Spark plugs are a key component of an internal combustion engine. In fact, if your spark plugs burn up, your engine will be crippled. This is true because once your engine injects fuel and air into a combustion chamber, the spark plug is required to create the spark that ignites the fuel and drives the piston down and your engine forward. Whether you replace your own spark plugs or take your car to an auto shop, there are a few things that you should know about spark plugs.
What Type of Plugs Should You Buy?
The arc that jumps the gap on your spark plug erodes a tiny piece of metal every time your spark plug fires. In order to make your spark plugs last longer, spark plug designers use different types of metal that have higher melting points in order to increase their durability. These metals include yttrium, platinum, and iridium.
Each type of metal will increase the cost of your spark plugs, but buying iridium spark plugs will extend the life of your spark plugs close to 100,000 miles. Even when using iridium plugs, there are differences in the composition of the plugs from manufacturer to manufacturer that can affect wear, so you will want to carefully read the manufacturer's literature about how long the plugs will last so that you can predict when your next plug change will take place.
When Should You Change Your Plugs?
Even if the plug manufacturer predicts that your plugs will last 100,000 miles, you should not let them go that far. Individual plugs and engines can perform differently. Thus, one plug might wear out before the others and cause misfires. Furthermore, the longer you leave your plugs in your engine, the more likely it is that they will cease. Removing a ceased plug can be highly expensive. Thus, you should consider removing your plugs a few thousand miles or even 10,000 miles earlier than recommended by the manufacturer. This will avoid problematic engine performance resulting from failing plugs and help avoid ceased plugs.
Spark plugs are a small but critical component of your engine. On some modern engines, removing your park plugs might involve removing part of your engine block. If you are not comfortable with the level of disassembly required to access and remove your spark plugs, you should take your car into professionals to have the job done right. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable working on your own engine, you can save some money on labor by doing the repair yourself. Contact a company like George's Eastside Shell for more information.