Tune ups

I have a 1995 Taurus that I recently bought.

What is considered a complete tune up for this car?

The car had been lightly used, and has about 100,000 miles.

There no longer is anything called a tune up.

Do you have the owner’s manual? Do you know when the last maintenance items have been done The owner’s manual list all the regular maintenance items and when they should be done.

If you don’t have a manual you can likely buy one on line, not too expensive or maybe for a few dollars more you will find one at a dealer.

I would recommend the manual because different cars and different years require different maintenance.

Typically maintenance would include:

  • Oil, oil filter and air filter change ~ every 5,000-10,000 miles or 6 months which ever comes first.

  • Air filter every 5,000 - 15,000 miles
    * Timing belt every 75-100,000 miles (this one is expensive and very very critical. failure to change it could cost you whole new engine if it is a belt type car vs a timing chain type car.) The manual will tell you if you have a belt.

  • Plugs should be changed about every 50,000 and wires maybe every 100,000 miles.

    In general it is better to do it too often rather than too late. Really try to get an owner’s manual for your specific model and year of car.

    I strongly recommend changing the [automatic] transmission fluid and filter screen every 40-50,000 miles, even if it is not listed.

I have a manual, and review it on a regular basis.
It is not clear as to what is required for a tune-up. I planned on plugs, Plug wires and fuel filter. I have already flushed the coolent and changed the transmission filter and flushed it. The air filter appears to be new.
The car fortunately, as I research it, seems to have a timing chain, not belt, and the manual list nothing about replacing a timing belt.
I was wondering if there is anything in addition to these items that is needed. I have heard the distributor cap, but do not know if it should be replaced. If i replace the cap should I replace anything else with it, or do I have to worry about timing?

The timing is set by the car’s onboard electronic systems and, in fact, may not even be adjustable. Replacing the distributor cap may be a good idea, or it may be overkill at this point, but it can’t hurt.

As you are finding out, a “tune-up” now essentially consists of replacing spark plugs, all filters, all fluids, and perhaps also the PCV valve, plug wires and distributor cap. If you were thinking about things like ignition points and resistor, those went out shortly after the disco era.

Unfortuantely i am from the disco era. I remember tune ups as a true pain.
This seems almost too easy, which is why I appreciate your reassurance.

It is pretty easy, which makes it all the more amazing that so many people don’t do what is necessary.

Kudos on keeping up with the necessary maintenance on your car!

“I have a manual” GREAT.

Follow VDC’s advice and everything listed in the owner’s manual.

I remember it took me no more than 20 minutes to do a complete turn-up with filter changes, wires plugs and adjust the valves.