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If your car’s throttle response has gone from “burn, burn” to “putt, putt,” it’s likely a spark plug problem.
Signs You Need To Change Your Spark Plugs
Poor fuel economy is another sign that the spark plug or plug wires need to be replaced. Although today’s spark plugs last much longer than those made 30 years ago, they do not last forever and must be replaced regularly. It is best to refer to the user manual. Read on to learn about these important internal combustion engine components and when to replace your spark plugs.
How Often To Change The Spark Plugs In A Car
A spark plug is a device that uses a small amount of light to ignite the fuel and air mixture in a car engine, creating combustion that moves the pistons and makes your car move.
A spark plug is screwed into each cylinder of the engine. You need to start the tool and do this. The biggest demand on the ignition system is starting and running the car.
This spark ignites the fuel/air mixture inside the engine cylinder. Every time a spark is created, a small explosion occurs in the cylinder that lands on the piston. The type of engine tells you how many spark plugs you need. If your car has four cylinders, it has four pistons; Six cylinders, six pistons, etc., will each pass through a separate plug.
The spark plug is a reliable worker. For example, at idle, say 800 rpm, the spark will fire 200 times per minute for a 4 cylinder 2.0 liter engine. When the engine speed increases, say to 2000 rpm, the plug rotates 500 times per second.
Getting Your Boat Ready For Spring: Spark Plugs
Most spark plugs have a long life and can be replaced regularly with regular maintenance. It is useful to maintain healthy plugs and wires to ensure that they light up on time and keep the machine running smoothly. Faulty or worn spark plugs prevent the synchronous combustion that drives the engine.
Spark plugs are built behind the scenes and usually drivers don’t think about them. However, the spark plug tips may become hot due to heat build-up in the combustion chamber or a malfunction of the cooling system. Repeated heating can cause premature plug failure.
Other causes of spark plug failure include fuel leaks or the build-up of carbon or other combustion products in the chamber.
As with any maintenance or engine problem, you should follow the instructions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual on when to replace your spark plugs. There is no rule of thumb because their lifespan depends on the type and quality of light. Mileage is an important indicator of spark plug life; Your age is not an important factor in years.
Signs Of Bad Spark Plugs
Refer to the user manual for alternate intervals. Some automakers require replacement at 18,000 miles, some at 30,000 to 35,000 miles, and others at 100,000 miles.
Older cars used a distributor, distributor cap and spark plugs. Some later models have a distributorless ignition system but still have conventional ignition wires. Newer cars use a wire-to-plug ignition system that eliminates electrical problems caused by damaged spark plugs. The industry needs more precise control of ignition and fuel delivery due to the need to increase fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Owners of older vehicles with spark plugs may need to replace them because they wear out and cause them to break. At this point, they don’t provide enough power to ignite the spark plugs and burn the fuel properly.
Dirty or damaged spark plugs reduce fuel economy because the spark plugs do not burn gas properly during combustion. Miles per gallon drops 20% to 30%. The mechanic replaces the plugs and adjusts the gap of each plug to factory specifications using a special tool.
Bad Spark Plug Symptoms
For example, if it takes a long time to accelerate and there is little power to get the car moving, the problem may be a worn spark plug that needs to be replaced. However, a bad fuel filter, dirty or clogged fuel injectors, and problems with the lambda probe and ignition system can slow it down.
If the engine stalls, jerks, or jerks like a noise, or if there is excessive vibration, the spark plugs and/or ignition cables may be to blame.
Replace the spark plug regularly if there is oil on the surface of the spark plug after removing it from the engine. Oil leaks are caused by damaged valve cover gaskets, damaged spark plug gaskets, weak head gaskets, or worn or damaged valve guides. Repair is necessary because oil can damage the engine or prevent it from starting. An engine that continues to misfire can damage the catalytic converter, which can cost around $1,500 or more to replace.
The reason may be wearing light plugs. Have an experienced mechanic determine if the spark plugs need to be replaced. Simply put, the engine won’t start if the spark plugs don’t generate enough fire to start the combustion process. Some other causes of starting problems include problems with the ignition system, the battery needs to be replaced, or the plug wires are missing. Replace the car battery if it does not produce enough voltage to start the engine.
How Do I Know If My Spark Plugs Need Replacing?
Finally, don’t ignore the engine silhouette symbol or the “check engine” light. These warning lights can come on if the spark plugs fail or if the ignition cables need to be replaced. However, it depends on the car manufacturer’s reason for lighting. This may be limited to warning that the throttle cap is loose, the vehicle is emitting more than US regulations, the lambda probe or mass air flow sensor needs replacing, and/or the catalytic converter is faulty.
One last note: If one of the above warning lights is on, turn off the engine immediately and call a tow truck. A flashing light can indicate a serious problem with the catalytic converter. Ignoring this warning could result in expensive repair bills. Consult your owner’s manual to identify warning signs for your vehicle.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can look up the average cost of replacing a spark plug for your car, and find a garage near you to do the work for you using the Kelly Blue Book Service and Repair Guide.
As you know, different gas cars have different engines – which means they need different spark plugs. Depending on the number of cylinders your engine has will determine how much you need. It’s one for one. For example, if you run a 4 cylinder engine, you need four spark plugs.
Ignition And Coil Flashover
To ensure engine compatibility, many spark plugs are made from different metals, some cheaper than others. However, cheap items tend to last a shorter life than those made of more expensive metals. Manufacturers will recommend the exact type of spark plugs that a gas car needs. It is best to refer to the user manual.
Copper spark plugs have, for decades, been the most common and cheapest on the market. However, it has a short lifespan, so you need to change it often.
Iridium spark plugs offer a very long life, which is reflected in the price. They are often the most expensive type of spark plug on the market today. So if your manual says you need iridium plugs, that’s what you need because anything less can affect performance.
Platinum spark plugs last longer and usually get hotter. This means that these spark plugs reduce carbon build-up in your engine. Because they are made of tough but high-quality steel, you can go about 100,000 miles before you need to replace platinum spark plugs. If you’re driving a new gas car, some manufacturers will recommend it.
How Often To Change Spark Plug
Double platinum plugs get their name not because they are doubled, but because they are both platinum on the central electrode and the side electrode. These are specially made for cars with “lost spark ignition systems”, meaning two spark plugs are fired at the same time. It causes increased pollution and is covered with spark plugs, which is why this species is important. You can use regular platinum spark plugs in the misfire system, but this will affect both performance and lifespan. This type of light is also very expensive.
Silver spark plugs use silver on top of the electrode. These are uncommon and usually found on European performance cars and motorcycles. However, they are around but usually less powerful than platinum and iridium spark plugs. Your car may not need it, but always check the manual.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since it was originally published. Rick Kranz contributed to this report.
Chris Hardesty is senior opinion manager at Cox Automotive. He edits and writes articles for Autotrader and Kelly Blue Book that advise consumers on the financial aspects of buying and selling cars, educate consumers about safety features in today’s cars, and maintenance and ownership tips. share Chris has spent three decades in journalism, including leading investigative departments Read more about Chris Hardisty
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