If you’e between a car owner for some time, then there’s a better-than-not chance that you’e encountered a faulty spark plug at one point or another. Spark plugs are responsible for proiding the literal ignition that allows your car to start and drive, and so, although they are relatiely inexpensive, they are also itally important. But how do you know if your spark plugs need replacing?
How to Know if your Spark Plugs need Replacing
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of spark plug symptoms, let’s get into an equally important issue.
How does a spark plug actually go bad?
Knowing what we know about spark plugs — that they proide the spark each and every time your car starts — it stands to reason that they would get quite the workout. This workout can eventually lead to a buildup of fuel residue on the plug itself, which can dampen its ignition capability. Another common problem is that the gap between the two electrodes (where the actual spark occurs) can lengthen due to extended use, and that the fuel/air mixture will fail to bridge the gap during ignition.
1) Your car is a rough starter. Generally speaking, we blame cars that have trouble starting on the battery, which is understandable. However, worn-out spark plugs can be the culprit just as easily. If no spark is produced, there will be no ignition, and your car won’t move. 2) Your car is a rough idler. Een if your car does start, bad spark plugs will produce problems long after. Ideally speaking, the sound of your engine should be smooth during idling, and your car shouldn’t be rattling. However, bad spark plugs will produce a rough and jittery idle. 3) Your engine will sometimes misfire. Hae you ever felt that your car halts or hesitates for a fraction of a second during trael? This could be because your cylinders aren’t firing properly, which is often the result of a faulty spark plug. 4) Your engine surges. On the same token, you may sometimes feel you car jerk before slowing down, or feel as though it’s starting and stopping. This sometimes means that more air is being intaken during the combustion process, another symptom of a bad plug. 5) Your fuel consumption is higher than usual. A bad spark plug will use fuel inefficiently, since it will sometimes perform an incomplete combustion, effectiely wasting the fuel it’s between commissioned to consume. This can decrease fuel economy by up to 30%. 6) Your car isn’t accelerating as it should. If you hit the gas and aren’t experiencing the response you’re used to, this could be due to a faulty spark plug as well. As you can clearly understand, all of this goes to show that a working, clean-burning spark plug is absolutely essential to your car’s sustained performance.