Vehicle Maintenance Matters: All About Spark Plugs


Your vehicle is made up of a lot of moving parts.

That means there’s a lot to remember when it comes to maintenance.

Oil changes and windshield wiper fluid refills are easier to remember than parts like spark plugs.

Let’s take a closer look at what your vehicle’s spark plugs do and how to maintain them.

What your spark plugs do

There are several components to a spark plug.

They’re made of a precious metal electrode in the center, a steel outer casing, a ceramic insulator, and a gap left for air.

They work by bringing a high voltage electrical charge from the ignition coil to the combustion chamber.

The electricity makes a leap across the air gap, which creates a spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture causing combustion.

How long your spark plugs will last

How long your spark plugs last will depend on what kind you have.

There are two different kinds of spark plugs.

  • Copper tip plugs normally last 30,000 miles.

  • Platinum and iridium tip plugs can last up to 100,000 miles.

Check your owner’s manual to find out what kind of spark plugs your car has.

When to replace spark plugs

It’s always best to defer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine when your spark plugs should be replaced.

Because they’re an electric component, they can build up resistance over time.

You probably won’t notice that they aren’t working 100% at first.

Eventually, though, your vehicle may start misfiring, you’ll have reduced fuel economy, and you could even end up with a damaged catalytic converter, which can be costly to replace.

The cost of replacement

Copper spark plugs are less expensive, running anywhere from $1 to $16 per spark plug.

Platinum spark plugs are in the $20 range.

Keep in mind that these prices don’t include the cost of labor, which is an hourly rate.

The length of the job depends on several factors, such as the type of vehicle you have.

It could take as little as 30 minutes or as much as 4 hours.

For a job well done, go to the right place

The certified auto technician at your local dealership knows exactly how to work on your specific make and model of vehicle.

You can trust them to do a great job, whether it’s changing spark plugs or routine maintenance.

See the folks at Serra Honda for help!

Categories: Service