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Why Should I Replace My Spark Plugs? 5 Benefits!

Signs of bad spark plugs in cars

If you're still questioning “why should I replace my spark plugs,” here are the five top benefits:

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  1. Improve your combustion system functionality
  2. Enhance fuel economy
  3. Improve the startup
  4. Reduce carbon emissions
  5. Improve horsepower

You might be familiar with some of the major components in your car, like the engine or the transmission. However, many drivers are not familiar with some of the very critical components in the vehicle, like the spark plugs, because they're not very major. However, these components play a significant role in ensuring that the engine performs properly.

The spark plugs are critical and get involved in the combustion process. They are expected to fail at some point, and when they do, you get out to replace them. Unfortunately, there aren't many inexperienced drivers who still question and ask why I should replace my spark plug?

This article walks you through all the details you need to know about the reasoning for replacing the spark plugs. At the same time, the most common reason is that the spark plugs are not working properly, but there are some other benefits that you will achieve when replacing the spark plug before it ever goes bad.

spark plug types

What is the spark plug, and what does it do?

The spark plug is one of the minor components in your vehicle, and that's why not everybody is aware of it. However, it is responsible for providing the engine with the required spark at the right time to ensure that the combustion process happens if you're. In other words, the spark plug is responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture when the engine is ready to generate the energy.

Without a perfectly running spark plug, your engine won't run at all because it won't produce any energy.

However, there are some situations where even with having an old spark plug that is still not there add, you'll notice some consequences that might impact your vehicle's drivability.

Why should I replace my spark plugs?

You might already know that when your spark plug goes bad, you got to replace it immediately. However, you won't necessarily deal with a completely stopped vehicle considering several spark plugs in the engine associated with every cylinder.

Have you ever thought of any other reasons why you should replace the spark plug? Let's stay a closer look at some of the benefits that you achieve when replacing the spark plug before they even go completely bad:

1.    Improve your combustion system functionality

The first and most important benefit that you will achieve from replacing the spark plug or at least switching to a higher quality spark plug is improving the combustion efficiency and functionality.

As you might already know, the combustion process involves mixing air and fuel and igniting this airfield mixture using the spark plug's spark. When the spark plug is very efficient and generates the required spark right on time, you'll see a significant improvement in your vehicle's combustion system functionality.

Of course, this improvement depends on the original status of the old spark plugs. In other words, if the spark plugs were totally bad, you'll see a huge difference. However, if they're not that bad and still in good condition, you might not necessarily notice a significant improvement in the combustion system functionality. Therefore, we recommend that you do not go for replacing the spark plugs unless recommended by your mechanic.

2.    Enhance fuel economy

When the engine cylinders receive this park at the right time, that's when the engine will perform the way it was designed for. However, when the spark is delayed or doesn't happen, the engine will think that it needs to consume more fuel to improve the situation and generate the required energy.

That can easily lead to consuming more fuel than necessary, and that's where you will notice that you have to visit the gas station more frequently than before.

Keep in mind that reduced fuel economy is a problem associated with lots of different issues in your car. Therefore, if you're trying to replace the spark plugs purely to improve fuel economy, that might not be guaranteed because of potential other culprits unless you're 100% sure that what you're dealing with is related to the bad or low-quality spark plugs.

Signs of Bad Spark Plugs

3.    Improve the startup

The other thing you'll enjoy when switching to higher quality or replacing the bad spark plugs is improving the startup. Your engine must receive everything needed immediately when you start your car. This startup Duration is one of the most critical durations in your vehicle's running process, and if the engine is under stress, you'll see that it either hesitates or might not even start at all.

Thus, replacing the spark plug can be a great solution and allow you to enjoy a much better startup.

4.    Reduce carbon emissions

Also, when the engine doesn't receive the right spark at the right time, there is a very high chance that it will consume a lot of fuel and this fuel might not be completely burnt. As a result, this unburnt fuel or a weird combination of whatever was burnt in the cylinder will be released into the environment. Typically, whatever is released causes harm and increases carbon emissions.

Depending on your spark plug situation, you might not even pass the emission test, which is a critical thing that you never want to deal with.

Overall, all of us should worry about the environment, and whatever we can do to improve the situation and prevent car emissions should be a priority.

