Spark plug - the name itself is pretty self explanatory. To put it simply, your vehicle’s spark plugs are parts that plug into the top of your engine’s cylinders and create a spark which ignites the air and fuel mixture inside to start the engine and keep it generating power. The number of spark plugs in your car’s engine is usually the same as the number of cylinders, although some automakers will use two spark plugs per cylinder.
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel that your engine needs to run. When you turn your key, a small amount of electricity is sent to the ignition coil, which transforms it into a high voltage current, which travels through your ignition cables to your spark plugs and create a spark, igniting the fuel. If your spark plugs malfunction, they will not be able to create this spark and ignite your fuel, causing your engine to run poorly or not at all. If you continue to drive your vehicle with malfunctioning spark plugs, it may also cause damage to your catalytic converter due to unburnt fuel and more particulates in your exhaust gases.
Like any other part of your vehicle, your spark plugs will wear out over time and need to be replaced. Worn spark plugs make it harder for the air-fuel mixture to ignite, causing your engine to misfire. Your car may still start and run, but it will run very poorly. Spark plugs are relatively easy to replace in some vehicles, but may be labor intensive and require removal of the intake plenum in others.
When you get your spark plugs replaced, it is a good idea to inspect your ignition cables as well. There are different ratings for spark plugs, and the correct rating for your vehicle should always be used to prevent potential problems. Here at ExperTec Automotive of Costa Mesa, we will always inspect your ignition system during routine maintenance, checkups, and services, so you don’t have to worry about checking them yourself.
However, if you don’t change your spark plugs soon enough and they get worn out, you will be able to tell by your engine’s performance. Some common signs that you need new spark plugs are an illuminated check engine light, engine misfires or more vibration than usual, and poor fuel economy.
If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect that your spark plugs may need replacement, come in to ExperTec Automotive of Costa Mesa today, or give us a call at (949) 645-7722. Our ASE certified mechanics can take care of any of your spark plug problems and get your engine fired up again!