6 Signs That You Need to Replace Your Car’s Spark Plugs, ASAP 

spark plug for cars

Spark plugs may be small, but they’re one of the most important parts of your car. In fact, if you have faulty or worn spark plugs, the engine won’t start at all. 

Recall that spark plugs are the ones responsible for sending the electrical signal that creates a spark that then ignites the mix of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. Once the fuel starts to burn, your car is ready to go.

Depending on a vehicle’s make and model, you may need to replace spark plugs every 40,000 to 80,000 kilometres. However, there may be times when you have to get in touch with a reliable auto parts supplier sooner rather than later. 

Here are some clues that can help you determine if your car’s spark plugs need to be replaced:

Your Car is Slow to Accelerate

If you notice that your car doesn’t respond immediately when you step on the accelerator, you might have a spark plug problem. In particular, the spark plugs may not be producing a good enough spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture.

In some cases, especially in modern engines, the problem may be with the sensor that detects problems with the ignition system. If so, have the sensor checked and repaired as needed. 

Have your trusted mechanic rule out other issues as well, such as clogged fuel injectors or dirty fuel filters. If these aren’t the cause of slow acceleration, you may indeed have bad spark plugs.

You Have Trouble Starting Your Vehicle

As mentioned earlier, your car’s spark plugs are responsible for getting the engine running. 

If you’re having problems starting your vehicle, especially during cold weather, check your spark plugs if they’re in good condition. It’s possible that there’s already a build-up of unburnt oil and gas, which can affect the performance of the spark plugs.

Make sure to address this issue as soon as possible because difficulties during cold starts can damage your engine. In addition, it also drains the battery prematurely.

Your Car Rumbles Loudly When Idle

When your car’s engine is running and idle, it should emit a low, smooth rumble. If there’s a loud, rough noise coming from your engine when waiting at a stop, you likely need a new set of spark plugs. 

While you’re at it, have other components checked as well, including the ignition coils. These may also be worn or damaged and need to be replaced.

You Don’t Get Good Mileage

Spark plugs help your engine burn fuel more efficiently and thus give you more kilometres per litre. 

If you notice a decline in your usual mileage, have a mechanic inspect your car’s spark plugs. They may not need replacing just yet; instead, they may simply need an adjustment on the gap between the electrodes. 

If this doesn’t solve the issue, then that’s the time to replace the spark plugs.

The Engine Misfires

The usual culprit behind engine misfires is an issue in your car’s ignition system.

As previously mentioned, this may be caused by a malfunctioning sensor in modern cars. It can also be attributed to a damaged spark plug wire or spark plug tip.

To detect an engine misfire, listen for intermittent sputtering, popping, or chuffing sounds. Sometimes, you may even feel as if the engine is literally backfiring. 

The above-mentioned rumbling when idle, as well as poor acceleration response can also be indicators of engine misfires. Have the problem addressed ASAP to prevent loss of engine power and an increase in exhaust emissions.

There Are Odd Coloured Deposits

There are plenty of visual signs that can tell you that your car’s spark plugs are failing. 

In particular, the deposits on the side of the electrode should be brown or grey tinged with tan. Oily deposits, black and dried soot, and white deposits are all signs of contamination with the ignition system. 

Usually, the contaminants are either the coolant, fuel, or oil. Once it’s determined, the corresponding system should be repaired or replaced alongside the spark plugs.

Take note of the appearance of the electrodes, as well. They should be whole and not look burned or completely worn. If you have a new or a good-condition spark plug, it can be helpful to perform a side-by-side comparison.

Thankfully, it’s easy to find replacement spark plugs. 

They’re crucial parts of an engine, which means that many auto shops will have them available. Just make sure that you get spark plugs that are compatible with your vehicle.

What’s more, you can also learn how to replace spark plugs on your own. All you need are some simple tools such as the correct wrenches and you’ll be good to go. This is definitely a good skill to have for any car owner.

Of course, you can also leave the inspection and replacement to the hands of the experts if you’re not confident in your mechanical skills. 

The bottomline is to have the spark plugs replaced as soon as possible to ensure that your car always delivers top performance.

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