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How Long Do Spark Plugs Last: A Definitive Guide

7Newswire
03 Sep 2022, 18:33 GMT+10

Spark plugs are essential parts of your car. They are responsible for igniting the fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. If they fail to ignite the air/fuel mixture, then the engine won't run properly. You must remove a broken spark plug and replace with a new one to avoid any damage to your engine.

A spark plug has two main components: the electrode and the insulator. The electrode is the part that touches the cylinder wall and sparks the ignition. The insulator protects the electrode from heat and high voltage.

When the spark plug fails to ignite the air/gas mixture, it causes the engine to misfire or stall out. This problem occurs because the spark plug is worn down over time.

According to Moparmax, The spark plug's lifespan depends on how well you maintain your vehicle. It also depends on the type of gasoline used in your car. In general, a spark plug can last up to 50,000 miles if you take proper care of it. However, some vehicles have spark plugs that last longer than others. For example, a spark plug may last 100,000 miles if you drive at low speeds. On the other hand, a spark plug may only last 10,000 miles if you frequently accelerate the engine.

The following chart shows the typical life span of a spark plug based on the number of miles you drive per year.

If you drive less than 5,000 miles per year, your spark plug will probably last about 20,000 miles.

If you drive more than 5,000 miles but not more than 15,000 miles per year (10,000 miles if you're driving an automatic transmission), your spark plug should last approximately 40,000 miles.

If you drive more than 15,000 miles per year, your spark plugs will likely last 60,000 miles.

How often Should I change the Spark plugs?

Different automobile manufacturers provide different recommendations for maintenance schedules depending on the type of spark plug they are going to use. Check the owner's manual to have a fair idea about how often should you change the spark plug for a specific vehicle.

While Toyota advises changing the spark plugs after 120000 miles on Corolla RAV4 4Runnner engines but for coupe, it is only 60,000 miles. Similarly, Ford insists to change the spark plugs at 100000 miles for F-150 under normal driving conditions. If the vehicle is involved with frequent towing or driving in harsh weather conditions, then changing the spark plugs after every 60000 miles is highly recommended.

Even the best NGK spark plugs for 5.7 Hemi is recommended to be changed after 100000 miles or 10 years, whichever is earlier.

On some Mercedez-Benz models, the change of spark plug is as frequent as 36000 miles while the BMW X3 3 series car need a spark plug change after every 60,000 miles.

What are the various indicators for spark plug needing replacement?

There are many signs that tell you when your spark plugs need replacement. Some of these include:

1) If the engine starts running rough and produces excessive white smoke.

2) If there is a loud knocking noise coming from the engine.

3) If the engine runs leaner than usual.

4) If the gas mileage drops dramatically.

5) If the check engine light comes on.

6) If the engine misfire

How to make the Spark Plugs Last Longer?

In order to increase the longevity of your spark plugs, you must follow certain steps. These include:

1) Choosing the right spark plugs

While replacing the spark plugs always refer to the user manual. If you are not able to find the right spark plug, refer the mechanic for assistance.

2) Check for corrosion or rusting

The electrode ends should be free from corrosion and rusting. Check the ground electrode and centre electrode to make sure they are clean. The dielectric compound coating around the spark plug wire keeps them rust-free.

3) Check out the spark plug gap

The inappropriate gap between the spark plug leads to several issues. If the spark plugs are placed too far, they will be unable to generate an electric spark. On the other hand, if placed too close, it will lead to an engine misfire.

4) Cleaning of spark plug mounting area

The dirt and dust accumulation are responsible for the spark plug misalignment leading to several issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happen If you don't change the spark plugs?

If you fail to replace the spark plugs regularly, it can cause serious damage to the engine. It may result in the following issues:

1) Engine misfires.

2) Failure with ignition coil or unresponsive ignition.

3) Increased fuel consumption and decrease in fuel economy.

4) Problem with Engine Combustion

It is best to change the spark plug when required to maintain the vehicle's mileage.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace the Spark Plug?

With the wide range of spark plugs available, the cost of a spark plug varies from $6 to $100. Depending upon the type of spark plug, the price also differs. For example, a high performance spark plug costs more than a standard one.

Spark plug replacement is quite easy and doesn't require any special tools. However, if you want to avoid damaging your engine, then it is better to hire a professional auto repair shop. They have all the necessary equipment and know how to perform this job properly.

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