We were talking to one of our customers about spark plugs and he said, “I thought spark plugs were all about starting the car.”
Sidenote: there is never any embarrassment at Highline Car Care. We are a safe shop to ask questions – actually, we want you to ask questions… it’s how we build our relationship and keep you on the road and out of the shop.
If you’ve thought the same thing, you and the customer above are not alone. Spark plugs are at the cornerstone of what makes an internal combustion engine work.
What Do Spark Plugs Do, Anyway?
Your spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine.
The spark plug is placed at the top of the engine cylinder head, just above the piston. When the piston moves down, air and fuel are drawn into the cylinder. When the piston moves back up it compresses the air-fuel mixture and a spark plug ignites sending thousands of volts into that mixture causing it to combust (combustion engine). The explosion forces the piston back down, providing power to the vehicle and the process starts over again.
We found a quick video on YouTube that illustrates the process just described.
Your spark plug is responsible for and is exposed to several thousand explosions per minute at temperatures upwards of 1,500º. Over time, plugs need to be replaced to continue creating power for your engine.
When Should You Change Your Spark Plugs?
The answer to this question really depends. That’s not the answers most auto owners are looking for but because there are so many variables from vehicle to vehicle and driver to driver it really is the truth.
Spark plugs will need to be replaced between 60,000 and 90,000 miles and you can count on our team to monitor their current state and accurately diagnose any issues that might stem from spark plugs. The best time to check out your spark plugs, as well as your car in general, is during a regular service appointment.
Anyone can open the hood of a car, but our team is the best at knowing what to do once that hood is open to keep you safe and on the road.