A quick guide to your car’s spark plugs

December 18th, 2019 by

When it comes to what goes on under the hood, a lot of drivers aren’t too well-versed. However, here at Toyota of Orlando we believe that in order to be a responsible car owner (and save time and money), you should know the ins and outs of how your car works. Today, our auto service techs are bringing you a quick guide to spark plugs and how they get your car up and at ’em every single day.

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What is a spark plug and what does it do?

What is a spark plug? Basically, it’s a tiny electrical plug that plugs into the engine’s cylinder head. It’s job? To “spark” so it can ignite your car’s fuel. Remember, gasoline by itself won’t get your car running. Fuel is moved from the gas tank through the fuel lines into the fuel injectors, where it’s mixed with oxygen that’s been sucked into the engine via the air intake. This special mixture of fuel and oxygen is then pushed into cylinder, where the spark plug ignites it and sets things into motion.

You’ll probably need to replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles or so, but it really depends on the condition of your car and how you drive and maintain it. But without working spark plugs, you’re going nowhere fast. If  they’re going bad or have conked out on you, you’ll likely have problems getting your car started at all, as well as have to deal with misfiring during acceleration and poor fuel efficiency. Here are two of the main reasons you may see an issue:

  • A bigger gap. Spark plugs have to jump a gap of space to ignite fuel and over time, wear and tear cause this gap to widen. This makes it harder for the plugs to do their job.
  • Buildup. Deposits form on the plugs because of the fuel-air interaction, and over time this can lead to a buildup that in turn causes pre-ignition of the fuel (a jerky and unreliable performance).

Luckily, these car parts are easy and relatively inexpensive to fix, especially if you bring your ride to our Orlando Toyota service center.

How do you know if these important car parts aren’t working?

How do you know if you’re due for a visit to our Toyota service center? Here are a few signs you may be in need of a new set of spark plugs:

  • Your fuel efficiency drops without warning
  • Your car is having trouble starting
  • Your vehicle misfires or feels “jerky” during acceleration, or it feels sluggish when you hit the gas
  • You hear rattling or knocking noises from under the hood (this is caused by the plugs firing at the wrong time)

Our Orlando auto service center can get things up and running again under the hood in no time, so if you think you need new spark plugs just call. We’re open seven days a week for your convenience at (407) 298-0001, and we’re conveniently located at 3575 Vineland Road just off I-4 across from Millenia Mall.

Posted in Toyota Service