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For automobile amateurs and non-specialists, spark plugs are like radio waves: we know they’re there, that they’re important, and they do some paramount job, but have no idea what they look like, what it looks like when one goes bad, or what to do if they don’t work as we expect them to. In other words, they can be a mystery.

For those who want to know what to look out for when a spark plug either begins to wear out or fails, you are in luck as there are numerous signs to alert you to a problem with the spark plugs.

Problems Starting the Car

The most common sign that there is something wrong with a spark plug is that the vehicle has problems starting. After checking to make sure that your battery has sufficient charge, it could be dirty spark plugs. This problem tends to occur most often in the morning, so if you wake up and have trouble starting the car, take it in to get it checked by a mechanic.

Engine Misfire

Another common sign is the engine misfiring. With the intricate closeness between spark plugs and cylinders in the engine, when one goes bad it will cause the other to malfunction. In this case, carbon builds up over time on spark plugs, which deposit into the cylinders and cause it the engine to backfire.

High Fuel Consumption

A third sign that there is something awry with the spark plugs is high fuel consumption. When spark plugs go bad, the engine will begin relying on excess gasoline to ensure power throughout the system. When that occurs, you will notice that you are filling up your tank more often than usual. If you begin noticing that you are continually filling your gas tank up and getting less mileage per gallon as you usually do, there could be a problem with the spark plugs.

Other Signs to Look For!

Other signs that can be a bad spark plug but are often other problems as well are acceleration problems, rough idling, or the engine either surges or hesitates when accelerating. These can also be signs of transmission or other problems in the engine.

Ultimately, if you suspect that there is something wrong with your spark plugs, you should take it into a mechanic to get it checked out. Allowing the problem to persist will affect other parts of your engine, which will cost you more money in the long run. Don’t allow this to persist: take it in and get back to driving safely! If you’re in the Coralville, IA and you think your spark plugs have gone bad – come on in and see us at Greer Motor Frame and Axle for your auto maintenance needs! Call us today at (319) 339-4678 or click here to contact us about your vehicle’s needs!