Your spark plugs may be small, but they have a mighty task. They play an essential role in igniting the vehicle’s fuel and air mixture through an electric spark, thus enabling the gasoline to combust. Without the spark plugs, your car’s engine cannot convert the fuel into usable mechanical energy. Not only is its function important, but did you know that they are always in use when you are driving? In fact, spark plugs fire at a rate of about 25x in one second during driving. If any sparks are missed, you’ll often experience it as a glitch or stumble in the engine’s output. With such a vital role, you should replace worn-out spark plugs immediately upon notice. Besides a sputtering engine, what are the other signs that indicate you need new spark plugs?
Signs That Spark Plugs May Need to be Replaced
- Engine having troubles starting
- Pinging or knocking noises
- Engine misfiring or sputtering
- Rough idling
- Poor fuel economy
- Difficulty accelerating
It’s crucial to replace spark plugs as soon as they are old or worn out. Reluctancy to do so can cause damage to other parts of the engine, like the catalytic converter. In some instances, it can be feasible to determine if there are other engine problems based on the appearance of a spark plug. For example, if a spark plug looks wet, it could be an indication of engine flooding. On the other hand, if a spark plug is black and greasy, it could signify an oil consumption problem, such as a leaky gasket.
Nevertheless, a visual inspection of spark plugs at home does not always provide clarity or an accurate assessment of your car’s condition. It is highly advised that you take your vehicle to an auto expert and have it pass through a multi-point inspection to ensure your car is in good, running condition.
How Often Should Spark Plugs Be Replaced?
The best resource is to check your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations that you can find in your manual. The typical interval for spark plug replacement is anywhere between 30,000 and 45,000 miles.
If your BMW needs new spark plugs, we recommend bringing your vehicle into Motorhaus for a complete evaluation to get your car running at its best again.