Spark plugs are a fundamental part of your vehicle's ignition system. Just like any other vehicle component, your spark plugs should be in good working condition all the time. Problematic spark plugs will affect your vehicle's engine performance, combustion and fuel economy. Staying ahead of spark plug problems depends on recognising some of the signs or symptoms that they could be failing. If you are new to cars and how they operate, it may be quite difficult to tell that your spark plugs are failing. To help you, here are some of the signs to watch out for.
Hard Starting Vehicle
This is one of the most obvious signs of failing spark plugs. If you are struggling to get the engine to ignite, the problem could be your spark plugs. When the spark plugs start wearing out, the spark required to ignite your engine will not be produced or it won't be enough. Most people associate troubles with starting their vehicles with the battery. However, if you have recently replaced or fixed any battery issues but the car still won't start, chances are you need to change the spark plugs. Faulty spark plugs can discharge your battery rapidly.
It is also worth noting that your vehicle's ignition system comprises several components that work collectively. Therefore, you could be dealing with more underlying issues and the best way to rule out faulty spark plugs is to have the car checked by auto mechanics.
Does your vehicle stop for a few seconds while you're driving and then attain its pace again? That's called misfiring. The number of times your engine misfires will depend on the severity of the spark plug problem. If you don't replace your spark plugs, the engine misfires will lead to reduced engine power, reduced fuel economy and increased exhaust emissions.
Idling is when your vehicle is stationary, but the engine is still running. During this time, the engine will run at low revolutions per minute (rpm), which means it should give off a smooth and constant sound. However, if the spark plugs are failing, the engine will produce a rough and somewhat jittery sound that may sometimes be accompanied by vibrations.
Reduced Fuel Economy
This could be caused by a range of vehicle problems and faulty spark plugs are some of them. That's because faulty spark plugs cause incomplete combustion resulting in reduced fuel economy.