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Reasons Behind Failure of Spark Plugs

Reasons Behind Failure of Spark Plugs

You need spark plugs for your cars or other vehicles because the purpose of such plugs is to supply the spark that ignites the fuel mixture and for the creation of the explosion that results in making your vehicle’s engine produce power. But you need to change this plug from time to time because it goes bad very fast. You must be curious to know what causes spark plugs to go bad fast. There is no need to hurry, you can read this guide that provides you with detailed information about the reasons behind this happening.

If you do not know much about spark plugs, we can provide you with some information about it. These plugs are the small metal pieces that are fitted inside the car’s engine and emit an electric current that allows the car’s fuel to combust with oxygen for producing energy. In this guide, you will come to know about the symptoms that show your spark plugs are going to get bad nearly. You should know that the major reason behind the failure of spark plugs is due to the gap between the electrodes and there is not enough voltage at the plug tip for a good ionization charge.

Reasons Behind Failure of Spark Plugs

The people owning a car or any other vehicle that consists of spark plugs need to know what causes spark plugs to go bad fast because they need to spend money every time to buy a new plug for their vehicle’s proper functioning. Following are some of the common reasons behind the failure of spark plugs:

●  Oil in Combustion Chamber

The major reason behind the failure of a spark plug can be the flow of engine oil into the combustion chamber. If the oil is leaking, it is obvious that the spark plug will get dirty and oily which can lead to its failure. Such type of failure is common in old vehicles. So, you should notice when your vehicle starts burning oil.

● Poor Quality of Fuel

You should know that poor quality of fuel can also cause failure in the spark plugs because the material used inside the poor-quality fuel filter does not last for a long time. Such material does not make the plug long-lasting. When the bad fuel enters your vehicle’s engine, it damages the inside of a spark plug and can make it start getting eroded off.

● Carbon in Combustion Chamber

As we know, the spark plugs have been designed using an anti-corrosion coating that is helpful in protecting against elements in the vehicle’s engine from damaging them over time. It also includes different types of contaminants such as copper or lead particles. You should know that such coating is not impervious and can get cracked from the buildup of oil, combustion byproducts, and carbon.

● Use of Leaded Gasoline

You should know that if you are using leaded gasoline, it can cause a spark plug to go bad as it can damage your car’s engine. It can also affect other components such as piston rings or valves. Thus, it can result in the failure of your spark plug.

● Bad Quality Fuel Filters

If you have bad fuel filters, the spark plugs are more likely to get worse in no time because the bad fuel filters are one of the major reasons behind their failure. You should know that a fuel filter plays a vital role as a protective barrier for the vehicle’s engine and cleans it for rust particles, dirt, and other contaminants.

When the air intake system of your vehicle is exposed to dirt, it is more likely to get dirty every time you use it. Some other dust particles also enter the gas that results in affecting the performance of the spark plugs.

● Overheating

Overheating the spark plug can result in the failure of the spark plug. For your information, overheating can be the result of many things such as malfunctioning the cooling system and pre-ignition. You should know that pre-ignition can result in heat building up in the combustion chamber that can cause the spark plug to fail.

Moreover, if the cooling system is not working efficiently, it can result in causing the spark plug and engine to overheat. This overheating can result in the failure or explosion of the spark plug.

● Loose Wire Connection

The reason behind the failure of the spark plug can be the loose wire connection, improper engine tuning, or low-quality plugs. It is necessary for you to keep your vehicle tuned up. You should check the wires regularly before you need to replace any of the parts of your vehicle related to the spark plugs., Plus, it is recommended that you use high-quality spark plugs so the issues with premature wear could be avoided.

● The Unsuitable gap between Spark Plugs

It is needed to measure the gap between the metals when the spark plug is installed. If this gap is not correct, the spark plug wears out faster. So, you should make sure that the gap is appropriate so the life of the spark plug could be increased.

Symptoms of Failing Spark Plugs

It is necessary to keep the spark plug clean if you do not want the electrodes to get damaged. You should know that the dirty and fouled spark plugs are more likely to wear out as compared to the ones that you clean regularly.

When the spark plug starts to fail, it shows some symptoms that help you know that the failure of the spark plug is near. Some common symptoms of failing spark plugs are as follows:

● Difficulty in Starting

Are you having trouble starting your car or any other vehicle? If yes, you must be thinking that your vehicle’s battery has been dead or the gas tank is empty. But you should also check the spark plug present in your vehicle that does not produce the spark for starting the combustion process.

● Reduced Gas Mileage

As we know, we stop at the gas station to get the fuel for our vehicle. Sometimes, a drop of fuel enters the spark plugs. If your vehicle’s spark plug is damaged or not working properly, it can have a negative impact on the gas mileage.

● Lack of Acceleration in the Vehicle

If your vehicle has lost its efficient acceleration, it means the spark plug is going to fail. You should know that a dirty spark plug can also affect the acceleration of the vehicle. So, you must clean the plug regularly.

● Engine Misfires

If the engine misfires or hesitates instead of running smoothly is a symptom that your vehicle’s spark plug is going to deteriorate. If the combustion process is interrupted even for a couple of seconds, the performance of the vehicle’s engine is affected negatively.

● Rough Idling

When the spark plugs are working properly and efficiently, the engines’ sound is steady and smooth. But if the spark plugs are damaged or are about to deteriorate, the engine sounds rough while idling. You may also notice that your vehicle is vibrating.

Prevention of Spark Plug Failure

You need to follow the following precautionary measures for preventing the spark plugs to get failed:

You should change the spark plug every 30,000 miles depending upon the type of your vehicle.

You should keep the engine tuned properly which helps in avoiding the need for replacing the wires and plugs prematurely.

You should use those spark plugs that are specially designed for the type of your vehicle’s engine. Make sure you do not use low-quality plugs that get damaged easily.

Do not forget to disconnect the negative battery cable and wait for at least thirty minutes before undergoing any other activity on the vehicle for eliminating the power shocks from ECUs or any other kind of wiring.


People who own a car or any other vehicle or those people who work with the vehicles are concerned to know what causes spark plugs to go bad fast. You should know that the major reason behind the deterioration of the spark plugs is the dust that gets stuck in them. You need to clean it regularly to increase the life of these plugs. These plugs show prominent signs that the plug is going to get bad soon so you should replace it immediately.

The best way to increase the life of a spark plug is to keep it clean and do not let it get dirty all the time.

You need to change the spark plugs every 30,000 miles depending upon your vehicle’s type.

Yes, the spark plug can deteriorate suddenly and can stop producing a spark.

When the spark plug shows the signs that it needs to be changed such as rough idle, misfiring, the car is hard to start, etc.

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