Jeep tune up is either a preventive maintenance or a fix for an ailing Wrangler. Often times if the engine is running rough or getting poor fuel mileage. Changing and or checking a few inexpensive, yet vital parts can help or fix many performance issues.
Tune ups consist of changing the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor button which can often be purchased as a kit as seen here. What it should also involve is taking the time to check the air filter, vital fluids, accessory belts and don't forget the tire pressure. The combination of all this along with the tune up will pay itself back in the long run with increased fuel mileage and better performance. Not to mention possibly preventing very costly repairs later down the road.
Performing a tune up on an old Jeep really doesn't require a lot of specific tools. Just a basic ratchet set with a spark plug socket. A Phillips head screwdriver to change the filter and you are god to go.
An often overlooked item for newer cars is not changing the Oxygen Sensor. This sensor has a very important job. It measures air to fuel ratio so that the PCM knows how much fuel to send through the injectors.
Understandably that people don't change them on every Jeep tune up. Simply because they can be expensive little boogers to buy. Wrangler YJ & Cherokee XJs have only 1 to buy, so not too awfully bad. Many newer Wranglers and Cherokees have more than 1, which can make a tune u get expensive real quick. I change the O2 in my YJ about every other tune up. You can change an O2 sensor with a 7/8 open end wrench if you like. This link is the correct tool if you prefer to go that route. Or, if you are into growing your tool collection, here is a set that includes the O2 sensor tool along with other specialty sockets.
That brings up a good question. How long between tune ups? Well honestly that really does vary from one vehicle to another. Meaning, an old school carburetor motor may go 8,000 miles before it needs tuned up. First generation fuel injected motors like the XJ & YJ may go out to 12,000. Even then it depends on the condition of the engine.
Newer computer controlled fuel injected engines can go as many as 100,000 miles before a spark plug need to be replaced. Technology has come a very long way!! So .. the only right answer I can give is consult your owners manual or call your dealership as to what recommended for your ride.
As I mentioned above, the condition of the engine can really play a role as to when a tune up is needed. Especially the older generation engines such as my Wrangler YJ.
So, how do you know the old engine needs attention?
Well .. does the engine stall a lot? Does it idle rough or rough when accelerating? Is the engine getting hard to start? All those symptoms can be a sign that a tune up is getting close or all ready needed.
Here my toy is getting a tune up. It was in desperate need because ... well to be honest .. it was running like crap! After changing all the ignition parts, she ran sooo much better!! Not to mention it was getting way better fuel mileage. Well .. I realize its a Jeep with the aerodynamics of a brick. But, it was still better :-)