Exception in rendering!

Message: window is not defined

ReferenceError: window is not defined
    at new c (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:136:3912)
    at m.mountComponent (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:47:15602)
    at /tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:49:31860
    at a.r.perform (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:47:12503)
    at Object.a [as renderToString] (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:49:31821)
    at r (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:50:21164)
    at Object.S.ReactOnRails.serverRenderReactComponent (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:32:6073)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:173:8), <anonymous>:10:23)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:173:8), <anonymous>:17:3)
    at /tmp/execjs20161208-83728-11vbxrgjs:173:8

What Causes Spark Plugs to Wear Out?

Worn Out Spark Plugs

Without operational spark plugs, your engine won’t run. If even just one plug were to fail, the change in functionality would be very noticeable. Your engine would run rough, it would idle poorly, it might spit and sputter during acceleration, and it might even stall out on you. Spark plugs do wear out over time, although the actual lifespan varies depending on the type of plug in question, the condition of your engine, and your driving habits.

Wear factors for spark plugs

There are several factors that play a role in spark plug health, but the most common reason for them to wear out is that they’re just old. To understand this, you need to know a bit more about how spark plugs work.

When your alternator generates electricity, it is sent through the ignition system, down the spark plug wires, and to each individual spark plug. The plugs then create electrical arcs at the electrodes (the small metal cylinders protruding from the bottoms of the plugs). Each time a plug fires, a minute amount of metal is removed from the electrode. This shortens the electrode, and requires more and more electricity to create the arc necessary to fire the cylinder. Eventually, the electrode will be so worn that it won’t arc at all.

This is what happens in a normal, properly maintained engine. There are other factors that can reduce plug life (all spark plugs eventually wear out; it’s just a question of when).

  • Overheating Damage: Overheating spark plugs can cause the electrode to wear faster. Pre-ignition from an improperly timed engine can cause this, as can an incorrect air to fuel ratio.

  • Oil Contamination: If oil seeps onto the spark plug, it will foul the tip. This creates damage and additional wear (oil seeping into the combustion chamber is something that happens over time as seals begin to fail).

  • Carbon: Carbon buildup on the tip can also cause premature failure. This can happen due to dirty injectors, a clogged air filter and many other reasons.

As you can see, there are a number of different factors that affect when your spark plugs will fail, and just how much use you’ll get out of them.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: My car is on anti-theft mode and I can't turn my car on. I don't have a key for that

Hey there. The vehicle has an integrated anti-theft system that can not be turned off or bypassed for a no start. If you lost all the factory keys, then you will need to have new keys made and programmed using...

Q: Spark plug issue

Hello. There are thread insert processes and kits available to repair this sort of thing. Sometimes, this can even be done without removing the cylinder head. Helicoil and EZ-coil are 2 choices. How far you go to preserve the...

Q: Car starts, but car won't go into gear

If in fact the headlights and the shifting issue were a result of changing the battery, the only circumstance that I can think of would be a voltage spike. Was the ignition key on when you connected the battery? Did...