5 common symptoms of bad spark plugs

04/10/2018 Same topic: Handy maintenance tips
These are the warning signs of defective spark plugs. Check them out!

Spark plugs are an important part of car engine because they provide the much-needed spark to continuously ignite the charge (the mixture of fuel and air within the cylinders), keeping your vehicle running.

car spark plugs
Spark plugs are an important part of car engine

If you do not have these spark plugs regularly checked, changed or at least, cleaned with car maintenance service, your car engine may be confronted with grave problems.

How To Tell When You Need New Spark Plugs

Now, let’s check out 5 spark plugs bad symptom for a timely service.

1. Engine misfires

Engine misfires are the most obvious sign of faulty spark plugs. In detail, your car engine will tend to stumble for a while and get back to its pace then. The frequency of this is decided by the seriousness of the misfire issue. In other words, your car engine is not working as properly as intended since one or some spark plugs are not firing as correctly as it should. Engine misfires may lead to reduced fuel efficiency and engine power as well as increased exhaust emissions.

misfiring spark plugs

An engine misfire is the most obvious sign of faulty spark plugs

Normally, just a misfiring spark plug is able to dump enough raw fuel to the exhaust to overheat and devastate the catalytic converter. As a result, higher levels of unburned fuel in your car exhaust can make the converter’s operating temperature soar, provoking an incomplete meltdown of the converter substrate. In rapid succession, this can shape a partial restriction in the exhaust or even worse, a full blockage. Although having the converter replaced can clear up the blockage issue, it could soon fail again unless you replace the spark plugs.

2. Poor acceleration

Poor acceleration (irresponsive reaction when you engage the gas pedal), is also a tell-tale sign of malfunctioning spark plugs.

>>> You may also concern: Common causes of car won't accelerate

3. Reduced fuel economy

A properly working spark plug keeps your car’s emissions at a minimum while a bad one, as mentioned above, can increase exhaust emissions, then decreasing your car’s fuel economy owing to insufficient combustion.

bad spark plugs

A properly working spark plug keeps your car’s emissions at a minimum

When the spark plugs wear, the gap between plug electrodes will either close up or expand that can have a negative effect on emissions and fuel efficiency.

Once you notice that your vehicle consumes fuel faster than usual, this can be a spark plugs bad symptom that should not be lightly taken.

4. Rough idle

Idling refers to running the engine (at a low rpm) when the car is not in motion. A car engine with properly functioning spark plugs should sound smooth and continuous. With defective spark plugs, on the other hand, the engine will make a jittery and rough sound and will stumble. Commonly, a vibration can likewise be felt throughout the car too.

5. Problem starting your vehicle

a girl in front of car hood

Many car owners may not know that a worn spark plug can result in problems when starting the car

Many car owners may not know that a worn spark plug is one of the reasons for starting problems. It forces the ignition system to work harder. This, together with severe weather conditions, may stop the "heart" of your car from turning over.

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