Driver's Guide

How Much Does a Tune-Up Cost [2023 Prices & Guide]

Last Updated on January 20, 2023 by Bernard Juchli

How much does a tune-up cost? A basic tune up would cost between $40 and $150. Nevertheless, it can be higher, depending on the parts and labor where you live.

Without doing the necessary routine maintenance, there is a very significant likelihood that your vehicle may break down at some point in the future since cars are not built to live forever. As a result, the owner’s manual for every vehicle usually suggests getting a vehicle tune-up.

This tune-up is your vehicle’s primary checkup, and it’s vital to do to avoid significant damage. In this article, you will learn all about tune up and how much does a tune-up cost.

how much does a tune-up cost

What Does a Tune-Up Cover in a Car?

The tune-up is regarded as the general checkup and inspection of your vehicle. Consider the tune-up for your car as being similar to your annual medical exam, when you see the doctor and have him examine all of your organs and systems.

The mechanic will thoroughly check every component of the car to make sure everything is operating as it should. Your technician will be able to spot issues early on before they become more serious and will be able to assist with rapid fixes.

How much does a Tune-Up cost?

Costs for tune-ups might be as little as $40 or as high as $800. The scope of the vehicle tune-up and the location where it is performed has a significant impact on the cost.

For instance, the majority of tune-ups that merely need the replacement of spark plug wires, spark plugs, and depth itself doesn’t cost more than $150. However, more sophisticated tune-ups might cost as much as $800.

Of course, some dealerships and independent shops fight to provide several incentives to entice you to choose the best location for you. To obtain the greatest bargain, it is thus always advisable to compare prices and keep an eye out for sales. However, keep in mind that while looking for your next tune-up, cost shouldn’t be your first concern. Instead, you want to make sure that the shop has the correct amount of technical expertise for your car.

What is included in a full tune up?

Generally speaking, a full vehicle tune-up includes the following duties:

1. Oil change

The first activity carried out during a car tune-up is an oil change since oil is one of the most crucial fluids in your vehicle. Depending on the kind of oil you pick, your vehicle has to have its oil changed at per period described in the owner’s handbook.

Your engine will function poorly if you don’t replace the oil on schedule since the oil won’t lower the engine’s temperature and drastically reduce overheating. For example, if the oil level is low, the oil pickup might not always be immersed in oil, which means that it will suck in air instead—J.D. Power.

The oil filter is often changed together with the oil since it is usually blocked at this stage and has to be replaced.

Changing your car’s oil is a simple task that shouldn’t cost you more than $50 if you’re going to do the tune-up yourself. The price will also depend on the kind of oil you choose.

2. Vehicle alignment

Your car’s wheel connection to the suspension system may become tilted with time, necessitating a correction procedure called vehicle alignment.

The performance of the vehicle will be impacted if the proper alignment is not performed. Additionally, it may cause early tire degradation. So, you need to ensure you get a tune up for this issue once you begin to notice it.

3. Changing air filters

The replacement of the air filters is a crucial step in every tune-up. There are two primary air filters in your vehicle, one in the engine compartment and the other next to the cabin.

As the name implies, air filters are in charge of keeping any particles from reaching the internal engine or other parts of the car that might hurt them. As a result, it’s essential to at least change the filters according to the instructions in your owner’s handbook to preserve your car’s performance and avoid problems.

4. Changing the spark plug

Every cylinder and the air-fuel combination are ignited by spark plugs. Unfortunately, the lifetime of these spark plugs varies depending on the kind of substance. To avoid engine misfiring and other performance concerns, you must replace them each time they break.

Depending on how many spark plugs you want to replace and how many cylinders are damaged, different spark plug replacement charges apply. In general, a spark plug replacement service can cost you between $100 and $200.

5. Transmission fluid flush

The hydraulic power required for the gearbox to function correctly makes the transmission fluid one of the most important fluids in your car. Additionally, it aids in lubricating the gearbox and reduces overheating as a result of friction produced by the internal working parts.

Depending on the recommendation in your owner’s handbook/manual for your car, you will need to perform a gearbox flush once for a specific time. Otherwise, the performance of the transition may start to suffer, which might negatively affect your driving experience.

