7 Symptoms of a Bad Spark Plug in Your Car

An internal combustion engine relies on spark plugs to ignite the air and fuel mixture in the combustion cylinders. It is impossible to have a combustion take place if you don’t have spark plugs to ignite the mixture. A lot of people don’t realize how significant spark plugs are to their vehicle because from the outside, spark plugs seem like small and inexpensive parts that serve no major purpose. However, the engine would not be able to generate power to rotate the wheels of the car without functional spark plugs for the cylinders.

7 Bad Symptoms

If just one spark plug goes bad in your vehicle, the symptoms will be easy to notice. Basically, your vehicle will not perform normal and your overall driving experience will be compromised. It is best to get your vehicle inspected by a licensed mechanic whenever you encounter a problem like this. Otherwise, you won’t be able to drive properly on the road and could risk the lives of your passengers and others on the road.

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Below are the top 7 symptoms that might occur when you have a bad spark plug.

1) Weak Acceleration

The main symptom of a bad spark plug is a weaker acceleration of your vehicle. If you step on the gas pedal and it does not accelerate fast enough or at all, then your spark plugs should be checked out. You’ll experience the most acceleration problems if driving uphill.

2) Bad Fuel Efficiency

When your spark plugs are worn out or deteriorated, your engine will consume more fuel. This will reduce its fuel efficiency and fuel economy, causing you to spend more money on gasoline.

3) Engine Misfire

There are lots of reasons why an engine misfire might occur. One common reason is when your spark plugs are dirty and covered with carbon deposits. Even if you have a misfire in just one cylinder, that is enough to reduce the performance of your engine. As soon as you notice a misfire, get your vehicle to a mechanic.

Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Brake Booster in Your Car

4) Engine Hesitation

If your engine hesitates while you’re driving, this could cause a power surge to rush through your vehicle. This is very dangerous in driving situations, especially if you’re on the interstate. In many cases, a bad spark plug creates a weak spark in the cylinder. This results in the hesitation that you experience.

5) Rough Idle

A rough idling engine is basically when your RPM does not stay at a consistent speed while the vehicle is stopped. Look at your tachometer and see if the needle is far above 1,000 RPMs while idle. If it is, then you probably have a bad spark plug if any of the other symptoms are present too.

6) Difficulty Starting Vehicle

If your spark plugs fail to generate an adequate spark for any of the combustion cylinders, then you may not be able to start your vehicle at all. The engine relies on a powerful enough spark to turn over and stay running smoothly.  You’ll probably experience this problem after you’ve already experienced one or more of the previous symptoms. That is why it is essential that you don’t wait to get these problems fixed. You don’t want to end up in this situation where your vehicle does not start at all. Then you will be stranded.

7) Noisy Engine

It is normal for engines to make smooth turning noises. But if you start to hear loud noises or any kind of unusual noises coming from your engine, then it is possible that you might have a bad spark plug or two. If any of the previous symptoms are present along with this engine noise, then it is more likely that at least one spark plug is to blame.

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