They may be small and unassuming, but spark plugs play an enormous role in your car. Without them, the mixture of fuel and air necessary to make your engine work would not be able to ignite. Your can couldn’t run. But too many of us ignore our spark plugs. Because although they are designed for durability – lasting an average of 80,000 – 100,000 miles – spark plugs can be damaged. And they can deteriorate. Which will not only impact your car’s performance, but could damage your vehicle. So, when should you replace your spark plugs?

How Do You Know If You Need to Replace Your Spark Plugs?

Signs that your spark plugs need replacing

There are multiple things to look out for that can warn you that it is time to replace your spark plugs.

Trouble starting

It’s not the most subtle warning signing, but if your car is having difficulty starting, it could be your spark plugs. While there are other issues that could be to blame, including a flat battery, starter motor failure, or loose connector cables, your spark plugs shouldn’t be overlooked.

Engine misfiring

Damaged or dying spark plugs can also lead to your engine misfiring – briefly cutting out – because the cylinders are not working properly. When this happens, you’ll notice that your driving experience is less comfortable than usual. You will probably also produce more emissions.

Engine surges

Poorly functioning spark plugs can also cause your engine to surge because it is not pulling in the right amount of air to work efficiently. This can damage your engine and impact fuel economy as well as increasing emissions.

Greater fuel consumption

Following directly on from above, when your car’s spark plugs aren’t performing at their best, you will probably notice increased fuel consumption. This is because your engine is not able to process fuel efficiently.

Noisy idling

If your sparks plugs are failing, your car will be a lot noisier when idling. You may notice the sound or sensation of increased vibrations. And this has the potential to damage other parts of your vehicle.

Loss of acceleration

Because your spark plugs control fuel ignition, they can also impact your car’s ability to accelerate. This may only be slight to begin with, but it will become more pronounced as your spark plugs deteriorate.

What should you do when your spark plugs are failing?

Unlike many car parts, spark plugs cannot be repaired. So, when you notice any signs that your spark plugs are failing, you will need to replace them as soon as possible. If you do not replace your spark plugs, you can trigger complete engine failure. As unburned fuel begins to degrade the cylinder walls. But the good news is that they are also very cheap to replace. Especially if you find a good online supplier.

Spark plugs are one of the most durable parts of any vehicle. But with wear and time, they will degrade. So, look out for the warning signs, and take action as soon as you can.

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