How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

In order to operate, your engine needs fuel and air. However, those two things alone won’t make it run. It needs a way to ignite the fuel after mixing it with air from the intake. That’s what your car’s spark plugs do. They create an electrical spark (as the name implies) that ignites the fuel/air mixture and runs your engine.

Spark plugs have advanced quite a bit from what they were a few decades back. You’ll find a host of different types on the market, from dual and quad tips to iridium tips and many more. The primary reason that spark plugs need to be changed is due to wear and tear. As the spark plug fires, minute amounts of the electrode evaporate. Eventually, it’s too short to create the spark needed to ignite the fuel/air mix. The result is a rough running engine, skipping cylinders and other problems that cost you in performance and fuel economy.

In terms of lifespan, the use life you enjoy will depend in the type of plug used in the engine. Normal copper plugs only last about 20,000 miles. However, using platinum plugs can give you 60,000 miles of use. Other types can last up to 100,000 miles.

Of course, it can be very difficult to tell if your spark plugs are beginning to wear out. They’re installed in the engine, so checking the wear isn’t as simple as it is with other things, like your tires. However, there are several key signs that you can watch for that indicate your engine’s spark plugs are nearing the end of their life. These include:

  • Rough idling (which can also be a symptom of many other problems, but worn plugs should be eliminated as the cause)

  • Poor fuel economy (another multi-problem symptom, but spark plugs are a common reason)

  • Misfiring engine

  • Lack of power when accelerating

  • Engine surge (caused by too much air in the air/fuel mixture, often due to worn spark plugs)

If you suspect that your car is in need of new spark plugs, YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to inspect the plugs, and replace them if needed. They can also inspect other ignition system components, including spark plug wires, coil packs and more to ensure that you can get back on the road quickly and safely.


Next Step

Schedule Spark Plug Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Spark Plug Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Spark Plug Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(5,061)

Rating Summary
4,790
149
23
19
80
4,790
149
23
19
80

Pardeep

21 years of experience
1068 reviews
Pardeep
21 years of experience
Jeep Cherokee V6-3.2L - Spark Plugs - Cupertino, California
Great service. Looking forward to build a good relationship different from the usual mechanics that is always trying to charge you more. Pradeep made me the impression that he is different. Cool.
Toyota Prius - Spark Plugs - Fremont, California
Mr. Singh was on time, gave good advice and did the services very well. By the way, this is the third time I have my car serviced by him.

Keven

7 years of experience
118 reviews
Keven
7 years of experience
Kia Soul L4-2.0L - Spark Plugs - Puyallup, Washington
Kevin, is wonderful. He is on time and very efficient. He explains things very well and answered all my questions. Very friendly too. I would highly recommend Keven and plan on using him again if mechanic service is needed.
Toyota Sienna - Spark Plugs - Spanaway, Washington
He was very efficient, very knowledgeable and very sweet. Thank you for your time and your patience with my vehicle.

Claud

8 years of experience
475 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
Dodge Durango V8-4.7L - Spark Plugs - Detroit, Michigan
On time, very knowledgeable, and professional. Excellent job, thank you. Will call for service again.
Ford Flex - Spark Plugs - Rochester, Michigan
Claud did a great work for a big job on my car. Brought it back from the dead. Will definitely be booking him in the future.

Rodney

36 years of experience
541 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
Volkswagen CC L4-2.0L Turbo - Spark Plugs - Sacramento, California
Awesome mechanic worked really fast and help me understand a lot more about my car honestly I didn’t know much and he was really helpful and definitely will be booking with him again
Jeep Cherokee - Spark Plugs - Elk Grove, California
I’m so pleased with Rodney, he’s very thorough. This is my third time using Rodney (Your Mechanic). I have no complaints. I appreciate him repairing my vehicle.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Read Your Spark Plugs
Car spark plugs create the spark necessary in the combustion cycle. Check your spark plugs to improve your engine efficiency and performance.
How to Gap a Spark Plug
The The spark plug (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-does-a-spark-plug-do) is used to ignite the air/fuel mixture inside the engine. The spark plug (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-buy-good-quality-spark-plugs) must be in good condition and must be properly gapped for proper engine performance. spark plug...
How to Check Spark Plug Wires
Car engines that have a distributor or remote coil pack have spark plug wires that transfer the spark from the coil to the spark plug.

Related questions

Acceleration issue, RPMs increase but not speed
If your car is revving up but not moving, or is slow at gaining speed, then you have a slipping clutch. If you have a manual or automatic transmission it will still be a clutch issue. A mechanic with experience...
Charging system issue - 1991 Mercury Capri
Hello. It sounds like you have a bad connection. If the alternator is fine, then the negative battery connections should be checked. It is common for negative ground connections to become loose or corroded which will cause this. If those...
Truck hesitates to start - 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Hi. This could be a problem with the mass air flow sensor (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/mass-airflow-sensor-replacement), throttle position (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/throttle-position-sensor-replacement), fuel pump (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/fuel-pump-replacement), or idle air control valve (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/idle-control-valve-replacement). The mass air flow sensor is a common cause of a problem like this it...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com