Are My Spark Plugs Bad?

Have you ever wondered, “Are my spark plugs bad?” If you have been driving for any number of years, you have probably already heard of an element within every combustible vehicle’s engine called spark plugs. But what are they, what do they do, and how do you know when they need to be replaced?

Well we’re here with the answers to these burning questions! When you bring your vehicle into the best automotive repair shop in Chantilly, VA, we want you to feel confident in your basic automotive knowledge so that you know you are receiving the best service for your vehicle’s needs. The team at Casey’s Automotive is here to share our expertise by offering a quick rundown on spark plugs and the warning signs of a failing plug. 

What is a Spark Plug?

Simply put, a small electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of some combustion engines, the spark plug is the essential element that provides the small spark necessary to ignite the engine. Combustion engines contain cylinders and moving pistons connected to crankshafts that, once ignited by the spark plug, begin to put your engine into motion. 

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Spark Plug

Hard to Start

Since the spark plugs are the component used to ignite the engine, an engine with difficulty starting could be the victim of a bad spark plug. 

The Vehicle Lacks Acceleration
Slow or poor acceleration is usually a sign of an ignition system issue. Most modern vehicles have an onboard computer with sensors that tell the ignition system when to fire the spark plug. It could be a sensor problem, but sometimes, it is a worn-out spark plug. No matter what, if the car or truck is not accelerating as quickly or is sluggish. It could be the spark plug.

Gas Mileage Decreases

A healthy spark plug attributes to efficient fuel burn. If the spark plug is not functioning at an optimal level, the engine will burn through fuel faster. Sometimes that means the spark plug should is either too close or too far from its electrodes and will require a factory reset. Other times it means they need replacing.

Engine Misfires

A misfiring engine is noticed by sputtering or intermittent rumbling sounds from the engine area. When an engine is left to misfire, it can cause an increase in exhaust emissions, a decrease in power, and a low fuel economy. If your engine is misfiring, take it into your Chantilly, VA area shop for an inspection immediately. 

Rough Idle

If the car, truck, van, or SUV is idle but is experiencing vibrations or a jittery sound, have the spark plugs inspected!

Surging Engine or Hesitation to Accelerate
If the vehicle hesitates to move faster while accelerating or has a sudden surge only to slow down, it fails to respond to the driver appropriately. That could be due to the engine taking in more air than it is supposed to during the combustion process. Have it checked out before the problem gets worse. 

Spark Plugs Repair & Replacement at Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, Virginia

Wherever your vehicle’s symptoms may fall on this list, your best course of action is to bring it into Casey’s in Chantilly, VA, for an immediate inspection. Book your appointment with us and your vehicle will receive a courtesy inspection covering over 40 areas within your vehicle. Allowing a spark plug to wear for too long can cause more costly repairs in the future. 




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