When to Change the Spark Plugs in a Car

When should you change the spark plugs in a car? Knowing when you should and need to change the spark plugs in a car is just as important as changing its oil in a timely matter. Your car is a machine that depends on all of its components functioning properly.

Auto and spark plug manufactures can suggest a time period for which the spark plugs should last through but all will agree that it is still determined by overall auto maintenance.

Your spark plugs are the heart of the engine and knowing when to change the spark plugs in your car can save you from major mechanical failure.

Your spark plugs have a big job to do for being such small parts on the engine. They ignite the fuel, oil and air mixture needed for combustion engines to work.

When the 3 components meet within the engine, your ignition coil sends a high voltage spark to the plug that ignites the 3 components to create the energy needed to keep the engine running. This process happens over and over, until you turn the engine off.

If you have a bad spark plug that won’t ignite the mixture, when driven, your car may seem like it’s bogged down. Your car may sputter along and it may even backfire when you press down on the gas pedal.

Every owner’s manual is different for each car. Some will say change the spark plugs at 50,000 miles and some say 100,000 miles. Maybe so, if you maintenance everything, on time, without ever missing a beat, then this could be a possibility.

However, missing oil changes and bad gasoline both, affect the spark plugs performance as well.

Normally your fuel filter blocks dirt and water from reaching the engine. If the filter is bad it may completely starve the engine of fuel or begin letting dirt and water pass through. This can cause numerous failed starting attempts and even cause the engine to stall repeatedly.

When you don’t change your oil, it begins to turn black and gets thick like gravy. Normally the spark plug ignites and burns away the fuel, air and oil mixture but when the oil becomes old and thick it starts to stick to the spark plugs instead of burn away.

This will definitely cause engine trouble in your car. Adding new oil to burned up, thick oil is not a solution either.

So when should you change the spark plugs in a car? If you have never done it and you regularly miss oil changes, do it now. If you can change a flat tire, you can change the spark plugs in your engine. They unscrew with a socket wrench and are installed by screwing them back in to the engine.

If you do the job yourself, it is critical that you only install the same rated spark plugs. You can find out what spark plugs you need by removing one of them to check the writing on the plug.

Most auto parts websites have a little form that you can enter your cars details into and it will tell you what spark plugs you need as well.

Tip: Even if you keep up on all of the regular maintenance for your car, the spark plugs still have to be replaced, even if you do not do that much driving. For the best performance, you should change the spark plugs once every 24 to 36 months.

Your windshield wipers only get used when it rains or snows. The spark plugs get used every second the engine is running, even while the car is warming up in the driveway.