An essential part of regular vehicle maintenance is spark plug replacement. These small components may not be something you think about often, but they play a key role in the proper functioning of your vehicle. Spark plug replacement is one of the services your auto technician will perform during a tune up. Tune up service is necessary for keeping your vehicle running reliably and performing its best.
What Does a Spark Plug Do?
As far as we’re concerned, turning a key or pushing a button to start the ignition is what gets our cars moving. A closer look reveals that the small and humble spark plug emits the spark of electricity that is needed to start your combustion engine vehicle. The power and combustion provided by the spark plug drives clean gas and air to the vehicle’s cylinders. This sets the pistons in motion so that your car moves safely and smoothly.
Spark Plug Replacement and Tune Ups
Knowing the role of the spark plug in your vehicle’s performance, it is easy to see why a poor or failed spark plug can mean big trouble on the road. That’s why regular vehicle maintenance, or tune up service is so important. In addition to providing necessary spark plug replacement, during tune up service, your auto tech will inspect your fuel injectors and fuel pump, replace worn wires, dirty filters, and check for other compromised parts. In the case of older vehicles, adjustment of the ignition timing may also be done during a tune up.
How Often Are Spark Plugs Replaced?
Spark plugs operate in a very harsh and punishing environment. Over time they wear out and are vulnerable to corrosion. While spark plugs cannot last forever, they are pretty tough and do not require frequent replacement. Typically they will need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or every two years.
How Do I Know If I Need a Spark Plug Change?
As with all auto maintenance, the best way to plan service is to follow the guidelines listed in your vehicle owner’s manual. Additionally, you can watch for signs that your car needs spark plug replacement or a general tune up. These include:
- Difficulty starting or frequent stalling
- Strange sounds, such as knocking
- Rough acceleration or idling
- Poor gas mileage
Stay safe and fuel efficient with regular tune ups and spark plug replacement!