Spark plugs are one of those parts that aren’t typically a problem- until they are a problem. Depending on the type of vehicle, type of plugs, and driving habits, the average vehicle manufacturer recommends that an engine’s spark plugs should be replaced around every 60,000 miles. But some of the cheaper spark plugs on the market can need replacing every 20,000-30,000 miles. Compared to getting an oil change service around every 3,000 miles, spark plug maintenance is easily forgotten about. If left unchecked, seemingly out of nowhere, engines can start to react very negatively to this failing part and create additional problems the longer you wait to replace them, as they are an integral part of the combustion process in a gas powered engine.
In this article we intend to inform you on why spark plugs are important, the warning signs of failing spark plugs, and what to do if you’re experiencing any of these problems.
If you have any concerns about the overall health, performance or functionality of your vehicle, it is a good idea to schedule a service and have a professional assess the condition of your vehicle to avoid future downtime and additional costs. Give our experts at AG Automotive a call today!
What is a spark plug?
Spark plugs are responsible for starting the combustion process within an engine’s cylinders. An electrical charge is sent to the tip of the plug which creates a small spark, igniting the air-fuel mixture within the cylinder, ultimately starting the combustion process. This spark is not only needed to set the engine’s pistons in motion while starting your car, but the combustion process is necessary to keep your vehicle moving down the road and accelerate.
The tip of the plug takes the high-voltage current and creates an arc of electricity between the center electrode and a ground electrode. The gap between the electrodes is very small, between 1-2mm across. But this is more than enough to ignite the air-fuel mixture within the combustion chamber.
Our technicians at AG Automotive can easily replace your spark plugs during your next routine maintenance service, saving you vehicle downtime and additional costs down the road.
The warning signs that your spark plugs might need replacement:
- Check engine light is on
If you see that your check engine light is on, you should schedule a service and have a professional assess the condition of your vehicle to avoid future downtime and additional costs. The check engine light will illuminate if your engine control module (ECM) detects an engine misfire or another problem with your vehicle- commonly associated with a faulty spark plug.
- Engine Misfires
As stated above, this is one of the most common signs of a failing spark plug. You will feel the engine sputtering or hear popping noises which sends extra fuel into the exhaust system. Engine misfires can potentially damage other parts in the vehicle like the catalytic converter if ignored.
- Poor Gas Mileage
Corroded, worn, or damaged spark plugs emit a less powerful spark which decreases the efficiency that fuel is burned, and increases the amount of work your engine has to do to process and combust the unburnt fuel.
- Trouble Starting
One of the worst feelings in the world is needing to go somewhere but your car doesn’t start. Typically a weak or dead battery is to blame, but spark plugs can be a close second. Worn spark plugs will not create a big enough spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture in colder or in other more extreme weather conditions.
- Slow or rough acceleration
Acceleration issues are usually associated with a fault in the fuel injection system or spark plugs. The more corroded or damaged the spark plugs are, the less efficient they are at creating the spark that starts the combustion process within the cylinder.
- Rough Idling
Rough idling during start-up or while stopped is a distinct sign that is closely associated with failing spark plugs. You will feel your engine knocking or rattling noises coming from underneath the hood.
Schedule a spark plug replacement service today!
If your vehicle is experiencing slower and/or shaking during acceleration, lower fuel efficiency or rough idling, our expert technicians at Ag Automotive will have you back on the road in no time after we identify that your vehicle needs its spark plugs replaced. Our team has the tools and knowledge to test, clean and replace worn or corroded spark plugs quickly and efficiently.
We offer our customers a full service inspection of their vehicle during every visit which includes checking to make sure your vehicle’s spark plugs are in good working condition. We want the job to be done right the first time, so we ensure your spark plugs are functioning properly after replacement and exceed the manufacturer’s specifications.