Do My Spark Plugs Need to Be Replaced?

Have you ever seen your car's check engine light start flashing or felt it hesitate and shake when you're driving? These issues often happen when there's a problem with one or more of your engine's cylinders, and one of the main culprits can be a neglected or overworked spark plug.

New cars have advanced technology like high-energy ignitions, direct high-pressure fuel injections, and computers that make thousands of corrections every minute. These features can sometimes "mask" or hide problems when they arise, but it's still crucial to maintain and replace parts like spark plugs regularly. Otherwise, you might end up needing expensive repairs later on. At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we've seen some extreme cases where spark plugs have been neglected. That's why we recommend replacing your spark plugs every 75,000 miles, even if the car manufacturer suggests waiting longer. Some manufacturers even recommend replacing them earlier, so it's essential to check your owner's manual.

What are Spark Plugs and How Do They Work?

Spark plugs are a small but important part of a car's engine that help it run smoothly. Spark plugs work by getting a signal from the car's computer that triggers the ignition coil, which creates a spark. This spark travels between two electrodes, igniting the fuel and air mixture inside the engine's cylinder. As spark plugs wear out, the gap between the electrodes gets bigger, causing the ignition coil to produce more voltage to jump the gap. This increase in voltage generates heat, which can damage the coil. That's why it's essential to replace worn spark plugs before they cause bigger problems. Take a look at the photos we've included to see what happens when spark plugs get too worn out. You'll notice that the ground electrodes have holes and that the center and ground electrodes have worn away.

What are the Benefits of Replacing Spark Plugs Regularly?

By replacing spark plugs at the recommended intervals and taking care of other crucial car parts, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your car running smoothly for a long time. At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, our goal is to help you get 200,000 to 250,000 miles out of your vehicle. Make sure to schedule regular oil changes, inspections, and maintenance services to prevent costly breakdowns.

Here's more details on why you should keep up with spark plug maintenance with our shop owner; Mike!

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center