Signs That Your Spark Plug Needs To Be Replaced

Spark plugs are an essential part of your vehicle, and provide the literal spark that allows your engine to burn the fuel that moves your car. Without a properly functioning spark plug, your car won't operate like it should, and like all car parts, general wear and tear causes spark plugs to wear down over time. Understanding the warning signs of a failing spark plug can help you replace it before it becomes an issue, allowing you to maintain your fuel efficiency.

Issues Starting

If you have trouble starting your car in the mornings, particularly when it's cold outside, your spark plug may be burnt out. It should be noted that sometimes an engine won't start if it's extremely cold out regardless of the state of the spark plug, but such temperatures are rare and most modern vehicles are able to weather them fairly well. If you have trouble starting your car consistently, take it into a mechanic to have it serviced.

Slow Acceleration

If you press down on the gas pedal but have a slow response from your engine, your spark plug may not be able to ignite the fuel at an adequate speed. Additionally, if you notice that it takes your vehicle longer to reach the same speed, it may be because of your spark plug. However, it should be noted that this problem in isolation of other problems can be due to other issues, so you'll have to have a mechanic examine your vehicle.

Decreased Efficiency

If your vehicle is suddenly chewing through more gas while travelling the same distance at the same speed, the spark plug is a likely culprit. This is usually caused by the spark plug burning more gas than is needed to move the vehicle, resulting in a literal waste of fuel.

Engine Noise

If you notice that your engine is running roughly while your vehicle is operating, it could be because the spark plug is not providing proper ignition to one of the cylinders in the engine, causing it to misfire or to fire out of turn. This can be told from the rougher, louder noise that the engine emits, and can translate into both slower acceleration and decreased fuel efficiency. If this is the case, you should not only get the spark plug replaced, but also the engine examined for any signs of damage or strain that could pose further issues.

Contact an automotive repair service for further assistance.