Recently, I was encouraged to get my spark plugs changed when a friend of mine was looking over my car. It made me start to wonder what exactly spark plugs do, and the whens and whys of changing them. Here are some things to help anyone else who is wondering the exact same thing.
Your spark plugs are an important part of starting your vehicle. In fact, the spark plugs are what delivers the spark to ignite the fuel and engine so that it starts. The details of exactly how your spark plugs are perfectly positioned and timed to work are truly amazing when you understand them fully.
There are a couple main reasons why you might have to change your spark plugs. Some choose to keep their vehicle maintained well by changing their spark plugs when their vehicles manufacturing manual suggests. Check your vehicles manufacturing manual to find out at what mile to change your spark plugs.
Spark plugs, just like anything else in your vehicle, are going to work the best when used for the right amount of time. If you over use them you can experience increased emissions, rough idle, and loss of ideal performance and energy. Following the exact timing of your manufacturers vehicle manual may seem a naissance at times but it really is there to help you maintain a long lasting vehicle.
Another reason that you may have to change your spark plugs is that they may be fouled, worn, or suffer from bad wires. In order to find out if it is one of these you might have to watch for firing patterns with each of your cylinders. If you’re like me and have difficulty with this it’s always best to take it into a professional to tell you what they see.
As you continue to use the same spark plugs the electrodes will wear. As this continues and gets worse, your car will have to over work to be able to ignite the spark. Soon, your car won’t be able to produce the firing voltage and your spark plugs will need to be replaced.
If you are having difficulty starting your car, if it cranks but wont turn over, the first thing you want to do is double check your spark plugs. If you find that they are wearing out then it is time to change them. Many people choose to change them themselves, but some still like to bring it in first to a mechanic to make sure that it really is the spark plugs that are the problem.
Spark plugs can also need to be tightened. Be careful with tightening them, and always make sure that you have checked the manufacturers manual for any additional requirements or warnings about spark plugs. If you don’t know how to change your spark plugs it is a very inexpensive service that most local car shops provide.