On a daily basis, we need a lot of machines to fulfill our needs in today’s era, and because these machines make plenty of things easy for us, so we take care of these machines so it gives us better performance and protection for a longer time. The same thing goes for our cars.
For every vehicle owner, their vehicle means a lot to them, and they do all the necessities to keep it running for the longest period possible. If someone is a new car owner from the beginning they need to start getting familiar with the key maintenance parts for a car.
Spark plugs, a part which the whole performance of a car relies on, today’s article is about this part. What are spark plugs? Range of spark plug wires pricing and when do you know that it needs to be changed? Or how often you should change the spark plugs of a car?
What Is The Function Of A Spark Plug?
Before anything else, we need to know what a spark plug does. To put it simply, the spark plug creates a spark to trigger the air and the fuel in the engine cylinders to generate combustion to engage the engine which leads to the start of the car.
Spark plugs have two jobs to do: first generating a spark to start the engine, secondly, keep igniting sparks while the engine is working in between the combustion cycles. This is the reason why we say that spark plugs are a crucial part of a car, which needs to be maintained very carefully to keep a car functioning smoothly for a long term.
If the spark plug does not function properly it will affect the performance of the engine operation, usage of the fuel, and also it will affect the accelerating power.
There are two types of spark plugs, long-life plugs, and conventional plugs. Now if someone owns an electric car, they do not need to be concerned about these things.
What Is Advised By The Experts
Now if you ask advice from some about such topics, different people might give different advice according to their own experiences. Experts say that different vehicles may have different maintenance manuals and manufacturer instructions.
But mostly spark plugs are advised to be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, this is an average for all cars, but it may differ depending on the type of the plug.
As mentioned earlier there are two types of spark plugs, long-life plugs, and conventional plugs, long-life plugs are usually platinum or iridium tipped thus they perform for a longer time. Long-life plugs needed to be changed every 60,000 to 150,000 miles, where it is a shorter period for conventional plugs. Conventional plugs should be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
Saying so sometimes it sparks plugs might be needed to be changed earlier on, it may depend on the type of the vehicle, model, performance for example if the performance of a car is very high on a regular basis, then sparks plugs are needed to be changed more frequently than a normal performing car.
Sometimes spark plugs might be needed to be changed much earlier if it fails, has a problem, or worn out.
Signs To Look For If The Spark Plug Has Issues
There might be different signs of spark plug failure/issues.
Sometimes if a plug is too old or worn-out it might give the engine a hard time to start, accelerating may take some time or give a rough start for the car.
Poor Gas Mileage
The gas mileage can get affected if the plugs are contaminated, worn out, or cold.
This sign appears when one of the spark plugs stops operating.
Engine misfire means, one of the four cylinders failed to fire if one cylinder fails that leads to the other three cylinders to do the work which is originally for four engines. Thus these three cylinders are taking the load of the failed to fire cylinder.
This will cause less powerful, shaky, and rough performance.
Ignition Coil Failure
Worn out spark plugs can also be the cause of ignition coil failure. Ignition coil creates a high-voltage impulse to generate electrical sparks to start the engine. If the ignition coil fails, the car will give an indicator to check the engine.
Checking The Spark Plugs
Experts say we can check the spark plugs from time to time for damages, or if the car is giving signs of spark plug failure. Usually, people would check the spark plugs when there are signs of engine misfiring or rough accelerations, etc.
Experts say a spark plug’s condition can sometimes exactly tell us about the problem in that situation, so they suggest checking the spark plugs properly to find the root of the issue.
Spark Plugs In Tan Or Grey Color
If the spark plugs are not overheated, have a very low deposit of oil, are not clogged and the color of the plugs are grey or tan, this means that the engine is still in good condition even if the plugs are old.
Black Oily Deposits
If a spark plug is clogged with black oily deposits, this gives the sign that there is oil present in the combustion chamber.
This happens if the car uses oil in short trips but the engine does not get enough time to heat up or in between oil change.
Failure/Clogg Of Only One Spark Plug
This indicates that only the cylinder with that spark plug has problems while the other cylinders do not have any issues as their spark plugs are fine.
This causes the engine to hang in between or run abruptly, or if the engine is still cold after starting, but everything becomes normal after a short drive. This is when spark plugs should be replaced immediately.
Melted Or Overheated Spark Plugs
This sign indicates that the cylinder is getting overheated.
The cause of this issue can be either because of over lean of the air-fuel mixture, detonation, or the cooling system is not working properly. This issue is needed to consult an expert.
Replacing Spark Plugs As A Set
Many have the question that if a spark plug is damaged does that mean all the plugs needed to be replaced? The answer to this question is, Yes.
The reason is that spark plugs always come in sets, and this for not keeping a chance of any failure of any plug due to the difference between the spark plugs if they are changed individually.
When an ignition coil fails all the spark plugs are needed to be changed as a set along with the spark plug wires, they also need to be replaced to ensure a smooth operating system in the future.
Sometimes in old cars, spark plugs are regularly cleaned and adjusted from time to time but this is not needed for new cars, spark plugs are directly changed to a new set of plugs and wires.
Replacing Spark Plugs As A Precaution
Replacing spark plugs earlier as a precaution depends on the performance of the car, the mileage the engine of the car is giving, and the type of the spark plug your car has.
If a car has a conventional spark plug it is always recommended to change them before their miles due. On the other hand, if the spark plugs are long-life iridium or platinum tipped plug, which is said to give miles up to 100,000 to 150,000.
Sometimes technicians may offer to change the spark plugs when they reach 50,000 miles, even when the engine is running smoothly and there are no gas or fuel problems then this is very early to be replaced considering that they are long-life spark plugs.
Although it is stated by many that long-life spark plugs can last longer than their running miles period because they have durable electrodes. It may still fail if carbon is deposited in the electrodes and the ignition coil may fail also if the spark plugs run for a very long time then usual.
So it is advised to replace the long-life spark plugs when they are close to their miles due.
Prices Of Spark Plugs And Wires
Replacing spark plugs means buying a new set of spark plugs and wires, and if the car owner does not know how to change them it will also add the technician chargers.
Spark plugs come in two types thus their prices also vary, the prices of the plugs may depend on the type of the car sometimes too though this is very unlikely.
A long-life spark plug may cost from 15 to 50 USD each, where conventional spark plugs are cheaper in comparison which costs 6 to 15 USD each.
If the spark plugs are replaced by professionals, their charges may defer which may be due to the type of the car, engine designs, etc. if the engine design is regular than replacing the spark plugs will be easier thus they may charge from 50 to 120 USD, but if the engine is an uncommon one then their charges will change according to its difficulty, which may go from 250 to 400 USD.