When To Change Your Spark Plugs

When to change your spark plugs

Changing your spark plugs regularly is vital to keep your engine running smoothly. Only Petrol cars have spark plugs, their role is to ignite the fuel inside the cylinders. If the fuel mixture is right then you should rarely have problems with your spark plugs. The spark plugs can then do their job efficiently.

Sometimes, though, if your car is running rough it might be that the fuel is not ignited in the right way. Often this is due to spark plugs that have deteriorated too much over time. They cannot provide a strong enough spark to ignite the fuel.

Spark plugs are available in different heat ranges. Which one you need will depend on the engine. It’s very important to get the right ones, as fitting the wrong type can lead to a host of problems. Your car may otherwise not run smoothly at all. Remember, if left untouched, bad spark plugs can damage your engine.

Why do spark plugs need replacing sometimes?

Spark plugs need to run at a hot enough temperature to burn off any carbon and ash deposits that build up on the plug as the engine runs. If the plugs cannot run at the right temperature, though, deposits will build up. It will decrease the engine’s performance and lead to higher fuel consumption and misfires.

On the other hand, spark plugs shouldn’t be too hot either. This will cause the fuel to ignite before the plug can actually spark and ignite the fuel. This eventually can lead to detonation of the plug, which may damage the engine beyond repair.

When should I replace the spark plugs?

If your car is not starting well or acceleration is sluggish then it is usually a sign there is something wrong with your plugs. Especially if your fuel consumption is higher than normal as well. At that point it’s probably a good point to replace your spark plugs. Replacing them as soon as possible will probably save you quite a bit of petrol money in the long run.

Remember, sometimes it may just be the one that is affected. But it’s more likely all of the plugs will wear out at the same time. In most cases it is advisable to replace all your spark plugs in one go anyway. This to ensure all the plugs have the same strength enabling the engine to run smoothly.

If your not sure when to change the spark plugs then it’s worth getting help from a mechanic. They can inspect the plugs and determine if they need replacing. Moreover they will also be able pinpoint if there is any other issues in the engine. Like engine knock or detonation.

About Kurt Schleier

Resident classic car enthusiast and blogger at Clickmechanic.

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