How To Tune Up a Pickup Truck

If you love your pickup truck, you want to keep it in the best shape possible. Part of good maintenance is a regular tun- up to keep everything in optimal shape. You likely already know this but may be wondering what is a tuneup on a car exactly. The good news is that most of the tasks are very easy and anyone can learn how to do them.

Ignition System

The ignition system is often one of the center focal points of the tune-up process. This system consists of the spark plugs, wires, coils and other components that help to ignite the fuel in your engine. Inspect the wires for any breakage, fraying or other damage. A thorough visual inspection should be sufficient.

Take out your spark plugs and inspect them. If they are in good condition and relatively new, give them a quick cleaning with a brush. If they are in poor condition or older, replace them. Make sure to check your owner’s manual to find the recommended type of spark plug.

If you have been experiencing any misfires or weakened acceleration, take a look at the ignition coils. Inspect them for any build-up or damage. Consider replacing them.


Change the auto air filter in your engine compartment. On some cars, you can do this without any tools. On others, you may need to loosen some screens to get the filter out of its housing. Filters are cheap and worth replacing reasonably often to ensure they are in the best condition possible.

Although not always considered part of a tune-up, consider also changing your cabin air filter. On most trucks, this is located behind the glovebox. Check your owner’s manual or service manual for information on replacement.

You may want to change your fuel filter and positive crankcase ventilation valve filter. These are slightly more complex tasks but worthwhile.


Change your oil and replace the oil filter. Consult your owner’s manual to find the recommended type of oil. While you don’t necessarily need to use the recommended brand, you should make sure to match the suggested viscosity and type (synthetic or conventional).

Also, take a look at your other fluid levels. Check them for clarity and color. These include your coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid.

Belts and Hoses

Inspect all the belts and hoses in your engine compartment. Look for any cracking or wear. These items normally start to show problems before they fail. So, checking them often can help you keep them in good order. Replace any belts or hoses that are starting to decay. These include the serpentine belt and timing belt. Also, look at the belt tensioner to make sure it is maintaining proper tension.

Learn More

Head to your favorite auto parts store to pick up some oil, engine air filter, spark plugs and cabin air filter on sale. With a little patience and effort, you can easily learn to take care of your pickup yourself. This will save you money and let you enjoy ownership even more. Get started today.