What Do Spark Plugs Do for My Engine? | Christian Brothers Automotive, East Wichita
Spark plugs are something many people do not think about on a regular basis, which is why it is often surprising to find out exactly how important they are to your car’s functioning. Though spark plugs are quite tiny, they are integral to the performance of your engine—and if they begin to fail, you will know quite quickly.
Below, we will take a look at exactly what your spark plugs do and what signs to look for that you may want to get them checked.
What Do Spark Plugs Do for My Car?
A lot of what spark plugs do is in the name—they create a miniature bolt of lightning in the combustion chamber of the engine, ranging anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 volts. This spark ignites the mixture of air and fuel that your engine’s pistons push into the combustion chamber, which turns the crankshaft in your engine and creates the power to keep it moving.
Because spark plugs are tasked with such a high voltage job, they are extremely durable and resilient—but over time, they will begin to wear down, leading to decreased engine efficiency as well as misfiring and other malfunctions.
How Do I Know When I Need to Change My Spark Plugs?
Your car’s owner’s manual will have all the details about when to change your spark plugs, which is generally recommended somewhere around 30,000 miles. However, if you are unsure when the last time your plugs were changed or you start to notice signs that your car’s performance is reduced, it is generally wise to go ahead and change them. Signs that you may need to replace your spark plugs include:
- Your car accelerates slowly and feels sluggish
- You notice a decrease of gas mileage
- Your engine is misfiring
- Your car does not start as quickly as it should
If a worn-down spark plug is left unattended, it can corrode to the point of breaking—which can lead to many complicated issues. Fortunately, if you know what to look out for, you can get on top of any spark plug issues so you are able to ensure your car is running efficiently and safely for years to come.
Wondering if it is time for your spark plugs to be replaced? We can help! Contact us for an inspection today, and we can make sure everything is in great shape.