5.    Improve horsepower

Finally, by improving the fuel economy and providing the engine with what's required for the combustion process to happen smoothly, you'll improve the vehicle’s horsepower.

The spark plugs do not increase horsepower, but they can impact your vehicle's performance, and they might put the engine under stress and could impact the horsepower.

how often should you change spark plugs

How often should I replace my spark plugs?

It depends. Frequencies of replacing spark plugs depend heavily on the quality of your spark plug because some of them might last for a really good time while others might not be of the best quality, and they can fail prematurely.

The standard spark plugs last between 30,000 miles and 50,000 miles. However, you shouldn't be too worried as you hit the 50,000 miles because they can easily last up to 60,000 miles.

On the other hand, if you decide to go with a higher quality spark plug, you might not need to be worried about these spark plugs up to 100,000 miles which are definitely worth the investment!

How much does it cost to replace my spark plugs?

As you mentioned earlier, spark plugs replacement costs differ significantly depending on the type of sparkplug. That's why the range for replacing the spark plug might be a little bit wide and beyond what you're expecting. Technically, replacing one spark plug should cost you somewhere between $16 and $100.

While investing in a higher quality spark plug might have a lot of initial costs, if you think long term and consider the different consequences that you will deal with, it is definitely worth the investment.

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What are the common symptoms of a bad spark plug?

All those plugs have a specific lifespan; sometimes, it is important to familiarize yourself with some of the early signs indicating a bad spark plug. Let's take a look at some of these signs:

1.    Engine misfiring

One of the most critical symptoms that indicates a really bad spark plug is when you're dealing with engine respiring. The engine firing happens when there's a problem in one of three important components: the fuel supply, the air supply, or the spark timing.

The spark plug could be one of the major reasons for triggering the engine is firing that could be linked to a check engine light illuminating. Therefore, if you get to this point, you're almost late. However, you get to act immediately to resolve the issue before dealing with other complications that could cost you the entire engine.

2.    Reduction in your vehicles fuel economy

As we mentioned before, when the spark plugs do not provide your engine with the right spark or the right time, that's where the engine is expected to use more fuel than it should. Therefore, your vehicle will experience a significant reduction in fuel economy.

3.    Weird black smoke out of the tailpipe

In modern vehicles, you shouldn't notice any clear color in the exhaust smoke, and when this happens, it could be linked to an internal issue. One of the very common colors that you will experience is strong black smoke.

This black smoke can be related to lots of different culprits. One of the very common ones is the bad spark plug. If lots of fuel weren't burnt and released into the environment, it would be released in dark smoke.

4.    Difficulty starting your vehicle

If the spark plug is not provided at the right time, you might experience some issues when starting your car. Typically, starting problems are related to the starting system, and in most scenarios, it has to do with a bad battery. However, a faulty spark plug can be one of the rare causes of impacting your vehicle's starting process.

You should notice many other symptoms before you get to this point. However, many inexperienced drivers might not pay attention to the minor symptoms, which could save them tons of money on repairs once they indicate themselves about these symptoms.

5.    Engine knocking

Finally, if you ignore the spark plug problem, you can expect some major problems in the engine. One of the biggest ones is engine locking. Unfortunately, engine knocking is a severe problem, and it can mean a complete engine failure.

Therefore, we highly encourage you to take it seriously to prevent getting to this point where you lose the entire vehicle whenever you deal with any symptoms indicating a bad spark plug. Even more important is to keep up with your maintenance and check your vehicle's owner’s manual to determine what to follow up on spark plugs before they get worse.

Many experts recommend replacing the spark plugs at the right time even if they don't show any bad spark plugs symptoms because they could be something you cannot detect unless you are an experienced mechanic.

Best Spark Plugs For Gas Mileage

Final thoughts

The spark plugs are critical components in your vehicle's combustion system. When they're not in good condition, they can easily lead to many consequences ranging from impacting your vehicle's drivability to preventing your car from generating any energy.

This article walked you through all potential benefits that you achieve from replacing the spark plugs or that these benefits are related to maintenance purposes or car enhancement reasons.

It's important to note that if you feel that your car has many major problems might not be worth investing in a higher quality spark plug. What you should do instead is to evaluate the overall situation and determine whether it's worth selling your vehicle instead. If you're looking to sell a car with some problems, Cash Cars Buyer is always here to help you!

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  • Describe your car's type and condition
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