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How to Tell If You Have Malfunctioning Spark Plugs

Although they are small, spark plugs are an integral part of a car's ignition system. Their job is to produce the electric sparks needed to ignite the fuel/air mixture within the combustion chamber when starting the car. 

Over time, spark plugs may become faulty due to age and normal wear. Old and worn spark plugs can cause you a lot of inconvenience at crucial times. Your best bet for avoiding car breakdowns resulting from faulty spark plugs is to watch out for signs of failing spark plugs. 

Here are some common symptoms of malfunctioning spark plugs.

Trouble Starting Your Car

Are you experiencing difficulty in starting your car? Faulty spark plugs might be the cause of the problem. If these plugs can't produce enough electric sparks to allow for the ignition of your engine, then you'll have problems starting your car. When you turn the key in your car ignition system, your car might generate a cranking noise several times before starting. 

If you notice these signs, it is important to have your car checked immediately by a car service before your engine stalls completely.

Poor Fuel Economy

Increased fuel consumption can also indicate that your spark plugs are going haywire. Normally functioning spark plugs produces sufficient amounts of electric sparks, which allow for efficient combustion of the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. This helps to achieve optimal fuel economy. 

If you've noticed that your car is thirstier than usual, this could be a symptom of failing spark plugs. 

Rough Idling Engine

Normally functioning plugs allow you to enjoy a smooth ride — a ride without vibrations or unusual sounds during idling. If you have noticed rough idling, it is time to have your car engine inspected.

Bad spark plugs are a common cause of rough engine idling, usually accompanied by rattling and knocking sounds.

Slower Acceleration

Reduced engine power when you're accelerating is another way to tell if you have bad spark plugs. As part of your car's ignition system, spark plugs can hurt the performance of the vehicle, and this is especially evident when you step on the accelerator. 

If you are experiencing the above-highlighted problems with your car, it is likely that you have bad spark plugs. However, spark plugs aren't the only components of your car's ignition system. Other components could also be to blame for your car troubles. The best way to determine the exact source of the problem is to let a qualified car mechanic check your vehicle. Once they know what's wrong with your car, they recommend and perform the necessary repair service.