Does My Car Need New Spark Plugs?

Does My Car Need New Spark Plugs?

Spark Plugs, Engine Misfires, Rough Engine Idle, Poor Fuel EfficiencyDo you spend a lot of time driving your car? Do you give it a steady workout between a daily commute and running errands over the weekend? It can be hard to notice small changes in performance, but most people quickly note poor fuel efficiency. Will a periodic rough engine idle lead to engine misfires? Should you schedule a spark plugs inspection and service for your car? Let’s look at a few troubleshooting tips to find out.

How Do Spark Plugs Work?

Spark plugs are small automotive parts that screw into the cylinder head of an internal-combustion engine. Combustion engines create power by compressing air and gasoline, then exploding the mixture via ignition. 

  • They draw energy from the car’s battery through the ignition coil and distributor. 
  • They convert that electrical energy into a spark that ignites the compressed air/fuel mixture. 
  • The plugs also help remove excess heat from the combustion chamber and transfer it to the vehicle’s cooling system.

How Many Spark Plugs Does My Car Have?

Economy cars with a four-cylinder engine have four spark plugs. Bigger vehicles with a six-cylinder engine have six and V8 engines have eight. Some autos (like those with a HEMI engine) only have two plugs per cylinder for more exact ignition.

Factory Recommended Maintenance

Auto manufacturers recommend replacing all spark plugs every 20,000 – 60,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s spark plug maintenance schedule. Your actual mileage may vary, as driving styles, climate conditions, and other factors can alter your intervals.

Troubleshooting Worn or Faulty Spark Plugs

It is sometimes necessary to replace worn or faulty plugs before the factory-recommended interval. If your vehicle needs them replaced, change all of them simultaneously. But how do you know if you need new ones? 

Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

Engine Misfires

Worn or faulty spark plugs can cause engine misfires. The engine may stutter or pop loudly as it loses and regains timing. When the engine misfires, raw fuel is sent directly into the exhaust, causing expensive damage to the catalytic converter. If this is occurring, schedule a spark plug service.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

Worn or dirty spark plugs often contribute to poor fuel efficiency. When gasoline does not burn completely in the combustion chamber, it exits through the exhaust. Due to insufficient combustion, the engine does not generate power with this wasted fuel. If you are making more frequent trips to fill up your gas tank, schedule a diagnostic service to see if faulty spark plugs are the issue.

Rough Engine Idle

Older vehicles (before 1996) can experience a rough engine idle due to faulty spark plugs. Newer autos come equipped with onboard diagnostic systems and warning lights illuminating the dashboard when spark plug issues develop. If your vehicle has a rough engine idle, schedule a diagnostic service to find the cause.

What Are The Benefits Of New Spark Plugs?

Replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs is inexpensive and can save you long-term money. Plus, there are other benefits to consider:

  • Better engine performance
  • Improved cold-weather starting
  • Increased fuel efficiency
  • Minimizes risk of catalytic converter failure
  • Lower emissions

Spark Plugs Inspection & Service in Midland, MI

At All A’s Auto Repair, you can expect outstanding service from certified technicians at a reasonable and fair price. We’re your local family-owned independent service center and dealer alternative. We can diagnose and repair rough idle, engine misfires, and poor fuel efficiency.

Schedule Your Appointment

Call us at (989)631-4672 or visit our website to schedule all your auto servicing and preventative maintenance needs.

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