How Often Should You Change Spark Plugs?

Your car requires air and fuel to start. However, it needs a spark to ignite this mixture. This is why though small, the spark plug is responsible for creating the electricity that causes ignition. While it plays this crucial role in starting your car, poor maintenance and untimely spark plug replacement will cause serious problems.

You may also assume that your car's failure to start is a problem with the battery. But it's not always the case. A faulty or old spark plug could be the main issue. If it's in poor condition, it reduces fuel efficiency and weakens engine performance. So how often should you replace it to avoid such problems?

Knowing When to Replace a Spark Plug

While a spark plug has long-term durability, experts recommend replacing it every 30,000 miles. However, with poor maintenance, it can become faulty earlier than expected. Failure to replace a spark plug will lead to several engine problems such as misfiring and uneven noisy idling. Also, you can look out for these signs indicating it's time to get a new spark plug.

  • Difficulties starting your engine
  • You fuel more often than before
  • A reduction in car acceleration
  • Your engine light turns on

So how do you replace a spark plug? Generally, it takes about an hour for a four-cylinder engine, while it gets more complicated for a V6 or V8, depending on the technician. But, always let a qualified and licensed technician replace it. This is because such a job requires tools that you may not have, like,

  • Torque wrench
  • Goggles
  • Spark plug gauge
  • The replacement spark plug
  • Compressed air
  • A spark plug wire puller

Also, the process requires cleaning the spark plug area using compressed air to remove debris and other particles. A technician here needs the goggles to protect the eyes. The wires are now removed and replaced one after the other from the first spark plug to prevent the wrong connection. Next, a technician uses a swivel-head spark plug socket to unscrew the spark plug.

When a gap adjustment is needed, the technician will bend the curved electrode until the correct space is achieved. At this point, the new spark plug is installed carefully to prevent over-tightening it.

However, this process may be hectic, strenuous, and risky if you don't have the right tools. So we recommend if you need a spark plug replacement, call Neighborhood Tire Pros today. Our experts will guide you and advise you on the best care for your spark plug.