and the plugs are a freakin’ breeze to get at. Any shop that charges a ‘transverse engine’ fee for cars with easily accessible plugs are crooks.
At any rate, you can probably get the job done cheaper elsewhere. However, before you do, consider if it’s really necessary to get this ‘tune-up.’ Is the car running fine? No driveability problems? If so, then I highly doubt you NEED new spark plugs. Remember, Firestone is after your money, and I highly doubt they check your spark plugs for wear every time you get an oil change.
all Maximas have v6 engines.
to the OP: just for reference, with 4-cylinder engines, most DIYers can do this for about $10 - 20 (cost of plugs) in just 20 minutes (or less).
with transverse v6 engines, it IS a lot more difficult to get to the rear bank of cylinders. the prices you were quoted nonetheless are outrageous.
“However, before you do, consider if it’s really necessary to get this ‘tune-up.’ Is the car running fine? No driveability problems? If so, then I highly doubt you NEED new spark plugs. Remember, Firestone is after your money…”
this is true. unlike in the bad old days, most cars EASILY go 100k miles without needing new plugs.
the brothers once fielded a call from a lexus owner who had more than 200k miles on his set. seemed it still ran fine. (most would recommend NOT keeping a set in that long however. but because of possible seizure and difficulty removing, not necessarily performance degradance.)
The spark plug charge is reasonalbe (IMO) based upon how difficult it is to get to the rear bank in a V6. Very consistent in what I have paid over the past few years.Also, platinum plugs probably which cost more but labor is the real culprit, not an easy task to get to them