Spark Plug Q&A

I’m confused about when I should get my spark plugs replaced. What’s the deal?
— Charged Up

Answer from Berning’s Auto Repair:

Well it can be confusing for drivers because there are several types of spark plugs and some last longer than others. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when your spark plugs should be changed.

Here’s a little background from Berning’s Auto Repair. Spark plugs are in the combustion chamber of your engine. They send a little spark between two electrodes at the end of the spark plug which ignites the gasoline. This little spark goes off thousands of times a minute. Over the miles, the electrodes on standard grade spark plugs wear away increasing the gap between them. When that happens, the spark isn’t as strong and the fuel doesn’t burn as well.

As I mentioned above, there are several types or grades of spark plugs. The standard grade is copper core. They are great for quick starts and may last 12,000 to 13,000 miles.

Single platinum spark plugs use platinum on one of the electrodes. These typically last 30,000 to 60,000 miles and have improved ignitability and performance. Double platinum plugs use platinum on both electrodes. This virtually eliminates gap erosion. They may last 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Then there are the plugs that use iridium in their electrodes. These usually last over 100,000 miles. They are very durable and give premium performance and improved fuel efficiency.

Now it’s essential that motorists always use at least the grade of spark plug that originally came on their vehicle. This makes sure that your spark plugs are up to delivering the performance and fuel economy your vehicle was designed for. Of course, you may upgrade your spark plugs for better durability and performance. Talk with you friendly Berning’s Auto Repair service specialist about how you want your vehicle to perform and let us help you select the spark plug that best suits your needs.

Comments are closed.