The Car Care Council's annual ``Be Car Care Aware'' campaign's 2005 public relations and marketing efforts will get a boost from the promotion of a 21st century tune-up concept.
Rich White, the council's executive director, said ``as vehicle technology has progressed, the parts and procedures required to perform a tune-up have changed dramatically. If you ask 10 different technicians what a tune-up is, you'll probably get 10 different answers. This is why the industry needs a clear and concise definition of what a tune-up should consist of today.''
The council's Web site-www.carcare.org-notes that a tune-up historically was associated with routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help tune an engine. As electronics became more commonplace in the 1970s, points gradually were no longer used. In the 1980s carburetors were being replaced with fuel injection systems.
``Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up,'' the group said, describing the concept as ``designed to help redefine and educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today's modern vehicles.''
It recommended the following systems be inspected:
* Battery, charging and starting;
* Engine mechanical;
* Powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks);
* Ignition; and
Leading up to the council's National Car Care Month activities in April, the Bethesda-based group's press releases, radio and TV spots, media spokesperson pitches and its Web site also will include ``21st century tune-up'' information. The council said repair facilities and auto parts stores across the country will join businesses, civic groups, local radio stations and others to sponsor free vehicle check ups, including safety and emission checks. The events, referred to as Vehicle Check Ups, are planned for parking lots at shopping malls, schools, businesses and other highly visible locations.
Technicians, vocational students and volunteers will check fluid levels, tires, lights and other systems and components, the council said, then review the results with the motorist and provide information about proper vehicle maintenance and repair.
``The `Be Car Care Aware' campaign is about helping motorists make informed decisions about their vehicles' care and maintenance,'' Mr. White said in a prepared statement. ``In 2005, with the help of the 21st Century Tune-up and National Car Care Month, we will keep the momentum of the campaign going and continue to make great strides in helping reduce vehicle neglect.''
To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the council also is recommending motorists become more familiar with every aspect of their vehicles. It suggested they ``study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.''
A new brochure-downloadable at the council's Web site-is aimed at familiarizing motorists with opportunities for preventive maintenance in and around their vehicles. It contains information about the Car Care Aware campaign, a full-size schematic of vehicle parts, components and maintenance recommendations.