If you’ve had trouble accelerating or if your car has been idling rougher than normal lately, you might be wondering, How often should I have my spark plugs replaced? The short answer to questions like this one is always: check your car’s owners manual! (And really, you should.) But, as usual, there are some nuances to spark plugs that your manual may not cover.
Not to worry, though. Colony One Auto Center of Sugar Land and Stafford has you covered! Feel the spark of genius when you learn all about how often you should replace spark plugs and more.
How long should spark plugs last?
“How often do you replace spark plugs” is one of those questions that seems like it should have a straightforward answer, but often does not, (much like the question: how long can you go between oil changes).
Most mechanics will recommend that you have your spark plugs replaced as per your owners manual. What if you purchased your car used, and you aren’t sure if the spark plugs have been changed? And what if you have “extended-life” spark plugs that are supposed to last for 100,000 miles without needing replacement?
Spark plugs are an important part of your car’s overall health and their proper function is essential for optimum engine performance and economy. In general, the owner’s manual will provide you with the manufacturer’s recommendations for spark plug replacement as well as all of the essential maintenance items needed for long and happy motoring.
That said, the design of a modern spark plug allows for a long life-span; they usually last well beyond 100,000 miles. Unless a spark plug is damaged by something else, they don’t fail prematurely.
If a malfunction were to occur, the “Onboard Diagnostic System” will detect it and make the driver aware by illuminating the “Check Engine Light”. If this light comes on, bring your vehicle to Colony One Auto Center for a complete diagnosis of the problem. We can easily retrieve a code (at no charge but will not tell us the actual failure, only a general system. A complete diagnosis is required for the proper repair.
Psst… If you’re not sure what’s included in a standard car inspection or how much a car inspection should cost, we recommend reading the following articles: Car Inspections in Sugar Land, How Much is an Inspection in Texas?, and Understanding the Inspection Sticker Grace Period in Texas.
What are the symptoms of bad spark plugs?
Your spark plugs create the spark necessary to initiate combustion in a cylinder. Once one cylinder ignites, the next will, and then the next…. and voila, the engine is running and will continue to do so until it is shut off. The plugs will fire millions of times in their lives and as a result of the wear and tear they will need to be replaced at some point. The mileage to replace is different from car to car so refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. Worn spark plugs are going to chip away at your car’s “get up and go.” So if you’re wondering, “How often do you replace spark plugs?” because you’re worried yours might be on the way out, then keep an eye open for these signs:
- Your car isn’t accelerating as quickly as it once did.
- Your “Check Engine Light” comes on. (You should always take your car in when this happens, anyway!)
- Your gas mileage is decreasing.
- You’re car takes longer to start.
For customers who ask us, “What happens if you don’t change your spark plugs?” The above should also help you see what’s in your near future if you put off changing your spark plugs for too long!
How much should it cost to replace spark plugs?
The cost of spark plug replacement depends on several factors, including: the make and model of your car, the number of plugs that need replacing, the condition of your current plugs (highly eroded plugs can be difficult to remove), and the cost of labor.
Unless you are a seasoned mechanic, we do not recommend replacing your own spark plugs, especially because your plugs require gapping. (which creates the proper space between your spark plugs’ electrodes, allowing them to fire correctly).
Need help changing your spark plugs? You’re in luck.
As you can see, the benefits of changing spark plug’s far outweigh putting off the chore. The experienced mechanics at Colony One Auto Center of Sugar Land and Stafford can provide your car with professional and efficient spark plug replacement services.
As one of the most trusted automotive maintenance shops in the greater Houston area, we take pride in getting you back on the road as quickly (and as safely) as possible. Plus, all our services come with our two-year, 24,000-mile warranty!
From oil changes in Sugar Land to spark plug replacement, make Colony One Auto Center of Sugar Land your one-stop-shop for all your car maintenance needs. Call us at 281-980-4440 or contact us online today!