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Q: What Wears Out Engine Spark Plugs?

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What wears out engine spark plugs?

A: Spark plugs are used to ignite the air/fuel...

Spark plugs are used to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chambers of every engine. The plugs are subjected to extreme heat, combustion pressures, and vibration. These are just some of the factors that contribute to spark plug wear.

The most wear to spark plugs is done from creating the electric arc that ignites the air/fuel mixture.

Spark plugs each have two electrodes; one electrode in the center of the plug and a side electrode. As the electricity jumps from one electrode to the other, the electrodes start to erode from the process. Over time, the electrodes wear away.

The copper core spark plugs of old typically lasted for about 30,000 miles before needing replacement. With today's modern materials (platinum and iridium), spark plugs last about 100,000 miles before needing replacement.

If your vehicle is due for spark plug service, seek the assistance from a professional mechanic who can do the job at your convenience.

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