Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Wears Out Engine Spark Plugs?

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My key will not turn in the ignition.

Try to move the steering back and forth at the same time to turn the key. It may be bound by the steering wheel. To keep this from happening, you need to straighten out the steering wheel before turning off...

Q: Which Spark Plugs Are Best for Normal Driving?

This may sound rather silly, but for normal driving, the best spark plug to use is the ones that are designed by the vehicle manufacturer for use in your particular vehicle. The reason that I say this is because not...

Q: Steering wheel locked

This is a pretty common problem on Ford trucks. Typically, you can get the steering wheel to unlock by turning the wheel side to side while also turning the key forward. If this doesn't work you likely need to replace...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...