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How Often Should You Change Spark Plugs?

by | Sep 17, 2022

Spark plugs play a crucial role in the operation of your car.

These little ceramic plugs help to keep carbon buildup at bay and also react positively with oxygen in the atmosphere, helping to create good combustion.

If they are allowed to get fouled or covered with carbon buildup, however, they will no longer be effective, and your engine may start to lose power as carbon residue builds up in the combustion chambers over time.

When Should You Change Spark Plugs?

This is an important question because any buildup will reduce performance and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your catalytic converter.

The answer lies in what kind of driving you do most often.

Regularly changing spark plugs every 30,000 miles is enough maintenance for most cars, but how often should you change them if you drive more aggressively or take more care of your vehicle?

Read on for information on how often you should change spark plugs based on factors such as driving habits and vehicle make and model.

What Is the Recommended Spark Plug Change Interval for Most Cars?

The recommended spark plug change interval for most cars is every 30,000 miles.

This is because of the engine’s catalytic converter and fuel injection system, which play a big role in combustion.

Changing spark plugs more frequently can save you from clogged catalytic converters or fouled fuel injectors.

If you drive relatively gently and don’t put a lot of wear on your car, then you should consider making changes on a longer timeframe, such as 60,000 or 80,000 miles.

If you drive aggressively and often drive in stop-and-go traffic, then you may need to change your plugs more frequently, such as every 20,000 miles.

The bottom line is that if you want your vehicle to run well without sacrificing your fuel economy over time, it’s best to do an interval of 30,000 miles for regular maintenance and 15-20,000 miles for higher-risk driving activities like racing or off-roading where there are more opportunities for carbon build-up.

How Often Should You Change Spark Plugs if You Drive a Lot?

Driving a lot will increase the chances of spark plug failure.

This is because, without spark plugs, the engine will lose power and acceleration, leading to poor fuel efficiency.

If you drive a lot, you can expect to change your spark plugs every 20,000 miles.

If you drive a lot and care for your car well, however, it is possible that you could go up to 30,000 miles between changes.

How Often Should You Change Spark Plugs if You Drive a Lot and Your Car Is Old?

If your car is old, changing spark plugs every 30,000 miles is enough.

However, if you have a newer car and drive more aggressively or take care of your vehicle more than average, you should replace your spark plugs every 40,000 miles instead.

If you are the owner of a car that requires premium fuel to operate properly, change the spark plugs once yearly to be safe.

When Should You Change Spark Plugs in A Diesel Engine?

Diesel engines are more efficient than spark-ignited gasoline engines, but they have their own maintenance requirements.

It’s important to keep the air filter clean, the oil in the engine changed regularly, and the particulate filter replaced as needed.

A diesel engine still performs best with clean air circulating through combustion chambers.

When you change your spark plugs on a diesel engine, make sure you replace them with high-quality OEM parts that come with a warranty.

When should you change your spark plugs in a diesel engine?

If you drive your car regularly, then you should replace them every 40,000 miles or about once per two years.

If you drive less often or take better care of your vehicle than average, consider replacing them every 50,000 miles or about once every two to three years.

How to Tell If Your Spark Plugs Need to Be Replaced

The easiest way to tell if your spark plugs need to be replaced is by looking at the color of the spark plug.

If they are white or light gray, then they are still good.

If they are black or dark gray, then they need to be replaced.

You can also tell if your spark plugs need to be replaced if your car is having trouble starting, or if the engine is misfiring.

If you notice any of these symptoms, then it’s time for new spark plugs.

Replacing Your Spark Plugs

When it’s time to replace your spark plugs, you can do it yourself or take it to a mechanic.

If you’re going to replace them yourself, make sure you have the right tools and know what you’re doing.

If you’re not confident in your abilities, then it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Spark plugs are relatively inexpensive, so it’s not worth risking damaging your engine by doing it yourself.

Conclusion

Changing your spark plugs is a simple and easy way to maintain your car and keep it running smoothly.

Spark plugs should be replaced every 20,000 miles for best performance, but if you drive less often or take better care of your vehicle than average, you can replace them every 30,000 miles.

If you notice any signs that your spark plugs need to be replaced, such as trouble starting your car or misfiring, then don’t hesitate to replace them.

You can either do it yourself or take it to a mechanic, but if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

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