Though small in size, spark plugs are extremely vital to your vehicle's function. You see, your vehicle will not be able to start and run if you have bad spark plugs in your system. Spark plugs emit a spark of electricity that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders of your combustion system to start your car. And without this spark, the entire system that powers up your car won't be able to work. Given its utmost importance, you need to address a busted spark plug as soon as you can to be able to continue enjoying your vehicle. Here's a brief guide that will teach how to diagnose busted or problematic spark plugs as well as how to replace them.
Signs and Symptoms of Busted Spark Plugs
The continuous ignition brought about by spark plugs is what keeps your car going. If you have a busted plug in your system, your vehicle will most likely display the following symptoms:
- Trouble starting
- Engine misfire
- Engine hesitation
- Rough idling
- Poor acceleration
- Reduced fuel economy
Aside from being low on fuel or having a dead battery, busted spark plugs can also cause you to have trouble in starting your vehicle. As stated above, if the spark plugs don't produce the spark needed to ignite the engine, your vehicle will go nowhere.
If your engine misfires, the cylinders aren't working properly and your vehicle stops for a fraction of a second before continuing to work normally.
Engine hesitation or surging can be caused by a worn out spark plug. This means that there's usually more air in the engine, causing it to be less efficient.
Rough idling is not limited to the jittery vibration of your ride when it's at a full stop. Instead, it can also be identified by the mere sound that your engine gives off.
Busted spark plugs can also cause the gas pedal to feel sluggish and make it less responsive, making your drives slower.
A busted spark plug may cause incomplete combustion in your system and cause your car's fuel efficiency to drop by 30%. So if it seems like your vehicle eats up more gas than usual, check the spark plugs immediately.
Replacing Busted Spark Plugs
Here's a quick how-to that will teach the basics of replacing the worn out spark plugs in your vehicle.
Step 1: Follow the long, thick wires coming out of the distributor to locate the spark plugs, which are usually at in front or at the side of the engine.
Step 2: Next, use pliers to pull the spark plug wires and their corresponding boots and then use a rag to clean the seat around the spark plugs before removing them.
Step 3: After that, use the proper socket to remove the worn out or busted spark plugs from your system.
Step 4: Then, insert the right wire on the feeler gauge that's between the new spark plug's center electrode and hook before bending the side electrode to make the wire gauge fit the new plug.
Step 5: Lastly, mount the new spark plugs and secure them in place using a ratchet. Don't over tighten them to avoid causing any damage. Then, install the spark plug wires and their boots onto the plugs.