Should I get a Tune-Up?

Hey everyone. About a year ago I bought a 2014 Toyota Corolla used via dealership with around ~35k miles. Now, it has around 45k miles.

At the end of this month, I’m planning on moving out and going from CA to TX.

I recently have gotten my tires changed, and I rotate my tires when they need to be rotated. On top of that I recently changed out my battery since it was faulty. I’d like to believe I take extremely good care of my vehicle.

Here’s the thing though, I’m unsure if I should get a Tune-Up. Around the same time last year, I made a road trip to AZ and everything was peachy keen (and the Grand Canyon was great). Should I get a tune-up to be safe or will my car be fine?

Thank you!

According to the maintenance manual for your car

Spark plugs need replaced at 120,000 miles or 144 months, which ever comes first.

And that is the extent of a “tune up” in a modern car!

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If it has not been done, I would change the air filter, the cabin air filter,
the coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid.

Has all maintenance required in your owner’s manual been done? That’s the important question. There is no such thing as a “tune-up” any more.

Also, don’t do any service too close to your trip. If anything is done incorrectly, you want to find out when you’re still in town, not when you’re out on the road.


And are your tires in great shape? How old are they? If they are as old as the car, I’d replace them.


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As long as you are following the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual, the only extra stuff you should do is transmission fluid (I do my first change at 50k, then every 30k thereafter) which is often improperly not included in the regular maintenance recommendations.

Other than that, you should only have it “tuned up” so to speak if it’s not running well.

Our regular mechanic discovered a bad plug in my 2009 at about 110,000 miles while replacing a bad coil. I had him replace the other three plugs too and replaced the air filter. 120,000 might be pushing it but you’re nowhere near due yet.

At places where I’ve worked a tune-up (which is somewhat of a misnomer) consisted of spark plug replacement, compression check, air/fuel filter replacement if necessary, inspection of the PCV valve, and adjustment of mechanical lifters if so equipped.

I don’t think that you need to worry about spark plugs at this point but I would certainly not want to leave them in there for a 100k or more miles. Even if an engine appears to be running fine spark plugs will develop subtle misfires that will not be noticeable or set any diagnostic codes. There’s also the possibility of spark plugs seizing in the threads if left in too long and which can sometimes lead to damaged the plug hole threads on the way out. This means a slightly more expensive repair; or more than that if the spark plug hole is not very accessible.

Time wise, I’d be most concerned about your coolant right now. It is a long life coolant, good for 100k miles or about 7 years. Other than that, you should add a few psi to the tires for the trip. Sustained high speed driving makes the tires run hotter so adding 2 to 3 psi above the cold recommendation in the placard on the door post is a good idea. Do that a day or two before you start.

If you would need an oil change before you get to your destination, then do it before you go, about a week before just to be sure there aren’t any leaks due to a loose filter or drain plug. Before you leave, check the oil level and make sure it is full, oil also runs hotter at high speeds.

Have a safe trip.