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A spark plug is an important part of your car’s electrical system. Failing spark plugs will make your vehicle run less efficiently and you’ll burn through more fuel. If you’re not sure what to look for, here are some signs of failing spark plugs:
1. Your car is hard to start in the mornings.
Worn or dirty spark plugs and damaged wires make it hard to deliver the spark needed to start the engine. Continued hard or extended cranking before it starts can suck the power out of your battery. If your car is difficult to start in the morning, especially when it’s cold, get the plugs, coil(s) and wires checked by a mechanic as the first step for that symptom.
2. Slow acceleration and engine surge or hesitation
Slack power response and hesitation are signs your car’s engine is working inefficiently, which can be unnerving if this happens while you’re in heavy traffic. If you experience this, have your vehicle checked right away, because a sputtering engine can usually be fixed with the installation of fresh spark plugs.
3. You go through more fuel.
Worn-out spark plugs can decrease fuel economy significantly. If you notice you’re filling the gas tank more often than usual, you might need new spark plugs.
4. Your engine idles roughly.
The sound and sensation of your car’s engine should be smooth and consistent. If you notice it’s making more noise than is typical, this tells you the fuel ignition is not efficient in at least one of the cylinders.
5. Your engine has combustion issues, like misfiring.
Built-up carbon deposits on your car’s spark plugs interfere with the electrical current and cause one or more cylinders to misfire, resulting in poor performance. We recommend replacing your spark plugs before they wear out. On cars older than 1995, you may have to replace them every 30-50 thousand kilometres. On newer vehicles with long-life plugs, you may have to replace them between 80 to 160 thousand kilometres.
If you notice any of the above signs of failing spark plugs, make an appointment with one of our certified mechanics and we’ll get you back on the road with confidence!