Many car owners often assume that there is a problem with the battery anytime the car struggles to start. While this could be the case, it is hardly ever the only possibility. Faulty and old spark plugs could be the culprit. They may be small, but the work they do is certainly not small. As a matter of fact, your car will either struggle starting or won’t start at all because of a worn out spark plug. This will never catch you off guard if notice any of the following signs and take appropriate measures to replace the faulty spark plugs.
The Engine Light
Worn out spark plugs or faulty spark plug wires can trigger the check engine light to turn on. The engine light may stay on or it may flash. Be worried anytime you see the check engine light flashing. This may mean that potentially catastrophic misfires are already happening. The engine will misfire and the light will stay on until you replace the spark plugs with new ones.
Spark plugs have one main function. They provide the spark that power up the engine. Worn out and old spark plugs usually have a hard time creating the spark. Inspect the spark plug or the spark plug wires anytime the car stalls as you try to turn it on.
Abnormal Fuel Consumption
Worn out spark plugs on their last leg will take it out on your car’s fuel consumption. They will increase consumption because they fail to effectively burn fuel that goes into the engine. This means you will be shelling out more money than you should on frequent fill ups.
The Engine Idles Roughly
Your engine should purr like a kitten when idling. That’s how you know it is in a good condition. Turn down music and take a keen listen. Inspect the spark plugs if you notice the engine making a knock like, rattling and pinging noise. There is a high likelihood they are beginning to wear out or they are worn out already.
Problems When Picking Up Speed
Volvo models never have problems with picking up speed. So when your Volvo fails to accelerate quickly, you know there is a serious problem somewhere. It could be something to do with the transmission or as you may have already guessed, spark plugs.
Your car manual should tell you when and how often you should replace spark plugs. Note though that spark plugs hardly wear out quickly on their own. You can actually get up to 80,000 miles on them before you notice any of the signs explained above. Note too that replacing spark plugs is something you should do as part of preventive maintenance. In other words, take your car for servicing often and have the mechanic conduct engine tune up. You will then have an easy time knowing which part needs to be replaced and what needs to be repaired on time. This will save you money. It will also keep you safe on the road.