Q: What Wears Out Engine Spark Plugs?

asked by on

What wears out engine spark plugs?

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 1,000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What Wears Out Engine Spark Plugs?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Will battery disconnect erase/delete obd2 data

Disconnecting the battery will not clear any codes in memory of the computer for stored OBD2 codes. The only way to clear the codes is to use a scanner and use the code clear function.

Q: No spark after head gasket replaced and timing and water pump fixed

Check all the ignition system primary circuit electrical connections to the distributor and test the coil and the distributor. Be sure all electrical connections were restored and are secure. It is possible that an electrical connector was just left disconnected,...

Q: my mechanic said there is water in my sparkplugs car won't turn on just sounds like spinning 1999 galant

If there is a coolant leak into the cylinder(s), or externally down the spark plug tubes, such a leak would have to be resolved prior to running the engine, or attempting to diagnose a non-running engine. If you request a...

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...
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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...