What’s the Deal with Spark Plugs?

This time of year, it’s not unusual to play with sparklers or watch a firework show – however, those shouldn’t be the only kind of sparks on your mind this summer!

The Houska Automotive team is passionate about educating our customers about how their vehicle works – right down to the tiniest parts. It’s important that all of our customers feel empowered to make informed decisions about maintenance of their vehicle – so today, we’re here to talk about spark plugs. 

Spark plugs may be small, but they are vital components of your vehicle’s ignition system. Without a spark, your vehicle won’t be able to do much – in fact, your vehicle wouldn’t even be able to start!


What do spark plugs do?
Spark plugs are tiny but mighty elements in your vehicle’s ignition system. Each spark plug has two sides; one that takes in electricity, and another that creates a spark. Your vehicle has at least one spark plug per engine cylinder – most standard vehicle engines have four cylinders, meaning they also have four spark plugs. 

The cylinders in your vehicle’s engine are filled with both air and fuel, which are explosive when combined. To make your car go, the piston in your engine moves upwards, compressing the mixture of air and fuel. This compression creates potential energy. While this compression is taking place, the mixture is ignited with a spark from the spark plugs. This spark creates an explosion – called internal combustion – which forces the piston back down. This process is what powers your vehicle’s engine and makes your car go!

Because spark plugs are such a vital part of your vehicle’s ignition system, your vehicle’s engine performance is linked to the health of your spark plugs. Old or faulty spark plugs can negatively impact the functionality and performance of your vehicle, which is why it is so important to stay on top of maintaining these important little parts!

When do I need to replace my vehicle’s spark plugs?
Luckily, spark plugs are incredibly durable and don’t require frequent attention. However, forgetting to properly inspect and maintain your spark plugs could result in serious problems with your vehicle’s engine and ignition system. 

We recommend that you reference your vehicle’s manual and follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle make and model. Your manual will likely include information about the spark plugs that were originally installed in your vehicle, as well as when you should replace them to maintain a healthy and functioning ignition system. 

As the spark plugs in your vehicle age, they will begin to wear out. It is possible that your spark plugs may start to show signs of age even before it is recommended that you replace them. If you experience any of the following issues with your vehicle’s performance, there is a chance that old or faulty spark plugs might be the cause:

  • Your vehicle’s check engine light comes on
  • Your vehicle is having trouble starting or is making a rattling noise when the engine is idling
  • You notice your vehicle’s gas mileage has dropped significantly
  • Your vehicle cannot accelerate as quickly as usual

If you notice any of these issues in how your vehicle is operating, make an appointment with the Houska Automotive team. We can help to ensure that your spark plugs are in good, working condition – luckily, spark plugs are cheap and easy to replace and can make a huge difference in the health and efficiency of your vehicle!

 

The health of your whole vehicle is important to us, because even the smallest issues can make your car unsafe to drive. Because we care about our customers and their wellbeing, we are diligent to make sure that the vehicles in our care are working perfectly.

If you think that faulty spark plugs are hindering your vehicle’s performance, give the Houska Automotive team a call today at 970-821-8654! Or schedule an appointment with us online and we’ll get your vehicle running perfectly in no time. 

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