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Italian tuneup is a slang automotive term for attempting to restore engine performance by driving a car at high engine speed (RPM) and load.
The term originated from Italian mechanics in the 1950s using this practice to burn off carbon deposits from the spark plugs of sports cars. However, modern fuel injection and ignition systems have rendered Italian tuneups obsolete.
The practice is sometimes used prior to emissions testing, particularly for diesel engines.
- "High Rev Engine Cleaning". Popular Mechanics: 92. Feb 1993.
- Hartman, Jeff. Nitrous Oxide Performance Handbook. p. 138.
- Lane, Keith (2011). Automotive A-Z - Lane's Complete Dictionary of Automotive Terms. Veloce.