Why is Spark Plug Replacement Important?

If you’re a client at Good’s Auto Service and your vehicle has over 80,000 miles, you’ve probably heard us talk about spark plug replacement. But what exactly are spark plugs, and why are they important? To understand the importance of spark plug replacement, you first need to know what a spark plug actually does. Let’s discuss.

Spark plugs are a vital component in the starting and running of your engine. They are typically located on the top of the cylinder head, and create the spark needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture in each cylinder. When this “explosion” happens, it pushes down on the pistons, giving your engine the power it needs to run. This is a continuous process while you drive down the road. In fact, at highway speeds, one single spark plug creates around 600 sparks per minute! Because of this continuous combustion, your spark plugs are subjected to a great amount of heat and pressure. Which leads us to why we recommend replacing your spark plugs.

Here at Good’s Auto Service, we recommend replacing the spark plugs every 80,000 miles or every 10 years. From the paragraph above, it’s easy to see these little plugs are pretty darn rugged. 600 sparks per minute is a lot, especially when you multiply that by 80,000 miles worth of driving. Mind-boggling to think about huh? As rugged and mighty as these plugs may be, they don’t last forever. When they begin to decline in performance, you may notice lower gas mileage or a minor drop in engine power. As they get worse, your fuel mileage and engine performance will drastically decline. You may find it difficult to start your vehicle, feel like the engine is shaking the vehicle, or sluggish acceleration. In some cases, the vehicle may not even start because there isn’t enough spark to turn the engine over. Don’t wait for these symptoms to consider replacing the spark plugs. If so, you’ve already been driving with an underpowered engine for some time, and wasting money at the pump.

Now you may be wondering, why replace the spark plugs after 10 years if I haven’t gone 80,000 miles? In this case, the recommendation isn’t necessarily due to the performance of the plugs. We have found that when spark plugs get past the 10-year mark, the plugs are prone to seizing. In other words, the spark plug threads get stuck in the engine. This makes removing the spark plugs very difficult, and increases the risk of damaging internal engine parts. It can become quite costly to remove a seized plug and fix any damage it may have caused.

With the valuable information above, hopefully you have a better understanding of why spark plug replacement is so important. If you’re nearing that 80,000 mile-mark, or 10 year-mark, give Good’s Auto Service a call to get your vehicle scheduled for spark plug replacement!