If the ignition system of your vehicle is not operating properly, it will cause your engine to perform poorly, but more importantly, it will result in reduced efficiency of the fuel being used.
The spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture which is delivered to the engine. If the ignition system is not working properly, it will cause the engine to “misfire” and some of the fuel will remain unburned. This reduces significantly the performance of your engine and also results in higher levels of emissions. The unburned fuel will contaminate the engine oil, lowering its viscosity, and the increased friction in the engine will reduce performance. It can also cause the catalytic converter to overheat and fail, which will be a costly repair bill.
A misfiring engine can also damage the catalytic converter. The poor performance and “misfiring” may not be that evident to those of us without the training and experience, and so it is important to get these systems checked as recommended.
Spark plug life can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual.
How do I do this?
You need to have the ignition system checked by a qualified professional. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on spark plug replacement intervals. If you have an older vehicle with a distributor, you may require additional ignition system maintenance, so check with your mechanic.