There are a couple symptoms of spark plug misfire to look out for when driving your car.
A lot of these symptoms if not quickly identified and fixed could lead to serious engine problem.
That is why in this post, we are going to look 6 common Spark Plug Misfire Symptoms or signs to prevent further damage to your car.
Symptoms of Spark Plug Misfire When Driving | Spark Plug Misfire Symptoms
Normally, Spark plugs are designed to conduct an electrical signal transmitted from the ignition coil at a programmed time to generate a spark that burns the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber.
Without a spark being generated, it would be impossible for fuel to burn in the combustion chamber. Spark plugs have been a vital component of the internal combustion engine for a long time now.
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Each vehicle requires a specific spark plug type manufactured from exact materials and with a specific spark plug gap set by a mechanic during installation. Good spark plugs will efficiently burn fuel, while bad or failing spark plugs can cause the motor not to start.
Spark plugs require routine service and maintenance, making them similar to fuel filters, motor oil, and air filters because they require routine service and maintenance to keep your engine running efficiently.
Most vehicles require their spark plugs to be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. However, some newer vehicle models come with advanced ignition systems that apparently makes the replacement of spark plug unnecessary.
There are circumstances where a spark plug wears out, irrespective of any warranties made by a vehicle manufacturer.
Let’s look at these 6 common spark plug misfire symptoms to be aware off when driving.
what does a spark plug misfire feel like
But before moving on, you should quickly look take a look at this video on what does a spark plug misfire feels like.
6 Spark Plug Misfire Symptoms (Symptoms of Spark Plug Misfire)
1. Hard Starting
The first Spark Plug Misfire Symptoms to look at for is hard starting. If you encounter issues with starting your vehicle, it could mean your spark plugs are worn out.
The ignition system of the engine comprises of multiple individual components that must work cohesively so as to function properly. At the first sign of problems starting your vehicle, contact a certified mechanic to check out the problem.
2. Poor acceleration
Any problem in the ignition system commonly leads to poor acceleration in most vehicles. Most modern engines are now built with multiple sensors that tell the onboard computer and ignition system when to send electric pulses to fire the spark plug.
This means the problem may be a faulty sensor in some cases. But a worn-out spark plug may be responsible for this issue in some cases.
A spark plug is made up of materials that work together to produce a spark hot enough to cause an ignition in the air-fuel mixture.
The efficiency of the spark plug is reduced when those materials wear out. This can considerably reduce the vehicle acceleration.
If your car refuses to accelerate as it used to, the cause may be a faulty spark plug that needs urgent replacement. Contact a mechanic to check this problem since it could be caused by other factors like dirty or clogged fuel injector, problems with oxygen sensors, or bad fuel filters.
3. Poor Fuel Economy
When a spark plug is working properly, it helps to efficiently burn fuel in the combustion cycle, meaning your car can achieve better fuel economy.
However, when the plug is not functioning properly, it may be that the gap between the spark plug electrodes is either too close or too far apart.
Most mechanics will take out spark plugs, examine them, and adjust the gap to factory settings as opposed to totally swapping the spark plug.
If your vehicle has an increase in fuel consumption, it can be caused by a worn-out spark plug.
4. Rough Idle
Rough idle is yet another symptom of a spark plug misfire. Your engine may sound rough while idling, indicating a bad spark plug. The vehicle-encompassing, jumpy sound will also trigger your vehicle to vibrate. It can point to a spark plug issue in which a cylinder misfires only while idle.
5. Engine Surging or Hesitating
When your engine hesitates while accelerating, it means the engine is not responding properly. It may abruptly surge in power, then slow down. This means the engine is sucking in more air than it should in its combustion process, triggering the delay in power delivery. The hesitation and surging of the engine could point to an issue with the spark plug.
6. Engine is Misfiring
An ignition system problem will cause the engine to misfire. It’s usually due to a sensor malfunction in most modern vehicles. It may also be caused by a spark plug wire or the tip of the spark plug that links to the wire being damaged. An engine misfire can be noticed by recurrent sputtering sounds from the engine.
If a misfiring engine is left unchecked, it will cause the exhaust emissions to increase, the engine power and fuel economy will drop. Read this article on engine misfire and how to fix the problem if you have misfiring engine
Final Note On symptoms of spark plug misfire
Spark plug misfire symptoms will be familiar to the driver because their engine will appear to be stumbling for a few seconds and then recover its pace again, and it will go over this again. The number of times this occurs is largely dependent on the gravity of the misfire.
If one spark plug is not firing properly, it will cause the engine to breakdown. The car may still move, but there will be an increase in the vehicle’s exhaust emissions. Reduced engine power and lack of acceleration are all attributed to a spark plug misfire.
It may take a while for your car to run faster if you step on the gas pedal, leaving behind a cloud of emissions. This could point to a misfire. This may cause your engine to demand more fuel than necessary to operate at its normal level, hence making you spend more on buying gas.
However, if you still continue using your car and leave all these signs unattended to, it can ruin the engine of your car. Then it may be too late if you finally get to the point where your car refuses to start.
This issue can be remedied because spark plugs are quite affordable. The parts to replace your spark plugs cost between $50 and $75. You’ll probably spend more on labour costs than on the actual plugs. Avoid waiting too long before working on the problems because it can ruin your whole engine and eventually make you spend as much as over $1000 to fix the problem. Spending this much is still not a guarantee that your engine will be restored. A new engine will be very expensive to get. So the earlier you address the issue, the better. It is worth the little trouble of replacing your spark plugs whenever you notice the symptoms of a misfire occurring with your ignition.
Spark plug misfire symptoms can be caused by the above-mentioned factors. However, irrespective of what the issue might be, you might end up requiring new spark plugs when yours finally wear out. Being practical about spark plug maintenance can extend the life of your engine.