How Will I Know When It’s Time to Replace My Spark Plugs?
Spark plugs are the tiny titans of the engine. Although they’re not very big, they create the sparks that ignite the fuel-air mixture in your engine’s cylinders. This creates the tiny explosions that provide power to operate your car. Imagine the stress these parts endure. They spark over and over, day after day, mile after mile. As tough as they are, however, they eventually show signs of wear. If you’re experiencing problems or think you might be due for a spark plug change, bring your vehicle to Harry’s Auto Repair in Pleasanton, California, for a tune-up.
What Can Go Wrong?
Perhaps you’re wondering why spark plugs go bad. Simply stated, they begin to show wear over time. Although they perform reliably for a long time, producing millions of sparks, they eventually fall victim to age. There are some contributing factors that can cause premature plug wear. Failure to attend to regular maintenance needs is one of the main culprits. Dirty fuel injectors or clogged air filters, for instance, can cause carbon to build up on the spark plug tips. Also, spark plugs can overheat if the air-fuel ratio is incorrect. The improper ratio can be caused by a timing issue. The overheating, in turn, can cause the spark plug’s electrodes to wear away sooner. Oil contamination can be a problem, too. This becomes an issue if seals fail, letting oil enter the combustion chamber. Once oil reaches the spark plugs, it fouls their tips.
How Long Can I Expect My Spark Plugs to Last?
Although you shouldn’t need spark plug replacement very often, you will eventually need new ones as part of your car’s routine tune-up. Estimates on lifespan vary depending on your auto’s age and whether one of the above-mentioned issues exists. If you drive an older car, the spark plugs will generally last between the low estimate of 30,000 miles and 90,000 miles on the higher end. If your vehicle is a newer model, the spark plugs may last beyond 100,000 miles. When you replace the plugs, you’ll notice the difference immediately. Your auto will start easier, so you can say goodbye to trouble cranking the car, particularly in colder weather. Because combustion will be more efficient, the vehicle will run better. Gas mileage will improve, too. You actually burn a lot more gas when the spark plugs are misfiring. Although you can’t readily see it, your vehicle’s environmental impact is reduced when your car runs better with fewer emissions.