If you have noticed that your car has started running or little rough or that your gas mileage has considerably dropped, you may wonder what could be causing the changes in its behavior. If so, look for the following signs that your car is long overdue for a set of new spark plugs.
1. Engine Backfires Whenever You First Accelerate
One sign that your spark plugs are overdue for being replaced is when your car starts to backfire almost every time you step on the gas to accelerate. When your car backfires, you will usually hear a loud pop that is often accompanied by a black puff of smoke coming out of your exhaust.
Normally, when you step on the gas pedal, gas is injected into the engine where the spark plugs ignite it to power your engine. However, if the spark plugs have become burnt or corrode, either of these problems can cause a delay in the firing of the plugs.
As a result, excess gas builds up around the plugs. Then, as soon as they do produce a spark, more gas than usual is ignited, causing the misfire.
While a couple of misfires may not have an adverse effect on your car's engine, constant misfiring could cause carbon to build up inside the motor. This carbon buildup could then affect your engine's ability to run properly.
2. Difficulty Starting or Keeping Your Engine Running
Another sign that your spark plugs are no longer working properly and need to be replaced as soon as possible is when you start having problems starting your car or keeping your engine running. If you are having difficulty starting the engine, the plugs may be producing a weak or delayed spark that is interfering with the power provided to the motor.
Eventually, the spark plugs will become so worn or corroded that they will have trouble igniting fuel as your drive down the road. When this happens, your car could stall either while you are driving or when you come to a stop at a traffic light. Because this could make you lose control of your vehicle, it is imperative that you have the plugs inspected after the first time this happens.
If your car is overdue for new spark plugs, chances are that your car is also in dire need of a tune-up. Take your car to a shop that offers tune-up services to have them look at your spark plugs, as well as perform a complete diagnostic and maintenance on your car's engine.