Even though your engine requires gasoline to run, it also needs electricity to operate correctly. Spark plugs are an essential part of your ignition system. These parts are connected to wires, and then electricity is created by the alternator, which is sent to the spark plugs. This is how the fuel in your engine cylinders are ignited, creating combustion to turn your engine. So, how often should you have your spark plugs changed? Read on to find out more.
Spark Plug Wear and Tear
Just like other parts of your engine, the spark plugs will wear out as time goes on. The area that most commonly wears down is the electrode, a narrow and tapered end that’s connected to the wire. Another end of the spark plug is known as the bulbous. This is the spot where a small metal rod protrudes from the center and has a metal hook on one side. This is where the electricity arcs to the hook. Over time, the electrode will wear down and becomes so worn that it can no longer create an electric arc.
When do You Replace your Plugs?
Your vehicle owner’s manual should recommend that you replace the spark plugs at least every 30,000 miles, which is fine if you’re using stock spark plugs. But there are other factors that could affect the timing and need for replacement. If you use high-performance plugs, you will probably need to replace them more often. This is because the electrode in these types of plugs tends to wear down faster. Look for spark plugs called “long life” plugs that don’t wear down as quickly. They should be made from platinum or metal called iridium for the best lifespan.
Another reason you may need to replace your spark plugs is if you have an oil leak. The base of your spark plugs should be clean when you pull them out. If they are coated with oil, they’ll probably need to be replaced more often since the plug has been contaminated. Another reason you may need to replace your plugs is if you’ve driven your car aggressively. When a car is put through high revs, it puts additional wear and tear on the plugs. So, drive with a lighter foot whenever possible to minimize this need. Pay attention if your car is running rough or skipping, or if it’s experiencing rough idling or stalling.
If you need to have your spark plugs replaced, visit Village Autoworks at our Roseville or Woodbury, Minnesota locations so we can schedule your appointment today.