Imagine you have trouble starting your vehicle and the initial plan of action is to get your jumper cables and find someone to help jumpstart your vehicle. As minorly inconvenient this scenario is, not all starting problems are caused by a bad battery. Sometimes worn out or defective spark plugs are to blame, causing a larger burden by requiring immediate service. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, how can you prevent this largely inconvenient situation from occurring? How long do spark plugs last? How do you know when it’s time to replace them? This post will cover some important facts about spark plugs.
Vehicles Require Spark Plugs to Start
Even if your battery is charged, the engine is well-oiled, and you have a full tank of gas, you won’t get anywhere without a properly functioning spark plug. This crucial part helps the engine start by igniting the air/fuel mixture within the engine’s combustion chamber.
Worn Out Spark Plugs Are Noticeable
During a spark plug malfunction, you can look to the dashboard in your modern vehicle. Illumination of the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), commonly known as the Check Engine Light, will let you know instantly when a problem occurs. In some cases, it might even flash, indicating that potentially catastrophic misfires are taking place. When this happens, you must bring the vehicle in for service immediately.
Change Spark Plugs Every 100K Miles
As a general rule, spark plugs should be replaced around 100,000 miles. Your vehicle’s manufacturer will likely recommend a specific interval for changing spark plugs, so check your owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle’s make and model. Alternatively, you can talk to your local Jiffy Lube® qualified technician, who can evaluate your vehicle and suggest a schedule based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Driving With Bad Spark Plugs Can Cause Engine Damage
If you notice the MIL illuminate or any of the associated issues with faulty spark plugs, get your vehicle serviced immediately. Ignoring these problems can cause major damage to your engine, which could require costly repairs. If you’re experiencing problems or just want preventative maintenance, bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube®. Your technician will be knowledgeable about engine performance and can perform an inspection where they evaluate your spark plugs and other crucial parts. They’ll complete any replacements or repairs outlined by your vehicle manufacturer, ensuring your vehicle maintains a smooth start.
Defective Spark Plugs Can Cause A Myriad Of Issues
How can you tell if a spark plug is misfiring? You may notice the following signs before the MIL comes on:
• Starting issues are one of the first signs of bad spark plugs. If your engine stalls when trying to start, your spark plugs or wires could be worn out, causing difficulty with providing the literal spark that begins the internal combustion of your engine.
• Engine idling issues are detected by hearing unusual engine noise like rattling, pinging, or knocking. Newer cars have engines designed to run smoothly and quietly, so if you hear anything unusual, faulty spark plugs could be to blame.
• Fuel economy issues are common when spark plugs are worn out. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) misfiring spark plugs can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30%, leading to more spending at the gas pump.
• Acceleration issues could be felt if you have worn out spark plugs. For instance, changes in throttle responsiveness and increased pressure on the gas pedal with a lesser speed increase may be indicative of worn spark plugs.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.