Where’s the Spark?
Without a spark, your car won’t start. Your car’s engine runs on a combination of fuel and air that’s injected into the ignition chamber through the fuel nozzle. These materials then combust, causing a chain reaction; this chain reaction is what powers your car. However, that first ignition needs a source to combust, and that source is the spark plug. Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, can help you take care of this crucial part of your car.
Spark plugs are one of the more low-maintenance parts of your car; they can often go years before needing replacement. However, it’s important to pay attention to the signs your spark plug is aging. Spark plugs can suffer from two problems: spark plug deposit buildup and an expanding, harder-to-jump gap.
- Spark plug deposit buildup: With spark plug deposit buildup, deposits form on the plug as a result of the air-fuel mixture. Buildup means an unreliable energy source for your car.
- Expanding, harder-to-jump gap: When the spark plug ignites, the energy it creates travels across a gap of space, providing the right level of combustion at the right moment. This process is what starts your car. If that gap becomes too far apart, combustion is erratic or ineffective.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a few signs that your spark plug needs to be replaced, including:
- Rattling, pinging, or knocking: If you hear any of these noises, your spark plug could be the issue. A misfiring spark plug causes the force of the pistons and combustion to not work properly, leading to a noisy engine.
- Hard vehicle start: If you notice a jerky start, it could be due to spark plug deposit buildup.
- Reduced performance: Your spark plug doesn’t only help you start your car, it helps you when you accelerate or change gears. If there’s an issue with your spark plug, you may notice your car feels sluggish.
- Poor fuel economy: If your car can’t receive the proper, heat-generating spark at exactly the right moment, it might waste fuel.
A new spark plug can lead to better fuel economy, smoother starts, and less harmful emissions. At Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, we offer auto repair and service you can trust. Give us a call at (800) 303-4016 or schedule an appointment online.