When you press your vehicle’s accelerator you expect your car to go. When your car starts roughly,hesitates or doesn’t get up to speed in a timely manner, it’s a problem that can leave you stuck in driveway.
Once you have determined that you have plenty of gas in your tank, it’s time to start going down the list of problems that can cause your engine to have trouble starting,hesitate or have poor acceleration. At the top of the list is an issue with your vehicle’s spark plugs.
Spark plugs are key to making your vehicle operate. They supply the spark that ignites the air and fuel after they have been mixed together.Without that spark, your car’s engine can’t do what it was designed to do – run efficiently and take you and your family where you want to go.
If a spark plug or multiple spark plugs are faulty, they will have trouble creating the spark that causes the ignition process in your vehicle. This results in your vehicle having trouble starting,hesitating or having issues with accelerating properly.Rough starts, hesitation and poor acceleration are all common symptoms of a bad spark plug.
What Causes Spark Plugs to Go Bad?
Over time, residue from the burning air/fuel mixture can form deposits that buildup on the spark plug’s center and side electrodes. This changes the gap of the spark plugs and in some cases can short-circuit the electricity before it reaches the center electrode tip, thus weakening the spark. The weakened spark produces poor combustion which can lead to performance issues including poor acceleration,hesitation and rough starts.
The inner portions of the electrodes can become burned away by the never-ending exposure to the combustion process that can widen the gap of the spark plug and also contribute to poor performance.In rare cases, the gap can become so wide that the voltage isn’t enough to make the spark jump across the gap resulting in a misfire that may cause engine damage.
Ensuring that the gap in your spark plugs is kept at the manufacturer recommended dimension is critical to your engine maintaining peak performance.
How Can I Tell if My Spark Plugs are Bad?
Staying dialed in to how your car is running will give you clues regarding the performance of your spark plugs. If you notice a decrease in your vehicle’s gas mileage and/or a drop in engine performance, it may mean that your spark plugs are worn or dirty.Pinging or knocking noises when accelerating is another sign that your vehicle is due for a spark plug change.
I Think I Have a bad spark plug, what do I do next?
If you suspect that you have an issue with your vehicle’s spark plugs you should either have it inspected by your favorite mechanic or if you are comfortable working on your car, you can examine the spark plugs yourself.
Please note that you should never touch a spark plug or try to remove a plug wire when the engine is running or when it is hot. Before doing any spark plug work on your vehicle, be sure that you understand what the job entails.
What kind of spark plugs should I buy?
If you decide to check your spark plugs on your own and find that you need to replace some of them, Champion has a full line of spark plugs to help you get the job done right.
- Champion® Iridium spark plugs offer maximum performance regardless of engine or ignition type.
- Champion Double Platinum Power™ spark plugs feature platinum on both the center and ground electrodes.
- Champion Platinum Power™ spark plugs are an excellent choice as an upgrade for vehicles originally equipped with nickel/copper technology.
- Champion Copper Plus® spark plugs deliver dependable performance and durability.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.