Although small, spark plugs are actually a crucial part of your vehicle’s engine. Spark plugs produce an electric spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture inside the engine cylinders. This is the foundation of the ignition system and literally keeps your engine running, and why it is so important that your spark plugs are in good shape. However, you should know that spark plugs do have a limited life. When they wear out, they will need to be replaced to keep your vehicle running at its best. Let’s look at five signs you have bad spark plugs.
Engine misfiring is one of the most common symptoms of bad spark plugs. When an engine misfires, you will notice the engine stops and then regains normal operation. You will often notice this when accelerating, or you may also notice it when the engine is at idle. Over time, if this problem is not dealt with properly, it can cause damage to the catalytic converter. It is always best to deal with vehicle maintenance issues quickly to avoid more costly repairs later.
You may also notice that a vehicle will have trouble starting. When plugs are worn out, they will not be able to create adequate sparks to ignite the engine. This will cause the engine to stall, and you’ll notice that starting is not quick and smooth as it should be. Worn-out spark plugs also start to affect the battery. When a battery is failing you will also notice starting issues as well. These are serious vehicle maintenance issues, but you still have time to fix the problem before it causes worse damage.
Bad Gas Mileage
If you think you are getting worse gas mileage, it could be faulty spark plugs. You may think you are imagining that you’re filling up more often, but worn-out spark plugs will deplete your fuel more quickly. Properly working spark plugs help the engine run more efficiently, thus using less fuel. Bad spark plugs result in the fuel being used inefficiently and cutting your gas mileage.
Another sure sign of bad spark plugs is acceleration issues. The engine will have trouble responding and will struggle to increase speed. As your engine works harder and harder to accelerate, the wear and tear will worsen. Replacing spark plugs in a timely manner is a great way to keep your engine working at its best for more miles.
You will even notice problems when the vehicle is simply at idle. During idle, the car may vibrate harshly. Faulty spark plugs could be the reason. Again, allowing this to go on for too long will eventually wear down the engine quicker.