Spark plugs are an item of maintenance that many owners ignore. But a healthy engine needs a spark plug. The condition of your spark plugs may impact your fuel efficiency, engine performance, and power output. Spark plugs, like oil, should be checked and replaced as needed.
How Spark Plugs Work
The spark plug was designed to ignite the air-fuel combination in the combustion chamber. This is done to ensure that the car's engine has adequate power to start the vehicle. The spark plugs do not maintain power once they are light. Instead, it starts transferring heat away from the combustion chamber. This heat is transferred to the water jacket in the cylinder head, which pushes the cylinder down and then moves the car forward.
How many spark plugs does a car need?
The number of spark plugs needed is typically determined by the number of cylinders and engine size of a vehicle. There is one spark plug for each cylinder, thus a four-cylinder engine will have four spark plugs.
Four cylinders and four spark plugs are normal in most vehicles. However, there are certain outliers, such as HEMI engines, which are often seen in muscle vehicles. Two spark plugs are required for each cylinder.
Spark plugs durability
Spark plugs don't need to be replaced very frequently and may last for years and thousands of miles before needing to be replaced. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing spark plugs every 30,000 miles. However, spark plug lifetime is dependent on the condition and kind of spark plug. Copper spark plugs, for example, have the lowest life, while plugs made of more modern and robust materials may last up to four times as long.
Symptoms of Faulty Spark Plugs
When your spark plugs start to wear out, it impacts how well your engine runs. Some of the warning indicators are as follows:
- Starting with difficulty.
- Increased fuel consumption.
- The car struggles to accelerate.
- Uneven Idling.
- Engine noise during normal driving.
- "Check engine" Warning light.
Types of Spark Plugs
Copper Plugs: Copper spark plugs are the most common and least expensive on the market. These, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan and require more frequent replacement.
Platinum Spark Plugs: Platinum spark plugs reduces carbon buildup in your engine due to their heat and longevity. Since they are composed of robust metal, they may last 100,000 miles before having to be replaced.
Double Platinum Spark Plugs: Double platinum spark plugs have a platinum coating on both the center and side electrodes. These are for automobiles with "wasted spark ignition," which means two spark plugs fire simultaneously.
Silver Spark Plug Systems: Silver spark plugs have a silver electrode. These are rare and are mostly found in vintage European sports automobiles and motorbikes. However, they are less durable than platinum and iridium spark plugs.
Though step-by-step instructions are simple to follow, a single misplaced engine part, a rusted bolt, or a a sloppy oil leak may cause a project to fall apart. For the most difficult jobs done by certified mechanics or if you need a spark plug replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Honest Wrenches today!