Experts advise against doing a transmission fluid flush at home since it takes a specific degree of mechanical expertise and is difficult to do so.

6. Fuel filter replacement

As the name implies, the fuel filter is in charge of ensuring that no pollutants or debris exit the fuel tank and enter the engine. Since the engine is not getting the proper quantity of fuel to start, you will notice a direct impact on your vehicle’s performance when the fuel filter becomes partially blocked.

A totally blocked filter might, in extreme cases, prohibit your engine from starting at all. Imagine that there is no petrol in your fuel tank. The fuel filter must be replaced as a result to avoid any engine performance difficulties.

If done at home, replacing a fuel filter will cost you around $25. However, in certain private businesses, replacing a sophisticated fuel filter may cost up to $100.

7. PCV valve replacement

The positive crankcase ventilation valve, or PCV valve, is a crucial part of the combustion system of most recent vehicles. To keep the pressure up, it is in charge of letting out any extra gases produced during the combustion process.

The PCV valve may get blocked as a result of misuse over time and must be replaced once a year. PCV valves typically cost about $10, but if you go to an independent business, labor fees alone might push the price up to $50.

8. Brake pad replacement

Your safety depends on the braking system; thus, it must function correctly at all times. Unfortunately, out of all the parts of the braking system, your brake pads have the most potential for damage.

As a result, anytime you see any indication that the brake pads are having problems, you must replace them.  A total brake pad and rotor replacement normally cost you around $500. Typically, replacing air brakes also necessitates replacing the rotors.

9. Power steering flush

A power steering flush is another crucial duty you must do during your vehicle’s tune up. Fluid is also used in power steering to give the hydraulic power necessary for it to function effectively.

Unfortunately, the power steering fluid may get dirty and polluted with usage, which affects how it behaves hydraulically. As a result, using outdated steering fluid might seriously impair your ability to manage the car.

10. Oxygen sensor replacement

Modern cars include a system of oxygen sensors that detect any issues with the amount of oxygen in the air-fuel combination and notify them. This information is crucial since it may result in the engine misfiring. Whenever there is an issue with this sensor, a check engine light will illuminate.

Your technician must examine the oxygen sensor and confirm that it is functioning correctly to avoid having to deal with check engine light messages. If not, it has to be changed right away. The oxygen sensor replacement costs roughly $100.


What fluids are changed in a tune up?

Typically, during a simple tune-up, just the engine oil is replaced, and the other fluids are merely filled up and inspected. During the tune-up, the technician may also ask you to replace any faulty fluids they discover.

Can I do my own tune up?

You can conduct your own auto tune-up if you want to save some money. Many of the fundamental services, like an oil change or filter replacement, just need simple equipment. Check the service manual first since some of the other services could need special equipment or advanced expertise.

If you have any questions concerning the tune-up services, see a qualified technician. Additionally, if you are unsure about how to do a service that is described in your owner’s handbook, you should always rely on professionals.

What does a full tune up consist of?

There is no set “complete tune up” that always follows the same steps. Everything is examined during a tune-up, and any essential components and oils are replaced. However, a complete tune-up could include inspecting the car thoroughly as well as replacing the oil, the brakes, and the filter.

How long does a tune up take?

Depending on the sort of tune-up being done and how many components need to be changed, a tune-up may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours. Ask your technician how long the tune-up is likely to take before they start to have an idea of how long you need to wait.

How often should you get a tune up?

The frequency of tune-ups varies depending on the type of your vehicle and is not predetermined. However, a decent rule of thumb is to get your car tuned up once a year or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.


Depending on what you want to be accomplished, a tune-up service might require quite varied amounts of effort. A simple tune-up costs between $50 to $250, but if you want a more thorough tune-up, it might cost much more.

While it may be tempting to forego the necessary maintenance process to save money, frequent tune-ups are crucial to keep your vehicle operating smoothly and avoid more costly issues in the future. Even while the cost of the tune-up may appear high, you will undoubtedly end up saving money because you will avoid more serious issues.

We have covered the topic “how much does a tune-up cost” If you have further question regarding your car, please use the comment section.


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Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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