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Maintenance and Tune-up - What's The Difference?    

These are perhaps the most commonly used and misunderstood terms in regards to servicing power equipment. Unfortunately, this can also be the source for many unpleasant situations between the consumer and service business. Because of the misconception, you will often hear the following complaint:

"I paid for a tune up, but it still won't start, is hard to start, runs bad...etc!"

The goal with this article is to first help clarify the differences of meaning between the two, with a secondary goal of offering a very plain definition for each term, and what each will or will not accomplish.

This one being the simpler of the two can be easily defined. As the word suggests, it should mean "maintaining the present state or condition" of the subject matter. For example:

Using a walk behind lawnmower as the subject and assuming that the equipment is in good working order without any need for repair. Our goal in this case would be to maintain that status by performing an identified set of procedures recommended by the manufacturer in order to keep it in good working order.

Key thoughts to remember about maintenance:

  • Maintenance is intended to PREVENT problems and extend the service life of the equipment rather than to correct an existing problem.

Tune Up
The use of the term tune up is without question the cause for all the misunderstanding and confusion. Unfortunately, the term can be and
is all too often used to indicate a wide variety of services based on nothing more than a personal definition.

Key thoughts to remember about tune up:

  • A tune up is a simple group of repair procedures intended to correct and improve the performance of the engine or equipment.

  • Depending on the type and severity of a given problem, a tune up may or may not correct it.

Now, let's explore what the differences really are...

Continue to part 2

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