Why are Spark Plugs So Important?

In any gas-powered car, you have what is known as an “ignition system”. This system has a basic function of igniting gasoline which in turn powers the motor and allows it to turn. Critical components of the ignition system include the spark plugs and cables among other parts including, in some instances, distributors.

Frequently, the spark plug is one of the things that need to be replaced the quickest. One of the unfortunate features of a spark plug is that as they are used, they collect carbon and other deposits on them that impair their ability to process proper electrical flow. This in turn can cause problems with fuel being properly ignited. When the fuel isn’t properly ignited, it goes off into the air, causing a loss of engine power, lower gas mileage, sluggish acceleration and even environmentally-harmful emissions.

Typically, the replacement of a spark plug is part of regular maintenance on a vehicle. While many people will say that spark plugs should last 10,000 miles and then get replaced, sometimes they may last quite a bit longer. We recommend that you look at the service manual for your specific make and model vehicle.

In addition, the cables for the spark plugs may need to be replaced if they are exhibiting wear and tear. One common issue with spark plug cables is that the insulation in them way wear off. This in turn could possibly cause the electricity to arc to other engine components. To check your cables, make sure that your engine is off and look for indicators of chafing or pitting.

Many modern cars may not have distributors but, if they do, they may also need to be inspected and possibly serviced by an ASE-certified technician. While diesel vehicles have different ignition components, they can still have electrical problems. If you have any questions regarding your vehicle’s electrical system, be sure to call us at 804-642-2440.