At What Time Interval Should Spark Plugs Be Replaced?

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The spark plug is a vital part of the car because it is connected to the wires that lead to the ignition system. Electricity is created by the alternator and sent to the plugs, which create arcs of electricity. This ignites the fuel in the engine’s cylinders, creating the combustion that pushes the pistons down and actually turns the engine. Like every parts of the car, spark plugs are subject to wear and tear, but how often should it be replaced?

The primary type of wear associated with the spark plug is with the electrode. If you look at a spark plug, you’ll notice one end is narrow and tapered – this is where the wire connects to it. The other end is bulbous, with a small metal rod coming out of the center, and a metal hook to one side. That center rod is the electrode – electricity arcs from that to the hook. Eventually the electrodes becomes so worn that it doesn’t create as much (or any) electric arc, which has a direct and immediate effect on your engine operation.

 

Checking your car owner’s manual will probably show that that your automaker recommends you replace your spark plugs roughly every 30,000 miles. That’s fine if you’re using stock spark plugs. However, the actual timing of replacement will vary depending on other factors below.

 

  • High Performance: If you have high performance spark plugs, it’s possible that you will need to replace them more often, as the electrode can wear down faster.
  • Long Life: Some spark plugs are made to have a longer life. Their electrodes do not wear down as quickly, meaning that you won’t need to replace them as frequently. Look for plugs made from iridium or platinum for the longest life (copper has the shortest lifespan – generally about 20,000 miles).
  • Oil Leaks: When you pull a spark plug out of the engine, the base should be relatively clean. If there is oil present, it means there’s a leak. Not only does that mean you’ll need to replace a blown seal, but it means your spark plugs will need to be changed more frequently because of contamination.
  • High Revs: If you regularly “put your car through its paces,” you’ll put additional wear and tear on your spark plugs, meaning that you’ll need to replace them more often. Drivers with a lighter foot will enjoy longer life from their plugs.

You can contact us by following the link HERE to schedule a spark plug inspection appointment. A specialist will contact you within 48 hours.

You can order genuine spark plugs by visiting our store HERE

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About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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