When Should you Replace Spark Plugs?

The combustion process runs smoothly inside the engine when each part functions precisely and in the correct proportions. Some parts work hand in hand to achieve this precise process that occurs within seconds. Any damage or malfunction in one of them will affect the engine’s performance and the car’s torque significantly. The following are the main parts that directly affect the combustion process:

  • Injectors: Provide the necessary amount of fuel and spray it into the combustion chamber.
  • Coils: Enhance the amount of electrical voltage taken from the battery.
  • Spark Plugs: Generate the necessary spark for the combustion process.

Symptoms of Spark Plug Damage in the Car

Continue reading the following article to learn about the signs of damage and how to recognize these signs and faults, as well as the assumed lifespan of spark plugs.

How Do They Work?

Spark plugs are directly connected to the coils to obtain the appropriate voltage to generate a spark inside the combustion chamber (cylinder). It is a highly precise process that occurs when the driver starts the car. At that moment, the spark is generated from the spark plugs with the help of the coils. Any malfunction in the coils will directly affect the operation of the spark plugs.

After generating the spark, the injectors spray a precisely measured amount of fuel into the cylinder. This initiates the engine to rotate, providing the car with sufficient power and torque to move.

Signs of Spark Plug Damage

Some of the following signs may indicate that the spark plugs are about to be damaged or are completely damaged. Here are the most common and prominent symptoms of spark plug damage that many have noticed over the years:

  • Increased fuel consumption rate: This is due to pumping a quantity of fuel into the cylinder without the necessary spark to complete its role, resulting in the gasoline burning inefficiently.
  • Increased engine noise: When spark plugs are damaged, the engine begins to make strange noises, disrupting the usual system.
  • Engine vibration: It may start vibrating either during the car’s movement or when it comes to a complete stop. This is a major indicator of irregular combustion due to spark plug malfunction and complete damage.
  • Decreased power and torque: The driver will notice that the car does not accelerate effectively as required because the engine is not rotating smoothly.
  • Difficulty in starting the engine: Since spark plugs are a key factor in starting the engine, their damage will affect the supply of energy and the necessary spark for its rotation.
  • Accumulation of carbon on them: Those who regularly inspect the car and its parts may notice this type of indicator. This carbon buildup is due to dirt in the engine air filter or the use of poor-quality fuel. In this case, they need to be replaced with new ones, as this hinders their ability to perform their function.

What Is the Expected Lifespan?

The temperature of spark plugs increases according to their location and function. Therefore, the assumed lifespan of spark plugs is estimated to be between 48,000 – 80,000 km. After covering this distance, signs of spark plug damage will continuously appear and affect the car’s performance, prompting the need to replace them with new spark plugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if spark plugs are not changed?
    The driver will face a range of problems, most notably delays in starting the engine and weakened car torque.
  • What is the difference between laser and regular spark plugs?
    Laser spark plugs have a higher durability than regular spark plugs because they have a higher melting point than the regular ones.
  • After how many kilometers should spark plugs be changed?
    As mentioned above, the assumed lifespan of spark plugs is influenced by the distance covered by the car, ranging between 48,000 – 80,000 km.
  • What causes them to burn out?
    The reason for burning or damaging them is the leakage of a certain percentage of oil into the combustion chamber, leading to carbon buildup on them.
  • Do spark plugs cause smoke?
    The owner should check them if they notice smoke coming from the car’s exhaust, as their damage leads to engine suffocation and increased fuel consumption.

In conclusion, in this article, we presented the most important symptoms of spark plug damage and their assumed lifespan. We also answered some frequently asked questions about signs of their damage.

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