four used spark plugs

Extend Your Vehicle's Lifespan: Spark Plug Maintenance

Published on Jun 8, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

A common misconception among drivers is that a car's starting problems are always traced back to battery issues. Yes, the battery could indeed be the issue, but it's not the only potential suspect. The real culprit could be something seemingly inconsequential yet utterly crucial - your spark plugs. These tiny components shoulder a significant task in your vehicle. In this blog, we'll dive into the importance of maintaining your car's spark plugs in optimal condition and identify when it might be time for a change.

 

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Spark Plugs

1. Your Check Engine Light Is On

If you find your check engine light persistently illuminated, it could be an indication of worn-out spark plugs, failing coil packs, or damaged spark plug wires. As noted by seasoned technicians at our Kunes Auto Group Service Centers, a failing spark plug might be the reason behind a sudden check engine light alert, even leading to a flashing engine light.

 

A misfiring engine can activate your check engine light and possibly cause catastrophic engine issues. Regularly replacing spark plugs as part of your preventative maintenance schedule (based on manufacturer's guidelines) can save you from expensive repairs. Ignoring misfiring spark plugs can place unnecessary stress on your car's catalytic converter (the exhaust cleaner) and lead to more problems down the line.

 

Misfiring spark plugs can manifest through rough idling, uneven power when accelerating, or an increase in exhaust emissions. However, it's important to remember that the check engine light could indicate a variety of issues, not just spark plug problems. That's why at your local Kunes Auto Group Service Center, we provide code scans that help identify any issues contributing to a misfire.

 

2. Your Car Struggles to Start

Spark plugs play a vital role in your car's functionality - they ignite the engine! When your spark plugs are old or worn out, they struggle to generate the necessary spark, potentially causing your car to stall when you attempt to start it. If your car has no power and won't start at all, the battery is likely the problem.

 

3. Increased Fuel Consumption

If you find yourself making frequent trips to the gas station, it might be time to inspect your spark plugs. When spark plugs wear out, they don’t burn fuel efficiently, leading to increased fuel consumption and a lighter wallet. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence states that a misfiring spark plug can decrease fuel efficiency by up to 30%. Keeping your car tuned, including regular spark plug checks, can significantly improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency.

 

4. Rough Engine Idling

If your usually smooth-running engine starts to sound more like a growling bear than a purring cat, worn spark plugs might be the issue.

 

5. Sluggish Acceleration

If your car seems less responsive, particularly when you're trying to speed up, this could indicate that your spark plugs are worn and need replacing. No one enjoys driving a slow, fuel-thirsty vehicle.

 

6. Manufacturer's Replacement Time

Always adhere to the Manufacturer's Suggested Maintenance Schedule, especially for replacing spark plugs. On average, spark plugs should last around 80,000 miles before requiring replacement. But if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, it's time to get your spark plugs inspected.

 

Driving on worn out or damaged spark plugs can cause engine damage, so don't delay necessary maintenance. Make an appointment at Kunes Honda of Quincy's Service Center today, and our expert technicians will provide top-quality service to keep your vehicle running smoothly.